Keepin’ It Simple

By Regan McGowan, Program Manager

When I went to college, I started and ended with the same question – what do I want to do after school? I earned a degree in business, yet I hadn’t come up with an answer. Hammer has always been a part of my life. My mom has worked for this organization for over 25 years. I had worked here part time on the weekends during my last year of school. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but I was beginning to find my answer.

jan thanksgiving

Regan (in black nad pink) volunteering at Hammer Thanksgiving in 2006

I write this now, post-college as a Program Manager for one of Hammer’s group homes. Everyone has always said that once you start at Hammer, you get pulled in, and now I see why. As its mission, Hammer Residences provides individuals with disabilities opportunities to live life to its fullest. In my role, I get to support four very special ladies as they each pursue living their lives to the fullest. Like any other job, there challenges; for example, not losing your composure when trying to “keep the peace” amongst everyone. Even so, I continue to find that the joys and rewards far outweigh any of the challenges.

Regan and Rockford

During my short time at Hammer, I quickly have learned that the only true disability in life is having a bad attitude. These women I support are four of the sweetest people you will ever meet. They are just like you and me, and I am humbled every time I go to work. The individuals who I am honored to serve may look a bit different than you and I, or have a different thought process, but these women are the most AUTHENTIC people I have ever met. When these ladies are angry or upset, you know it. That said, they are quick to forgive and move forward. On the flip side, when these gals are happy, they radiate joy. The laughter, smiles and jokes that fill my work days make every minute worth it.

Regan and Rockford 2We shouldn’t try to complicate life too much; it should be simple! No two days are the same at our house and the giggles keep coming. We can learn from every single person we meet. Today my question is no longer “what do I want to do after school?” but “who knew that a job didn’t have to feel like work?”


  1. Terriann Matejcek

    Really well said, Regan!

  2. Lisbeth Armstrong

    i absolutely love this Regan! Thanks for taking the time to write it.

  3. Sue Walker

    I had the same question 30+ years ago, started working at Hammer and couldn’t agree with you more today too.
    Thanks for sharing.

  4. Amanda S

    A couple familiar smiles from when I volunteered with Hammer bowling back in high school. My mom was the reason I began volunteering there, as well, and I never put much thought into it when I was at college. Once I graduated in May 2013 with a Communication Studies degree, a Women’s and Gender Studies minor, and a Freshman Admissions Counselor internship for WSU on my newly polished resume, I felt lost. Until I found my position as a Volunteer Coordinator for True Friends! It’s amazing how something I did for fun with my mom in high school had such an impact on my life years later and has really brought me to where I am now; happy, successful, and fulfilled. It’s AMAZING being able to see old bowling buddies here at Camp Friendship and see them just as excited to be here as they were walking into Texa-Tonka every week! 🙂

  5. Jackie Fair

    Your reflection of your involvement with these four special ladies brought a smile to me and I am so glad that you are a part of Stephanie life…she is so happy and content with her surroundings and is so busy with just every day happenings. Thank you for your insight and being part of the rockford house.

  6. Tony Baisley

    Regan, what sweet and truthful sentiments! Thanks for being on our team – you are a quality young woman! 🙂


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