Shortages in products and supplies was hard to imagine before the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world.
Medical Personnel are facing immense shortages of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which includes face masks, gloves, gowns and face shields. In order to curb the shortage, junior golfer Annie Buffolino has begun building face shields with the help of her father who works in the prop department for popular TV shows and movies.
After being approached by Local 44, the Riverside, California, chapter of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (I.A.T.S.E), Annie and her father agreed to volunteer their time and his knowledge of prop making to help the first responders and medical personnel in their local community. The alliance used their contacts throughout the entertainment industry to get the materials and compiled them into the kits for members to take home to work out of.
“I was definitely willing to do whatever I could to help,” Buffolino said, “I was excited to know I was contributing to the doctors and nurses who are working extremely hard.”
To create the face shields, Buffolino and her father utilized sheets of clear plastic, pieces of foam and elastic.
“The whole process takes about two hours for 100 shields. We take a piece of plastic and string the elastic through a hole on each side of the mask. We then staple the end of the string, so it does not slip through. The piece of foam is fastened to the top of the shield so it can rest on the person’s face comfortably. So far we have made about 200 shields but have since run out of the materials we need to make them properly, but we are hopeful to get more materials so we can get back to building soon.”
Local 44 members have created over 3,800 face shields and over 18,000 face masks to date. “The response has been great from all of those getting the PPE. We have been receiving photos and videos of nurses and doctors wearing them and this project has helped our members that have lost work keep busy during these hard times. It has been a very rewarding project for all parties involved,” said Tobey Bays, a I.A.T.S.E., Local 44 representative.
From creating homemade face shields to fundraising for COVID-19 relief efforts. Junior golfers all over the globe have taken action to help their local and world communities get through this unprecedented time.
Over 50 juniors fundraising through the Leadership Links program have raised over $25,000 for the humanitarian aid foundation, Direct Relief, whose objective is to supply PPE and staffing support to the communities hardest hit by the pandemic.
The Leadership Links mission is to help juniors make a community impact. AJGA resources and tools make giving back to the community easy and fun.
To start, juniors select a charity and email Beth Dockter (email@example.com) to get started. A personalized website and marketing materials will be created to support fundraising goals.
Participants can choose how they want to be involved:
- Volunteer time
- Host a State Cup Series match play event with their friends (like the Mason Cup, Carolina Cup and nearly 10 others)
- Invite community donors for golf or social functions
- Create something totally new
Proceeds are split between the junior’s charity and the AJGA’s Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant program. The ACE Grant is a financial assistance program which ensures junior golfers play in top tournaments by covering entry fees and travel expenses for qualified national junior golf, high school state and USGA events.
In a time where so much is distancing and divisive, juniors like Buffolino and the rest of the Leadership Links fundraisers remind us to come together to support one another during challenging times.