The giving season has started early for many local nonprofit and community organizations, thanks to the Indera Mills Company in Yadkinville. John Willingham, President of Indera Mills Company, decided that with the surge in the COVID-19 virus and an ample inventory of masks, the company could help and be part of the local solution in changing the virus spread. He contacted the Clemmons Community Foundation to help identify nonprofit organizations that may have a need for masks made by his company’s team. Within 48 hours, 24 organizations were on the list of joyful recipients. On December 1st, Julie Brown, Indera Mills’ team member and John Willingham loaded vans and cars with cases containing 33,500 masks for distribution to twenty-four organizations in Yadkin and Forsyth Counties.

Julie Brown was a key part of the donation project and instrumental in helping Indera Mills gear up for Yadkinville’s mask production in March. John Willingham gratefully credited her skillful experience in operating a sewing machine for the startup of the mask production and leading the company’s pivot when the pandemic began. Indera Mills Company, celebrating its 106th year of operation, has produced thermal underwear and base garments for the last 15 years. Founded in Winston-Salem in 1914 by Colonel Fries – great grandfather of John Willingham, the company moved to Yadkinville in 1998 and continues to lead the industry in its product line. Weathering many economic storms over the years, mask production was a temporary pivot in response to the pandemic. With a vaccine in view and potentially a reduced need for masks 6 months from now, the company is returning full operations to its primary product lines. True to its long history of philanthropy, Mr. Willingham decided to donate much of its remaining mask inventory.  


Julie Brown, team member, and John Willingham, president of Indera Mills Company, stand beside some of the boxes of masks the company donated.

The stories of how the nonprofit organizations plan to use the donated masks illustrate the timeliness of the gift.  

●      Magnify Ministries’ Impact Yadkin will have masks for volunteers and families benefitting from their service.

●      Libraries with precious limited resources to purchase disposable masks for their unmasked patrons will now have a generous supply.

●      Boonville Business & Downtown Development will now be able to offer free masks at their Dewey’s holiday fundraiser for their community park.  

●      Yadkin Christian Ministries will distribute masks to volunteers and families receiving food.  

●      Smart Start will provide masks to new mothers and childcare centers.  

●      The Yadkin Family YMCA will have masks for their staff and students and for its upcoming holiday toy project.  

●      Cancer Services will provide masks to those under care during treatment and their families.  

●      The Salvation Army will provide masks to volunteers and families receiving emergency relief throughout Forsyth and Yadkin Counties.  

●      Other benefitting nonprofits include Yadkin Center of Surry Community College, Imprints Cares, Trellis Supportive Care, the Children’s Center of Northwest NC, Hispanic League, Crossnore School and Children’s Home, Crisis Control Ministries, Clemmons Food Pantry.

The impact of this remarkable gift will touch thousands of individuals throughout Yadkin and Forsyth Counties. And gratitude abounds for Indera Mills Company and its team as they continue a spirit of generosity and community care during times of need.      

This article was published in the Clemmons Courier and the Yadkin Ripple.