Meet the Indy teens behind a national movement bringing isolation gowns to medical workers

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A group of students at The International School of Indiana are proving that age doesn’t matter when it comes to helping others during a pandemic.

Toby Schamberger says he was inspired to start SWAG (Safer With A Gown) after hearing stories about frontline workers from his parents who are both doctors.

Schamberger told a few classmates about the idea and the group then partnered with costume design students at Butler University to create downloadable isolation gown patterns.

From there, SWAG took off with each classmate taking on different responsibilities like social media, web site design and legal steps to register a nonprofit.

That was a few months ago and now, the template has been downloaded more than 1,500 times in all 50 states.

SWAG co-founder Norah Hempstead says gowns can be dropped off at local clinics or be mailed directly to the group who will ensure they get to medical professionals who need them.

“To actually see a product being made by a person that you don’t know and that you reached out to and helped, that feels pretty good,” said Hempstead.

Norah and her younger sister, Caitlyn, have been part of the team since the beginning.

Both girls say the template is complicated, but that even if you can’t sew, they still hope you’ll share the website on social media.

“Someone could hear about SWAG from your post and in that way you could be making a big difference,” said Caitlyn.

For Schamberger, SWAG is personal.

“There are so many people out there that are protecting patients with COVID, my parents are experiencing it. We can all do our part,” added the 16-year-old entrepreneur.