Group seeks cell phones to help local domestic violence shelter

Liz Laubscher

Kent State’s Communication Graduate Student Association is holding its second annual cell phone recycling initiative now until Friday at the Kent and Stark campuses.

Collection boxes are in the Music and Speech Center, Room 202D; and in the Stark campus’ Fine Arts Building, Room 105A. The Kent Chamber of Commerce is also accepting cell phones.

“We were trying to incorporate the community into the campus,” said Amber Ferris, a graduate communication studies student and president of the association, who is coordinating the drive. “And it works as a two-fold bonus because we are communication scholars and this is a communication tool to help people in need communicate safely with a cell phone. It also helps with the recycling of the phones, so it also can help the environment.”

All phones will be donated to Safer Futures of Portage County, a domestic violence shelter in Kent. Phones must be deactivated before donated and any accessories such as a charger or case should be put into a bag along with the phone so items aren’t mixed up with other donations.

Carol Savery, a doctoral student in the School of Communication Studies and vice president of the association, is also involved in coordinating the drive. She said Safer Futures distributes the refurbished phones to their clients so they can dial 911 in an emergency.

“What happens is the deactivated cell phones get sent to the providers,” Savery said. “Then what they do is they refurbish them if they can. And if they can’t, they give a small donation to Safer Futures.”

Even if people think their old phones could never be used again, she asks that they still be donated.

“These are cell phones that people have sitting around,” Savery said. “Either they have gone to a new service or upgraded, so as well as helping the Safer Futures domestic shelter we are also helping people to recycle more than 200 cell phones, and this year the organization hopes to get even more.”

Savery said one donated cell phone could mean the difference between someone’s safety in an altercation and a situation that could escalate into something very serious.

“It’s a communication channel that could really help somebody out who is in trouble,” she said.

For more information about the cell phone collection, contact Ferris at [email protected] or Savery at [email protected].

Contact social services reporter Liz Laubscher at [email protected].