From its work with UHopeLine, an extension of HopeLine that places permanent collection points on college campuses for the recycling of cell phones, Rutgers is also donating 300 devices that were previously used by the school's Facilities department before its recent upgrade to the Verizon Wireless network. As part of HopeLine, Verizon Wireless collects wireless phones, batteries and accessories from any wireless service provider and puts the nation's most reliable wireless network to work in our communities by turning these unused phones into support for victims of domestic violence.
"UHopeLine helps raise awareness among young men and women about domestic violence issues at a time when many young adults may not be aware of the support options available to them," said Pat Devlin, regional president at Verizon Wireless. "We thank Rutgers University and the School of Social Work for taking a leading role in this effort. The generosity of the Rutgers community, along with consumers nationwide, has helped HopeLine collect over $7 million and properly reuse or dispose of over 1.6 million phones since the program began in 2001, all of which has been used to support domestic violence victims."
Verizon Wireless presented Ruth Anne Koenick, director of the Rutgers Department of Sexual Assault Services and Crime Victim Assistance, with a $5,000 check during a ceremony held at the Livingston campus Student Center. This money will be used by the department to help fund activities that will raise awareness of dating violence and provide aid to domestic violence survivors on campus and in the student community.
"UHopeLine has brought awareness about the seriousness of dating violence on college campuses to the Rutgers community," said Rachel Schwartz, UHopeLine Program Coordinator, Center on Violence Against Women and Children, Rutgers School of Social Work. "The program has allowed Rutgers students, faculty, staff and alumni the opportunity to really come together in taking a community-level stand against domestic and dating violence, while supporting survivors with cell phone donations. With the donation from Facilities, we will have collected over 1,000 phones across all three campuses (New Brunswick/Piscataway, Newark, and Camden) in the first two years of the program and we are excited to have the opportunity to significantly contribute to this important project."
Rutgers became the first school nationwide to join the UHopeLine program in October of 2008. Since then, the university has expanded the program throughout its family of campuses, with collection points at the Rutgers Student Center, Busch Campus Center, Cook Campus Center, Douglass Campus Center, Livingston Student Center, Camden Campus Center, Paul Robeson Campus Center at Newark, School of Social Work and Winants Hall.
In addition to the UHopeLine program, Verizon Wireless established a $100,000 scholarship fund in 2008 at the Center on Violence Against Women and Children for deserving School of Social Work graduate students. Named the Verizon Wireless HopeLine® Scholarship, income generated by the endowment is used to award scholarships, annually, to at least three Rutgers graduate social work students enrolled in the School of Social Work's Master of Social Work (MSW) specialization on violence against women and children, the first such program in the country.
Wireless customers can also donate devices and accessories to HopeLine at all Verizon Wireless Communications Stores in the New York metro area and across the nation. For store locations and to learn how to donate a phone using a postage-paid mailing label, visit www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation's most reliable and largest wireless voice and 3G data network, serving nearly 93 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 81,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) and Vodafone (LSE, NASDAQ: VOD). For more information, visit www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.
About Rutgers University and The School of Social Work
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is the premier public university of New Jersey and one of the oldest and most highly regarded institutions of higher education in the nation. With nearly 50,000 students and over 9,000 faculty and staff on its three campuses in Camden, Newark, and New Brunswick, Rutgers is a vibrant academic community committed to the highest standards of teaching, research, and service. Established in 1954, the School of Social Work has a distinguished record of instruction, research, and public service. Classes were first offered during the Depression to meet the state's need for social workers. Today, the school offers undergraduate and graduate-professional degree programs, holds classes on Rutgers' three regional campuses, and is affiliated with more than 800 social service agencies throughout the New Jersey/New York metropolitan area.
The mission of the Center on Violence Against Women & Children is to strive to eliminate physical, sexual, and other forms of violence against women and children and the power imbalances that permit them. This mission will be accomplished through the use of a collaborative approach that focuses on multidisciplinary research, education, and training that impacts communities and policy in New Jersey, the U.S., and throughout the world. The Center on Violence against Women & Children is part of Rutgers University and the School of Social Work.