NewsPay It Forward


Man, 91, in hospice care knits hats for the homeless

Posted at 9:33 PM, Aug 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-07 22:25:16-04

GRANDVILLE, Mich. — At 91 years old and despite being ill, Morrie Boogart is still keeping busy. He's been knitting hats for the homeless for more than 15 years.

He stopped counting after making 8,000 of them.

Boogart is in hospice care: with skin cancer and a mass on his kidney, he does it all from his bed. He's slowing down now, only making about one hat every two days, but he says learning to knit is one of the best things that's ever happened to him.

Slowly but surely, stitch by stitch, Morrie Boogart knits.

"You keep going around like that, one at a time and pull it over that peg," explains Boogart. "Keep it going all the way around. I do it awfully slow, it maybe takes me two days to make a hat."

He spends his days in hospice care at Cambridge Manor in Grandville, slowly wrapping yarn around the pegs of the loom one by one.

"The only time I'm not doing it is if I fall asleep," confesses Boogart.

There are boxes of hats ready to be delivered to shelters throughout Grand Rapids and bags of yarn waiting to be knit.

"The hats have a rim around the edge to cover their ears and keep them nice and warm," said Boogart.

Boogart doesn't know how much time he has left, but he's making that time count.

"Why do I do it? It just makes me feel good," said Boogart. "I know I have to be here, but I don't do it very fast."

Boogart is a humble man: helping people his entire life and asking for nothing in return.

"This has been the best thing that's happened to me because I just stay in my room," said Boogart. "I'm a bed patient for everything."

For now, he's working on getting more hats ready to be delivered in October, with a photo of his wife who has passed on, Donna Mae, to his left and a box of yarn to his right.

"It's not so much of a story, but it means a lot to me," said Boogart.

If you'd like to donate yarn or hand-made hats to Morrie, donations can be brought to Cambridge Manors located at 151 Port Sheldon Road in Grandville.