As part of a recent COVID-19 assistance package to local nonprofits, the Highland Community Foundation made a donation to TradeWinds Services for their ongoing effort to produce Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for NW Indiana healthcare workers. This donation was the only non-food related donation made as part of the assistance package. The other aid assistance addressed food needs for Highland residents.

HCF President Lance Ryskamp said the Foundation added support to the TradeWinds’ PPE Program to assist them in their work helping NW Indiana hospital and health care workers. “Even though the scope of TradeWinds’ work was bigger than just Highland,” Ryskamp said. “We wanted to, even in small way, help their great efforts to get frontline health care workers the protection they need and deserve.”

Leaders from TradeWinds explained the background of this new program. “We have had a sewing operation at TradeWinds for over 35 years supplying the Department of Defense with a variety of garments. We thought we would be able to produce a few items like masks and gowns for our local community during this time. So, we reached out to the community to see if there was a need for masks and gowns. We quickly found out that there was a tremendous need for both items in the community. Once, we figured out there was a huge need we began to work very quickly in order to get through the process of producing. From design to production took just about a week. It was a very fast pivot for us that required a lot of time and retooling of our current lines. We are now off and running and supplying a number of local hospitals and local first responders.”

Currently, the organization is hiring full-time sewing machine operators for their PPE program. They are willing to train interested workers. To see the job description, or to apply, go to

For more information on TradeWinds or to donate – please visit their website at