AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) — This past Christmas, 12-year-old Dylan Leong was given a 3D printer. “My uncle and my grandmother always go above and beyond with the gifts and I’ve been basically using it as much as I could ever since,” he said.
A few short months later, the St. Mary School Swormville student began learning from home due to the pandemic and had a bit more time on his hands.
After doing looking into what he could do to help, the aspiring engineer created “716 Ear Savers.”
“Something small can make a big difference for other people. This is just like a simple piece of plastic that reduces stress on your ears and headaches,” he said.
The flexible band holds the strings to a mask, removing pressure from the back of the ears and making it much more comfortable.
He has several different designs and colors, one even acts as a pony tail holder.
And some ear saver share words of inspiration , like “Hero at Work” and “Stay Strong.”
Dylan has already made around 400 and says he plans on making many more to give back to frontline workers. “It makes them feel good inside, since they’re kind of risking their lives to help others.”
He has donated the ear savers to local pharmacies, several hospitals, construction workers and U.S. military personnel.
And he’s received a lot of positive feedback. “One of the nurses told me it’s reducing headaches,” he said.
Dylan is even looking to the future and how he can help his fellow classmates. “If we go back to school and when we go back to school, which I’m really hoping we do, I’m going to try to make ear savers for my whole entire school.”
His father, Ronald Leong says “Seeing this gift come into our house and seeing how Dylan has taken that and made it into something where he can really help others, we are so proud of him.”
And Dylan continues to go above and beyond. He’s ordered another 3D printer, with the money he’s saved up on his own to ramp up production.
If you are interested in a donation or want to help Dylan you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ear Savers are completely free upon request, with donations gratefully accepted to offset material costs.
To donate to Dylan : Venmo User Name: wzdzz4 PayPal: (716) 830-8107
Gabrielle Mediak is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.