Danny Harre could teach a class on volunteering. He is one of the most dedicated mentors we have ever had. His gift of himself has transformed Jack’s* life. Danny is there for him as a friend, a confidant, and a Hero. Danny meets with Jack every weekend to spend time together. He calls him during the week, just to chat. Danny and Jack go to lunch together, they go hiking together, and they attend football games. They have a real friendship that Jack can depend on and trust. Jack sees Danny as an adopted big brother.
Danny’s passion for changing the life of a 13 year old boy in a nontraditional situation is unparalleled.
The Columbia Daily Tribune HERO Awards, honor people who spend their days, nights, and weekends giving their time. On Monday, April 13th they honored these volunteers at the annual awards ceremony. The packed banquet hall at Stoney Creek Hotel & Conference Center was a testament to the nearly 50 nominees and their nominators’ commitment to celebrating service in our community. Danny Harre was the winner of the Youth Volunteer of the Year award. Danny received a beautiful plaque and certificate. Coyote Hill will receive a $400 donation, because of Danny’s exemplary service.
Danny was matched as Jack’s mentor over a year ago. Danny wanted to be Jack’s mentor. After spending an afternoon with him and his fraternity brothers for a volunteer project, he called specifically to ask if Jack had a mentor. If not, he wanted the job. Over the summer, Danny moved back to St. Louis; but that didn’t stop the relationship. He continued to call Jack, and even drove up for the day on more than one occasion. Danny even brought his Dad with him once, simply because he wanted his Dad to know his new friend. Danny is a college student at Mizzou with a full schedule, yet Jack is a priority to him.
Danny’s consistency and commitment to mentoring Jack has brought real change in Jack’s life. He is thriving in school and at home. Jack is growing in his trust of adults, his relationships, and his self-esteem. Because of Danny, Jack is learning that he is worthy of love and care. Danny’s impact is two-fold. He is changing the life of a 13 year old boy, but he is also changing six other members of Jack’s Coyote Hill family. Nick Tinney, Home Parent of Jack, says, “Danny is just a joy to be around. You know those people who just light up a room and make everyone feel better; that’s Danny.” Danny brings the gift of laughter to everyone who lives in the Hubbell Home at Coyote Hill. Danny is everyone’s friend, but he is Jack’s best friend.
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*Named changed for confidentiality.