United Way of Portage County Awards Grant to Kent State University Design Innovation

United Way of Portage County (UWPC) has recently began accepting applications to address emerging needs of organizations in the community due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The COVID-19 Emergency Response Grant provides funds for non-profit programs and public school districts, making sure they have supplies needed to support the overwhelming need in our community.

Kent State’s Design Innovation is responding to the COVID-19 crisis by urgently addressing the acute need for personal protective equipment (PPE) by all levels of the healthcare and emergency response systems across Portage County. UWPC has awarded $3,000 to the Design Innovation to purchase 3D printers and materials required to produce and construct face masks and face shields. The Design Innovation network of makerspaces has the capability to quickly react to the local and critical needs for PPE on the ground in our communities, while adhering to guidelines and regulations to help ensure the safety of our front-line professionals.

“We appreciate the support of KSU for UWPC and hope this grant helps extend the project to support first responders in Kent and the NEOhio Region and healthcare workers.  Thank you to the team at Design Innovation for their creativity and leadership”, Bill Childers, President and CEO of UWPC.

Design Innovation has already setup for donations to Kent Fire, Portage County Emergency Response, and Kent State Health Center and Police. If your agency is in need of masks or to find out more about Kent State University’s Design Innovation, visit https://www.kent.edu/designinnovation/covid.