The nonprofit for at-risk youth founded by former Penn State Football coach Jerry Sandusky -- who is charged with sexual abuse of children from the organization -- plans to cease operations, citing a decrease in fundraising and volunteers.
According to a report in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Second Mile Foundation filed papers today in Centre County, Pa. to shut down the organization and transfer all of its assets to Houston, Tex.-based Arrow Child & Family Ministries. If approved, Arrow would receive nearly $2 million in cash and other assets which would allow the organization to continue running youth programs in Pennsylvania. Current Second Mile camps and other programs would continue during court oversight of the transfer.
The Second Mile experienced a huge drop in fundraising in the wake of the Sandusky scandal. The NonProfit Times reported earlier that the organization had already been experiencing diminished revenue in the years prior to the news about Sandusky. The charity reported contributions of $1.227 million, a combination of donations and special
events revenue, which was down from $3.282 million and $2.272 million,
respectively. The already weak support only got worse after Sandusky was charged with abusing 10 boys, all of whom were being helped by the Second Mile.
Second Mile's board chairman, David Woodle, said in a statement that there is "overwhelming support for the programs, but that there would not be adequate support, including financial, from donors, volunteers and referring social service agencies to continue the Second Mile as its own entity."
Should the transfer take place, Arrow will continue to offer Second Mile's programs for at-risk youth and families. The programs are a natural fit for the organization, which helps children after they are placed in foster homes. The Second Mile's programs would allow it to reach out to children prior to going to foster homes.
Arrow Ministries was founded by Mark Tennant, who is originally from Washington, Pa. He relates to the mission of the Second Mile as he was abused as a child. He said in a statement that he "Felt the need to turn my heart home and be a part of the healing process."
You can read the full story in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.