Celebrating Who We Are Through Active Engagement

By: Kevan Nitzberg Parent Member on the Hammer Board Public Advocacy Committee Member As a teacher at the high school level I know how sports can help to build community, self-worth, and leadership for the participants as well as the fans. My wife and I have seen how important sports have been to...

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A Hobby Turns Into a Gift of Warmth

People with disabilities have a great deal of talent that can sometimes go unrecognized. Sometimes, all it takes is a keen eye and thinking outside the box to make something that seems ordinary, into something extraordinary. The Ask  Jan Hopper, manager at one of the Hammer homes, recently asked...

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Field of Dreams

Back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Woody and the Nitzberg families got together to fill a need that was not being met in the Wayzata area. That need was to provide kids with special needs the opportunity to get involved in sports.              After meeting...

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My Thoughts on Accessible Transportation

By Self-Advocate, Amber My name is Amber. I am 29 years old, and I have an intellectual disability. Because of this, I live in an apartment in Plymouth where I receive support from Hammer Residences. I am very independent and like to be active. I am a Special Olympics athlete, and I work as a...

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Mayor for a Day: Alden’s Dream Come True

By Terriann Matejcek, Director of Advocacy & Volunteer Resources I first met Alden when he was a member of Hammer’s self-advocacy group “Power People.” Each meeting, he brought with him many local papers and spent time coming up with great ideas for how the group could promote better living...

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Government: An Invitation to Partner

By John Estrem, CEO For more than 25 years, I have worked in social services as a volunteer, advocate and leader. I have served the homeless, the young, the old and people with disabilities. During this time I have seen a subtle but disturbing shift in the relationship between government and the...

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May I Have This Dance?

By Regan McGowan, Program Manager A few months ago, I had the opportunity to attend ARRM’s Annual Conference. In one of the sessions, I listened to a speaker talk about the idea of person-centered thinking. This is a well-known concept at Hammer, but it really hit home with me this particular day....

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Helping Hammer Individuals Reach for the Stars

By Joe Reis, Hammer Board of Directors and CEO of Coldwell Banker Burnet 4:45 am and Karen was ready to go! Matter of fact, I think she had been preparing to go for years. The February cold did not deter her spirit at all. Her dream of going to New York City, seeing a Broadway show and auditioning...

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Taking the “Work” Out of Working Out

By Angela Hickman, Zumba® Instructor and Hammer Volunteer In the spring of 2011, I was the Assistant Program Manager at Zealand, one of Hammer’s apartment programs. A main goal of mine was incorporating health and fitness into the lives of those we were supporting. Many individuals were making...

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