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Let's Shield Chicago

Submitted by Anam, a Junior at Illinois Institute of Technology.

Let's Shield Chicago - An initiative to create 1000 Face Shields for our healthcare team!

We’re all familiar with the growing crisis regarding lack of PPE around the world and especially in the Chicagoland area. Healthcare workers are having to choose between helping patients or protecting themselves. Seeing this increased need, I looked into what can be done on a smaller scale - something that I and other individuals like me can contribute to.

After researching and consulting with various professionals, I came to the conclusion that it would be most helpful to make plastic face shields for our frontline healthcare workers. These shields protect the N95 face masks, making them last longer, as well as providing another essential layer of protection.

At this moment, more than ever, our healthcare heroes in the city are in desperate need of help - OUR help. Right now, corporations are charging the healthcare industry $2-3/shield, making it extremely costly to provide basic protection for our frontline healthcare workers.

Making these masks is a simple process, requiring only an elastic band, adhesive backed foam, and a plastic sheet. Sourcing the materials was the biggest obstacle. Materials are scarce and expensive. But, after a lot of research, I was able to find a supplier who could provide the necessary means at cost price and in bulk (thanks to EJ Bron Tapes). The large rolls of 56’’x100’ plastic were then cut to appropriate size (pro-Bono) by John Schnell at Columbian Model and Exhibit Works.

With a team of volunteers willing to provide the labor needed for the assembly of these masks, costs were reduced down to $1 per shield. $1 would save multiple lives from this virus.

Enough funds to launch this campaign and source the materials were raised through a GoFundMe in less than 24 hours, thanks to our supportive Chicago peers.

A total of 1000 masks have been created and more are in the process of being made! The shields will be donated to University of Chicago Medical Hospital and Swedish Covenant Hospital.

Anam :)

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