Angel gowns are tiny burial outfits stitched together from donated wedding dresses, made for families who have lost their child. They’re available to hospitals, birthing centers and to bereaved parents directly from organizations that make them across the country.
Judi Gibson, a nurse at Riley Children’s Health in Indianapolis, Indiana, saw the need for these gowns. She enlisted the help of local seamstresses like Edith and Shirley Travelstead.
Many of these women are retired and active members of their local churches. They sew the gowns as they have time during their week, and even take the time to add personal touches to each one.
These gowns are especially meaningful to families who have lost babies prematurely, such as the dozens of newborns Judi helped bring home from Akron Children’s Hospital in Akron, Ohio. It’s a way to memorialize them, she said. They’re also a comfort to the patients and their family.
In addition to the gowns, the program also provides bonnets and keepsake pillows to grieving families. They’re offered for free.
The organization collects used wedding dresses and repurposes them into infant burial gowns, angel gowns, bonnets and other keepsake items that are given to bereaved families for free. It’s a project that helps bolster the quality of grief care for families who have suffered pregnancy or infant loss, says Alisha Neal, founder of Angel Babies, a nonprofit in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts.
“When a baby dies, it’s a really painful experience,” she said. She hopes that her organization can improve the kind of grief care given to bereaved parents by offering these special outfits.
As a bereaved parent herself, Neal has seen firsthand how these gowns can provide much-needed support to grieving parents and help them remember their children. She says that when she visits a hospital, she can see that the staff and nurses are genuinely interested in helping these families get through this difficult time.
She thinks it’s because people want to be part of the community, and they want to do something for someone in need. She believes these gowns are also a way to raise awareness and help bereaved parents feel less alone in their grief.
Jessica Angel Prom Dresses
If you’re looking for a showstopping formal look that’ll turn heads, consider a dress from the Jessica Angel collection. These formal gowns, prom dresses and cocktail dresses are designed by designer Alice Aloy and feature elegantly sensual silhouettes that frame a woman’s figure from every angle.
The line’s mermaid dresses and short cinched-waist prom dresses are both graceful and flirty. With a wide variety of colors, fits and styles to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect fit for your next big event.
You can help the Jessica Angel project by donating your own wedding dress or by making a financial gift. With your donation, you’ll receive a keepsake golden angel and a beautiful box of angel gowns and other bereavement supplies that are delivered right to the hands and hearts of hurting families in need.