Daniel de los Reyes
Meet Daniel de los Reyes, a kind, giving and very creative individual whose soul just shines through whenever you speak to him. Born in New York City, Cuban-Puerto Rican Daniel de los Reyes (Danny) is a world-renowned and third generation musician from the de los Reyes family.
Daniel has toured the world as well as recorded with countless A-list artist such as Whitney Houston, Earth Wind and Fire, Don Henley, Stevie Nicks, Peter Frampton, Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull, Michael Franti, Chicago and now as one of the members of the The Zac Brown Band. Danny has not only been giving back for the last ten years with his young adults music education charity DayGLOW Music, but he has now discovered a unique and simple but very effective way to give back. Daniel believes in always-moving forward, moving forward but safely. As Daniel states: “ Moving forward with precautions but not compromising our passion”.
The Zac Brown Band world tour has just been cancelled. Imagine the disappointment for everyone including band members, crew and fans. All of a sudden, Danny's calendar was completely clear and all music plans were erased. What a whirlwind turn of events. When Danny heard the word, "pandemic", he realized life was about to change in an instant. Immediately, he wanted to do something to help...but what?
Danny was at home, with a lot of energy but yet nowhere to go. Being anxious and wondering how to be of help in these uncertain times. That is when something on the news caught his attention: Face shields and protective gear. There was a severe demand and a shortage for face shields at that time. Hmmmm.....Danny thought they certainly looked very similar to the plastic on his Remo drumheads.
Danny had an incredible amount of drumheads that he had been collecting for the upcoming 2020 Zac Brown Band tour which now, sadly, would not be needed. He took one out and started looking at it in a whole new light. A hero is someone who, despite his or her own circumstances and struggles, thinks of others and doesn't hesitate to help in whatever way they can. That is what Danny did.
Experiment & Help Out
"I played around with one of the drumheads, cut it to size, tried it on and thought it was pretty good and that it would work to help protect our first responders as well as people who at that time were putting themselves at risk!", Danny explains.
He figured out a way to attach the elastic to the heads and to sterilize them before their use. It was an "Aha!" moment. Danny has realized that if we are not helping others in this life, then we are not living to our full potentials.
He also says that helping others has a way of lifting us up making us feel like we are helping to make a positive change in this world. He quickly recruited his family to help. They created an assembly line and got to work.
With his tour canceled, Danny chose to help others instead of feeling sorry for himself. "We all have to jump in and help others. It's what we have to do! This is our moment to shine,” he says.He thought about who could benefit from these types of shields and began distributing them. He began with the Fayetteville first responders’ paramedics and fire responders, as he knew how important it would be to protect their entire face as well as people who come in close contact with others such as beauticians and barbers.
"Compared to the first responders and medical staff, it is a luxury to be at home right now! People who are putting themselves at risk for us! Don't mope, being bored. There are so many ways to help out. If you have to go to the store, call a neighbour and ask if they need anything," Danny suggests. "Yard work, help with their house work, buy them groceries, and anything else you can think of?”
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) has been heavily manufactured for most essential workers. Danny wonders, "What's the next step?".
Obviously, we all need to put in individual effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, but at what cost? Our social and professional lives are all being affected, and if we are to at least put a dent in this tougher moment of isolation, we need to come up with tools that will help keep everyone safe but at the same time moving forward.
This is the reflection that led Danny to design his new Mini-ShieldUSA line of face shields. Danny has come up with a line of socially friendly personal protective gear. As Danny says, “I want to perform out again as soon as possible”. This might be a way that we can be cautious as well as conscientious about each other without giving up our expressions. Expressions which demonstrate our convictions, our passions and our constant drive to move forward.
This is certainly about moving forward as a country, as a race for humanity. This is about reinforcing the movement of caring for each other by demonstrating and respectfully wearing some protective gear as we attempt to get back to our normal lives. There is no doubt that we will come out of this.
And as we come out of this together we will be stronger as a nation. This is a great opportunity to be united and to demonstrate the love and compassion for each other. This is why we have started this grass roots project. And with the help of people I have assembled along with the help of Gannassi Racing we will take it to the next level. Who knows what tomorrow will bring us but as Danny says today we are making a positive difference.