Penny drive benefits infertility nonprofit

Fifth graders at Louis L'Amour Elementary School in Jamestown recently presented $650 to Tara Brandner, left, president and founder of Everlasting Hope, a new organization that seeks to help people with infertility issues in North Dakota. The money was raised thorugh a penny drive at the school. Kathy Steiner / The Sun

Children at Louis L’Amour Elementary School raised $650 in a penny drive to benefit Everlasting Hope and recently presented the funds to Tara Brandner, founder and president of the organization.

“We are statewide, we are the first and only infertility nonprofit in the state and we aim to raise awareness on infertility,” Brandner said. She said there is no insurance coverage for infertility treatment.

“So if you get that diagnosis your insurance stops, like, immediately ... It’s all out of pocket from there,” she said. “And so we have a financial assistance program that we are building which is where the penny drive money will go towards, to give back to those who qualify for our program, to help with treatment costs.”

Brandner said infertility affects 1 in 8 and that new studies show it’s actually 1 in 6 so that equates to over 14,000 North Dakota residents alone. In North Dakota, there is no mandate for insurance coverage, she said.

To qualify for the Everlasting Hope program, she said people have to have a commercial insurance plan, be medically cleared by a doctor for treatment and show proof of finances. She said Everlasting Hope has a “strict application process” to show people have a financial need but are working individuals who have insurance.


With the $650 donation, Everlasting Hope is at the $5,000 mark, half-way from its goal, and hopes to open the application process this month, Brandner, of Ashley, said.

Everlasting Hope has held events so far in Fargo, Bismarck and will have a June 6 golf tournament at Hillcrest Golf Course in Jamestown, she said. Events for infertility patients are also planned this year, including retreats and a conference, she said. Everlasting Hope has a website,, that has a lot of information for people who have infertility issues, she said.

“We try to provide North Dakota centered” information, she said. “We even have Jamestown physical therapists listed who treat infertility patients. We’re working to connect with local businesses in each … of the six major communities in North Dakota too that serve infertility patients so that patients know where to go within their own community or surrounding area to see different treatments pertaining to their diagnosis.”

Eddy Delzer, principal of Louis L’Amour Elementary School, volunteers for Everlasting Hope and suggested the penny drive benefit it this year.

Louis L’Amour has a student leadership team that includes two students each from the fourth and fifth grades and one student from the other grades.

Ciara Perleberg, one of the fifth graders on the team, said the students were donating the penny drive funds to Everlasting Hope because “the people at this school love children” and you can’t have a school without children.

“We did it because we are doing our seven mindsets ... to give and it makes us feel happy when we give,” said Layla Anderson, a fourth grader on the Student Leadership Team.

The seven mindsets are: Everything is Possible, 100% Accountable, Attitude of Gratitude, Live to Give, We are Connected, Passion First and The Time is Now.


“Education nowadays has become standards based and you want to educate the whole child and part of that is making them into better people all around,” Delzer said, “and I think seven mindsets really ties in the community and how to make yourself become a better person.”

Every month the students have a different mindset and activity, he said. The mindset for the month during the drive was "Live to Give."

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