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Article (background); Courtesy of family (Vince); Courtesy of Family (Nia); Courtesy of Luis Sánchez Saturno/Santa Fe New Mexican (Braulio)

Helping from Home

As Covid-19 swept across the U.S., Americans were encouraged to stay indoors to prevent the disease from spreading. Meet three kids who found ways to help others, even while they were stuck at home.

Vince R., age 12, Illinois

THE PROBLEM: As the number of Covid-19 cases grew, many hospitals had more patients than they could handle. Some ran out of personal protective equipment (PPE), such as masks, gloves, and face shields. Health-care workers need this gear to stay safe, because the virus causing Covid-19 can spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

HOW I HELPED: My neighbor who’s a nurse let us know that the hospital where she works was running low on PPE. I realized we could use my 3-D printer to make face shields. At first, each one took three hours to print. But my dad and I tweaked the settings on the printer so we could make a shield every hour. A local teachers organization asked us for help before school starts, so I’m making more face shields, as well as comfortable headbands to hold them in place. 

MY TIP: Be determined and don’t give up. In the end, you could help a lot of people.

Courtesy of family

Vince makes face shields (pictured) for health-care workers.

Nia Mya Reese, age 11, Alabama

THE PROBLEM: The virus that causes Covid-19 is extremely contagious, so most people who’ve been hospitalized with the disease have been quarantined. Some don’t see their friends or family for weeks. This is also true for elderly people living in nursing homes.

HOW I HELPED: My brother and I decided to try to cheer up patients at the children’s hospital in Birmingham and people in nursing homes. We sent cards with drawings and messages to make them feel less lonely. I also sent cards to health-care workers in New York City because my teacher said they were upset about seeing so many people sick. 

MY TIP: We all have talents and passions. Think about what yours are, and then look around your community and find your unique way to help. It’s just the right, kind thing to do during these tough times.

Courtesy of Family

Nia Mya makes cards (pictured) for people in nursing homes.

Braulio Chávez, age 12, New Mexico

THE PROBLEM: As businesses closed down or were affected by the pandemic, millions of Americans lost their jobs. For many people, being able to afford food to feed their families got a lot more difficult. Many of them have to rely on donations and wait in long lines at food banks.

HOW I HELPED: Using money I had saved from my birthday, I bought supplies like yarn, beads, and felt and made stuffed cats I call plushies. I was going to sell them to raise money for a local animal shelter. But when I heard that people in my community couldn’t afford food, I decided I had to help. Now I send plushies to people who donate to our local food pantry, the Food Depot. I’ve made about 40 plushies so far. I hope this small gift encourages more people to give. 

MY TIP: If you can’t donate or make something, you can still do your part by spreading the word about a good cause.

Courtesy of Luis Sánchez Saturno/Santa Fe New Mexican

Braulio makes stuffed animals (pictured) for people who donate to a food bank.

1. Which details from the article support the idea that Vince is determined?

2. Summarize Nia’s project.

3. Compare and contrast Braulio’s and Vince’s projects.

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