FARGO — Some Bell Bank Employees are paying it forward, showing 250 health care workers in Fargo how much what they do is appreciated.

For years, the bank has given employees money to donate how they see fit.

In December, Jordan Young's mother recently passed away. During her stay in the ICU, Young saw first-hand how hard working and stressed health care workers are during the pandemic, and shared what he saw with his coworker, Marci Horack.

"The additional compassion that they showed to not only him but his mother really inspired us to give back," said Horack.

They decided to pool their annual $1,000 Bell Bank employee Pay It Forward funds to health care workers to show them how much they are appreciated.

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"It's an awesome opportunity for employees to choose a cause, a person, anything that they think is worthy of getting this gift of giving."

The idea took off from there. "As more and more co-workers found out about our pay it forward, more people were donating and we wound up with enough to get $20 dollars to 250 nurses," says Horack.

Five total employees joined in, and on Friday, Jan. 22, Bell Bank donated a ceremonial check, and hundreds of gift cards with special messages.

"Throughout this pandemic, you hear these stories about people going above and beyond, the risks they're taking to make sure that our community and family and friends are safe it was a really easy decision to make," says Horack.

Horack says she hopes even these small $20 gift cards, show health care workers just how grateful the whole community is for them and their service.

"I really just hope that they know how valued they are," says Horack.

Over $15 million has been given though the Bell Bank Pay It Forward program since it started in 2007.