Vince, Nia Mya, and Braulio smile.

Luis Sánchez Saturno/Santa Fe New Mexican (Braulio Chavez); Courtesy of families (all other images)

Lending a Helping Hand

Life changed quickly this year as a virus causing Covid-19 spread. To lower the risk of catching the disease, people quarantined. But millions of doctors, nurses, and others put their lives at risk to help people. Meet three kids who are doing their part to help too.

courtesy of family

THE PROBLEM: By mid- July, about 4 million people in the United States had been infected with Covid-19. In the past few months, many hospitals have admitted more patients than they could handle. Some ran out of personal protective equipment (PPE), such as masks and gloves. These items help keep health-care workers safe, since the virus causing the disease is spread through droplets in the air.

courtesy of family

HOW I HELPED: One of my neighbors is a nurse, and her hospital ran low on PPE. I have a 3-D printer, and I realized we could use it to make face shields. It was the least I could do. My dad and I started right away. At first, each shield took three hours to print. We didn’t give up. We found a way to speed up the process so we could print a face shield every hour. A group of local teachers recently asked us for help, so I’m making more shields, as well as comfortable headbands to hold face shields in place.

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

courtesy of family

THE PROBLEM: Since the virus that causes Covid-19 is so contagious, most people who have been hospitalized during the pandemic weren’t allowed to have any visitors. Some didn’t see their friends and family for weeks. This was also true for elderly people living in nursing homes.

courtesy of family

HOW I HELPED: My brother and I teamed up to make cards with messages and drawings. We sent them to kids at a children’s hospital in Birmingham and the elderly in nursing homes who couldn’t see their relatives. We wanted to do something to cheer them up and help them feel less lonely. I also sent cards to first responders in New York City because my teacher said healthcare workers there were sad about seeing so many people sick.

MY TIP: Think about what you are good at, then look around you and find a need. We should all help. It’s just the right, kind thing to do during these tough times.

courtesy of family

THE PROBLEM: As businesses closed down during the pandemic, millions of Americans lost their jobs. For many of these people, it got more and more difficult to afford food to feed their families. Many of them relied on donations and waited in long lines at food banks.

courtesy of family

HOW I HELPED: I used birthday money that I had saved to buy 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 buy food, I knew I had to help. Now I send the plushies out to people who donate to our local food pantry, the Food Depot. The small gift encourages people to give. I’ve made about 40 plushies so far.

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

1. Summarize Nia’s project.

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

3. Name one similarity and one difference between Braulio’s and Vince’s projects.

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