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WWII Veteran Knits Hats For The Homeless

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

A World War II veteran has been serving his country one more time by knitting. Tom Cornish has spent 1,460 hours making hats during the pandemic.

TOM CORNISH: And I'm working on hats every day.

INSKEEP: Mr. Cornish of Minnesota is 96. He's been knitting for more than 20 years. And the pandemic left him with fewer visitors and more time to knit. So he set a goal. Knit at least one hat for the Salvation Army every day.

T CORNISH: I see these people that really need some clothing. And they're cold and hungry, can't afford either one. So I'm hoping that some of these people will know that the Lord is in their lives if they want him.

NOEL KING, HOST:

Mr. Cornish has been volunteering for the Salvation Army since he was in high school, except for the years he was serving in World War II.

T CORNISH: I got out of high school, and I went right into the Navy. And I got over into the Pacific as far as I could go. And the war ended, and I came back from there.

INSKEEP: That was then. And now Mr. Cornish knits hats for seniors and newborns alike, none of which surprises his son Jerry.

JERRY CORNISH: I really appreciate my dad. He is really giving his life for other people.

T CORNISH: I really enjoy helping others. Others really come first.

KING: Tom Cornish is now vaccinated, and he can have visitors, but he's still being careful. And he says he sees no reason to stop knitting now. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.