Inspired by COVID-19: Kids stepping up | Features | #covid19 | #kids | #childern

Out of school and nothing to do?

Thousands of kids across the country are stepping up to make a difference during the pandemic. These few started small but are now making a big impact.

Micah Mulford’s love of building things moved from remote control cars to something more practical during the pandemic.

“When I saw how big of a need there was for these extenders, I decided to put my 3D printers to work,” the 17-year-old said.

Micah has printed more than 3,000 face mask extenders to help masks fit better. All three of Micah’s printers are running 24/7, and he’s shipping them for free to hospitals and nursing homes throughout Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and North Carolina.

“It just really makes me feel like I’m actually doing something,” Mulford said.

High school senior Ranch Kimball put his love of engineering to good use.

“Food retailer workers were sort of on the front lines of this crisis,” Kimball said.

With a modified table saw and his own design, he creates plexiglass shields.

“I thought it would be a perfect way for me to apply my skills,” Kimball said.

Joe Chionchio has turned shopping and delivering into his first business.

“I was like, you know what? I’m going to go shopping for people,” said Chionchio, founder and CEO of Smart Shop.

A recent college grad with a degree in finance, he created an Instagram page and got his first customer. He created Smart Shop to help the elderly. A team of 50 drivers now deliver to 850 customers, and are expanding from Long Island to New Jersey, Manhattan, Connecticut.

Now, Joe has his eyes set on California, Colorado, and Florida.

“This is taking off and the best part about it is that we are helping thousands of people,” Chionchio said.

Another great organization that is stepping up during all of this is The Joy4All Project. Dozens of teens have created a hotline you can call if you’re feeling down or lonely, to hear pre-recorded inspirational messages, jokes, or quotes. You can call for free at 1-877-JOY-4ALL.

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