Project Shields designed to help equip healthcare heroes

The organization, founded by University of Pennsylvania engineers, alums, and social entrepreneurs, provides face shields to hospital workers.

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Submitted photo

A face shield produced by Project Shields is displayed. The non-profit organization has produced 60,000 face shields for healthcare workers as of June 9.

The term “PPE” entered our lexicon in 2020. 

The expression, short for personal protective equipment, appeared in various news stories the last few months as the federal government, states, and local hospitals scrambled to equip frontline workers with the PPE they needed to stay safe while battling the coronavirus pandemic. 

That’s where Project Shields stepped in. 

The non-profit organization, started by a handful of entrepreneurs and University of Pennsylvania graduates, mass produces and donates PPE to frontline workers to help combat the Covid-19 crisis.  

“The people at the front lines are literal men and women in uniform, and I think that for us to be able to make a contribution to those people who are risking their lives to protect ours, it feels really good,” Tiffany Yau, one of the team’s entrepreneurs, told 6ABC recently. 

As of June 9, Project Shields distributed 60,000 face shields. 

Project Shields uses 3D printers and partners with an injection molding company to create the frame of the face shield. Not only do they serve local hospitals and organizations, they reach out to healthcare workers across the nation. Eventually, the PPE from Project Shields can be donated to other essential workers such as cashiers and cooks. 

My older sister, Riya, had a connection with one of the founders of Project Shields, and I was informed about the organization’s mission and wanted to get involved. At Project Shields, I helped write dozens of “Thank You” notes to the frontline workers they delivered face shields to. By doing this, I learned how important it is to show appreciation for these workers as they are doing so much to keep our families safe and healthy. 

Even though I kept myself updated with information about this pandemic, I did not realize how high demand for protective gear really was. By listening to countless podcasts, reading reliable news stories, and volunteering at Project Shields, I was able to educate myself on the severity of this pandemic. 

People need to be further educated on the precautions that need to be taken to help flatten the curve. Although most people know that maintaining social distance is key, for example, it is important to avoid touching surfaces in public places as well. If you touch a surface where the virus is still viable, then proceed to touch your face, you would have a higher chance to contract it. 

In addition to educating others, it is equally crucial to be thanking the essential workers that are risking their lives to continue to make sure our families are receiving groceries, cooked meals, or even care in hospitals.