Words of Warmth

A picture of a Happy Holidays greeting card

Chicago – Nov 8, 2020

By Ranya Sharma

To those who have contacted us about making masks – Thanks for your interest in volunteering with Skulls and Drills ! We have successfully concluded our mask making project. We donated 204 masks to the Fresh Start Foundation. Click here to read about our partnership with Fresh Start Foundation.

We are now working on ‘Words of Warmth’ project for seniors in nursing homes. This project needs hand made holiday cards with a personal handwritten message written inside. Many of our senior citizens are experiencing isolation and loneliness during these difficult times of social distancing. Hand written holiday cards – including a personal note / letter – telling them about something interesting can add warmth to this season.

We are collecting these cards by November 30th 2020 and will be delivering them to elders in senior communities.

Here are some guidelines:

  1. You are writing to an elderly residing in a nursing home – “Thinking of you” should be the theme of your letter.
  2. Do not include a date.
  3. Make it personal – address the person as “Dear friend”
  4. Introduce yourself and why are you writing. Sign off using your first name.
  5. Be thoughtful – Create a unique message that comes from your heart.
  6. Be Creative – you can use colors, pictures, collages, drawings – anything that makes your card/letter personal and exciting.
  7. Refrain from writing about religious and political views.
  8. Make sure that your handwriting is large print and clean – easy to read.
  9. Envelop each card / letter.

You can create as many as you can by the deadline. We will pick them up from you !

Thank you,

Skulls and Drills team

Back to school Bake Sale concludes

Chicago – Oct 18, 2020

By Ranya Sharma

Our Back to School Bake Sale has concluded ! We successfully raised $200.

Thanks to everyone who placed orders for Sugar Cookies, Rice Krispies, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Chocolate Brownies, and assorted Muffins. We hope you liked them all.

Back to School Bake Sale

Almond flour chocolate chip cookies keto and low carb recipe

Chicago – August 22, 2020

By Ranya Sharma

Skulls and Drills is holding a Back to School Bake Sale. Get your orders in !

Proceeds will provide support to those who need treatment for TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury).

Please click on the link to enter your orders in Google Forms or fill out the form below and submit.

The Efficacy of Wearing Masks

Chicago – August 3, 2020 

By Emily Yang

Due to the Coronavirus, several people have decided that it is best for them to wear a mask or face shield when going to public places such as the grocery store. However, others are more stubborn or unwilling. There are many precautions that can be taken to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, which include standing six feet away from each other, using hand sanitizer, and social distancing. However, the best possible way to prevent transmitting the virus is to simply wear a mask. In the United States, it’s only recommended that you wear a mask by the Central for Disease Control (CDC), but for the sake of others and yourself, you should consider wearing one when going to public places. Even if you don’t experience any existing symptoms, you still could carry the virus and spread it to others. It may be uncomfortable, but our heroes or health care professionals are experiencing worse conditions in overcrowded hospitals. Further, masks are the new fashion trend, so not wearing one is so last season !

Since the coronavirus affects the respiratory system, it’s important to cover the nose and the mouth. A common misconception is that only covering the mouth is enough. The nose and the mouth should be covered as you inhale and exhale through both. Both are part of the respiratory system. If you are knowingly infected, it’s even more crucial to wear a mask. Cloth masks act as a barrier to prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people. If the person wearing a cloth mask coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice, there is a great chance that he or she won’t affect others because the virus and or bacteria is trapped within the mask. It is especially vital to have a mask on if space for social distancing is limited. Other masks could have different functions, but it’s still vital to wear one out in public.

Just like finding the perfect pair of shoes, you can have a preference for the kind of mask you want to wear. The three most common masks are surgical masks, N95 masks, and cloth masks. Surgical masks are loose-fitting and filter out large particles in the air. They are disposable and also protect the person wearing the mask from droplets, splashes, or sprays that might contain germs. The N95 mask is known to be more protective than a surgical mask. Not only does it filter out large particles, but it also filters out the smaller particles when the person wearing the mask inhales. As the name displays, the mask blocks 95% of very small particles. Just like the surgical mask, they are disposable as well. Lastly, cloth masks trap droplets that are released when the person wearing the mask coughs, sneezes, or coughs. The CDC recommends cloth face masks for the public as they can be washed and reused.

Skulls and Drills donates pediatric masks to Northwest Community Hospital

Chicago – May 28, 2020 

By Ranya Sharma

Hello all,

We hope this message finds you well during these challenging times.

This week, we donated 32 pediatric masks to Northwest Community
Hospital (https://www.nch.org/) in Arlington Heights, Illinois, as we were made aware of the need
of masks for children.

By adjusting our pre-existing measurements and patterns for adult-sized
masks, we adapted to accommodate children.

As the virus remains rampant, we are looking for volunteers to help us
with our project. If you are interested, please contact us at ranya@skullsanddrills.org .

Skulls and Drills continues making fabric face masks during Corona Virus (COVID-19) pandemic

Chicago – May 7, 2020 

By Ranya Sharma

Hello all, we hope this message finds you well!

During the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have sewn approximately 300 masks and have been donating them to our community.

On April 29 th , we donated 33 masks to Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights, IL.

After speaking with the hospital staff, we learned of how the health of children is increasingly harmed due to the shortage of masks. For this reason, we are currently making pediatric masks for children of 3 years and above.

If you can sew and would like to help us with our endeavor, please contact us at ranya@skullsanddrills.org.

