2015 Kentucky Hopeline Drive helps victims of domestic abuse

WKU is hosting a Hopeline Drive through Verizon Wireless to collect cell phones and electronics to benefit victims of domestic violence. The drive ends Friday. Collection boxes are located in several buildings on campus and at South Campus. Gabriel Scarlett/HERALD

Samantha Wright

This week, old phones can be donated to combat domestic abuse. 

Students can donate old phones and chargers at one of the many donation boxes around campus for the 2015 Kentucky Hopeline Drive from Verizon. 

The Hopeline Drive helps all victims of domestic abuse by refurbishing and recycling old phones, chargers and other accessories in an environmentally-safe way. The proceeds from this process are donated to domestic violence awareness and prevention campaigns. The donations are either in the form of cash grants, which support domestic violence awareness and prevention programs, or in the form of wireless phones and services, which are given to local domestic violence shelters and nonprofit organizations. 

The proceeds from this drive will go towards the Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence and its service areas, which includes the Barren River Safe Space in Bowling Green, the Legal Aid Society and the University of Kentucky Office for Policy Studies on Violence Against Women.

Kristi Branham, director of the Gender and Women’s Studies program,  emphasized the importance of this drive.

“Domestic violence affects 1 in 3 women, 1 in 4 men and more than 3 million children in the US alone,” she said. “And in 2013, 3,500 Kentuckians spent at least one night in a domestic violence shelter, including 1,927 women and 1,553 children.”

She added she sees the reality of these numbers often.

“Working in the discipline I work in, young students I work with, they’re coming to campus already having experience with [domestic violence],” she said. “It impacts more people than we realize.”

 The phones and accessories can be in any condition and from any provider. There are donation boxes at the following locations on main campus: Gender and Women’s Studies Center; Counseling and Testing Center in Potter Hall 409; Institute for Citizenship and Social Responsibility in Tate Page Hall room 110; Recreation Administration in Diddle Arena, second floor and the Downing Student Union Information Desk. There is also a box in the Alice Rowe Learning Assistance Center on South Campus.

Katelyn Calhoun, a junior from Greensburg, said in an email interview the drive both helps victims of domestic violence and helps students get rid of old electronic junk.

“Everyone has like 20 old [RAZR phones], slide keyboard phones, or random chargers in their junk drawer at home that they are literally never going to use again,” she said. “Donating them to HopeLine is an incredibly easy way to help your community and victims of domestic violence. Donating them to Hopeline is a much better alternative to the junk drawer.”

She added she plans to donate herself.

“I have this bright blue, slide keyboard phone from 8th grade in my desk at home that I’m going to bring, and I have a couple of random chargers as well.” 

Donations are accepted until the end of business hours on Friday.

Elizabeth Madariaga, the Sexual Assault Services Coordinator and a counselor at the Counseling and Testing Center, said this drive increases awareness and gives back to the community.

“The reason we’re doing this drive is to increase awareness about domestic violence since October is domestic violence awareness month, and it’s an easy way to give back to the community,” she said. “It’s a way to help that’s really easy.”