Students work to raise funds, awareness of domestic violence
University of Delaware students are working with the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence on a cell phone drive, with several drop-off locations on campus.

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1:25 p.m., March 24, 2011----As warm weather and graduation approach, some University of Delaware students can find it hard to focus on coursework. But those students taking a Domestic Violence Services course are able to take their lessons out of the classroom.

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They are working on a cell phone drive that reaches beyond campus into the local community. Proceeds from the collection efforts will support various advocacy and educational efforts offered by the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence throughout the state.

“Donating a used, unwanted cell phone allows students and community members to donate to an important cause without reaching into their wallets,” stated Carol Post, executive director of the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence. “With the hundreds of thousands of used cell phones sitting idly in our community, the fundraising potential is almost limitless.”

Ruth Fleury-Steiner, associate professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies and a member and volunteer at the coalition, said, “Most of the students in the class plan to work in human services or legal fields. They value the opportunity to connect the classroom to the real world and make a difference for victims of domestic violence.”

The cell phone drive builds new connections across UD departments and groups. For instance, Fleury-Steiner's students have been working with Mark Bambach, instructor in the Department of Business Administration, to collect phones to benefit both DCADV and the Sunday Breakfast Mission, which provides food and shelter to low income individuals in Wilmington.

Students have partnered with Greek organizations, registered student organizations, campus events like Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and their off-campus employers to collect phones. Students are also drawing on their personal connections and on technologies like Facebook to spread the word.

Most importantly, students are raising awareness about domestic violence in the process.

Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence has partnered with Shelter Alliance for several years to raise money from these kinds of cell phone drives. Used, unwanted cell phones and batteries are shipped to them and recycled in order to raise money for the coalition. Receipts can be provided upon request.

Cell phone collection “drop boxes” are currently established at the following locations on the UD campus:

  • Alfred Lerner Hall
  • Alison Hall West
  • 219 John M. Clayton Hall

Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence

The Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence (DCADV) is a statewide, non-profit organization with a membership including domestic violence agencies and programs providing shelter and direct services to adult victims of domestic violence, allied organizations, and caring individuals. Since its founding in 1994, DCADV has engaged in a variety of activities, including public education efforts, training and prevention initiatives, and systems advocacy. DCADV works closely with the criminal justice, health care, education, advocacy and social service communities to facilitate the creation of effective policies and programs for battered women and their children. In all of these efforts, DCADV is a crucial voice for domestic violence victims and their families. More information can be found on the coalition website. The organization can be reached at 302-658-2958.

Shelter Alliance

Shelter Alliance is a Miramar, Fla., firm that specializes in the logistics and underwriting of fundraising programs through the collection and responsible recycling of used cellular phones. Shelter Alliance currently works with over 2,000 social service organizations in 50 states and has contributed over $5 million to participating organizations. More information can be found on the organization's website.

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