Avera Medical Minute: 605 Day challenge helps local businesses and front-line workers

 Downtown Sioux Falls open sign
Downtown Sioux Falls open sign (KSFY)
Published: Jun. 4, 2020 at 8:49 PM CDT
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South Dakotans are proud to celebrate 605-day, every year on June 5th. Jordan Anderson with Avera Health plans says this year it's all about paying it forward.

"605-day is going virtual this year, with COVID-19. Avera health plans wanted to find a way to participate this year virtually, so we created a 605-day challenge," said Anderson.

The challenge helps locally owned businesses. That means a lot of Mark Stensland, general manager of Stensland family farms.

"I know that Avera had actually come in and they're encouraging their employees to come to purchase gift cards from local businesses, and then give back, give those to individuals that they feel that there's a need," said Stensland.

The 605-day challenge doesn't just help local businesses with a gift card purchase, the next step honors those who have helped during the pandemic.

"So these gift cards are really going to be your essential workers or frontline staff. We're looking at grocery store clerks, first responders, and healthcare workers as well, doctors, nurses, and hospital staff. It's just, our way of saying thank you for all the hard work and effort that they've put in throughout the whole COVID-19 pandemic," said Anderson.

You can be a part of the 605-day challenge too.

"Avera health plans can't do this alone. So we're encouraging other organizations and individuals who want to participate to go out, purchase a gift card from your local business and pay it forward to an essential worker that's worked so tirelessly during this pandemic. If you want to participate but don't know who or how to distribute a gift card to the frontline staff, you can bring it to your local Avera Foundation office, and they'll be distributing those gift cards to essential workers on June 5 on 605-day," said Anderson.

And those gift card sales are not taken for granted.

"The community here in Sioux Falls has been nothing but phenomenal, as far as coming in and supporting us," said Stensland.

Dall Wilson sees the value in spending money with local businesses.

"What's local defines your community. It makes Sioux Falls, Sioux Falls. To have good ice cream like this, and the farmer's market, and everything else that people in this town do," said Wilson.

When you pay it forward, post it on social media, joining South Dakotans celebrating this incredible state, and the giving people who live here.

"Tag it with the hashtag, Avera supports local and also hashtag 605-day challenge," said Anderson.

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