by Craig Dirkes
Twin Cities, Minn., volunteer Tom Cornish prefers one activity in particular: knitting winter hats. Incredibly, he’s knitted 356 wool hats during the past year. Even more impressive: Tom is 96 years old!
Why does he knit so much? “I work for the Lord. That’s what it’s all about,” said Tom, a World War II veteran who’s been volunteering since high school. Tom has been knitting off and on for about 20 years. He began knitting regularly about a year ago soon after his wife passed away. He tries to knit at least one hat every day.
“Some days I knit two,” he said. “Each hat takes me about four hours. It keeps me busy.”
Each hat costs Tom almost $6.00 to make. “It’d cost about $9.00 per hat if I didn’t buy my wool on sale,” Tom said with a chuckle.
The Salvation Army gives Tom’s hats to hundreds of people in need throughout the Twin Cities—an essential outerwear component for those who live in a state infamous for its harsh winters.
“Tom is such a remarkable man, and he makes the greatest hats for our programs,” said Salvation Army warehouse manager Beth Koski, who meets with Tom regularly. “He is always so pleased to give his hats to those in need.”