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:
Hammer Travel opens up a world of adventures
Since 2009, Hammer Travel has supported over 2,000 people as they fulfilled their travel goals. Going hand in hand with Hammer’s mission, Hammer Travel promotes personal growth, social inclusion, independence, and self-confidence, through the joys of travel. Whether visiting a new city or cruising Alaska, travel is a world-expanding experience that plays an important role in one’s quality of life.
Katie Pease, Hammer Training Consultant, Trip Leader – I’m happy to share a part in making travel dreams come true for the people we support. Everyone deserves to have the opportunity to travel, and if someone needs a little extra help to be safe and supported, that’s what we’re here for. I really enjoy seeing our travelers embrace all the new things that can be a part of traveling. Sometimes it’s navigating through nerves with airport security, trying a new food, or walking slowly together into the water to touch a dolphin. I enjoy working through challenges as they arise and having a ton of fun along the way.
Joe, Traveler, Hammer’s Stone Creek Apartments – I’ve traveled a lot with Hammer Travel. I’ve been to New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Branson, and Disney Halloween Magic at Disney World. I love seeing new places and it’s fun to meet people from other states and make friends with them. My favorite trip so far was “All Things Hershey” to Hershey, PA. We visited Hershey Park, went on rides, and learned about the history of Hershey. I also like going to Wisconsin Dells. I just enjoy myself.
Malik Mohamud, Trip Leader, Hammer & NER Program Manager – Witnessing the joy and excitement on travelers’ faces is truly awe-inspiring. We celebrated a lady’s birthday during a late-night luau in Hawaii. For her, it was an extraordinary experience to mark her special day in a place she had never imagined visiting. Individuals can accomplish goals they never thought possible. One traveler had a deep connection to Pearl Harbor, passed down through family stories. His dream was to be part of the Pearl Harbor experience during our Hawaii trip. His excitement was palpable as he eagerly took pictures and immersed himself in the history that had captivated him for so long.
Pam Whitcomb, Volunteer – I enjoy providing a safe space for people to freely expand their comfort zones and experience new adventures. On one trip, an Alaskan cruise, one of the travelers with a progressive muscle disease wanted to just swim in the hot tub. The pool staff operated the lift, and we got him in the tub and a few of us went in with him. He was happy as a clam! There are always challenges, but it really helps to have a good team of staff and volunteers that work together on the difficult issues. That can turn a tough situation into a good one!
Cindi Laurent, Volunteer – I really enjoy the people I meet and the things we do. My favorite trip was swimming with the dolphins. We had a gal with pretty serious physical issues (wheelchair bound) and we weren’t sure how we were going to work out her swim. The trainers at Discovery Cove were amazing. One of them wrapped her around the dolphin and then wrapped himself around her so she could experience the swim. We all had tears in our eyes at the joy on her face.
JenniLee Wilson, Caregiver, Coordinator-MSCC, Inc, Olsonville (Carlton, MN) – We had a client who wanted to see a WWE (professional wrestling) show and I had no idea where to go about making it happen until a guardian suggested Hammer Travel. The four trips we’ve been a part of have been some of the most well planned, relaxing, and fun the clients I serve have had. We took one of the people we support to Louisiana. It’s been great to see how independent he has become after the trip. He’s really stepping up to the plate to do big things on his own.