These Families Are Creating DIY Face Shields For Frontliners—Here’s How You Can Help!
Donate your money or time to Project Shield to help create these face shields for hospital frontliners
As we go into week three of the enhanced community quarantine and thousands of Filipinos succumb to the Covid-19 pandemic, more and more hospitals are expressing their need for personal protective equipments (PPEs). While the government and the hospitals are doing their best to procure supplies for the frontliners, sometimes, what they can get their hands on are not enough because of the worldwide demand and the challenges with logistics.
This is why many private organizations and groups have started to round up donations to help plug the demand for PPEs—and Project Shield is one of them.
What is Project Shield?
In a joint statement by the Project Shield team headed by Dr. Ana Patricia Ramos, Dr. Christian Aaron Doce, and YR-St. Michael Medical Hospital Executive Vice President Gilane Rodil-Yusay, they explain, “Project Shield started with Doctors Ana Patricia Ramos and Christian Aaron Doce, pediatricians from Quezon City who came across a Facebook post by the Bell-Kenz Pharma Group detailing instructions on how to make DIY face shields. Doing calls and posts on Facebook and talking to suppliers, acquire funding, and recruit family volunteers was the mission."
Currently, a number of families from the north part of Manila are being mobilized and coordinated by Dr. Patricia, while families from the south coordinates through Gilane. And it’s just been almost two weeks since the Project Shield Facebook page was born, but thanks to the help of many friends and supporters, the group has already been able to create and donate 7,067 face shields to 139 hospitals in Mega Manila and other provinces like Mindoro and Iloilo.
What are face shields?
“The face shield is worn in front of the N95 mask and goggles, together with a full body suit, a gown, pair of gloves, and booties. It is not an alternative equipment to the mask and goggles, but rather an addition to the full equipment,” the group explains. The face shields are for frontliners who have to be in full gear when dealing with Covid-19 patients, since it protects them during procedures that might expose them to potentially infectious fluids.
These DIY face shields are made from acetate, foam, double coated adhesive foam tapes, ribbons, and garters. The ribbons are garters are used so each shield is adjustable for the wearer. Because they’re plastic, they can also be reused after thorough disinfection with alcohol and soap.
“Throughout the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), Project Shield PH was very lucky to get in touch with generous suppliers who gave full support to the project," the group adds.
How can you help?
There are three main roles in the operations of Project Shield: one, getting suppliers, donors, and requests for donations; two, creating the face shields; and three, coordinating assembly teams for deliveries to the hospital frontliners. This is why their Facebook page became instrumental in bringing together people for the cause.
“As operation grew, the page Project Shield: Families at Home Against COVID-19 was created to centralize communications for donations and requests from hospital representatives. The use of social media was maximized to increase the reach of the initiative, to call for more donations, to inspire other teams to start the project in their own locality, to recruit more volunteers, and to accept more requests for the DIY Face Shields,” the group says.
Create DIY face shields at home
Project Shield thrives because of the countless of families donating their time to create the face shields in the comforts of their home. This is why if you find yourself with a lot of time during the ECQ, you may help the initiative by helping create the shields.
Project Shield has released guidelines and a helpful tutorial on their page to help families willing to create the face shields.
In the form of donations
If you don’t have the time to create the face shields yourself, Project Shield is also accepting monetary donations so they can delegate the tasks to other families.
All face shields are being delivered straight to hospitals and frontliners to lessen the contact and prevent contamination, and different transport groups like Dr. Marvinson Fajardo and the Help for Health Movement, Oplan Hatid, Lalamove riders, Kamote Riders Solohista’s, Kamote Riders Biñan, and other independent volunteer distributors are getting the job done. Because movement is limited, the group is also relying on locals who are able to cross borders to reach frontliners in the provinces.
Right now, all face shields are going to hospitals, but Project Shield acknowledges that there are many other frontliners who are in need of the shields, as well.
“We plan to expand to the other sectors like the military and police manning the checkpoints, reporters who are out in the fields, and basically anyone who needs the shields,” says the group. “We believe that everyone should continue the fight against Covid-19. Project Shield PH is not just the work of three people. It is the love and support that is being shared by countless of families, generous individuals, and the partner riders who deliver the face shields to the frontliners.”