A Creative Way to Help

 A Creative Way to Help

New Friend of the Home Creates and Donates Ear Savers to Benefit Mercy Home’s Families

When Kevin Zufelt bought a 3D printer, he planned on using it to make fun items, like toys for his niece or parts for games. But when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, he saw a news article about a Boy Scout who created something called an ear saver—a piece that protects those wearing masks from getting sores on the back of their ears. Kevin immediately knew that it was something he could do to help.

“I thought it was a great idea, and it was clear I could utilize this tool [I bought] for fun in order to also do something good for the community,” he said.

Kevin began making them for the hospital in South Bend, Ind., and started looking for other organizations to help. As an MBA student at the University of Notre Dame, he was listening to a speaker who came to talk to students in his program. During this meeting, he offered to make more of these ear savers for anybody who needed them. It was there that he got connected to Mercy Home and agreed to make and donate ear savers for our young people and their families.

Even though he had not previously heard of Mercy Home, he was ready to help.

“I do know that you guys are doing some good work with youth that are in Chicago,” he said. “And [I know you are] a great nonprofit to really help out that community, and so I’m happy to help.”

Kevin explained that the process of creating the ear savers is not difficult. He found the model of the ear saver online and put it into a program that maps out how his printer needs to move to print them out. He ended up created them in batches of five, which took about 70 minutes to print. Overall, it took him around 40 hours to create 200 ear savers.

I do know that you guys are doing some good work with youth that are in Chicago. And [I know you are] a great nonprofit to really help out that community, and so I’m happy to help.

Kevin added that his time at Notre Dame, and especially in its Mendoza College of Business, helped hone his desire to help others. He explained that Mendoza’s tagline encourages its students to use business to be a source of good.

“I’ve [always] liked to donate in any way I can … in order to help out the community,” he said. “And I’ve been doing that for years. And this just aligned with the values of Notre Dame and I was able to utilize the Notre Dame network to find additional people that could utilize us.”

Kevin also added that if anyone at Mercy Home knows other organizations or people who could use ear savers, they could contact him on LinkedIn and he would be happy to produce and donate them to anybody in need.

We are very grateful to friends like Kevin who are willing to help not just the Mercy Home family, but all of those in need during this time of crisis. Thank you!

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