Thursday, May 18, 2017
Harvey Barnett knew he was a positive influence on Daniel, the foster youth he’d served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), but he didn’t know how much he’d impacted Daniel’s life until years later when he reconnected with him on Facebook.
“I found out he’d named his son after me,” Harvey says smiling. “My wife and I liked the name Harvey, and I wanted to honor the man who changed my life by naming my son after him,” says Daniel.
“Harvey has been like a father figure to me. He instilled confidence in me, even when I didn't believe in myself. He stood by my side. He never judged me or talked down to me. He always had my back.”
First Meeting Harvey first met Daniel when Daniel was a troubled 13- year-old living in a foster home in Hollister.
“I thought he’s too old. He doesn’t understand what I’m going through. I just didn’t trust anyone,” Daniel said.
But Harvey was not deterred. After several meetings, he broke through Daniel’s walls of frustration and isolation to instill a sense of confidence and hope for the future in Daniel.
“It meant so much to me that Harvey, was a volunteer who took time out of his day to spend time with me. I realized that he was a responsible, good man who provided stability in my life. If he said he was going to pick me up after school on Friday at 3 pm, he was there,” Daniel remarks. Harvey taught Daniel how to cook healthy meals and play golf. Most importantly, when Daniel was struggling in school, Harvey found a new high school for Daniel that was more responsive to his educational needs. Daniel graduated at the top of his class. He later joined the military.
Today, Daniel is happily married with three beautiful children. He has a stable job and is hopeful about the future. He continues to keep in touch with Harvey and periodically visits with him. “We bonded and that bond exists today,” Harvey says.
(Pictured left: Harvey, Daniel and baby Harvey).