LIVINGSTON, NJ — Over the last several weeks, a Livingston family has distributed more than 2,000 homemade face shields that have been delivered to emergency departments, nursing homes, first responders and other agencies throughout the area that father Joshua Commer said have been “equally in need and appreciative” of the contributions as they continue to battle the coronavirus on the frontline.
Commer’s wife, Leah, and their kids—Adam, 16, Rebecca, 14, and Elise, 11—have perfected the fabrication method using readily available components from stores like Staples and Home Depot. With the help of community members assisting in the purchase of materials, the family is currently producing anywhere from 50 to 100 face masks and shields each night while in quarantine.
“Being involved in EMS as a volunteer EMT since before my kids were born, they have always watched as Daddy would run out of the house at the most inopportune times to help others in need,” said Commer. “As they grew up, and we all experienced Superstorm Sandy, the kids watched as Mommy and Daddy—together with our friends Debbie and Mikey Burack—formed a Disaster Assistance Response Team that would help hundreds of families devastated by the storm in Staten Island where we lived at the time.
"So when this pandemic struck and it became apparent to all of us that there was an overwhelming need for PPE (personal protective equipment), we took our cue from a Facebook video posted by Boaz Rosenblat on how to make face shields.”
As of this week, the Commer family has been able to deliver hundreds of face shields to each location, which so far has included Saint Barnabas Medical Center and Inglemoor Rehabilitation & Care Center in Livingston as well as University Hospital Emergency Room in Newark; Bergen New Bridge Medical Center in Paramus; Maimonides Medical Center EMS and Brookdale Hospital Medical Center in Brooklyn; Hatzolah EMS in Staten Island; Runnells Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare in Berkeley Heights; and more.
Those interested in making their own face masks both with and without elastic can learn from the Rebecca Commer's YouTube Channel. In the video below, family friend Joyce Weinberger demonstrates how to creat homemade cotton face masks.
The Commer family is also accepting monetary donations to help purchase additional supplies to keep the effort going. CLICK HERE to donate or contact the family via text or call at (917) 217-1694 to learn more.
Click on the headlines below to see how other community members are giving back during the global health crisis: