Our Legacies magazine is a special anniversary publication, celebrating our history, the people we have supported, and those who have made our mission possible all these years. Here is one of our stories:
Tom and Lee Ann’s son, Jeff, is supported at our 13th Avenue home in Plymouth. The Silvers are long-time generous supporters. Tom served on the Hammer Board and Lee Ann has been a valued volunteer for many years.
In 1985, I started my involvement with Hammer Residences by answering the call for drivers to bring people from the Hammer dorms in Wayzata to worship at Holy Name of Jesus. We’d pull up in our cars, six or seven of us, and drive 20 or so people over to the church. When Hammer moved into group homes, we’d have a route we’d follow to pick up people. Our pastor at the time, Father Arnold Weber, had just started a “special needs” ministry with worship, faith sharing, and Bible studies. Parishioners were so welcoming! People from Hammer like Don Rudd and Jim Finney and so many others became some of the most faithful, beloved, and vocal participants in the Mass. I will never forget whenever Fr. Arnold said something that he agreed with, Jim would always say, “That’s right!”
In 1987, my wife, Lee Ann, gave birth to our son, Jeff, who has Down syndrome. Lee Ann was a nurse, and I was involved with Hammer, so we knew a bit about what was ahead of us. When he became a teenager, Jeff started talking about living in a group home like the people we were driving to church. Fast forward to 2023, and now Jeff lives at the 13th Avenue home in Plymouth. He loves living with his housemates and staff and it is our hope that Jeff will remain with Hammer for the rest of his life.
In 2013, Tom Silver, Bill Young, and Joe Reis, Hammer Board members and Holy Name parishioners, sent a letter to friends requesting donations to Hammer to maintain its high standard of care. Since then, those who received that letter have gone on to contribute almost $260,000.