By David Fleet
Goodrich- A boy scout recently combined his computer skills, desire to assist senior citizens and easing the struggles of those in long-term care facilities into a stellar Eagle Scout project.
Connor Mulholland, 18, is a recent Goodrich High School graduate, who started in Cub Scouts Pack 340 and for the past seven years was active with Goodrich Boy Scout Troop 340. This fall he will study computer science at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield.
For his Eagle Scout project, Mulholland had planned to assist senior citizens learn how to use computer tablets in an effort to bridge an ever growing information gap.
“There’s many leadership aspects gained through scouts,” he said. “Many skills are gained in scouts, with the badges and activities. My Eagle project combined my future career in technology with helping others that may need some help.”
The plan included visiting area senior centers and teaching computer skills such as apps, email and texting. However, that changed when the coronavirus arrived in the United States shuttering senior centers nixing his plans.
However, Mulholland recognized that since long term care facilities were on lockdown due to the virus, many of the health care workers were using their own cell phones to keep seniors in touch with loved ones.
“That just did not seem right,” he said. “There needed to be solution.”
Long term care facilities have been one of the hardest hit by the coronavirus. According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, between Jan. 1 and June 29, a total of 7,285 confirmed cases of the coronavirus have been reported in long term care facilities.
Mulholland changed his Eagle Scout plan and fundraiser to purchase PC tablets for those in the long term care facilities to use.
Through Facebook and collection of returnable more than 3,000 bottles and cans, Mulholland gathered enough money to purchase seven tablets, plus five were donated. Google Hangouts was installed on the tablets.
“I liked how it was simple and use it on the Gmail browser,” he said. “I also provided instruction on how to use the tablets.”
Ten were donated to The Pines of Goodrich, 8111 State Road and three were given to The Magnolia House, 4134 State Road, Goodrich. Mulholland provided a laminated instruction sheet for each tablet.
“I hope this project helped with some of the isolation due to the quarantine associated with the coronavirus,” he said. “ I saw a need and provided a solution.”