(HOWARD, SD) – As a chance to give back to her community, Howard native Presley Claussen is volunteering for Horizon Health Foundation to promote and raise funds for Horizon Health Care’s Smiles for Miles program.
“A class I am taking this semester requires me to volunteer and participate in a service-learning project,” said Claussen. “I thought what better place and way of doing so, but from somewhere I know and love the most, my hometown of Howard.”
Claussen will use social media to spread awareness of Giving Tuesday, a global day of giving that encourages philanthropy and generosity among communities. Horizon Health Foundation celebrates Giving “Toothsday” by raising $20,000 in twenty-four hours. They utilize funds raised on this day to support Horizon Health Care’s Smiles for Miles program, a campaign during October that focuses on bringing children, ages 0-5, into one of Horizon’s eight dental clinics for a free preventative exam and cleaning.
“Many people are aware of this program, yet several really have no idea or any insight as to what the Foundation can do and already does for their community,” said Claussen. “I want to be an advocate to change that.”
Claussen will also host an in-person or virtual fundraising event on Giving “Toothsday,” Nov. 30, to support Horizon Health Foundation’s goal of helping 80 children receive dental care.
“I am so appreciative to have the opportunity to get to work with the Horizon Health Foundation,” said Claussen. “This class project is not just a project to me. It provides a base, showing me how I can aid in making a positive impact for individuals in need, their families, my community, and even for myself.”
Currently, Claussen is a sophomore at South Dakota State University with a double major in Community and Public Health and Human Development and Family Studies, with a minor in Health Science.
“I have always had a strong passion for helping and working with people; therefore, my future career will include just that,” said Claussen.
Claussen graduated in 2020 from Howard High School. Her father, Dave, is a farmer, and her mother, Melissa, is a Medical Records Clerk for Horizon Health Care. She has two siblings, Macey and Colby.
“Growing up in the small community of Howard has impacted me in many positive ways,” said Claussen. “To know, see, and feel like everyone around me is cheering me on and looking out for me is something not everyone is able to relate to.”
The Horizon Health Foundation was established in 2016 to ensure rural health care access to those in need and provide funding for Horizon Health Care. Horizon Health Foundation, a tax-exempt, non-profit corporation, seeks through responsible activities to encourage and derive sustaining gift support from current and former patients and interested friends, including corporate entities. The Horizon Health Foundation, operating in coordination with Horizon Health Care, is the duly designated fundraising arm for Horizon Health Care. In the broadest sense, the purpose of the Foundation is to create an awareness of the financial needs of Horizon Health Care, which are not provided by patient charges and to systematically implement plans by which dollar needs can be met.
About Horizon Health Care
For over 40 years, Horizon Health Care has been providing personalized, affordable, high-quality medical, dental and behavioral health care through a rural, community-based network in South Dakota. Horizon is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that serves the medical, dental and mental health care needs of South Dakotans in rural, medically underserved areas through 110,000 patient visits annually in 32 community health centers in: Aberdeen, Alcester, Bison, Bryant, De Smet, Eagle Butte, Elk Point, Faith, Fort Thompson, Howard, Huron, Isabel, La Plant, Lake Preston, Martin, McIntosh, Mission, Plankinton, Wessington Springs, White River, Woonsocket, and Yankton. For more information please visit www.horizonhealthcare.org.