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Lafayette Square business owners give away nearly 1,000 masks

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Two Indianapolis entrepreneurs have teamed up, using their talents to help the community protect itself during the coronavirus pandemic.

In a time where everybody needs a mask for protection, Derin Graham, founder of Millennium Gear, and Kustom Kreations owner Miaesha Caldwell put their heads together.

“We started thinking about how we could give back,” Graham said.

They decided they would design their own masks and give a thousand away for free to anyone who pulled up to the Lafayette Square Mall parking lot on Friday. They made the event a drive-thru pick-up, for safety, giving away two masks per vehicle.

Once the word spread, people came out in big numbers. In fact, so many came that the line of cars started to wrap around the mall’s building.

“We’re filling a very important need [and] God gave us the gift and the supplies to do so,” Caldwell said.

After exchanging masks for “God bless you” and thank you messages from community members, they gave away nearly all of their supplies. Then, they took the leftovers downtown to Monument Circle to give away they rest.

Graham said the feeling it gave him goes beyond any business move he could make.

“It’s better than really anything you could possibly do,” Graham said. “We know that the need is there and we know that sowing seed and giving is what it’s all about really in life.”

Millennium Gear usually produces apparel for middle and high schools and numerous professional and amateur teams. It shares a location inside Lafayette Square Mall with Kustom Kreations, a full-service print shop specializing in embroidery, branding, and custom apparel.

Both businesses have shifted their operations to fill the needs of people dealing with the pandemic and even health care professionals on the front lines.