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FORT WALTON BEACH—The HSU Educational Foundation has taken an active role in helping eliminate the spread of COVID-19 by creating face shields to distribute to Eglin Air Force Base and throughout the community.


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About three weeks ago, the foundation began manufacturing the face shield mask at the HSU Innovation Institute using 3D printers. The masks were donated to Eglin on Wednesday for use by their medical staff.


The masks, called face shield bands, are created by attaching a binder divider to a headband piece. Jessie Nieves, who has volunteered on the project, said the headband pieces are made from donated materials, so they come in a variety of colors.


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Nieves said the project is especially important to him because his brother works for the medical group on base.


"I feel like I’m making an impact on ... those who ..use these masks," Nieves said.


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The face shield mask project has about 30 people involved with an average of about eight individuals working in the facility at a time.


"We see that a lot of people doing things bigger than themselves because they believe in the end result," said Amanda Negron, who works for the foundation.


Front line workers who need face masks are encouraged to send in a request for the masks using a link on the foundation’s website.