There’s no other way to say this: A 109-year-old man is knitting penguin sweaters

Think your heart can handle some pictures of penguins wearing tiny knitted penguin sweaters? Do you? Hopefully the answer is “yes,” because that’s exactly what’s coming your way: A bunch of tiny little penguins wearing adorable tiny little sweaters. This isn’t even the part of the story that will tug on all of your heartstrings. Are you ready?

Here’s the heartstring part: Australia’s oldest living man who is 109 years old, Alfred “Alfie” Date, doesn’t spend his free time playing chess, checkers, and cards (all things my grandpa does basically every day). Nope, instead Alfie spends his time knitting penguin sweaters for injured penguins. Just let that sink in for a second. All of it.

Last March there was a pretty bad oil spill off the coast of Australia, and many penguins found themselves victim to this horrible environmental disaster. Not only that, but the type of penguin effected, simply called Little Penguins, are only native to parts of Australia and New Zealand! Something like a bad oil spill could quickly send these little guys onto the endangered species list, and that would be absolutely horrible. To prevent that, the Phillip Island’s Penguin Foundation began asking for tiny little sweaters to help these penguins — by wearing a sweater, the penguins aren’t able to preen their feathers, and preening is what might lead them to accidentally inject some of the toxic oil. Which would in turn lead to, well we won’t even say it. 

Two nurses at Alfie’s nursing home in Australia knew he could knit, and suggested that he start knitting these little sweaters. Alfie, hearing the call, jumped into action after the nurses brought him the needed supplies.

The Penguin Foundation wasn’t initially aware of the fact that Alfie was not only knitting them sweaters, but that he was also the oldest man in Australia. When they found out, they were quick to dub him, the “most senior little penguin jumper knitter.”

With all the knowledge on hand, they’re even more overwhelmed by his contribution. Penguin Foundation member, Danene Jones, exclaimed, “It’s amazing and we feel quite privileged to have him dedicating his time and effort to the Penguin Foundation.”

Yeah, we think it’s pretty impressive, too. Alfie is 109 years old, and still giving back to this here world. This whole adorable-ness also makes us think of the koala bear mitten sensation which came out of Australia recently. Also the kangaroo pouches that people were knitting for joeys in Australia.

Well two things are now totally official. 1) Australia has the absolute cutest knitting needs. And 2) Alfie has totally won our hearts.

Image via here and here.