Community Partner Award: Deb Gjorass

The Community Partner Award honors those who make significant contributions to Hammer & NER through their time, talent, and treasure. Over the years, we’ve recognized 83 Community Partners who serve as role models of compassion and service. They have made a positive impact on the lives of those we support. This year, we are pleased to present three Community Partner Awards. Our second recipient is Deb Gjorass. Here is her story . . . 

Deb with Cindy

Deb began volunteering at our Rockford home right after the house opened 20 years ago. Her background is in music therapy, and she was working with people with disabilities in the Wayzata schools. Deb told us she felt a need to do something as a volunteer and found out about opportunities with Hammer Residences. She then got connected with the Rockford home and began giving Cindy piano lessons. Then Carla became interested. Deb says it then molded into getting to know all the gals at Rockford.

Today she continues to give Carla and Cindy piano lessons and spends time with Stephanie and Amy too. They all enjoy going to plays and concerts and spending holidays and family celebrations together. Deb says she’s enjoyed getting to know the gals’ parents, too.

Deb with Carla

Deb tries to see the ladies on a weekly basis and works with the home’s staff to juggle everyone’s busy calendars.

Sara Husfeldt is the Program Manager at the Rockford home and says Deb has brought joy to all the ladies at Rockford. They consider her part of the Rockford family and look forward to her visits. Sara says Deb not only treats the ladies to concerts but brings back tokens from her vacations, sends postcards that they enjoy, and remembers their birthdays.

Debs tells us she also enjoys the weekly visits and when she walks in the door she feels right at home.

Thank you, Deb. We are thankful for everything you do for the Rockford ladies and Hammer & NER.

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