The Jersey City Rapid Maker Response Group (JCRMRG), through its partnership with Lixil Group Corp., said Tuesday it expanded production and distribution of face shields to first responders and medical workers in communities across the United States battling COVID-19.
In June, JCRMRG hit a new milestone by producing 70,000 face shields, for a total of 75,000 shields for donation throughout New Jersey and the U.S.
JCRMRG is 100 percent volunteer-driven with Jersey City residents, and fiscally sponsored by the United Way of Hudson County. Every dollar donated to date has gone directly to the manufacturing and distribution of face shields. The group formed on April 1 through a Reddit post with the mission of using 3-D printing technology to create face shields to protect health care workers.
Since the beginning, it has produced 5,000 3-D-printed face shields and simultaneously designed, fundraised and secured a manufacturing pipeline to mass produce face shields by injection molding.
“LIXIL has a history of corporate responsibility initiatives, and we are thrilled that our partnership will bring face shields to a greater number of health care workers and first responders,” said JCRMRG founder Justin Handsman. “In just two months we went from a call to action in a Reddit group for local makers to help manufacture PPE on 3-D printers, to delivering more than 1,000 face shields per week to health care workers.”
Individual crowdsourced funding and donations from Goldman Sachs kicked off the group’s ability to provide face shields. Recently LIXIL Corp., a water technology company known for its kitchen and bath brands American Standard and GROHE, supported the group with funds to significantly scale production by assisting the initial funding for tooling for injection molding, which allows the group to produce up to 10,000 shields per day.
In partnership, LIXIL will donate 50,000 face shields within the communities it serves across North America. LIXIL employees are also being empowered to assemble the donated face shields with their families, and to donate the shields to frontline workers in their respective communities.
“With our headquarters in such close proximity to an area of the country hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, our team immediately stepped up to help, volunteering time to help make urgently needed PPE for the local medical community and first responders,” said Troy Benavidez, vice president of Public Affairs, LIXIL Americas. “Having been connected to the volunteers at the Jersey City Rapid Maker Response Group, we realized that we shared a common goal, and we are proud to partner with their team to significantly bolster both our efforts and expand our reach to front-line workers throughout communities in N.J. and the U.S.”
Contact JCRMRG here, to inquire about making a tax deductible contribution via the United Way.