Annual volunteer Christmas Stocking program gearing up

December 19, 2022

LETHBRIDGE — Volunteers will be filling more than 630 Christmas stockings with assorted items this week for the annual Operation Christmas Stocking project at Chinook Regional Hospital (CRH). 

From 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 20 one-of-a-kind hand-made stockings created by volunteers will be stuffed with small gifts to be left at every patient’s bedside for a Christmas-morning surprise. The stockings have been providing cheer for more than 40 years since being launched by a group of nurses in the old Municipal Hospital. 

The project is generously sponsored by Friends of Chinook Regional Hospital, who donate money to buy the stocking stuffers. The Friends are a volunteer-led organization that operate the Gift Shop and the TV/Phone program at Chinook Regional Hospital. All proceeds are used to benefit Chinook Regional Hospital in support of patient care and programs.

Students from local schools and community volunteers help by creating fabric stockings, and writing ‘Letters of Hope’ to patients. Volunteers gather to stuff the stockings, which are delivered to the nursing units by Christmas Eve. Nursing staff who work the night shift are asked to act as Santa's elves and deliver the stockings. Emergency also receives stockings for new admissions.

The project is co-ordinated by Volunteer Resources and involves about 500 volunteers through all phases of the project. 
Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.