When a local emergency room nurse turned to the AnthemStuff Facebook page for help with a solution for her and her nursing staff’s sore ears from long hours of surgical-mask wearing, the Anthem community responded in a big way.
Lindsay Mays had just gotten off a shift with sore ears from her mask when she spotted an article about a Boy Scout in Canada who had developed ear guards with a 3D printer to make wearing masks more comfortable for healthcare workers. The scout has since shared his template publicly.
“I had heard some of the male doctors on my shift teasing about some of the solutions that are mostly female-related (headbands with buttons, hair clips, etc.) and saw that article and knew that was an easy and great solution,” Mays said. “I know Anthem has lots of people who want to help but are all stuck at home so I thought I would ask.”
Enter Anthem residents Liz and Mike Black. The couple had seen the post and comments from other nurses on the thread about similar needs, and they combined resources and put their 3D printers to work.
A group was created on Facebook involving the following area residents who have offered to help with printing: Liz, Mike and Ana Black, Tim Broumley, Tyler Peterson, Henry Meyers, Chris Stewart, Kyle Welsh and Jason Wren.
“So far we’ve distributed 110 of the ear savers, and have another 70 to give out,” Liz told In&Out. “Everyone plans on printing them until everyone who needs them, has them.”
And, the best part―besides pain-free ears―the ear guards are being produced free of charge. Medical professionals have offered payment, but the group simply isn’t accepting, Liz said.
“Our staff is loving them so far and asking for a bunch more… we just got a memo that we have to wear our N95 masks in the ER for our whole 12-hour shift,” Mays told In&Out.
Others are making homemade masks for healthcare workers and neighbors. Megan Johansen took to AnthemStuff asking for elastic for the hundreds of cotton masks and scrub caps she and her husband are making free of charge for anyone in need. Within minutes, community members responded, offering donations.
“We started this because my husband is a chiropractor in the area and he’s stuck at home,” Johansen said. “The brave people working the front lines need our help. I feel like we’re a very small drop in a large bucket.”
We know there are countless others helping to bring our community together during these tough times. If you’d like to share acts of kindness happening in the community, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.