Some people just have a big heart.  You know them when you meet them, they're the first to answer the call when someone is in need. They'll do it out of the goodness of their heart. Like Sandy Williamson.

Photo by YouTube via WCCO CBS Mpls
Photo by YouTube via WCCO CBS Mpls

Sandy Williamson has a rare disease and wasn't sure she'd live to 65.  So when she hit that age she decided to celebrate with a year of giving back. She bought a hand loom, spent lots of time on YouTube to learn how to use it and started making hats.  Then she moved forward looking for how to help.

The surprising thing is that Sandy lives in Hawaii.  That's a long way from Minnesota. But Sandy is a Wisconsin native.  Her sister told her about the work that Hats & Mittens in Hopkins, MN was doing and Sandy wanted to help.  According to their Facebook page, Hats & Mittens collects and distributes new and gently used hats and mittens across the Twin Cities.

In case you were wondering... It's not too late to sign up as a collector! We technically collect year round, but now through early spring is the perfect time to host a collection. To learn more or to sign up, visit: #SpreadTheWarmth #hatsandmittens

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When Sandy started knitting she told Hats & Mittens that her goal was to knit and donate 5,000 hats.  The charity was ecstatic, of course.  But remember that whole "year of giving back"?  Well she just hit her goal and says it took about 8 years.

It sounds like once she started giving she just could stop herself.  And there's no end in the future either.  She says that she feels like when she stops knitting, she stops as well.  Her efforts even inspired a children's book called Warmer With Hats and Mittens.

Photo by YouTube via WCCO CBS Mpls
Photo by YouTube via WCCO CBS Mpls

What's even more heartwarming is how her community has stepped up to help as well.  They rally around her and keep track of her goal, they offer donations for yarn and help by providing coupons too.  When she hit the 5,000 goal and took the box out to mail it, they all cheered for her hitting her goal.

Minnesota kids are warmer thanks to Sandy.  Her whole community is better with her in it.

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