Local nurse crochets 1,000 Christmas stockings for needy children

Lisa Pinter, a licensed practical nurse at Southington Care Center, right, and her son, Alex, prepare to be elves at the 96.5 WTIC-FM We Are The Children party held Christmas Day. Pinter crocheted 1,000 stockings which she donated to the event.

Lisa Pinter, a licensed practical nurse at Southington Care Center, right, and her son, Alex, prepare to be elves at the 96.5 WTIC-FM We Are The Children party held Christmas Day. Pinter crocheted 1,000 stockings which she donated to the event.

Lisa Pinter has had her hands full for the last three years—full of crochet hooks and yarn. A licensed practical nurse at Southington Care Center, when she wasn’t caring for the residents, she was crocheting thousands—probably millions—of stitches. She even crocheted while sitting in the stands at drag races, while her husband was out on the track. A Higganum resident, she stitched her way all over the country while on vacations to Hawaii and South Dakota.

Countless skeins later, her hands are idle because she has been able to cross off an item on her bucket list: crafting 1,000 Christmas stockings for needy children. The youngsters celebrated Christmas Day at the We Are The Children party, organized by radio station 96.5 WTIC-FM and held at the Hartford XL Center.

This was the 30th year for We Are The Children, a non-profit and 100 percent volunteer organization that has supported countless numbers of women’s and children’s causes.

It took three years for Pinter to stitch 1,000 stockings, so that every child could have one. After delivering 10 boxes to the radio station, she was interviewed on air by radio personality Gary Craig, founder of the event. “Every single stocking had her heart in it,” he said. “A project that took her nearly three years to complete stands as the ultimate example of giving of yourself.”

Renata Ogrodnik, Southington Care Center director of nursing, said she was amazed by Pinter’s accomplishment. The licensed practical nurse is just as dedicated to her job at the care center, where she has worked for 10 years.

“I love my residents and families,” Pinter said. “We have a good team.”

Although Pinter usually works at the care center on Christmas Day, she took the day off and volunteered as an elf at the party, accompanied by her son, Alex. She said that it was great to see parents and children toting the colorful stockings.

“I really don’t expect any recognition. That’s not why I did it,” Pinter said. “I did it for the kids.”

Southington Care Center, located at 45 Meriden Ave., offers skilled nursing and rehabilitation services, and is a not for profit member of Hartford HealthCare Senior Services. For more information about Southington Care Center, visit southingtoncare.org.

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