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Press release

Centra Revives Heartwarming Tradition at Virginia Baptist Hospital: Welcoming December Babies with Festive Stockings

Published on Wednesday November 29, 2023

In the spirit of the holiday season, Centra Virginia Baptist Hospital (VBH) is joyously resurrecting a heartwarming tradition aimed at celebrating the arrival of every December newborn. 

Years ago, volunteers at VBH handcrafted special stockings for each baby born during December, ushering in the festive spirit and crafting cherished keepsakes for families. After a hiatus, the Centra Volunteer Services Team, under the leadership of Sylvia Beamer, Volunteer Services Director at Centra, recently announced the revival of this heartwarming tradition. 

"At my former hospital, volunteers crafted stockings each year, and we decided to start this festive and keepsake tradition again at VBH," shared Sylvia Beamer. She added, "The VBH Volunteer Auxiliary generously donated the funds to purchase the felt necessary to craft these stockings." 

The initiative was brought to life with the dedicated efforts of Centra Volunteer Cindy Wruck, who designed the stocking pattern. Cindy, along with volunteers Freeda Manley, Lozetta Johnson and Fay Hill committed themselves to cutting and sewing a total of 250 stockings for this year's December babies. Their enthusiasm for reinstating this tradition was evident with Lozetta Johnson describing it as "a labor of love for our new December babies." 

Designed to accommodate newborns weighing seven to eight pounds, the stockings will allow parents to take special pictures of their babies nestled inside. Santa Claus will also be making a special visit to the Mother/Baby Unit at VBH on November 30 to deliver the first sack of stockings to newborns and their families. In addition to the stockings, each newborn will also receive a handcrafted Christmas hat, knitted with care by one of the many talented VBH volunteers.