Pride Month

By Ashley Emerson (pronouns: she/her), Hammer Case Manager From the bottom of my heart and from the DEI Council, Happy Pride Month! This flag was designed by Daniel Quasar and includes the Trans Flag colors and Black and Brown stripes included to show support of the Black and Brown trans women who...

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Mind and Body Connection

by Julia Christianson, Community Life Coordinator The third and final blog for Mental Health Awareness month focuses on the Mind and Body connection. The mind-body connection is by no means a new theory. For thousands of years, medicine has focused on this connection between what we do with our...

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Mental Health & COVID-19

Over the past year, more than ever we have learned the importance of physical and mental health, and how these are truly intertwined in our everyday lives. We have been truly amazed by our staff and individuals who have gone above and beyond to keep each other safe, healthy and engaged. We need to...

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May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Now more than ever, the day-to-day stress of life can lead to mental health issues. As the pandemic continues to alter our lives, it is important to find new and innovative ways to stay connected with each other. During these stressful times, we need to stay connected and be there for each other...

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Ramadan

By Malik Mohamud, Program Manager at Hammer Residences There are more than 1.9 billion people in the world that identify as Muslim, and the blessed month of Ramadan means different things to each and every one of them! In the month of Ramadan, we refrain from food and drink and sexual pleasure in...

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Beloved Volunteer Not Forgotten

By Cari Sheley, Donor Services Coordinator at Hammer Residences On March 20, 2021 the world lost a wonderful person: Claire Hinrichs. She was a volunteer for Hammer for many, many years, always eager to help with her husband Don, and then after Don’s passing, with her sister Betty. She reached...

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A Lifetime of Smiles Through Music

By Donny Gromek, Family Member and DJ It has been my greatest honor to bring music to the people at Hammer Residences throughout the years.  In Hammer’s early years, I watched kids grow into teeny boppers, and then as they grew into adults. They are so excited to see me; their faces light up...

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When Talent & Life Merge

By Joe Cullen, Communications Specialist After working for over 20 years as a reporter and producer in the cable television industry, I was looking for a career change. I knew that I wanted to stay in communications creating media. I also was especially keen on finding a job at a nonprofit where I...

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It’s All About Relationships

By Ken Harper, Program Director My journey to Hammer started over 29 years ago, when I moved to Minnesota from Louisiana with the plan of getting a job at Hazelden. My background is in chemical dependency treatment, and I thought I would continue on that path in Minnesota. When I first got to...

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Transitioning with Joy

By Ann Martinka, Hammer Travel Customer Relations My name is Ann Martinka and I have been employed by Hammer Travel, for almost ten years. My husband Bob and I have three children and our middle child, Joy, was born with Down Syndrome. Being the only girl, Joy was lucky enough to get her own room....

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DSP Appreciation Week

By Angela Bernhardt, Director of Major Gifts One of my favorite things about working at Hammer is the people. Honestly, the best people work at Hammer! In my role in the development department, I often share stories of those we serve and their caregivers. In typical Hammer fashion, the people who...

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Eagle Scout Jack Moy is Hammer’s New Hero!

By Ginger Venable, Event and Project Manager at Hammer Residences Through this pandemic, many true heroes have emerged. Jack Moy, Eagle Scout, with help from his family and troop leaders has volunteered his free time during the pandemic to build three amazing pieces for Hammer Residences. Two...

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Learning to Pivot

By Angela Bernhardt, Director of Major Gifts Reading back a grant application submitted in March seems like a lifetime ago. Katie Pease, our Community Life Coordinator, had been planning a project idea with multidisciplinary artist Xochi de la Luna, and Cow Tipping Press, a nonprofit that teaches...

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One Family’s Story Behind the Masks

By Angela Bernhardt, Director of Major Gifts When the pandemic began, Sue Pretzel called the hospital in Aitken, Minnesota to see how she could help.  A lifelong quilter, she was sent a pattern for face masks and got to work at her home on Big Sandy Lake in McGregor using her vast supply of fabric...

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