Since social distancing got underway, Hart stopped meeting with his clients, but switched to printing masks that could help medical professionals and nursing home workers.
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“What I love most about working for Hands of Hope is knowing I am positively impacting the lives of both our clients and volunteers,” Hart said. “Knowing I provided joy to someone else with no strings attached is what keeps me smiling and driven toward giving others the same opportunities I have been given.”
Hands of Hope started in September 2015 when Hart and three classmates at Milford High School in Milford, Ohio, volunteered to create a 3-D-printed prosthetic for Hope McGill, a 7-year-old girl from the community missing her left arm from the elbow down.
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“Hope was adopted from China. She had been taught from an early age to hide her arm, making her self-conscious about it. Because of the prosthetic, Hope became more confident in her little arm,” noted Catherine McGill, Hope’s older sister and a Cedarville student.
Hands of Hope became a club at Milford High and made prosthetics for three other children. However, in the spring of 2018, the school dropped Hands of Hope as an extracurricular group because of a lack of interest from the student body.
Hart then transformed Hands of Hope into an official nonprofit and invited McGill to serve as its media director.
Hart and McGill created The Hands of Hope Foundation’s chapter on Cedarville University’s campus. This was made possible by Cedarville’s school of engineering and computer science.
“Connor went the extra mile prior to coming to campus for his freshman fall semester,” said Robert Chasnov, dean of the school of engineering and computer science and senior professor of engineering. “He needed a space for the 3-D printers he uses to manufacture the hands his team would be designing. Since we had a project lab that was being used primarily to store mobile test equipment, I set him up in that space.”
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