December 22, 2021
Volunteers sew handmade stockings gifted to hospitalized community members and newborns during the month of December
St. Peter’s Health Association “Arlene Mathews Sock Sew” volunteers are celebrating 68 years of making handmade stockings for those who are hospitalized at St. Peter’s Health and babies born in the month of December at the Regional Medical Center (hospital).
The tradition was started by former St. Peter’s obstetrics nurse and long-time volunteer and association leader, Arlene Mathews. Mathews started the effort from her basement in 1953. She passed in 2020, but dedicated volunteers have ensured the long-loved tradition continues.
For the past two years, due to COVID-19, volunteers have divvied up sewing tasks and made stockings from the comfort of their homes instead of attending the traditional, in-person sewing event hosted at the Regional Medical Center. This year, 29 volunteers and their family members sewed and decorated stockings for community members who are in the hospital over the Christmas holiday.
Volunteer Nan Cervenka has been at the helm of the sock sew coordination for four years.
“If you have to be in the hospital for any reason over the holiday, our hope is that one of these stockings brings a smile to your face,” Cervenka said. “Plus, many people tell us that they still have their stocking from when they were born 30-40 years ago. It’s just really special and I am honored to be a part of it.”
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 votes on how to allocate the funds raised to support priority needs at St. Peter’s. Since its inception, the Association is approaching a million dollars in providing support to St. Peter’s Health.