Visitors to Sauk Prairie Healthcare have likely observed employees wearing a name badge that says “HERO” on it. That badge signifies an employee who donates to Sauk Prairie Healthcare Foundation.

Each year, the Foundation hosts a campaign to raise awareness of the fund to encourage employees to donate. This year’s campaign kicked off on Oct. 1.

The funds collected provide scholarships for employees and purchases equipment that staff request. This year, the Foundation awarded $35,000 in scholarships and $45,000 in HERO grants.

The Foundation has added a very special incentive for this year’s campaign.

“Our centerpiece is a new fund to support employees facing hardship caused by COVID-19 or other issues,” said Todd Wuerger, Foundation Executive Director. “The purpose of the HERO Employee Support Fund is to provide financial assistance to eligible employees of Sauk Prairie Healthcare who experience temporary need or distress due to the COVID-19 pandemic or other unforeseen hardship.”

Employees can apply for any amount up to $1,000. Relief grants are intended to provide temporary financial relief to assist eligible employees who are needy or distressed due to a qualifying event in meeting one or more basic needs such as housing, utilities, groceries, childcare, emergency travel or care of a family member. Applications will be reviewed by a committee appointed by the Foundation board of directors.

Wuerger said, “We originally planned this new fund to be supported by employees, but we heard from several of our supporters and area businesses that they also wanted to contribute — as a way to thank the front line employees of Sauk Prairie Healthcare for their dedication during the pandemic. We set up the fund so it can now accommodate outside donations, and are grateful that the community is interested in supporting our employees.”

To donate to the fund, go to www.SaukPrairieHealthcare.org/give

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