Boneham Donates to Troubled Children
Wed Sep 15, 2:41 PM ET
INDIANAPOLIS - Rupert Boneham, the bushy-bearded giant from Indianapolis who was an audience favorite during two "Survivor" games, is donating $100,000 to help troubled children.
The donation will launch Rupert's Kids Inc., designed to help troubled youth and provide affordable housing for the poor in Indianapolis, Boneham said Tuesday.
"I've always wanted to create my own organization for kids, but I've never had the resources until now," said Boneham, who won a $1 million consolation prize during a special edition of the CBS game.
Boneham, 40, appeared on "Survivor: All-Stars" and "Survivor: Pearl Islands."
The project is an extension of his work with Indianapolis-based Dawn Project, a social outreach organization where he worked for six years.
Boneham mentored 40 children with behavioral and emotional problems.
"These (kids) were the toughest of the tough," said Brock Hesler, spokesman for Choices Inc., which administers the Dawn Project. "The kids respect him because he is a genuine person. He always has been."
Boneham wants to identify troubled youths ages 12-20 and have them remodel dilapidated houses. The charity would then donate the homes or sell them for a nominal amount to a low-income families.
He also would give a cash reward to children who achieve better grades in school or make progress in other ways in their lives.
The organization will work with youngsters referred by the Juvenile Court, the Department of Correction and other agencies. City officials have agreed to help identify distressed homes.
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