HELENA – Dozens of volunteers embraced their creativity Monday as they handcrafted holiday themed stockings for newborns.
The work is a tradition at St. Peter’s Health where volunteers sew the socks to give to every baby born at the hospital in the month of December as well as to patients hospitalized around Christmas.
Arlene Mathews, a former St. Peter’s Nurse, started the sock sew in 1953 in her basement with only about 30 socks made that year. Now, over 100 will be sewed by the volunteers.
This year is also special as Mathews stepped down as lead coordinator of the sock sew, leaving Nan Cervenka, a 10 year volunteer, in charge of organizing the event.
“I just want to say thank you for all the help that I’ve received over the years and for the help today. I think it’s just tremendous,” Mathews said.
Cervenka said Monday’s turn out was some of the best she’s seen, counting more than 40 volunteers.
“The turn out is fantastic, so we have jobs for everybody,” Cervenka said.
Cervenka said it’s not uncommon for adults in their thirties to still have the original stocking that they were sent home in.
Volunteers assemble two types of stocking: large ones for newborns and smaller ones for any hospitalized patient around Christmas.
“I just think it’s a great thing that the community comes together and does, and it’s a great thing that St. Peter’s supports it,” Cervenka said.