In the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic, PetSmart associate Eunique was inspired to expand her passion for helping pets to helping people. As a member of the Navajo Nation, she’s witnessed the devastating impacts COVID-19 had on her community firsthand. Determined to help, Eunique found an innovative way to address one of the most daunting shortages caused by the virus: a lack of personal protective equipment or PPE.
Eunique uses a 3D printer to produce face shields for the Navajo and Hopi communities. But she’s not alone–through a network of designers, known as Indige Design Collab, Eunique was able to recruit volunteers, including fellow PetSmart associates, to help address the shortage.
“We started the Indige Design Collab with the mission of bringing new ideas to Indigenous communities by way of advocacy and implementation of design principles,” Eunique said. “As the nation took a turn into the unknown with COVID-19, I saw news reports and government officials stating that Native Americans could be wiped out by this virus. We decided to jump into action and prove these fears wrong. I immediately called the team and asked how we could organize to begin making PPE for Navajo and Hopi frontline medical teams.”
Eunique and her team of volunteers manage nine 3D printers which run day and night to produce PPE. To date, the team has distributed more than 3,000 PPE supplies including face masks, ear savers, intubation boxes, wheelchairs and oxygen equipment.
Her team even created a system of supply runners and volunteers that safely deliver the supplies to facilities and donation drop points. “In the bleakest of times, humanity shines through in missions like these,” she said. “To know there are people who value community and will collaborate to envision brighter futures is truly amazing.”