Mitten tree revived in Saluda

Published 6:25 pm Thursday, December 9, 2010

Saluda Medical Center (SMC) recently revived a tradition established by the WIC office in the 1980s a mitten tree. Now known as Mittens and More, SMC staff are distributing mittens, caps, socks and scarves to their young patients.

Also being distributed are vouchers for merchandise from A Thrifty Barn, the thrift store of the Saluda Community Center. The efforts are financed by a seasonal grant from the Polk County Community Foundation (PCCF). PCCF has funded other Polk County organizations with grants to help citizens this season; food, heat, clothing and other necessities are provided.

June Taylor, retired director of WIC, is still an employee of SMC. She says that the mitten tree was so popular that it is still remembered by the children who received gifts, many of whom are now adults with children of their own. The word spread that it was being revived and the interest spread as well.

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Amy Copeland, administrator of SMC, said the impetus for the revival came from two of her staff, Amy Mills and Lorraine Whitson, who wanted to do something for their patients for Christmas.

The Saluda Library branch of the Polk County Library will be hosting a Christmas activity for children during the Saluda Hometown Christmas Stroll today. Librarian Bob McCall invited SMC to come and distribute Mittens and More during the event. The library was decorated by the Saluda Petal Pushers Garden Club. Also involved in the librarys activities are the Saluda Womans Club, whose members will provide cookies and cider for strollers. Entertainment will be provided by a Suzuki violin ensemble.