NC State students launch GoFundMe to help fund 3D printing of prosthetic devices for children in need

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- An NC State student-run organization, The Helping Hand Project, started a GoFundMe with a goal of $2,000. The funds would help them continue their mission of using 3-D printing to provide recreational prosthetic devices to those in need.

"A general prosthetic might cost between $10,000-20,000, and a kid grows out of that in six months," Helping Hand Project President Griffin Drye said.

"Each device we print costs between $50-100 to actually produce," Drye said.

Helping Hand Project NCSU chapter started in 2015 with about 15 people. The original organization was launched in 2014 at UNC Chapel Hill.

Today, the NCSU chapter has grown to about 80 engineering students who apply what they've learned in the classroom to helping others.

"We learn about stuff in class and you don't get to apply it," explained Sujay Kestur, a Junior Biomedical Engineering student.

"Here, you can make a direct impact and see the kid you're giving the hand to that changed their lives for them, and I think that's really awesome," Kestur said.

The NCSU chapter is on track to produce 20 hands this year. The money raised from the GoFundMe will go toward materials to continue the mission of using 3D printing and innovative design solutions to provide recreational prosthetic devices to people with upper limb differences.

"It's completely for free," explained Junior Biomedical Engineering student Sonia Wrobel. "We also bring these little support packages every time we deliver a hand with toys of interest. It's more than just a hand, it's a family we give to them and we just really love to be able to support these kids more than just the function of their hand and making them feel confident about who they are despite their differences."

The Helping Hand Project works closely with the nonprofit Project Helping Hands.

The CDC estimates that each year about 1,500 babies in the United States are born with upper limb reductions.
Copyright © 2021 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.