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WVU Tech Students Put Down Their Phones, Take up a Cause

This March, members of the WVU Tech women’s soccer team participated in the Tap Project, a digital campaign designed by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to raise funds and provide clean water access to children around the world.

The viral campaign worked by tracking the minutes a user would intentionally leave their phone untouched. A timer would count the minutes and provide interesting statistics about Tap Project users or social media post volumes around the world. For every ten minutes a user left their phone alone, the project’s national sponsor, Giorgio Armani, donated enough to cover a day of clean water.

“It started as something the team would participate in during practice. The girls would line their phones up and let the website run,” said WVU Tech Assistant Coach Stephanie Kot. “After that, they took it upon themselves to participate outside of practice, in study hall, during their free time and even late in the evening.”

“For a while we, as a team, have looked for something positive, helpful and unique that we could all do and I think this presented a great opportunity for us,” said WVU Tech student Sierrah Soto.

In just one week, the 11 participating WVU Tech students logged enough minutes to cover 889 days of donations – nearly two and a half years of clean water access for a child in need.

“It was a simple challenge,” said Coach Kot. “Can you put your phone down for ten minutes and help somebody else in the world?”

And it seems the challenge was accepted. According to UNICEF, the project logged in more than 200 million minutes.