On February 8, 2010, members of the Student Nurses Association (SNA) at UCF presented dozens of cell phones to UCF Victim Services in a ceremony held on UCF’s Orlando campus.
The SNA Orlando Chapter participates in several philanthropy projects each year, including March of Dimes, Relay for Life, Heart Walk, and Ronald McDonald House.
Since community outreach is heavily involved with nursing, the SNA and Victim Services collaboration provides beneficial experience for nursing students who are committed to changing lives. This initiative marks the fourth year the SNA Orlando Chapter has contributed to the donation of the phones.
“Creating awareness in the community is a big part of the nursing program. It is rewarding to know that such a small gesture can change someone’s life,” says Susan Ngobi, a senior in the BSN program and community health chair for SNA Orlando.
According to UCF Victim Services, the old phones collected are sent to the 911 Cell Phone Banks where they are refurbished and distributed back to local victim service agencies. The emergency phones are only able to dial 911 and are available to anyone whose safety is at risk or in need of help. The cell phone drive also serves as a fundraiser for UCF Victim Services since they receive a certain percentage of the phone’s value. The money raised goes into the Crime Victim’s Fund, which allows additional help to crime victims.
UCF Victim Services Advocate Michelle Quinones explains, “While many people have their own cell phones these days, there are circumstances where many do not. For example, in domestic violence situations, an abuser may not allow their partner to have their own phone, isolating them from critical support networks. This is why the 911 phones are so important.”
UCF Victim Services is an advocacy created to work with organizations and individuals to eliminate violence in communities through support, education and strategic training. Through its campus events, projects and on-staff advocates, Victim Services creates and provides awareness to UCF students and faculty with information on victimization, and where they can seek help. For more information, visit www.victimservices.ucf.edu.
Cell phone donations are collected year-round by UCF Victim Services. They can be dropped off at their main office located at 12201 Research Parkway, Suite 450, or the UCF Police Department’s Community Relations office in the John T. Washington Center across from the bookstore.
Contributing writer: Kristin Soto, UCF College of Nursing communication intern