LEGO converted a number of molding machines at a plant after an employee wanted to help

By Jason Duaine Hahn
April 10, 2020 04:31 PM
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Credit: Lego/Instagram

Iconic toymaker LEGO is helping to support healthcare workers who are on the frontlines of the fight against coronavirus.

This week, a LEGO factory in Billund, Denmark converted a number of its molding machines to produce more than 13,000 face shields a day for Danish Health Authorities workers, the company says in a statement to PEOPLE.

“A few weeks ago a colleague in our incredibly creative Engineering department heard that there was a desperate need for safety equipment for COVID-19 in Denmark,” the company says. “He approached the rest of his team with his idea for a visor and they started to trial production ideas. The design and quality was approved by local health authorities.”

LEGO posted behind-the-scenes pictures of the visor-making process to its Instagram page on Thursday, showing employees inspecting and trying out the equipment, which would help protect the eyes of those caring for patients who have the highly contagious virus.

“Approximately 100 LEGO employees have been involved in this project, from developing the design and new molds, to working with our supplies to make the visors a reality in just a couple of weeks,” the company explains to PEOPLE.

Commenters on Instagram praised LEGO for going the extra mile in helping healthcare workers when life-saving medical supplies are running short.

“Play together fight together,” one person said.

“Beautiful! Thank you for doing this!” added another.

But fans needn’t worry, LEGO isn’t altogether stopping production on its legendary building blocks.

In fact, the company announced that it is donating half a million LEGO sets to children as part of an online challenge on their social media channels “where kids are encouraged to make and share rainbows as a symbol of hope.”

The LEGO Foundation has also donated $50 million to various charities to help out in coronavirus relief efforts. This includes the charity Education Cannot Wait, which provides education to children who have experienced emergencies, and other organizations affiliated with the company.

In another effort to help children, LEGO launched the online initiative #letsbuildtogether, which provides inspirational content through daily challenges, build-a-longs and general play tips, the company tells PEOPLE.

“There are 1.5 billion children currently out of school — and families are juggling the stress of work, childcare and educating at home,” they said. “We will do all we can to support them through this.”

According to the New York Times, there were more than 1,633,000 coronavirus cases and 100,745 deaths across the globe as of Friday afternoon.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.