COVID-19 explained

Illustration revealing ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses (CDC)

Chicago – April 28, 2020 

By Ranya Sharma

“Coronavirus” is an umbrella term, referring to a group of viruses that affect birds and mammals. Out of hundreds of coronaviruses, only seven are known to affect humans. Out of these seven, four have symptoms similar to those of a cold. The other three are more severe and have higher risks.
 
The type of coronavirus which originated in Wuhan, China has been named SARS-CoV-2. Scientists have suspected that the outbreak originated through transmission from bats to humans in unsanitary markets. However, the story is shaky as greater research is being performed.
 
The virus primarily spreads through human contact. It is found in water droplets that form from breathing, and these droplets spread when we talk, cough, sneeze and breathe. The virus can enter one’s body as soon as they come in contact with one of these droplets.
 
The best protection one can have is to not touch their face and to wash their hands. Maintaining a distance of 6 feet from other people is also crucial. Not only does it reduce your chances to contract the virus, but it also reduces the chances of you spreading it. Many have the virus and are infectious, yet do not experience any symptoms.
 
During this time, communities are coming together. Through local food drives, to the shipment of resources to households, people are helping each other, although they may not be meeting face to face. Skulls and Drills is creating homemade cloth face masks. We are donating them to local hospitals and senior citizens in our community. As tensions are high and it seems like the whole world is holding their breath, waiting for updates, it is important to be more compassionate and kinder now than ever. Through kindness in the form of donations to the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund or in the form of alleviating the conditions of those in poverty, any small act will make a difference.


Sources Used:
 
Healthline, No date, “Coronavirus Types and Which Type is Wreaking Havoc Worldwide, https://www.healthline.com/health/coronavirus-types
 
David Levine, 4-1-2020, “These Are the Ways Coronavirus Spreads,” US News & World Report, https://health.usnews.com/conditions/articles/how-does-coronavirus- spread

What is TBI?

CT Scan of the human brain with a subdural hematoma

Chicago – April 18, 2020 

By Rhea Sharma

Most brain surgeries occur for reasons like a possible brain tumor, or blood-vessel-related issues (hemorrhages or hematomas). Damage to brain dura (tissue), infections, or skull fractures are other, less common reasons for brain surgeries. 

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are more common than the average person would expect, and if untreated, can have fatal consequences. By exploring some of the most common symptoms, causes, and treatment, we can begin to encourage more knowledge of the subject and subsequent community awareness. 

Mild traumatic brain injuries usually have rather temporary consequences, but should nevertheless be treated. Common physical symptoms to look out for include loss of consciousness, headaches, nausea, fatigue, speech problems, sleep irregularities, and dizziness. Other sensory and cognitive symptoms include blurred vision, ringing in ears, sensitivity, memory problems, and mood changes. Moderate to severe TBIs can include any of these symptoms, as well as other symptoms that may arise after an injury, including a persistent headache, seizures, pupil dilation, numbness, loss of coordination, large amounts of confusion, slurred speech, and even coma. While these symptoms can go unnoticed, it is important to contact a doctor immediately, following notable irregularities in your physical, sensory, or cognitive areas. 

TBIs are most often caused by a blow or injury to the head. These injuries are usually instances of falls, vehicle collisions, sports injuries, and violence. Care should be taken to avoid such instances through the preventative use of seat belts and airbags, helmets, and safe driving habits. 

In rare cases, TBIs can lead to debilitating complications. Instances of altered consciousness like coma or brain death can occur, and physical complications like seizures, fluid buildup, infections, or severe blood vessel damage can occur. Other complications include cognitive or behavioral irregularities. 

Typically, imaging tests are used in order to diagnose TBI severity and begin the treatment process. CT scans and MRIs help reveal evidence of bleeding in the brain, fractures, blood clots, or brain tissue swelling. Treatment is typically a combination of medication and surgery. Medication usually includes diuretics, which reduce the amount of fluids and reduce pressure, and anti-seizure drugs, which are used preventively, as brain injury puts people at high risk for seizures. Surgery is also used to minimize any additional damage to brain tissues. 

In conclusion, we can understand that while TBIs may seem like rare cases, it is important to remember that TBIs are a major cause of death and disability worldwide. It is crucial to stay informed on such medical conditions and understand their common symptoms in order to ensure a quick diagnosis. We hope to increase awareness at all levels, and we hope that this piece helped you stay informed. 

Skulls and Drills makes fabric face masks during Corona Virus (COVID-19) pandemic

Chicago – April 3, 2020 

By Ranya Sharma

Due to shortage of protective gear, fabric masks are a last response option according to https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/ppe-strategy/face-masks.html. “Skulls and Drills” followed CDC guidelines to home sew masks for donations to health care workers at St. Alexius hospital.

We have delivered more than 100 fabric masks to healthcare personnel and hospitals in the Chicagoland area.

Fabric masks are not considered PPE and their capability to protect against COVID-19 is unknown. These masks are intended for healthcare professionals who are versed in their potential use for their needs.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/03/28/masks-all-coronavirus/

Skulls and Drills Featured in the News

Chicago – Jan 20, 2020 

By Ranya Sharma

Thank you Daily Herald for publishing our story.

https://www.dailyherald.com/news/20200120/moms-really-scary-moment-led-south-barrington-sisters-to-launch-charity-for-brain-treatment

The Daily Herald is a daily newspaper based in Arlington Heights, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. The newspaper is distributed in the northern, northwestern and western suburbs of Chicago.