Fifteen-year-old Thomas Caiazza, a life scout from Boy Scout Troop 139 in Howard Beach, is bringing some much needed help to those unable to afford eyeglasses and hearing aids.
Thomas is seeking help from the public as he collects new, used, or broken eyeglasses and hearing aids for the less fortunate for his Eagle Scout project. He is working along with the Lion’s Club chapter located in New Jersey to help bring sight and sound to the needy. The Lion’s Club recycles eyeglasses and hearing aids and distributes them to the needy around the world.
He started the project in August, with collections at local senior centers including the Rockaway Boulevard Senior Center and the Ozone Park Senior Center. The next collection is scheduled for October 16th, at Nativity BVM Senior Center in Ozone Park and the other at St. Helen’s in Howard Beach.
So far he has collected over 75 pair of glasses and one pair of hearing aids. Thomas says he hopes the donations will continue so that many more less fortunate people can benefit from the project. “I can only hope my collection continues to grow, so I am able to help as many people as possible.”
Thomas is a sophomore at Scholar’s Academy in Rockaway. He has been a Scout since first grade, and with 64 merit badges under his belt, is a member of the Order of the Arrow, the honor society for boy scouts.
When asked how he developed the idea for his project Thomas said, “I wanted to do something that helped the less fortunate, but I wasn’t sure exactly how. Then as I was searching the internet for ideas I came across the Lion’s Club Recycling for sight and sound program. I knew that was it.”
If you would like to help by donating your new, used, or broken eyeglasses and/or hearing aids you can attend either of two collection events on Sunday October 16. St. Helen’s Church, located at 157-10 83rd Street in Howard Beach from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. or at Nativity BVM, located at 101-41 91st Street in Ozone Park from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Photo caption: Thomas Caiazza, (second from left), with fellow Scouts at the Rockaway Boulevard Senior Center set up a posterboard presentation of Thomas’ project and collected eyeglasses and hearing aids for the needy.