Hawkeye student turns overhead transparency sheets into face shields for healthcare workers

posted on Wednesday, April 8, 2020 in  College News

WATERLOO–During times of uncertainty, Iowans are stepping up to help others in need.

Many people are making life-saving equipment for workers on the front lines.

Ty Bellfy is a student at Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo. When classes were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he was hoping to do something meaningful with his spare time.

A couple of weeks ago, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics put out an urgent request for personal protective equipment (PPE), including homemade protective face shields. The shields are important because they cover the eyes, nose and mouth, preventing the spread of infectious droplets and ultimately keeping hospital staff safe as they interact with patients.

Bellfy saw UI's post circulating on social media and got to work immediately, starting an assembly line in his living room.

He found a few design ideas on the internet and created his own prototype. Thanks to donations from family members and friends, Bellfy bought overhead projector transparency sheets, foam for padding and elastic. He even created his own stapler mechanism to streamline the process.

With his mom as an assistant, Bellfy has made 50 face shields.

"This seemed like a good opportunity that I could combine what I like to do as well as do something that would beneficial for other people," he said. "So, kinda a simple thing I put together and I did it."

Last Friday, Bellfy brought his homemade face shields to Iowa City to donate to the hospital.

Now, he has a message to the brave men and women who are on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis.

"Just want to give them a huge thank you for what they're doing," Bellfy said. "They really are heroes and front line workers right now, and we really need to make sure that they're safe."

Bellfy hopes to make 200 additional face shields in the coming days. He has ordered some supplies, but many of them are on backorder.

If you are a retired teacher with extra overhead projector transparency sheets or if you have any supplies to donate to Bellfy for his face shields, you can message him on Facebook.

You can also Venmo him: @Ty-Bellfy

Olivia Schmitt, KWWL News


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