In the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic and a major mask shortage, everyone is finding fabric to make masks and face coverings for themselves, their family, and frontline healthcare workers. However, 13-year-old Warren Richmond-Kalaci found another way to help prevent the spread by using a 3D printer to create face shields for the heroes on the frontlines.
The north Toronto teenager attends Armour Goaltending, a sports school in Toronto. His hockey season had been cut short due to the Coronavirus outbreak. In recent weeks, he has been designing face shields using a 3D printer. “I’ve been making myself pretty busy with this project and I think I’m making the best of it,” Warren told CTV News Toronto.
He begins making the headband for the face shield using Tinkercad, a free, online program that creates 3D models for printing. It takes him 1.5-2.5 hours to make novelty prints. Warren has made over 200 face shields for SickKids Hospital.
But it doesn’t stop there. One of Warren’s coaches and co-owner of Armour Goaltending, Dave Kennedy, discovered the 13-year-old’s work on social media. Kennedy said, “I called him immediately and said ‘Buddy, what is going on here? What are you doing? This is amazing’.”
Kennedy, Warren, and 85 other goaltenders held a video call fundraiser and set up a GoFundMe page. With a goal of $5,000 “Armour For Heroes” has raised well over $6,500. According to Kennedy, $1,500 of the donations went to Warren for his product and Armour For Heroes wrote a check to SickKids for $5,000 dollars. “We realize how powerful we are and what we can do with this, so it was really great,” Kennedy added.
Photo: CTV News
“He would never miss an opportunity to help someone,” Kaydee Richmond, Warren’s mother said. “We’re very proud.”
Kennedy also said, “We can do something special, we can do something all together, and we can make a difference…Warren really proved that.”
Warren’s next goal is to create and provide his face shields for those working in long-term care facilities. “At points, it’s been pretty hard, but after I dropped off the first batch of shields, it’s just all worth it when I saw the expressions on the nurses’ faces,” he said.
By Della Young