Most high school students are finishing up virtual learning assignments and wondering when they will be able to see their friends again. While Eli Weber is also doing both of those things, this 17-year-old is also making a difference during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Weber has a 3D printer and has been using it to make face shields for nursing and healthcare staff at Carle Richland Memorial Hospital.
“I have been reading about the PPE shortages and realized that I had the means to help. Since school is out for the remainder of the year and I have extra time, I thought I could use that time to help,” Weber said.
So far Weber has made 20 face shields and donated them to the hospital staff. His goal is to make at least 150 more.
“I plan to run my printer until there is no longer a need for the shields, however long that may be,” Weber said.
While Weber is willing to make as many shields as are needed, the process does come at a cost. He has set up a GoFundMe account where people can donate to help offset his expenses involved in making the shields.
“We really appreciate all of Eli’s efforts and for taking it upon himself to voluntarily do what is within his power to help during this time. He is a very motivated young man and I feel he will continue to be a great asset to our community,” Dusty Inboden Harrison, director of nursing said.
In the meantime, Weber will continue making as many shields as possible to help his local hospital. He also wants to encourage other young adults to find a way to help out during this time.
To find out how to help at Carle, visit carle.org/COVID-19.
“If everyone uses their unique abilities to help out right now we can get things done with extreme efficiency. No talent is too small, there is a lot of good that can come from this if we all work together,” Weber said.