HOWARD -- In November, the Horizon Health Foundation kicked off the fourth year of its internal Employee Giving Campaign, "Harvesting Good Will."

Through this campaign, Horizon Health Care employees across the state were challenged with a goal of $50,000. Employees shattered their goal and donated more than $55,000 in cash and pledges.

Since launching the Employee Giving Campaign in 2016, total contributions have surpassed over $180,000.

"Powerful is how I describe what our employees do for their communities," said Brianna Feldhaus, Horizon Health Foundation fund-raising officer. "They have made it possible to help over 523 patients by removing barriers to care such as transportation, cancer screenings, and helping one another out through the Employee Emergency Fund. Now, that's powerful."

All donations raised through the employee campaign will be designated to the Horizon Health Foundation's funds of behavioral health, dental care, cancer care, charity care, diabetes, employee emergency, service area clinics and the Horizon Impact. Donations raised will be used to benefit Horizon's patients and local clinics in these fund areas.

The annual Employee Giving Campaign is led by a steering committee made up of Horizon employees from across the organization. Joni Sterkel of Martin is one of the individuals who has been involved since the first campaign.

"As a member of the Employee Giving Campaign committee, you get to see first-hand some of the impact made through this campaign," said Sterkel, medical records clerk. "There comes a time in life when we find out it's not all about ourselves, but others and what we can do to impact someone else's life. This is where the return comes in the saying `paying it forward.' Our own return is the feeling we get that we truly helped, no matter how large the contribution, but the power of many combined."