By Hannah Barnes, Communication Specialist

Safety and comfort are top priorities at Hammer Residences. Because of generous donors, we are able to ensure each of those standards are met in our everyday care.

James enjoys a warm holiday season in front of the new furnace.

Recently, the 25-year-old furnace at our Queensland home was showing signs of aging. With that came unreliability. It needed inspection and repair about once per month, and the heating bills were rising each cycle. The unreliability of the furnace became a concern, because as temperatures outside were dropping, so was the temperature in the home.

Hammer was notified that Queensland would be receiving the donation of a new furnace as part of the “Heat up Minnesota” program. Lennox donated the high-efficiency furnace, and Ditter Cooling and Heating installed it last month, free of charge. Staff and the individuals at Queensland were thrilled!

“The thing we want most for the people we support is for them to be happy, safe, and comfortable,” Liz Hoskyn, Program Manager at Queensland, said. “We’re so appreciative that people are willing to make sure that the individuals we support are happy.”

The individuals at Queensland enjoy a more relaxed lifestyle, where they gather and watch holiday movies, or make crafts together. The new furnace provides a perfect environment for these activities.

Jeanne has enjoyed decorating the tree while warmed up by the new furnace.

“If they’re comfortable, they’re going to be able to do more activities, be more involved, and just be happier people,” Liz said. Ditter has now donated their time to Hammer four years in a row. Prior to the donation at Queensland, they donated to the Emery, Knollway, and Black Oaks homes.

Thanks to the generosity of Ditter and Lennox, the individuals supported by Hammer have an improved quality of life. With the Minnesota winter in full force, the individuals at Queensland have really warmed up to their new environment.

If you are interested in donating to Hammer, please visit to find out how you can get involved.