This year, Happy Harry’s turns 75! But some things will never change – like their dedication to the community. The community and customers support the business, and in return, Happy Harry’s enjoys engaging with the community to give back.

Jay Odland, a Manager at Happy Harry’s, referred to their giving back process as the golden rule approach – customers give to them and they give back to the customers through community support.

The largest way Happy Harry’s gives back is through baskets of merchandise that organizations can auction off at their events. They have supported Make-A-Wish, the NDSU Arts program, YWCA, The Village, Churches United, Eventide, The Plains Art Museum, The Great North Pole, and countless golf scrambles just to name a few.

Money is set aside at the beginning of each year to support charitable giving. Jay said the amount gets bigger and bigger every year as they work to help even more people in the community.

Five stores — one goal

2018 was the first year Happy Harry’s partnered with Giving Hearts Day to increase their give-back efforts. They love the fact that Giving Hearts Day is able to impact hundreds of non-profit organizations each year.

Happy Harry’s knew the partnership would be ideal since Giving Hearts Day helps the community and impacts individuals they might not be able to.

They met with Kris Packer, Director of Corporate Partnerships at Dakota Medical Foundation, to brainstorm how they could support the Giving Hearts Day and the participating non-profits.

In the end, Happy Harry’s had donation stations at each register where customers could add $1, $5, or $10 to their purchase as a donation for Giving Hearts Day. In addition, Giving Hearts Day marketing materials were placed in their five locations.

Employees also wore Giving Hearts Day buttons and were educated about the day. Jay said the Happy Harry’s partnership with Giving Hearts Day really opened their staff’s eyes to Giving Hearts Day in general. They want to further educate their staff on Giving Hearts Day moving forward.

Purpose to impact

After Giving Hearts Day, Jay had a customer personally thank Happy Harry’s for helping her nonprofit. It is these moments of gratefulness that make the impact of Giving Hearts Day especially apparent.

“I feel a sense of pride being a part of a great community in Fargo, Grand Forks, and the surrounding region,” Jay said.


All of the Happy Harry’s teams were excited to see how Giving Hearts Day would work in their first year of partnership. They are equally excited to think of ways to make Giving Hearts Day 2019 even better.

Stay tuned for another business story next week, and remember to live with purpose!

Together, we can become the most generous region on the planet.



Derek Hatzenbuhler

Author Derek Hatzenbuhler

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