Tom Cornish from Champlin, Minnesota, is a 96-year-old who was in the Navy during World War II and came home to raise five children with his wife, Lorraine. When she passed away, he married again, and he and his wife Marvel made volunteering a huge part of their life.
Marvel has since passed away, and with a life full of service, you’d think Cornish had earned his rest — but he’s dedicated to continuing to give back until he can’t anymore.
While Cornish started knitting decades ago, last year when things started shutting down, his daughter sent him a knitting kit to make hats using a loom. He gave it a try and hasn’t looked back since.
“There’s people here that want me to sell them to them, but I won’t,” he told KARE. “I give them to the Salvation Army.”
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In fact, he’s made 400 hats so far and has no plans to stop anytime soon. He wants to eventually make baby hats too and has taken on many apprentices at his complex.
“That one woman, she made more than 35 hats,” he said, referring to one of his students.
“Got to stay ahead of the Army,” he said, laughing.
He gets at least one hat done a day and takes regular breaks to read from his bible, which sits next to him.
“I feel like I’m working for the Lord, and that’s a good feeling,” he said.
“Other people are getting something out of my labor,” he added, explaining to CNN why he sits down and makes hats every day. “It’s better than playing cards or looking out the window.
“Volunteering does something to a person. You’re working for others,” he told KARE.
“This is how he got to be 96 years old, because he’s helping everybody else,” Cornish’s son Jerry said. “Everybody’s more important than he is, in his mind.”
Cornish’s philosophy is simple: “If someone needs something, give it to them.”
And when asked how long he plans to continue on knitting hats for those in need, his answer was equally simple and heartfelt: “until I take my last breath.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.