Early last week, she thought she would tie-dye a pair of her socks in Seahawks green-and-blue. “They had just won” the NFC Championship, Gootee said.
Her inspiration was Russell Wilson, whose No. 3 jersey is displayed in her home. She knew of his weekly visits to patients at Seattle Children’s Hospital. “It popped into my head: “Let’s do socks for all the kids at Children’s.”
From the few moments it took to come up with the idea, the project developed from a one-and-done event to the making of 280 pairs of tie-dyed socks. The work spanned both days of last weekend and involved about a dozen other volunteers.
Among them was Linda Navran, a neighbor and a fellow Everett School District employee.
Navran joined the work party from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday and for another three-and-a-half hours on Sunday.
“It was pretty exciting, just the mountains of socks,” she said. “I thought it was a great idea. It’s always fun to get people together and do big group projects.”
Stephanie Montgomery, a senior at Central Washington University, drove up for the day Saturday to help. She is the girlfriend of Gottee’s son, Josh Gootee.
“I thought it was the coolest way to show you were a Seahawk fan, to give back like they do, especially on their way to the Super Bowl,” she said.
With so much work to be done, they worked out a system “kind of like a manufacturing line,” she said. “We all had different jobs.”
Gootee said she knows from her own experience how much gestures like the tie-dyed socks can mean to children undergoing medical treatments.
Her niece, Erin Hewitt of Vancouver, B.C., battled non-Hodgkin lymphomia and died at age 10. “The volunteers were so very helpful and generous during her stays at the hospital,” she said. The Seahawk sock project was done to honor her memory.
Janel Wohlers, who works in volunteer services at Seattle Children’s Hospital, said the Seahawks socks are one of several team-related donations that have been made to the hospital in the days leading up to the Super Bowl. They include some hats, T-shirts and close to two dozen scarves.
The Seahawk socks will be distributed in the hospital’s two playrooms, she said. The hospital plans to air the game on a big screen in its auditorium so patients, family and available staff can enjoy the game together.
Gootee said she and her husband plan to deliver the socks this afternoon. If there’s not enough for everyone who wants a pair, she said she’ll make more.
The project meant spending six-and-a-half hours Sunday hand-rinsing each sock before the final steps of washing and drying them.
Then the individual socks, scattered on her living room floor to dry, had to be matched with its tie-died partner.
“I knew it would be a lot of work,” Gootee said. “It’s totally worth it all.
“I want all the kids there, if they want a pair of socks, to have a pair of socks. It connects them to the team and gives them something fun to have.”
Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486; firstname.lastname@example.org.
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