Nurses help the homeless by sewing mats from surgical wraps

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

FENTON Mo. – Operating room nurses and staff members at SSM Health St. Clare Hospital in Fenton are giving back to their community in a unique way.

“We all need help,” said Lesley Nikirk, director of Surgical Services.

The group meets at the hospital once a month to sew mats for the homeless.

“It will bring them comfort,” said Tiffani Murphy, an OR Analytics Coordinator.

The team doesn’t buy material from a fabric store. They make the mats out of blue wrap used to sterilize surgical instruments surgeons use during surgery.

“The wraps are collected before the patient enters the room or before the procedure ever occurs, so they are completely clean the whole time,” said team leader Jared Faurot.

Most of the seamstress—uh, nurses—didn’t know how to thread a needle let alone sew before they got involved in the project.

“I taught myself,” said Katie Gorman, a Resource OR Nurse.

The wraps are then donated to local food pantries like Circle of Concern.

“Just recently we had a family that was experiencing homelessness. We were able to help with a tent and some of these wonderful pads to help protect them from the cold ground,” said Cyndi Miller, Circle of Concern Executive Director.

St. Clare used to throw away thousands of blue wraps which ended up in landfills, but not anymore.

“We diverted 250 pounds of waste from away from the landfill,” said Jessica Eberhardt, OR Charge Nurse. The material, which is not bio-degradable, is now being recycled for a good cause.

“It’s been great knowing that we’re helping people in our own community,” Nikirk said.

About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.


Latest News

More News