This hospital tucks something very special inside its stockings
Since the 1930s, Redlands Community Hospital has been swaddling December babies in cozy stockings sewn by local volunteers as a special gift to the parents.
The Linen Committee — a group of hospital auxiliary volunteers who mainly took care of sheets and towels — first started the project. By the 1960s, it had really taken off, and a full-fledged sewing committee was needed just to make the stockings.
Today, the yearly tradition is undertaken with the help of the Redlands Sewing Center and a strong community of people who want to keep the tradition alive.
"We accept all volunteers that are willing to come and help us out," says Sue Carlson, event coordinator at Redlands Sewing Center. "We don’t even ask them to bring their own machines. They use our store machines, so they just come down."
"Last year, we had a customer that came in just to buy something," she adds, "and we showed her what was going on, and she sat down for like an hour and donated some time. ... To me, that’s what it’s about."
Seeing people come together to make these stockings is an amazing thing. But what's even more amazing is seeing the heartwarming reactions to stocking-clad babies.
"We don’t really announce it," Nikyah Pfeiffer, marketing manager at Redlands Community Hospital, says. "It’s more of a pleasant surprise that we like to give to our patients."
Of course, some parents do know about the tradition — it's hard to keep something this adorable a secret from year to year — but that doesn't take away any of the magic.
That's because the tradition means a lot to the families. "I think it makes them feel like they’re a part of something bigger than just having their baby born in a hospital," Pfeiffer says. "It helps bring a sense of community, and they’re always grateful that they had their baby here."
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