HELENA — St. Peter’s Hospital Association held its 69th annual Arlene Mathews Sock Sew on Monday. And it was back in person for the first time since 2019.
For nearly 70 years all babies born in St. Peter’s hospital during the month of December receive a hand-sewn sock. As do all patients in the hospital on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.
The Sock Sew began with the work of former St. Peter’s obstetrics nurse, Arlene Mathews. Mathews passed away in 2020, but her legacy lives on through this holiday tradition.
“And it's a Helena tradition. And people look forward to it. And I know that some women that are having babies in December look forward to getting a stocking for their child,” says Team Leader for the Sock Sew, Nan Cervenka.
Tina Wooley is a mother to two children born in St. Peter’s. Her first child was born 23 years ago this month.
“Actually went into labor with her November 30th. And after the shock of that I was like, ‘Wait, it's November 30th. I can't have a baby today,’ And so, actually, she was born about 12:46 AM. And so, I was so excited,” says Wooley.
The very next December, she had another child at St. Peter’s, receiving a second stocking.
On Monday, around 30 or so volunteers gathered in St. Peter’s to dedicate their skills to creating new stockings. Every year around 60 babies and 110 patients receive a stocking.
“Well, I’m a very sentimental person. And so, having the stocking every year just was like I had something to look forward to. Like, every year I hung the stockings. I had one stocking, and then the next year I had another stocking. And so, it just became a tradition for us,” says Wooley.
While the sock sewing has commenced for this year, you can sign on for next year’s event.