STATE COLLEGE, Pa., May 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Second Mile, a 35-year-old nonprofit dedicated to helping young people reach their full potential, has requested court approval to transfer its programs to Arrow Child & Family Ministries, interim CEO David Woodle said today.
This action, if approved by the court, means that Arrow will continue a number of programs to help at-risk youth and their families, including mentoring programs, an institute to promote leadership skills, support for foster families and a camp program aimed at teaching life skills. Over the past several months, representatives of The Second Mile, based in State College, have been in discussions with parents, school partners and donors to determine what steps should be taken after criminal charges were announced against founder Gerald Sandusky. The board learned 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.
"The Second Mile has made a positive difference in many peoples' lives, and we are very pleased that Arrow will continue this good work," Woodle said. "Arrow's mission is consistent with the goals and objectives of The Second Mile's programs. While we are sad that The Second Mile will not continue running programs, we are heartened that the important work of helping children – and their families – reach their full potential will go on."
Under this proposal, approximately $2 million in current cash assets will be transferred to Houston-based Arrow to fund programs in Pennsylvania for about one and half to two years, Woodle said. Additionally, an on-going program Endowment and some program related non-cash assets will be transferred. On May 25, attorneys for The Second Mile submitted a petition in the Court of Common Pleas of Centre County, Orphans' Court Division, outlining the proposed transfer of programs and dissolution of The Second Mile. Court approval could take several months.
After this transfer of assets and programs, The Second Mile will continue as a legal entity and will continue to cooperate fully with any investigations. In addition, The Second Mile is now in the process of selling property. After that sale is completed, The Second Mile will prepare a Petition to the Court proposing a final disposition of the remaining assets, Woodle said.
While this process to sell the assets continues, the programs run by The Second Mile are continuing as planned, including the summer Challenge Camps and Foster family support programs. This spring, a successful Leadership Institute and Friends programs were sponsored, which supported hundreds of children in the area with key skills-building activities.
The plans for the transition and associated petition were provided in advance to the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General for full review, and The Second Mile fully cooperated with the Charitable Trusts and Organizations section.
"As we undertake this next step, as always, our primary concern is with the children we serve and all those affected by these events," Woodle said.
The Second Mile's directors selected Arrow Child & Family Ministries as the future owner of its programs after an exhaustive search that included talks with more than 15 organizations. Woodle said Arrow's background in dealing with children and families in crisis and its current presence in Pennsylvania situated Arrow as the best equipped partner to continue the good work started by The Second Mile.
"Our priority is to ensure children continue to be served by these programs," said Mark Tennant, founder and CEO of Arrow Child & Family Ministries. "We were shocked and saddened by the events that led us here, but we are committed to the future of these children and their families and look forward to building on the outstanding work done by so many individuals who have been a part of The Second Mile over the years."
Mr. Tennant was born and raised in Pennsylvania. He was physically and sexually abused as a child and removed from his home, and he spent years in the foster care system until being placed in the loving home of a Bedford, Pa., family as a teenager. It was there his life turned around.
Arrow Child & Family Ministries is a Christian organization that is a leader in serving children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse and/or neglect. The organization helps abused and neglected children achieve their greatest potential through treatment foster care, adoption services and an array of preventative services for families at risk. Arrow also operates emergency shelters and residential treatment facilities for children and youth, assessment centers, and special education schools. Arrow recently opened the first long-term comprehensive care facility for underage victims of child sex trafficking in Texas.
Arrow operates in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Texas, California and Honduras. Since its formation in 1992, Arrow has served approximately 40,000 children and families.
SOURCE The Second Mile