KINGSTON — Joyous and overwhelmed, on Nov. 29 the ladies at the Kingston Food Bank accepted 40 glittery felt stockings. The colorful stockings were stuffed full of items for area boys and girls, 16 of whom are homeless.
“Wherever did you buy such beautiful stockings?” one Food Bank staff member asked.
“We didn’t buy them, we made them,” said Kingston Cove Yacht Club member Cheryl Graham.
Last Sept. 25, Graham received a phone call from Barb Fulton, director of the Kingston Food Bank, saying they had 40 children who desperately needed Christmas stockings this year. So, Nancy Martin set up her sewing studio so that Graham and her helper, Gloria Young, could stitch.
Two sewing machines stood at the ready, along with two cutting stations, and two ironing stations. The women chatted as they worked assembly-line fashion and switched jobs when they needed to exercise different muscles. Was it too early to have Christmas music playing in the background? Of course not; it helped set the mood. Graham kept an accurate count of the stockings as the ladies cut, stitched, pressed and turned the stockings right-side out, not even stopping for lunch.
Four hours later, all 40 stockings were ready for the next step — holiday embellishments by the ladies of the Kingston Cove Yacht Club.
On Oct. 10, 10 club members got together at the clubhouse to decorate each stocking with hand-cut appliques, glitter glue and a touch of love. The stockings were left to dry overnight and prepared for adoption by KCYC members at their next general meeting.
Each stocking was tagged with the gender and age of its future owner, and families of KCYC members each adopted a stocking for stuffing. The recipients were all youngsters this year, ranging in age from 3 to 15 years. Nine of the 21 girls were homeless, as were seven of 19 boys.
The filled stockings were returned to the clubhouse at the November general meeting, at which time KCYC also collected cash for turkeys and canned goods for the Food Bank.
“I find this very rewarding and I don’t mind the effort,” Graham said as she was helping pack up the stockings and food for delivery. “I feel every child deserves a stocking on Christmas morning. I can just imagine the smiles.”