High school students Andrew Zhang, Jerry Wu, Nick Genovese, and Rishi Peddakama are the founders of Shield our Health Heroes, a non-profit organization that is raising money to protect the heroes on the frontline with their homemade, high quality and reusable face shields. Five months later, the team has raised enough money to print, and donate over 700 masks to 10 hospitals in Southern California. If you would like to make a donation, please visit shieldourhealthheros.org.
ANDREW ZHANG: We came up with this idea during the summer, because the doctors were out there working hard and protecting our community. We wanted to give back, and make sure that they stay safe themselves.
NICK GENOVESE: I was in charge of reaching out to different hospitals and clinics to find out which locations needed more face shields.
ANDREW ZHANG: I was in charge of the technicalities and the logistics, coming up with ideas for how we're going to donate, and how we're going to make all these shields. And I was also in charge of the 3D printing.
RISHI PEDDAKAMA: I was in charge of the tech portion of this. I created the website, and set up the whole payment system.
JERRY WU: I was in charge of the social media outreach in our local community. I tried to spread the word of our club, and tried to drive traffic to the website Rishi made so that we could get donations to fund our project.
ANDREW ZHANG: The masks each take about one hour to print, and then afterward we just send them to each other's houses so we can each take some and work on it. And then usually, after about an hour, we can get 25 face shields, each fully prepared.
JERRY WU: And we just donate whenever we reach around 50 masks.
ANDREW ZHANG: Over the course of about five months now, we've amassed over $750. We've printed and donated over 700 masks to 10 different hospitals in Southern California. There's doctors working day in, day out at the hospitals, and they're much more likely to contract COVID. So it's just a really good feeling to be able to help protect them, and make sure that people are getting the care they need.
RISHI PEDDAKAMA: Hospitals in our local area are short of shields, mainly because all these companies, they have to supply for hospitals and clinics across the nation. So we are also trying to provide them with an inventory of good-quality masks.
NICK GENOVESE: We researched the best way to make them the most efficient, and also the best quality. We've used the least amount of materials for the maximum amount of comfort. And multiple hospitals and clinics have reached out to us, saying that our face shields are much better than other face shields that they've received.
JERRY WU: The most rewarding part of this organization is that we actually get to help these doctors that are working really hard, fighting the pandemic on the front line. We're trying to give back to these doctors and protect them, too.
ANDREW ZHANG: I think one of the best parts of this project is going to the hospitals and seeing the doctors receive our face shields. They're always very appreciative.
RISHI PEDDAKAMA: All of us, we learned marketing through social media and various platforms. Getting better at speaking with people. Connections. And it was really a great experience to learn how to kind of run your own business in the real world.
ANDREW ZHANG: If you would like to donate, our website is shieldourhealthheroes.org. All the funds that we make directly go to donating to hospitals, and we hope that this will really help out the community.