07:18 AM

Not All Heroes Wear Capes, But They Do Make Shields

State Farm® employee finds unique way to use her 3D printer to literally make a difference in the COVID-19 fight.

Vikki Baptiste doesn’t know a lot about shields. She’s not big on Captain America movies and she’s never been to a Renaissance Fair. She’s not a ‘shield person,’ assuming there is such a thing. So when Vikki heard about local hospitals needing face shields to help fight the COVID-19 crisis, she wanted to help but didn’t know what to do.

Like most of us, all Vikki knew about shields is we need them right now.

So she decided to make some.

“About four or five months ago, I got a 3D printer,” said Vikki, an enterprise technology data analyst . Interested in 3D printing for a while, she had been using her new printer to make odds and ends around the house.

“I'd been printing mouthpieces for my daughter's trumpet and cute planters for my plants,” she said.

Then COVID-19 hit. She heard how local hospitals were in need of supplies, primarily face shields. Vikki decided that maybe she could put her newfound 3D printing skills to good use. She got to work.

Vikki recently made her first delivery of homemade shields. When she posted pictures the company's Yammer, she was extremely pleased and surprised with the reaction. People from all across State Farm offered to donate supplies, like much-needed transparency sheets. What surprised Vikki most was the number of people who owned 3D printers and said they were now going to do the same thing to help out.

“It’s things like this that make us who we are,” said Enterprise Technology-Data Executive DeWayne Griffin. “Every little bit helps, so hats off to Vikki for doing what she did and for being an inspiration to others.”

Vikki is currently working on her next batch, which will be ready for delivery soon. When asked how long she was going to keep making shields, she replied, “As long as they need them.”

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