MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Nobody knows the importance of staying warm in the winter quite like Minnesotans do. A Dakota County woman wants to make sure everyone’s head and ears are protected from the cold.

At Augustana Care in Hastings, Corrie Rezachek knits hundreds of hats a year for people in need. It’s even more impressive when you find out the obstacles she’s had to overcome.

In this week’s Finding Minnesota, John Lauritsen shows us how Corrie’s sheer determination is helping others.

“Everything,” said Corrie Rezachek. “Sewing, knitting. About the only thing I didn’t do was tatting.” Since she was young, there’s been a crafty side to Corrie. But it’s knitting and yarn that allow her to unwind.

“And I enjoy it. It isn’t that, oh, I got to do it. Every day I look forward to getting up and starting a new one,” said Corrie. Years ago Corrie lost the ability to stand due to post-polio symptoms. But while her legs stopped working, there was nothing wrong with her hands. Then, life presented another major obstacle.

“I woke up one morning and my hand wasn’t working,” said Corrie.

A stroke left her without the use of her right hand and damaged her vocal cords. It was devastating, because Corrie had gotten in the habit of knitting a hat a day and every single one went to someone in need. She’d make and donate up to 300 hats a year.

“Corrie has such a big heart for people. And the first time we talked about her making the hats, I walked away with tears in my eyes because of the impact it had on me,” said Gordon Gathright, chaplain at Augustana Care.

She honestly thought about giving up, but perseverance and thoughts of the people she helps, got the better of her. It took time, but a determined Corrie taught herself to knit with just her left hand. Today, she’s back at it- knitting red baby hats for the American Heart Association. Bigger hats go to a homeless shelter in St. Paul.

“The fact that she has taken lemons and made the most wonderful lemonade in the world,” said Gordon. It takes her longer to finish a hat than it used to but it also takes a warm heart to make sure others stay warm.

“Very joyful. Very contented. That somebody who has no hat can have a nice, warm hat,” said Corrie.

There’s not a day that goes by that you won’t find her sitting and knitting. Through it all, Corrie’s weaved together quite a story. And until that last ball of yarn runs out she’ll do whatever it takes to put others before herself.

“Just the willingness she has to share out of her life in an abundant and fulfilling way…really, really cool. We’re blessed to have Corrie,” said Gordon.

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