A 94-year-old retired pastor is showing that, when it comes to making a difference, age is just a number.
Shelley Shellenberger of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is spending his time these days meticulously making knitted hats for adults and children living in Eastern Europe — an effort he works on in collaboration with Christian Aid Ministries, an organization based in his home state, according to Lancaster Online.
It’s a kind act that Shellenberger has been engaged in for the past 10 years, bringing his total knitted hat count to at least 1,150, which is a wildly impressive number, considering the labor that goes into each one.
Watch him knitting for a good cause below:
In an interview with Lancaster Online, the former dairy farmer and Mennonite preacher explained how his sister-in-law taught him to use the loom in 2007 and, from there, his hat-making began.
“I never thought I would make so many caps. I can make one in a day,” Shellenberger told the outlet. “But it usually takes me two days. I just make them at my leisure.”
His 76-year-old wife, Mildred, helps too, choosing the colors, taking the finished hats off of the frame and sewing pompoms at the top. Then, when the hats are finished, she puts each in a bag, labels whether they are for a child or adult and then brings them to the Christian Aid Ministries office.
From there, the hats are shipped along with other clothing to people in need in places like Russia, Moldova or the Ukraine. Mildred Shellenberger even keeps a record of each cap that’s made — the size, the date completed and other related details.
“She keeps track of everything,” her husband said with a chuckle, noting his gratitude for her record-keeping skills, as, at almost 95, he is pretty forgetful.
Shelley and Mildred Shellenberger got married in 1998 after Shelley had earlier suffered a stroke in 1993, a health scare that ended his 21-year pastoral career at Mount Joy Mennonite Church; he also lost his first wife, Margaret, in 1996.
Now, the two — who believe God brought them together — are partners in helping make these hats for those in need. In the end, Shelley Shellenberger’s story is remarkable, as it shows one is never too old to make a difference in the lives of others.
Read more about his efforts here.
(H/T: Lancaster Online)
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