Penn State Alumni Deserve to Be Proud for Helping Sex Abuse Victims

Penn State alumniSlogging through the details of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal isn't for the faint of heart. Regardless of what he told NBC's Bob Costas in last night's bizarre interview, the allegations against the former Penn State defensive coordinator sound far from "innocent." It was time for some good news. Thank goodness for Penn State alumni.

Completely independent of the beleaguered university, a group of "proud Penn Staters" have managed to raised more than $370,000 in just days for RAINN -- the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network. And they aren't done yet.

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Their monetary goal is $500,000 for the non-profit that runs the nation's sexual assault hotline and helps local affiliates connect victims with much-needed support services. But there is a deeper motive. The loose group of alumni wants to bring pride back to the name Penn State, to prove that the sins of the few do not account for the feelings of the many:

By doing so, we hope to show the world what being a "Proud Penn Stater" is really all about and how Penn State is much, much bigger than the alleged actions of a few people. Our hearts go out to the victims, and now our actions will as well.

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Like the football players themselves, the alumni have had their names and reputations tarnished by a scandal they weren't a party to. They haven't been victimized in the way that those children were, and their sadness is nothing in comparison to the pain and suffering of a child who was abused. But they are in an untenable position.

They weren't there. They didn't hurt the kids. They didn't know the administration was (allegedly) covering up something so horrendous. It's no surprise they're proud of their alma mater. They have nothing to be ashamed of for going to school and getting a degree!

Technically, these Penn State alumni don't have to do anything to prove they're good people. But they are doing it anyway. That proves the real measure of them as human beings.

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They can't help the children Sandusky is accused of hurting. But they know they can help other kids down the line. They can do more than pray before a football game by focusing on the actual victims, and helping thousands more kids down the line. They deserve to be proud.

Will you be using this horrible case to do something good for victims?


Image via Caitlinator/Flickr

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