Eagle Scout candidate Jackson Forrest of West Hartford has organized a technology drive, and will provide devices to seniors so they will be able to participate in virtual events.
By Ronni Newton
West Hartford resident Jackson Forrest is a member of Boy Scout Troop 146, and for his Eagle Scout project is undertaking an effort to assist seniors who continue to feel isolated amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Forrest, a senior at Watkinson School who started his scouting career in Whiting Lane Schools Pack 46, is collecting used iPads and laptops, which will be provided to West Hartford seniors so they can safely interact with family and friends and feel less isolated and lonely.
Gina Marino, director of the West Hartford Senior Centers, said that Forrest reached out to her to see if he could assist older adults in the community.
With both of the town’s senior centers remaining closed, Marino noted that programming will remain online for the foreseeable future. Since only a fraction of members currently have the devices needed to participate, Marino and Forrest together decided on holding the technology drive.
“I am just so happy that Jackson chose us for his Eagle Scout project because accessibility to technology has been such an issue for many of these seniors,” Marino said.
There will be two different collections of internet-accessible tablets and laptops, Marino said.
Devices can be dropped off at West Hartford Town Hall on Saturday, Nov. 14, from noon-3 p.m., and at the West Hartford Senior Center in Bishops Corner (15 Starkel Rd.) on Wednesday, Nov. 18, from 2:30-5:30 p.m. Marino said anyone unable to attend at those times can contact her (860-561-7582) to set up an appointment to drop off devices on weekdays at the West Hartford Senior Center.
All devices being donated need to be in functioning condition. Screens cannot be cracked, and the devices should be wiped clean of personal data and restored to original factory settings. Ideally, the devices should be donated with the proper charging cord, Marino said.
For community members who would like to support the drive, but don’t have any devices to donate, monetary donations may be made directly through the West Hartford Senior Center’s website, or call Marino at 860-561-7582 for more information.
Forrest was 2020 Leader of the Year for his role as senior patrol leader in Troop 146. He lists his other extracurricular pursuits as: trying different cuisines, discussing politics, traveling, and participating in Model UN. He hopes to study international relations in college next year.
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