The smallest act of caring can turn a day around, but a large act of caring can turn a life around.
Offensive tackle Ryan Harris has spent years protecting quarterbacks, but off the field, he spends his time protecting and serving some ailing members of the Denver community.
Nearly all Broncos players have a hand in some kind of community service project whether it’s Brian Dawkins serving as a spokesman for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation or Champ Bailey serving dinner to the homeless at the Denver Rescue Mission.
However, Ryan Harris has taken community service to a whole new level. In September of 2010, the Broncos 2007 third round draft pick launched his own company aimed at providing medical and non-medical care for people in the comfort of their own homes. Rather than going into assisted living centers or withstanding lengthy hospital stays, Harris Home Health keeps comfort at the forefront.
“This company is an extension of my service in the community I’m in,” Harris said.
Harris has been involved in other local service projects, but the desire to start a home health care business really tugged at his heart.
He saw two close people in his life benefit from at home care.
“One was my grandmother and seeing how happy she was when she had home health,” Harris said. “The other was my neighbor who passed of cancer. He was able to get hospice in the home and it was a great gift in his life. I just saw how profound that was for him.”
Harris Home Health currently serves seven clients, and was closing one more at press time. There are four caregivers employed including a registered nurse, two certified nurse assistants, and a personal caregiver.
Harris acknowledges that this idea is unique to NFL players.
“Just about every player on the team has something going, but I don’t think any current NFL players have something going like this home health service,” Harris said.
With degrees in economics policy and political science from Notre Dame, Harris certainly has the brain power to get a company like this up and running, but he credits business partner, Michelle Kelly, for running the day-to-day operations of the company.
“She allows me to be a football player with a business and not a business with a football player,” Harris said. “Having a business partner has really helped me be able to concentrate on football.”
While football is on the back burner because of the lockout, Harris is still staying in shape during this potentially prolonged offseason.
“I’m with the fans right now. I’m just waiting for football. I’m staying in shape,” Harris said.
Between running Harris Home Health and working out, Harris is one busy guy, but he still manages to find time for a little R&R whether it’s a round of golf or a BBQ.
While the dust clears from last season, some have reported that the Broncos are looking to part ways with Harris, but that’s not want Harris wants.
“It’s out of my hands. It was good to get a tender. I’m committed to this community not only because of the business, but I have a house and a life here,” Harris said.
Harris has all the intention in the world of keeping his home health care business thriving. He wants to see it grow and continue to provide care and comfort to people for many years to come.
One this is certain – no matter where Harris is playing in the years to come, the best way he knows how to find himself is through service to others.
To learn more about Harris Home Health, go here.
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