When 10-year-old Grayson Brown received a 3-D printer for Christmas last year little did he know how much he would be using it just a few months later – and what a need he would fill with his efforts.
“I had mostly been using it to make stuff for friends and to make things for my Nintendo Switch,” said Grayson. “And my dad was using it a lot for things at his work.”
But when life changed unexpectedly Grayson kicked his 3-D printing skills into high gear. Soon, what started out as a few bands for nurse friends here and there, grew into something much bigger.
The tension and elastic rubbing from constant wearing of masks can cause irritation around the ears making them sore and tender. These 3-D printed mask “ear-savers” help relieve the pressure around the ears, making the masks – and the person wearing them – more comfortable.
“He wanted to do something to help out,” said Grayson’s dad, Mike Brown. “And, right now, he has a lot more time on his hands so this was a perfect project.”
Grayson is a 4th grader at Linden Elementary School and like many kids right now, he is finishing up his last year at the school online. “It’s a tough thing for the kids,” said Mike. “I’m especially sad for the high school seniors who are missing out on graduations, proms – all the traditions that go with being a senior.”
Mike, who is the president and CEO of M & M Productions, a full-service event, broadcast and video production company in Oak Ridge, is working now to try and bring a little of that celebration back into their lives. “We are doing a lot of work right now creating virtual graduations and things. Just a little something to give back.”
It seems giving back runs in the family. For this first donation, Grayson made over 120 ear-saver bands for the staff of Methodist Medical Center. And Dad says his son’s 3-D printer will continue to churn out bands as long as they are needed.
“He really has taken on this project and wants to make enough so every staff member who wants one gets one. Given my background as a firefighter and flight medic, it’s special for me to see his appreciation for the often overlooked heroes in our community. ”