The Red Cross Club, a humanitarian group dedicated to raising awareness to better the local and global community, kicked off the year with a cell phone drive, sponsored by HopeLine from Verizon Wireless.
“We encourage[d] everyone to find old, working cell phones they don’t need anymore and donate them,” said sophomore club treasurer Jonathan Staryuk. “Our goal is to increase awareness of domestic violence, especially with younger people [who] might not realize how prevalent it is.”
After days of advertising through Facebook, fliers, and announcements, the Red Cross Club was able to gather 20 cell phones from the student body, parents and teachers.
One of the donators, sophomore Arash Jalali Sohi, commented on how he had a personal connection to the drive. He said, “One of my distant relatives was a victim of domestic violence and this drive is important to me because I can help people like her.”
The Red Cross Club collected both working and non-functioning phones. Teens who suffer from domestic violence will receive a donated cell phone and free minutes so that they can reach out for help when it is needed. The donated cell phones could be from any carrier, provided that they have their battery and charger. The phones which do not work will be disposed of in an eco-friendly way.
“I think it’s a really good idea…we all want the newest technology, so it’s great we can give our old phones a second life,” said sophomore Stanley Krzesniak.
Sophomore Marisa Jewett added, “I think that the cell phone drive is an amazing idea…it’s incredible the things that people can do to help out teens in need.”
When asked about the future of the cell phone drive, club president Brandon Yan said, “After a successful first drive, if we chose to continue this at a future time, we may consider giving prizes for those who contribute as our way of saying thanks.”
The cell phone drive is not the only big event planned for the year. “We’ve already gotten more members, and we expect to have more fundraisers and awareness campaigns throughout the year,” Staryuk said. “We’d like to promote more initiatives this year, both for our Bay Area community and the American and International Red Cross. You’ll hear about them on the announcements once plans are ﬁnalized.”
Club members expect great turnouts for future events, considering the successes of past years’ events, which include the previous year’s fashion show, the Japan earthquake relief fund and the selling of pins for measles relief in Africa.
Speaking about a hopeful future, Staryuk added, “We’re working really well with the new leadership. There aren’t any delays or setbacks with planning the initiatives, which is good … We’ve had good participation and contributions from students last year, especially for Japan earthquake belief.
“Anyone who wants to help out their community and help the American Red Cross with its mission can come join! We meet Mondays at lunch in room 161.”