Grandfather Enjoys "Giving Back" at NEPC

Dan Harty has been visiting children at New England Pediatric Care for nineteen years.

"Like many people I want to 'give back' because my life has been so blessed." Dan says.

He spends about eight hours each weekend, chatting one-on-one with residents, cuddling babies with complex medical needs and playing games with higher functioning young adults.

"There isn't a child or adult in this facility that I don't think of as my own," says the 64 year old grandfather.

For years Dan and his wife cared for foster children until they 'burned out.' A chance encounter at a bible study class connected them with NEPC. Dan bonded immediately with Latoya, one of the youngest and most severely disabled children at the Billerica, MA nursing home.

The staff was amazed at his ability to elicit responses from Latoya, who was severely neurologically impaired. Their relationship was very special. Sadly, she died at age 16 on Dan's birthday.

Dan continues to visit other residents and has no plans to retire from his volunteer work.
"Even though the kids can't communicate with words, they talk to me with their eyes," he says.
For information about volunteering at NEPC, call Laura Pica at 978-667-5123 or email: