For years, Helen Morton of Winter Park, Fla., and formerly of South Paris, knitted mittens. In November a cardboard box arrived at the Hebron Community Baptist Church filled with her colorful mittens in all sizes.

Morton, daughter of the owner of Paris Manufacturing Co., was born in a New Hampshire logging camp, became a college teacher and counselor at Birch Rock Camp in Waterford. When she retired she stayed connected with her Maine community. On Sept. 9, 2007, she turned 100 years old and yet she still packed up her fine mittens for Hebron children.

Ministers have come and gone since Miss Morton began seeing that Hebron children have warm hands in the winter. Reverend Bob Crist and his wife Marion initiated the custom of a mitten tree in the sanctuary, decorated with lights and Miss Morton’s mittens. Anonymously, Mrs. Crist mailed pairs to surprise needy kids over the holiday.

This Christmas, arranging mittens on the tree at Hebron Community Baptist was part of the Hanging of the Greens early in Advent. Miss Morton’s mittens were joined by pairs from other knitters. After the holiday, the mittens and knitted hats went to Hebron Station School, Elm Street School in Mechanic Falls and the Androscoggin Head Start program.

Soon after she sent her mittens in late November, Helen Morton became ill and on Dec. 27, passed away. With reverence we recall her steadfast determination to warm the hands and hearts of Maine children.

Helen Davidson, Hebron

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.