By Lisa Gresci

BOSTON (CBS) – Boys & Girls Club can be a lifeline for the community, providing a home away from home for kids every day. During the coronavirus crisis, one of them is stepping up in a big way.

It’s doors may be closed to the public because of COVID-19 but those from Boys & Girls Club of Stoneham and Wakefield are still working around the clock to supply everything from protective gear to food for those who need it most.

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“We just started using them 24/7 so literally every moment of the day they are running to make masks,” Anthony Guardia, director of development, said.

The tech room at the Boys & Girls Club in Stoneham is usually filled with kids learning new computer skills.

Stoneham Boys & Girls Club is making protective masks with a 3D printer. (Image Credit: Stoneham Boys & Girls Club)

Though the seats are now empty, the 3D printers haven’t stopped.

“In each of those videos you are seeing our tech staff constantly printing masks for essential workers for medical staff for anybody who really needs them,” Guardia said.

What stared with hospitals led to drop offs at nursing homes, then grocery stores, and now to anybody who needs them.

“Anybody who asks for the masks we are just trying our best to get them to them,” he said.

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Donations from the Boys & Girls Club. (Image Credit: Stoneham Boys & Girls Club)

The masks aren’t the only items hot off the printer.

“We actually got a request from a nursing home for headbands so that the masks don’t go behind your ears because i guess it’s been creating a lot of burn and irritation so now we now we have one printer that focuses solely on making those headbands,” he said.

The club is also donating care packages complete with food from local food pantries and restaurants.

“So, if you go by our club you still see vans going in and out and you might ask yourself what’s going on simply what we are doing is constantly dropping off food, constantly dropping off care packages and constantly dropping off these masks,” he said.

Some, so thankful that the sight of the van is enough to move them to tears.

“The text from the social worker was simply i just dropped off food and the person who received it just started crying as soon as we pulled up so the appreciation has been unbelievable and it motivates us to continue to do what we are doing. This is why we are here this is the time where non profits have to step up,” Guardia said.

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Since this started a few weeks ago, donors  have supplied more printers and materials to keep the production going.

Lisa Gresci