We recently presented our annual Community Partner Awards to individuals and organizations that have made a positive impact on the lives of those we serve, or whose efforts have greatly supported our work. Since 1993, we’ve recognized 70 nominees who serve as role models of compassion and service as well as helping to fulfill Hammer’s mission to provide individuals with developmental disabilities the opportunity to experience life to its fullest.
One of this year’s recipients is Lacey Anderson, who received our Youth Award.
Lacey is a one-on-one volunteer with Daniel at our Emery home. The home’s staff were looking for a volunteer who could sing church songs to him and connected with Lacey. And now, since 2020, Lacey has been doing that! She has also volunteered at Hammer’s Car Karaoke, Haunted House, and Holiday Cookie Bake.
Daniel loves spending time with Lacey. They became fast friends with their shared love for music. Daniel often listens to children’s Christian music and Lacey has a background in church choir. They have formed a special bond over these songs. Lacey is skilled on several instruments and they often jam together. Daniel also loves everything to do with Christmas and enjoyed helping Lacey decorate the basement at the Emery home, set up a tree, and have a special Christmas party.
“I originally started volunteering at Emery in order to bring joy to the lives of the residents and more specifically, Daniel,” Lacey says. “I do feel as though I have accomplished this, but I have found that I have been blessed with joy as well.” Lacey recently graduated from Wayzata High School. She’s looking forward to attending Creighton University in Omaha this fall to study accounting.
Brittney Severson is the Program Manager at the Emery home. “Lacey has a kindness about her that radiates brightly,” she says. “She brings a smile to Daniel’s face during every visit. She took the time to get to learn Daniel’s specific music preferences and adapts her approach to meet his needs and desires.”
Congratulations Lacey and thank you for all you do for Daniel. We wish you all the best as you head off to college!
If you would like to learn about volunteer opportunities in the west or east metro areas please contact our Director of Volunteer Resources, Cathy Thoma: firstname.lastname@example.org; 952-345-8554