A History of Hope
Nestled alongside Black Mingo Creek, Tara Hall rests on 11 acres of beautifully wooded land in the Rose Hill section of Georgetown County. Its neat housing and educational building, lovely chapel and spacious recreational facilities belie the hidden heartbreaks that bring so many of its residents to Tara Hall.
More than just a residential home for boys, Tara Hall is a refuge. It is a place of restoration and recovery and a home of hope for young men who have come tragically close to losing all hope.
“Suppose one of you had a hundred sheep and lost one. Wouldn’t you leave the ninety- nine in the wilderness and go after the lost one until you found it? … and when you got home, call in your friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Celebrate with me! I’ve found my lost sheep!’” Luke 15
Tara Hall began in 1969 with one lost boy—a young man with nowhere to go. He was living on the street when Father Owen O’Sullivan recognized a need in the community to provide a home for neglected and troubled boys.
Don’t Count Us Out!
Father O’Sullivan named the new home Tara Hall in memory of his native country of Ireland where the Hill of Tara had been the dwelling place of Irish kings for a thousand years. He had limited resources to provide for boys from difficult circumstances. Still, his commitment was to offer young men a new vision for the future—not one of pity and poverty, but of prowess and potential.
His vision was shared by the late Thomas Austin Yawkey, a Georgetown County landowner and then-owner of the Boston Red Sox and his wife, Jean—a passionate supporter of Tara Hall. Yawkey knew a little about being counted out. In 1933, he purchased the team following a 43-111 losing season—one of the worst records in professional baseball history. He helped restore Fenway Park, which had been in disrepair for decades; and he devoted significant time and treasure in rebuilding the team from a punch line to its 1975 American League pennant—but passed away before the team’s legendary 2004 World Series win.
His gift of land became a permanent home for Tara Hall—a home of hope for boys coming off their own series of losing streaks. Hundreds of boys who might otherwise have been counted out were given another shot at the game of life. At Tara Hall, boys who had been written off could become part of a winning team.
A Tradition of Compassion and Commitment
Since its beginning, nearly 600 hundred boys have passed through Tara Hall’s doors into a new adventure with big challenges, but with huge potential for success as well.
Today, Tara Hall operates under the direction of its first volunteer: Jim Dumm. The year 2010 marks the 40th anniversary of Executive Director Dumm’s tenure with the organization. His long-standing devotion and commitment is reflective of Tara Hall’s extraordinary mission.
As a private, nonprofit institution, Tara Hall receives less than 1% of their funding from the government. The boys’ families pay whatever they can afford, but no child is turned away based on a family’s inability to pay. Therefore, the tax-exempt nonprofit is solely dependent upon generous donors who understand what it means to rescue young boys from hardships and head-on collisions with life and set them on a new, positive course.