Danny McCarthy’s friends were the treasures of his short life. Time spent with friends was the highlight of his day, even if all they did together was watch movies, play video games or just hang out. He enjoyed playing hockey and lacrosse for the competition and the fun but the real reason he played was to spend more time with kids he cared about.
Danny’s group of very close friends enjoyed his sense of humor, his loyalty, and his ability to help them with their problems. He was always sensitive to how his friends were getting along with each other and was careful when mixing groups of kids together. He had a knack for bringing many different kinds of kids together, and for making them feel comfortable. Danny nurtured friendships, and caring for them was his first priority.
Danny brought light and life into every setting, turning an ordinary day into a bright and sunny one with his wonderful sense of humor and his love of life. He brought a light-hearted spark to every setting but he was not a flashy person, choosing to wear plain shirts and ordinary khaki pants to keep the focus on others rather than attract attention to himself.
In today’s challenging, competitive world, there are many stresses in the lives of teenagers. Danny knew that being with friends calmed him and made him feel better about life, noting, “When I’m stressed I spend time with my friends. They help me to feel better.” We hope that the life and leadership skills that are at the core of Danny’s Place Youth Services will help to reduce some of those stress points and give kids the confidence to go forward in every stage of life.
Living a balanced life was very important to Danny. He was an average student and he was proud of that. He would say, “I have a life”. He meant that academics was not all that he focused on as he realized that his friends, family, job and activities (art, hockey, lacrosse and music) were equally as important. He loved life and lived his to its fullest.
Danny is not here physically but his values will be the guiding force behind Danny’s Place Youth Services, especially in the premium we place on positive relationships and lasting friendships.