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A day for giving: Bemidji participates in Give to the Max Day

BEMIDJI — Before opening their wallets for Black Friday sales, local residents are being asked to first support local nonprofits.

Today marks Give to the Max Day, a now-annual tradition held Nov. 14 through GiveMN, a statewide venture that aims to raise funds for nonprofits.

This year, the statewide effort is getting more prominent local exposure.

Today, as shoppers visit downtown businesses, they will also have the chance to visit with and donate to local nonprofits represented within those businesses. Businesses will have GiveMN signage indicating their participation.

For example, the Village of Hope will be highlighted within Tutto Bene.

This year, the Northwest Minnesota Foundation has partnered with the Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce and Community Resource Connection to present "Bemidji Gives — Give Local, Shop Local."

"(Today) will be a day dedicated to promote philanthropy in the Bemidji area," said Nancy Vyskocil, foundation president, in a press release. "The mission of Bemidji Gives is to inspire individuals to donate to participating nonprofits with the goal of raising as much money as possible within a 24-hour period."

Twenty businesses have partnered with 20 nonprofits. Representatives from those nonprofits will be on hand from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at those businesses to encourage donations, field questions from shoppers and simply share information about their mission and operations.

But for those who don’t want to venture out, they can go online to and make a donation electronically. A quick search of their database on Tuesday resulted in 135 nonprofits registered with the 56601 zip code.

Every hour, will give out a "golden ticket" — a $1,000 gift — to a randomly selected donor’s charity of choice.

Give to the Max participating businesses

- Iverson Corner Drug; will feature Hope House

-Greater Bemidji Area Joint Planning Office (City Hall); Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota

- Minnesota Nice Cafe; Beltrami Humane Society

- Book World; Beltrami County Historical Society

-Herington’s Shoes; Friends of Bemidji Public Library

-Senior Activity Center; Senior Activity Center

-Cantabria Coffee; Kindred Family Services

-Pine Country Insurance; Northwoods Habitat for Humanity

-Headwaters Science Center; Headwaters Science Center

-Patterson’s Menswear; Bemidji Community Food Shelf

-Keg and Cork; Northwoods Caregivers

-Tutto Bene; Village of Hope

-Wild Hare; Peacemaker Resources

-Bar 209; United Way of Bemidji Area

-Ben Franklin; Boys & Girls Club of the Bemidji Area

-Harmony Co-op; Nymore Dog Park

-Cabin Coffee House and Cafe; Paul Bunyan Inclusive Playground

-Kelsey’s Jewelry; First City of Lights

-Shannon’s Art & Soul; Bemidji Area Arts Endowment

-Raphael’s Bakery; Northwest Technical College Foundation