Angel gowns are a special way to comfort bereaved parents who have experienced miscarriage, stillbirth or a premature birth. These special outfits are made from donated wedding dresses or formal gowns and are given to bereaved families.
There are over 626,000 babies born each year through miscarriage, stillbirth or other causes and 1 in 4 of those will not be able to go home with their parents. These precious babies deserve to know that they are loved and have a memory to hold close.
In her Kingsville living room, Anita Schatz sews burial gowns out of donated wedding dresses and other dress wear to provide those who have lost a child a place to wrap up their child in. She says one donated wedding dress typically can make about 30 infant gowns that she ships to hospitals around the country.
She is always in need of material, ribbons, thread, gallon zip-lock bags and more. She keeps a plastic baby model by her side to help remind her why she’s making these gowns for the bereaved.
When she was a nurse, Judi Gibson often saw babies who had died during pregnancy and delivery. When she learned that Riley Children’s Health in Indianapolis had an Angel Gown program, she wanted to get involved.
To help, she enlisted the support of local seamstresses, many of whom are retirees. Shirley Travelstead, Edith Bryson and other women in the area all contribute their time to sew the funeral gowns for the families who are grieving from a loss of a newborn.
Fleury also enlists Maria’s Closet founder Ronna Luna to donate her beautiful wedding dresses. She then delivers them to her home in San Pedro where she and her volunteers add their finishing touches.
She knows how much it means to these mothers and their families when she gives them a personalized gown with their baby’s name and a special message on it. It is a gift that will give them something to treasure forever.
The Angel Gown Program was started by a dedicated group of people who want to offer their support and compassion during a difficult time in a grieving family’s life. It has since grown into an international program based in Guatemala.
Several nationwide ministries accept donated wedding dresses and repurpose them into various angel gowns to give to bereaved families who have lost a baby through pregnancy or other causes. These organizations are listed below, with contact information and links to their websites.
Kennedy’s Angel Gowns is a not-for-profit organization that accepts donated wedding gowns and formal attire to make infant burial gowns for the families who have lost a child due to miscarriage, stillbirth or other circumstances. The gowns are then distributed to hospitals, birthing centers and funeral homes for free.
These gowns are a very personal gift from the donor to the bereaved family, ensuring that they have something to wrap up their beloved baby in. These gowns are also a wonderful reminder of the beauty in life and help to bring some peace during an otherwise difficult time for them and their loved ones.