Sock Sew tradition continues for St. Peter's newborns and patien - KXLH.com | Helena, Montana

Sock Sew tradition continues for St. Peter's newborns and patients

Posted: 12/04/2017 20:45:00 -07:00 Updated:

A St. Peter's Hospital holiday tradition is underway once again.

Volunteers are sewing stockings for patients and babies born in December as part of the annual Sock Sew.

The 64-year-old tradition was started by Arlene Mathews, a former St. Peter's nurse.

"It started in my basement, my home, and then it got bigger and bigger so we moved to the hospital," she said.

Mathews said that when the event first started, only a few volunteers made socks for an average of around 30 newborns. 

It now takes around two dozen volunteers to make sure the babies born at St. Peter's, sometimes around 70, receive the special gift. 

"It's exciting for me to take the socks up to the OB/GYN floor and have them be so excited about it every year," Mathews said. "They are just thrilled to do it."

The idea is that new parents will be able to bring their newborns home inside of a large, handmade, decorated stocking.

The stockings display holiday designs such as Christmas trees, ginger bread cookies, candy canes, and more.

Smaller stockings are stuffed with fruit and candy for patients who have to spend the holiday in the hospital.

Mathews has been friends with fellow volunteer Elaine Power for years and Power said she will continue to contribute to the Sock Sew.

"I just think it's great that so many women come out and do this project because it's so neat to have these babies born around the Christmas holiday to be able to come home in something different," Power said. 

Megan Gullickson works at St. Peter's Hospital and she foresees Sock Sew continuing for generations to come.

"I think this is something that will continue on through the hospital," she said. "I think a lot of people take pride in volunteering for this activity and making sure the patients get something when they leave."

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