Paul Anderson Youth Home, a fully accredited and licensed home offering a second chance to young men in crisis, celebrates its 60th anniversary this year with a specific strategic goal in mind. The organization will be reaching out across the country to let parents and advocates know there is a place to find an alternative to jail for troubled young men and boys who need a second chance.
Paul Anderson, who was declared “the strongest man in the world” after the 1956 Melbourne Olympic games, was a gold medal winner and weightlifting legend. To this day, no one has exceeded or even matched his feat of lifting 6,270 lb. in a back lift.
Anderson used his fame to promote youth physical fitness and his devotion to Jesus Christ. While touring the country as a goodwill ambassador, he developed a desire to help young people mired in bad behavior and poor choices who were throwing their lives away. In 1961, Paul rode a bicycle from Vidalia, Georgia to Omaha, Nebraska, to raise money to start a youth home. Shortly after, he and his wife, Glenda, founded the Paul Anderson Youth Home (PAYH), a Christian residential program and on-campus school for young men between the ages of 16 and 21 struggling with behavioral problems and issues of discipline, anger and depression.
The mission has remained the same, as has the need for alternatives to prison. If necessary, each young man in PAYH’s care receives counseling, academic assistance to complete their education, job training, and substance abuse therapy. The success stories span decades, with graduates found all over the country.
“Rather than facing a life of crime, jail time, and poor adjustment, young people need continued support and counseling like the kind that our Home has provided for decades,” said Glenda Anderson. “Our boys who have completed the program are the living example of how this ministry turns lives around and helps make respectful men who are an asset to their communities.”
Distinguished alumni will be recognized as true success stories living productive and positive lives and named “Gold Medalists for Life.” Recipients include: Nick Ewart from Lowell, Ind., Nathaniel Thompson from Kennesaw, Ga., Jonathan Carter from Wendell, N.C., Chris Carlino from Chattanooga, Tenn. Rhett Rhemann, from Clarksville, Tenn., Paris Nelson from Savannah, Ga.
“Strong men of integrity and resolve with a foundation of traditional Christian values are the hallmarks of the Paul Anderson Youth Home, and we are blessed to have the opportunity to present these exceptional individuals with awards for the work they have done after their time here,” said Glenda.
“There are so many opportunities to intervene in the life of a troubled teen who made a mistake and to help him avoid jail, which so often results in repeat offenses and a cycle of incarceration,” Glenda added. “Through Christ, we can offer a second chance and build the kind of men our country needs.”
For more information about Paul Anderson Youth Home or to donate, call (912) 537-7237 or visit www.payh.org.