Maranatha resident Ron Christianson can be found looming most days. No, not looming over someone and making them feel uncomfortable. It’s quite the opposite. Ron looms warm, cozy hats. With skeins of yarn he purchases online, he creates countless hats and gives them away to various organizations and people. Most recently, Ron donated more than 100 hats to his Elks Lodge for a Craft Show they were hosting. Proceeds from the Craft Show (including hat sales) support the Elks benevolent programs and initiatives throughout the year.
An active member of the Brooklyn Park Elks Lodge for 44 years, Ron has served in many leadership positions. For 19 years he served as Secretary and he held every other Officer position at one time or another. “We do a lot of things there for veterans, seniors, and kids. We even have a youth camp up on Pelican Lake in Nisswa, MN. The Elks send about 500 kids to that camp each year at no cost to the parents,” he said. Ron used to volunteer at the youth camp as well.
“It’s been a love,” he said, “I’ve always believed it’s more of a blessing to give than to receive. People give me things, but I really don’t prefer that. I’d much rather give things away.”
Ron gets involved wherever he is. In 2008, he volunteered at a rehabilitation center in Golden Valley. That’s where he first noticed an activities worker looming. “I watched her for a while and saw how things turned out. I thought to myself, I think I could do that,” he recalled. Ron asked her to show him how to get started, take him through the steps, and how to finish off the items. Ron was a quick study. “She created a monster,” he laughed.
When asked why he loves making hats, Ron responded “they’re really warm.” He added, “I can make hats while I’m watching the Twins, the Vikings, or a movie.”
Although Ron says he doesn’t have a favorite hat, he has received some special requests and enjoys experimenting with various colors and patterns. Like the patriotic hat that he created by intertwining red, white, and blue yarn. “It’s really trial and error,” Ron said. “I was asked if I could make a hat that could be used with a ponytail and I’m thinking that could be done. That might be something else I’ll work on,” Ron pondered out loud.
Not one to stop learning or enhancing his craft, Ron has left a trail of scarves, headbands, lap blankets, and a baby bunting. His teacher from back in 2008 would be happy to know her protege has taught himself to go beyond the basics. He has also set his sights on learning to knit with knitting needles so he can begin making lighter weight hats that can be worn throughout the year.
When he’s not looming hats, Ron spends time volunteering at Feed My Starving Children and the local food shelf, plays bingo, attends Singspiration in Maranatha’s chapel, and enjoys tackling even the most challenging puzzles. Although Ron has only lived at Maranatha since May of this year, his impact on the community is significant. Ron leaves an impression on people wherever he goes because Ron gives like he looms – large.
At Presbyterian Homes & Services (PHS), we’re blessed to know and serve residents like Ron. If you’re interested in learning more about living, volunteering or working at one of our 49 locations, contact us today.