One such hero is Lucas Nichols, an 8th grade Cheshire resident. Lucas has a sharp computer intellect and has even competed with his school’s robotics team, demonstrating the type of person that Lucas strives to be. With his feet firmly planted in STEM, Lucas knew he needed to do something to help his community. He approached his mother, Aline Nichols, to see if they could locate a 3D printer to make the personal protection equipment (PPE).
Donations came in.
With his mom’s help, Lucas was able to secure a loaned 3D printer from the Kingswood Oxford STEM, where Lucas taught coding last summer. After receiving the 3D printer, Lucas began searching online for 3D templates for face shields and masks. He found two templates that would serve his purposes and then he began to print. Lucas’ family reached out to a few different companies and organizations to help. The generous members of the Cheshire Rotary, including our own Calcagni Real Estate Agent, Mary L. Malin, obtained supplies to support Lucas’ project. Rotary member, Dr. Subramani Seetharama of Hartford HealthCare, understood the shortage first hand and helped to make this work for Lucas. In addition to the above organizations, Lucas was able to get a donation of 500 lbs. of clear plastic film to be used for the front of the face shields from Rowland Technologies in Wallingford. Other donations came from Gordon Rubber and Packing and Riff Company Packing. His family was thrilled.
As of May 7, 2020, Lucas has given out over 400 face shields and 50 masks. These sanitized hard plastic masks contain a HEPA filter, making the PPE unique. Lucas has donated the PPEs to Chesprocott Health District, which serves Cheshire and surrounding areas. Another recipient has been Trinity Health of New England. Lucas has made five trips to Chesprocott since he began this project bringing approximately thirty shields and masks at a time.
We are all in this together.
A slogan that has come out of this challenging time to mean that we are learning to stay home, stay safe, and help prevent the spread of Covid-19. It has also come to mean that we rely on our abilities to help our community in ways we have never known before. Many hands offered assistance, supplies, and guidance to Lucas throughout the community, including Cheshire Rotary members. Lucas’s 3D gifts have made a difference to each person who received one.
Indeed the world has changed from what we knew just three short months ago. Three months ago, Lucas was still anticipating his 8th-grade promotion ceremony and junior high prom. He was fundraising to go to China with his robotics team on Gofundme. Then, the virus attacked quickly and quietly while we were taken unaware. His schools, like all schools in the nation, reacted and reassembled themselves to an online curriculum with teachers and students sharing screens and zoom meetings. While Lucas continues to maintain his studies, he works tirelessly to make a difference.
Lucas’ mother, Aline Nichols, was quoted in the Record-Journal about how this endeavor has affected Lucas and his sister: “This gave them so much purpose. They’re motivated; they are hopeful; they feel like [they are] doing something good,” she said.
We appreciate that Calcagni REALTOR, Mary L. Malin, a past president of the Cheshire Rotary, shared Lucas’ story with us. Thank you, Lucas Nichols, on behalf of Calcagni Real Estate and everyone touched by your generosity and kindness. We salute you as a #CalcagniCommunityHero!
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