Glendale teen collects supplies for soldiers

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Glendale student Eric Kramer, 16, is asking for donations of travel-size toiletries, as well as food and entertainment, to send to U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Eric will be collecting the items from now until September in two Woodhaven and three Glendale locations.

Eric is collecting items as part of his Eagle Scout Project, a project run and organized by a member of the Boy Scouts of America and completed before he turns 18, so he can attain the highest Boy Scout rank: Eagle Scout. Eric, whose grandfathers fought in World War II and whose brother used to be in the U.S. Navy, said he chose this project to give back to the troops.

“They fight every day for our freedom,” Kramer said.

Eric began his project in June. He started by going to the Edward R. Miller Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7336 on Cooper Avenue. While there, he asked Post Commander Tom Mazza for assistance.

“I asked him what supplies would be needed,” Eric said.

Mazza suggested non-perishable, travel-size items, Eric said. He said some of these items included toiletries such as deodorants, shampoos and hand soap/sanitizers; others included medical supplies such as Band-Aids, antacids and headache medicine. Other suggestions were small foods and drinks like fruit cups, pop-top cans of spaghetti, protein shakes and coffee or tea, or entertainment items like DVDs, CDs or small books and magazines.

Eric has asked for the help of state Assemblyman Michael Miller (D-Woodhaven) in the project. He also asked local businesses to contribute funds to buy items, as well as local drugstores to get involved and donate items.

For those in the community who want to help, Eric asked they donate items at any of these drop-off points: Kueber Realtor at 67-13 Myrtle Ave., Phoenix Martial Arts at 62-32 Myrtle Ave. and the Veterans of Foreign Wars at 71-32 Cooper Ave. in Glendale and Miller’s offices at 69-39 Myrtle Ave. and 83-91 Woodhaven Blvd. in Woodhaven. They can also send check donations written out to Troop 427.

“Whatever’s collected [the VFW] can go to a military PX [a retail store on a military base] and buy the stuff there because it’s much cheaper,” Miller said.

“They can contribute any way they want,” Eric said. “I think it’s a good way to give back to the veterans and get the entire community involved.”

Eric said the VFW will package and ship the items for Mazza as well.

“Everything needs to be packaged, then shipped to Afghanistan to be dispersed,” he said.

Eric said early response to his project has been good. He recently went to the Glendale Kiwanis Club and received much support.

“A lot of them were willing to donate and help out in any way,” he said.

Miller said he is an Eagle Scout and wants Eric’s project to be successful. He also wants to give the troops the comforts of home.

“This is a great project,” he said.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4564.

Updated 6:25 pm, October 10, 2011
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