May 14, 2004
Rupert's Charity Targets Troubled Teens
By Pam Elliot
This has been quite a week for the Indianapolis man who competed on two Survivor episodes and won a million dollars for being America's favorite.
As much as Rupert Boneham and his family want to thank Survivor fans for making him a million-dollar man, there are plenty of people in Indianapolis who want to thank Rupert for his commitment to kids in our community.
Rupert has given his time and now he'll give a portion of his million dollar winnings to the Dawn Project in Marion County. He told News 8 that he has started a new foundation called Kids Help, along with the Dawn Project.
Brent Matthews hired Rupert to work with troubled children and their families. “Rupert would go to into their homes of the family, meet the child and sit around the dinner table with them and say, ‘I am here for you 24 hours a day,’” said Matthews.
Some of the children Rupert has been able to help have been in court. They’ve also been held behind bars at the juvenile detention center in Marion County.
Zachary, 14, is in the detention center now. His mother and sister think had he been able to continue working with Rupert, he probably would have stayed out of trouble.
“He needed someone like Rupert - more down to earth, honest, open, no holds barred, and that's Rupert. What you saw on survivor is Rupert,” said Gloria Lehto.
“He would wait everyday for Rupert to come and get him and he would say, ‘I got to go to school ‘cause Rupert's coming today’ and he knew if he didn't go to school Rupert wouldn't pick him up,” said Zachary’s sister, Jana Weatherly.
The Dawn Project works to keep kids out of institutions and families together. Rupert appears committed to that effort and his extended family is grateful.
If you would like to help the Dawn Project or you could use the services available you can call 726-2121.http://www.wishtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=1869335&nav=0Ra7N8s1
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