Rockford family creates ‘hug time’ shield so kids can hug great-grandma

Local News

Rockford, Ill. (WTVO) — A Rockford family built a “hug time” shield out of items found at a local hardware store so kids could hug their great-grandma.

Like many families across Illinois, the Marinaro family have been stuck at home and unable to see their great-grandma, Rose Gagnon, as often as they used to.

But mom, Carly, had an idea, and bought supplies to put together the protective gear with the help from her kids.

The “hug time” shield consists of a large sheet of plastic stretched over a free-standing PVC frame, with plastic livestock gloves in the middle so Rose could reach through and hug her great-grandchildren.

“I thought, how can I do this, not putting plastic bags over my kids or her, to figure this out,” Carly said. So, [I Googled] long, plastic gloves and [tried] to think of a raincoat, or what I could do.”

Carly said the supplies cost less than $50 and took about an hour to build.

Each of the kids were excited to see their “nana” and give her a hug.

“It just made my day. It warmed my heart,” Rose said. “I’ve missed my little ones and I usually see them at least 3 to 4 times a week. So, if they’re coming to my place or I’m coming here, it makes a big difference.”

“They think it’s the greatest thing, so I’ve learned a lesson: to do simple things with my kids that don’t cost much, and when this is over, it will have changed us and we’ll be doing more of these things,” Carly said.

To make the shield, Carly used the following materials:

3 X 7’ PVC 1 1/2”
4 X 3’ PVC 1 1/2”
2 X elbow piece
2 X T shaped piece
1 window insulator kit for sliding glass door
1 duct tape roll for all joints and edges
1 pack livestock disposable gloves

There is no evidence, however, that the Marinaro’s invention prevents the possible spread of the COVID-19 virus.


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