Many businesses are taking a hit as people spend more time inside, awaiting an end to coronavirus concerns. But the five workers at Five Star Awards in Cary are no longer idle.
The business is staying busy by producing plastic face shields to protect medical and other frontline workers from potential exposure to corona or other viruses.
Owner Lisa Higginbotham calls the project 'Halos for Heroes' and uses a laser that usually makes the awards possible to craft those plastic shields. The workers donate labor and time.
She cites her relationship with the award shop's suppliers as one reason she secured enough plastic to make thousands of protective shields.
"I determined that I wanted to make a thousand of these shields that we could distribute to the nursing homes and the assisted livings," said Higgenbotham, "and some of the smaller hospitals that are way down the food chain."
She's already distributed many of the first 1,000 manufactured at her shop since mid-April. Then she learned that a similar project at NC State had plans for 25,000 protective head coverings that lacked enough face shields to finish the job.
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"So we are gonna cut the shields to help NC State with the headpieces and the face shields that they're making to distribute," Higgenbotham said.
Her crew's producing 3,000 shields for the project underway at State.
"They have a different design from ours and they're producing them on 3D printers. They're doing the assembly and distribution of their 3,000." she said.
When that's done, she plans to produce even more face shields thanks to the support of her fellow Rotary Club members.
"We've gotta protect those caregivers," she said. "It's breaking my heart to hear the stories of caregivers dying, and taking this stuff home with them."