One Heart members gearing up for Nov. 29 ‘Blue Out’ game

October 21, 2014

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Since their inceptions in November 2011, One Heart, a Penn State student organization centered around educating people on child sexual abuse prevention, and “Blue Out,” the group’s main fundraising event, have raised more than $150,000, and T-shirts are already on sale for the fourth annual Blue Out, scheduled for the Nov. 29 football game against Michigan State.

The Blue Out was created in 2011 by two graduate students who wanted to fill Beaver Stadium with blue shirts to raise awareness of child abuse. In 2012, One Heart teamed up with the students to plan and promote the event. Since then, the organization has been the host of the Blue Out football game each year.

“One Heart, in general, was created for students in the Penn State community to stand up against child sexual abuse. We want to raise awareness of it and we want to prevent it,” said Danielle Roethlein, One Heart public relations director. “Every year we have an annual football game where we design the Blue Out T-shirt and sell it at locations downtown, and proceeds from that and from canning at the football game go to a charity of our choice.”

This year, that charity is Prevent Child Abuse Pennsylvania. T-shirts are already available for purchase at the Family Clothesline in downtown State College and online at pennstateclothes.com. They will also be sold on the University Park campus at the Penn State Student Bookstore beginning Oct. 25 and in the Penn State Bookstore kiosks and All-Sports Museum during upcoming home football games leading up to the Blue Out. Additional Blue Out apparel, including sweatshirts and beanie hats, will also be available.

The 2014 Blue Out event has taken on the theme “Teaching Today, Protecting Tomorrow,” Rothlein said. “One of the things we’re trying to accomplish this year is to change everyone’s outlook on what we’re about. We’re definitely trying to raise awareness and prevent child abuse, but we’re trying to have a positive view of our trying to create a better tomorrow, a better future for children.”

While the Blue Out is the organization’s largest fundraiser, members hold events throughout the year to promote awareness. Events include a “Stewards of Children” training program, which teaches students and others in the community how to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse, and “Pinwheels for Preventions,” another One Heart fundraiser that sells bouquets of pinwheels — Prevent Child Abuse America’s symbol of child abuse prevention — to local vendors who show support for the cause.

Any students who are interested in being involved can attend One Heart’s general body meeting at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 22, in 308 Boucke. More information about One Heart and the Blue Out can be found by visiting http://sites.psu.edu/oneheart/ and http://sites.psu.edu/blueout/about/ or by following @OneHeartPSU and @BlueOut on Twitter.

Last Updated October 22, 2014