The following is a guest post from Level reader Vince Pierri. It brings an important message and an opportunity to set aside anger, disagreements, and any other divisive forces that have come as a result of the scandal at Penn State. This is a call to action to support victims of sexual abuse and prevent more children from being harmed. These are Vince's words:
It's been a rough few days for everyone who has been following or in any way involved in the incidents at Penn State. The actions that seem to have taken place are absolutely horrifying. I'm not writing this to cast judgement or blame, there's been plenty of that already. I'm sure we'll hear more gruesome details about what exactly happened and what some members of the Penn State administration knew. As a Penn State alum and a father, it's been particularly difficult, emotionally. As a father, I'm horrified to think that people could do such things to children. As a Penn State fan, I'm shocked that such a thing could have occurred at my school.
I've always had a lot of pride in Penn State and, honestly, a lot of it has to do with the football program. They always seemed to do everything "the right way." I don't think my pride will ever really leave. Penn State is much bigger than the faculty, the football team, or even the current students. I felt that yesterday when I saw a link on a friend's Facebook page. It was called Proud to Be a Penn Stater. I clicked and was glad at what I found.
A grassroots Penn State alumni group (one not affiliated with the University or the Alumni Association) decided they're tired of seeing the focus on the football team and coaches. The real issue so many people seemed to have missed or quickly moved on from is the victims and the horrible crimes committed against them.
Working with RAINN, a charity aimed at helping victims of sexual abuse, the goal is to raise $500,000, which amounts to about $1 for every Penn State alumnus. As of noon today, they've raised almost $100,000. Hopefully, people will see this as a chance to help in some small way.
Most Penn Staters are good people, despite the acts of a few bad ones, and we have a chance to show how well we can band together as a positive force.