Boy Scout 3-D prints over 1,200 'ear guards' to help healthcare workers suffering from face mask pain
via Heather Roney / Facebook

Some of the most striking images of the COVID-19 pandemic have been the photographs of healthcare workers whose faces have been bruised and cut from wearing protective surgical masks.

This photo of a healthcare professional in Italy battling the pandemic was seen around the world. She looks like she went 12 rounds in the ring with a heavyweight fighter.



However, this type of pain isn't just a concern for the medical community. In high-foot-traffic professions such as grocery stores, people have been wearing masks for their entire shifts.

Now, it's recommended that all Americans wear protective masks when they go out in public.

A hospital in Canada put out a call to anyone who could help alleviate the pain caused by the masks and Quinn Callander, a Boy Scout, answered the request in a big way.

He got to work designing an ear guard that can be produced with his 3-D printer. It's a simple, but genius design. The guards connect the straps from the masks, elevating them to the back of the head, so they don't rub the backs of the ears. They're also adjustable so they fit comfortably.

Quinn's mother shared photos of his invention on Facebook and the post has gone viral, attracting over 340,000 shares.

"Quinn answered a request from the local hospitals for help with creating more 'ear guards' to help take the pressure off health care workers ears from wearing masks all day," his mother wrote on Facebook. "He got busy on his 3D printer and has been turning out dozens of ear guards to donate."


via Heather Roney / Facebook

"As someone who works in healthcare I can say that this is fantastic! When we wear them constantly all day everyday, they actually start to cut into the back of our ears," one Facebook user wrote.

Quinn has made the 3-D printing files for the project public, so that the ear guard can be replicated by anyone with a printer.

"In one week I've personally produced over 1300 straps, 1215 have gone to a few hospitals in my region where they seem to be really appreciated," Quinn wrote on the file. "A volunteer group that I'm contributing to in the Vancouver BC area has delivered over 3300 straps including mine."

His mother later edited the viral Facebook post, adding the file information, to encourage other people to print the ear guards as well.

"We need more volunteers to fire up their 3D printers and donate these ear guards to hospitals and medical professionals!" she wrote.

Quinn's mask is a great example of how everyone is now deputized to help out in the fight against the virus. Even though he's only 13, he used his special skill set to contribute in the best way he knew possible.

We all have our own unique skills we can use to help others during the pandemic. What can you do?

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
True

Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

Amazon

In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

Keep Reading Show less

Even as millions of Americans celebrated the inauguration of President Joe Biden this week, the nation also mourned the fact that, for the first time in modern history, the United States did not have a peaceful transition of power.

With the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, when pro-Trump insurrectionists attempted to stop the constitutional process of counting electoral votes and where terrorists threatened to kill lawmakers and the vice president for not keeping Trump in power, our long and proud tradition was broken. And although presidential power was ultimately transferred without incident on January 20, the presence of 20,000 National Guard troops around the Capitol reminded us of the threat that still lingers.

First Lady Jill Biden showed up today with cookies in hand for a group of National Guard troops at the Capitol to thank them for keeping her family safe. The homemade chocolate chip cookies were a small token of appreciation, but one that came from the heart of a mother whose son had served as well.

Keep Reading Show less
True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Welcometoterranova and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Welcometoterranova-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.