Dedicated volunteers keep handmade stocking gift tradition alive

December 23, 2020

What was once a small seasonal activity that operated out of a basement 67 years ago has grown into one of the fondest holiday traditions at St. Peter’s Health – the St. Peter’s Health Association “Arlene Mathews Sock Sew.”

Recently renamed after the late event founder Arlene Mathews who passed away last summer, those who are hospitalized at St. Peter’s Health over the Christmas holiday and babies born in December are gifted a handmade stocking thanks to sock sew volunteers. Despite COVID-19, this tradition lives on but has reverted back to its roots. Instead of an annual sewing event at the Regional Medical Center, 27 volunteers and their family members sewed stockings and added embellishments from the safety of their home this year.

Nan Cervenka has been at the helm of sock sew coordination for the past three years.

“Keeping the tradition alive and well was more important than ever this year as strict visitor restrictions remain in place at the hospital this Christmas season due to COVID-19,” Cervenka said. “Because they can’t be at home with their loved ones, gifting these handmade stockings to our neighbors is the least we can do to bring holiday joy this year.”

The St. Peter’s Health Association is a volunteer organization that was formed in 1921 to support St. Peter’s Health in providing healthcare services. All the money raised by the Association is given to the hospital and Association members vote on how to allocate the funds raised to support priority needs at St. Peter’s. Since its inception, the Association is approaching one million dollars in support to St. Peter’s Health.

We appreciate the volunteers who dedicated their time and talents to make the 2020 Arlene Mathews Sock Sew a success:

Elena Edquest
Carol Ann Dagenais
Barbara Arthur
Lorna Mason
Diana and Rebecca Hargis
Joy Lustgraaf
Pam Fleisner
Robin Britt
Tina Screnar
Mary Twardos
Capri Gray
Peg Mathews
Barb Moore
Mary Schroeder

Judy Grebenc
Linda Wollitz
Denise Gianoulias
Karen Jones
Jane Hays
Mary Crosby
Hazel Greenwood
Marie Mullarkey
Darlene Staffeldt
Joan Smith