The Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal pays dividends in Siouxland.It's been more than a year since Penn State Assistant Football Coach Jerry Sandusky was convicted of 45 counts of child sexual assault.
But this week, the Big 10 Conference is taking on a new initiative to help victims of child abuse.
This week the Big 10, which includes Penn State, Iowa and Nebraska, made the first of many installments to charities and facilities dedicated to protecting children, including Mercy Medical's Child Advocacy Center.Leaders of the Big 10 are taking proactive steps to use the Sandusky scandal for change.
Until 2015, Penn State won't receive any of the Conference's money from bowl games.
That means, this year Penn State's share of $2.3 million dollars will instead be divided and go elsewhere. Despite the unfortunate circumstances surrounding the Jerry Sandusky case, Mercy's Medicals Child Advocacy Center, along with 5 other regional centers, will be able these funds to support children faced with abuse of many forms. The University of Iowa gave its share of the money to the United Way.
The non-profit organization then handed out $28,000 dollars to each of the centers. "Obviously there was a lot of children, adults now, and families affected by that and we feel its really important that that, that money has come back full circle in helping the children of abuse here in Iowa, " said Forensic Interviewer Amy Scarmon, who works in the local advocacy center. These donated funds are welcomed, since the advocacy center provides free services to children and families referred to them by local law enforcement and the Department of Human Services.
Now in its 23rd year, the small department hopes to expand by switching to electronic records and opening up more space for their clients. "...there are really a limited number of child advocacy centers in the state. We really see kids from a huge area. So we cover around 40 counties in Iowa plus parts of South Dakota and Nebraska, so hopefully this is going to be a good thing for a lot of kids," explained Scarmon.
The Conference is estimating it will donate $13 million dollars to various organizations and charities over the next several years.
Aside from Mercy Medical, several other hospitals and organizations have also received the donation. They include: Regional Child Protection Center-Blank Children's Hospital in Des Moines; St. Luke's Child Protection Center in Hiawatha; Mississippi Valley Child Protection Center in Muscatine; Allen Child Protection Center in Cedar Falls; and Project Harmony in Omaha.
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