NewsHillsborough County


Group of senior citizens make face shields for first responders

Posted at 4:01 PM, Jun 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-01 16:01:41-04

5/29/20 — WIMAUMA, Fla. -- In a driveway and underneath a tent, in the peaceful 55-plus Valencia Lakes community in Wimauma, a group of seniors work on a daily basis to make face shields.

“The face shield is just that other barrier between the doctor and the patient and it is critical,” said resident Dr. Richard Brown.

The seniors are part of a group called Handling the Future. Since 2015, the nonprofit has been using 3-D printers to manufacture prosthetic hands. When the pandemic hit, they decided to use that same technology to make face shields and ear guards.

“This team is unbelievable, there is a spirit and a drive and there is nobody saying no to anything, they will do it all and get it done as needed,” said Brown.

So far, they have produced and delivered more than 1,000 shields and 400 ear guards. First responders were top priority, followed by businesses and residents in need.

“I was always a person of service. I taught special education. I retired not knowing what I was getting into, and to find a bunch of service minded people trying to make a difference is just in line with my whole life’s work,” said resident Suanne Ackerman.

Every piece of safety equipment given out is free. Handling The Future runs solely on donations. Many of their deliveries are within a golf cart ride away.

“And just seeing how appreciative the people that received our products were, it just makes your day,” said resident Linda Berman.

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