Bay Ridge Boy Scout finds new way to help our troops

Bay Ridge Boy Scout Nicholas Podias was looking for an Eagle Scout project that would allow him truly to make a difference in people’s lives. The dedicated Life Scout with St. Anselm Boy Scout Troop 13 found the perfect project when an assistant scoutmaster suggested he might try collecting electronic equipment to help servicemembers.

“Initially, I wanted to start recycling computers and try to refurbish them so that we could donate them, but it didn’t really work out because there were some complications that we didn’t count on,” Podias told this paper.

“My Assistant Scoutmaster Pam Kelter knew I wanted to do something in tech so she found this organization that recycled cell phones for soldiers, and gave me their name and contact information,” he added.

Kelter has a son in the service and belongs to the Military Mama Network. She helped Podias coordinate with the organization, who works in tandem with the group Cell Phones for Soldiers.

The Military Mama Network is a group of mothers with family in the military and their main mission is to support the troops, veterans and their families.

“What I am doing is collecting cell phones, tablets and mp3 players to be recycled and exchanged for phone cards which will be given to the Military Mama Network to distribute to deployed military personnel,” said Podias.

“Phones, laptops and tablets are accepted in any condition,” said Podias. “It could be a flip phone, smartphone or anything; it can even be broken,” he added.

Podias’s father, Nicholas Sr., is very proud of what his son has undertaken.

“He’s always been interested in electronics and tech things in general so his project was always going to be something to do with electronics that would allow him to give back to a particular community,” he said

The younger Podias has participated in a number of Eagle Scout projects in anticipation of joining their ranks this year. He’s especially proud of having worked on one of his brother’s recent projects, helping restore the garden at a nursing home in Coney Island.

Now in his senior year at Brooklyn Tech, Podias is looking forward to entering the City College of New York in September and hopes to be an Eagle Scout, like his two older brothers John and James, by the end of the year when he turns 18.

Cell phones for Soldiers will be collecting phones for the next three weeks at the following locations:

•Bridge Pharmacy, 8912 Third Avenue, Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

•New York City Taekwondo, 7909 Third Avenue, Monday to Friday from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

•Staples, 9319 Fifth Avenue, Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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