DEARBORN — East Dearborn resident Jamie Wise and her family knew about the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers caring for COVID-19 patients in their area and found a way to help.
Wise and her family are part of a church group called 2/42. While Wise had been sewing cloth face masks, she found out about Andover Christian Church in Ohio through a mutual friend. The church had been the space for a 3D printing operation and was producing parts for face shields, valuable PPE for healthcare workers across the world. The parts, however, needed to be assembled and Wise and her family volunteered.
“You can assemble about 50 face shields in an hour,” Wise told The Arab American News. “This was important to me because we have three daughters who work in hospitals and all three of them tested positive for the virus.”
The face shield parts were produced by Andover member Brian Morgret, who acquired 15 printers and set them up at the church’s family center. Together with his son, Morgret was able to produce the main pieces of a face shield, a special visor with a slot to hold a sheet of transparency film to cover the face; ties or rubber bands attracted to the sides and going around the back of the head hold the visor in place. Assembling it took the efforts of volunteers like Wise, who put out the call for more volunteers in her neighborhood. Soon, a Muslim family down the street responded.
“Our hospitals are getting hit hard and don’t have enough PPE to protect the staff,” Wise said. “It was a great honor to be able to help in this way. We spent time together as a family assembling the shields on Easter. This was definitely a different Easter because we weren’t able to gather with our family.”
The Wises have 13 children and 10 grandkids and are used to big Easter celebrations. She said this was a special time for her six youngest children. Her Muslim neighbors, who wished to remain unnamed, told The Arab American news that they were happy to help in this effort and that helping out while remaining safe inside their home was a no-brainer.
Wise left the face shield parts on her neighbor’s doorstep and collected them when they were assembled, ensuring a no-contact operation. Together, Wise, her family and her neighbors assembled 1,250 face shields and donated them to Beaumont Dearborn and a hospital in Garden City. A Beaumont collection center in Southfield collected the assembled face shields to be distributed appropriately.
Wise left the face shield parts on her neighbor’s doorstep and collected them when they were assembled, ensuring a no-contact operation. Together, Wise, her family and her neighbors assembled 1,250 face shields and donated them to Beaumont Dearborn and a hospital in Garden City.
“It was also really special to me to be able to work with our neighbors,” Wise said. “They were very helpful and sent the shields back to us with Easter candy and bubbles for our children.
“I know they don’t celebrate Easter, but it was so sweet for them to think about us during this time. Being able to do this has helped me a lot with not sitting around worrying. I felt like I could help and that means a lot to me.”
Meanwhile, donations to Morgret’s GoFundMe campaign for his face shield project have helped him purchase the plastic filament and transparency film needed to produce an additional 1,500 shields. Face shields have been donated to several hospices, nursing homes, hospitals, and other health care agencies. Morgret will continue to print and donate shields until the funds run out: https://www.gofundme.com/f/3d-printed-face-masks-and-ventilators