Rotary Project Shield set up at Freedom Hall in Miles Square Park today for a weekend full of volunteers assembling face shields for healthcare workers.
Rotary Project Shield and the Fountain Valley Rotary club, Rotary District 5320, are aiming to make 50,000 face shields to be donated to local hospitals. The project has spread across the states as well as internationally with Rotary volunteers here trying to fill the need.
The first 10,000 shields were distributed to St Jude and St Joseph facilities within Orange County and Long Beach on Tuesday, April 7, 2020. St Jude CEO, Brian Helleland stated he was so grateful for Rotarian’s commitment in making this happen for St Jude.
Rotarians will continue to assemble another 20,000 shields this weekend on Friday and Saturday ((April 17th , April 18th & April 19th) at) at 6 locations. The goal is to assemble a total of 50,000 face shields by next weekend. Sign up to be a volunteer HERE!
Rotary Project Shield
Marc Aarons, Rotary District Governor, was watching the news and saw a need for masks. He e-mailed Dan and asked him if he had any ideas on how to get gloves and masks.
PacMin was unable to secure the masks but found another way to give back. The company was able to secure medical supplies to make face shields through the CEO of St. Jude’s and used PacMin’s assembly expertise to lock down the shield design.
“I reached out to the supplier who then told me, if you make this a Rotary project and don’t profit from it, I will provide you the materials at cost because I want to help this cause,” Dan Ouweleen said. “Armed with that information, I went to our Rotary District 5320 Governor Marc Aarons and suggested this could be a great district wide project to buy the materials and get local Rotarian’s to build them with volunteer labor.”
PacMin has dedicated their facility for quality control and production as well as promising to supply shields at cost once rotary funds run out. Currently supplies are being given to the project at cost of $2 a shield.
PacMin has also teamed up with the organization, Asprodental to raise more funds to build shields that can be donated. This collaboration will focus on assisting the dental community that needs face shields.
There are currently six volunteer sites and each site is making about 4,000 shields per weekend.
Between Marc and Dan Ouweleen, the project relied on many volunteers to help secure supplies, locations, volunteers, donations and more.
Rotarian Shawn Wehan built the donation site for Rotary Project Shield for free to help Rotary Project Shield raise money and get volunteers. Beth Fujishige secured assembly locations and Susan Ouweleen stepped into her role as head trainer a quality control.
Once mission control was built the project was ready to take off. Rotary Project Shield was intended to be spread throughout Rotary districts globally.
Rotary Project Shield had $20,000 in district funds that were allocated immediately for the project and bought the first 10,000 shields that went to St. Judes.
“We’ve had so much great response that we ordered another 20,000 shield. We will give out 50,000 shields by the end of next week,” District Governor Marc Aarons said.
The shields will continue to be made and funded however this is the last weekend to volunteer for face shield assembly. After this weekend all assembly will be done at the PacMin facility.
“Next we asked all the Rotary clubs in our District, of which we have 46, to see if they would donate funds to this cause. Over 50% responded yes, and since that occurred about 3 weeks ago, we have raised over 100K. Clubs that raise funds get to direct what medical facilities in their area the shields go to,” President of PacMin, Dan Ouweleen said.
Fountain Valley Volunteers
Freedom Hall is expected to see 50 volunteers this weekend with Fountain Valley Mayor Cheryl Brothers lending her hand as well.
“We’re proud of our Fountain Valley Rotary Club for stepping up on this project. Face shields are a critical piece of protection and we need a lot of hands to assemble them,” Mayor Brothers said.
Susan Ellis Ouweleen is a rotary club member and the head trainer for volunteers doing shield assembly. She made the training manual, picks up and drops off supplies and does quality checks at PacMin’s facility.
“We’re so appreciative to see volunteers and our rotary district, which consists of many clubs come together, as a community to help slow the virus down. It’s a huge undertaking and it could not happen without us all coming to work together as a team. I’m really proud to see that we can make difference in our own community,” Susan said.
50,000 Face Shields
Rotary Project Shield picked up steam fast and needed facilities big enough for volunteers to assemble the shields and still follow social distancing protocol.
Beth Fujishige, an Irvine Rotarian, stepped into action and secured several sites in Orange County so the project could meet its quota of 50,000 shields.
9-year rotary club member Christopher Reyes is on the assembly line and has a huge stack of shields to his left. He’s been here since 10 a.m. and has lost count on the number of shields he has made.
“During tough times we need to look out for each other and do our part. We need to find a reason to help each other out,” Mr. Reyes said.
Each site gives volunteers gloves and a mask or face shield and assembly tables are placed six-feet apart.
Fountain Valley Police Chief Matt Sheppard stopped by the event and said, “I want to stress to the community to continue to engage in social distancing. We’re still in the mitigation phase not at the point of recovery. When we are in recovery, we’ll know it.”
Rotary Project Shield will meet their 50,000 shield quota projected by the end of this weekend. When the 50,000 is met, the rotary district and PacMin will continue to assemble shields and distribute them.
Confirmed hospitals receiving the shields are St. Judes, St. Josephs, Hoag, St. Mary’s and Mission Hospital.
Rotary member and volunteer Matt Kozuki is collecting finished shields and putting them into boxes so they may go back to PacMin for quality control.
“Let’s not do social distancing. Let’s socialize at a distance,” Matt Kozuki said.
If you want to volunteer or donate to Rotary Project Shield check out their website HERE and join us in making Fountain Valley a nice place to live!
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