PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Two Palm Beach County middle school students are responsible for getting some of the most protective gear into the hands of our frontline healthcare workers.
What Micah and Molly Kapp have accomplished in just 3 short weeks is nothing short of amazing.
They founded a non-profit called “PB PAPR Project”, created a website for it, launched a GoFundMe campaign and raised more than $25,000.
It doesn’t stop there. They’ve also gotten the attention and subsequent support from Ford, the maker of the powered air-purifying respirator, or PAPR.
The newly designed piece of equipment is top of the line protection for nurses and doctors caring for COVID-19 patients.
Ford worked with 3M to create the PAPRs using off-the-shelf parts, like vehicle ventilator fans and power tool batteries.
“They need to feel safe so they can come home to their families and we don’t want them to spread the virus to their family. We want them to stay safe and healthy,” said Molly Kapp
Molly and Micah Kapp know that stress as the children of two physicians.
“Normally, this time of year, kids would probably be at summer camp. And my kids are on the computer and on the phone either writing, calling or reading about their project in order to make it successful. So I am really proud of them,” said Dr. Daniel Kapp, a plastic surgeon who practices at Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center.
The Kapp siblings’ efforts have been noticed by friends, family members and complete strangers. In just a few weeks, they raised more than $25,000 and purchased 10 PAPRs. They’ve been delivered to Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center, Jupiter Medical Center, Wellington Regional, St. Mary’s Medical Center and Good Samaritan Medical Center.
“Instead of going to play outside at times, we’ve been putting a lot of effort in. But it’s definitely something I want to do to give back to the community,” said Molly Kapp.
The Kapp’s have also met with executives at Ford to talk about the PB PAPR Project and the company has agreed to match what Molly and Micah raise, in product.
“It’s not the not having the proper protection. It’s the anxiety of coming to work and it’s hard when you have the challenges of taking care of sick patients. You want to make sure you are mentally prepared,” said Dr. Kapp.
Now, their goal is even larger and they hope to be able to purchase a PAPR for every ICU doctor and nurse in Palm Beach County.
“Kids can do anything,” said Micah Kapp.
Each PAPR costs $700. If you are interested in making a donation, you can do so here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/PB-PAPR-PROJECT
And learn more about the project here https://pbpaprproject.org/