Across the United States, mothers are losing babies to miscarriage and stillbirth at an alarming rate. These tragic losses happen often and in ways that aren’t easy to prepare for. Providing an infant burial gown can be a way to honor a baby that has died and give grieving parents one less thing to worry about.
Angel Gown Sewers
In Pennsauken, Jean Lee is bringing a little bit of joy to the lives of grieving parents by making tiny handmade angel gowns out of donated wedding dresses. She says that her goal is to let families know that they are not alone in their pain and that these dresses represent the love and compassion of others.
A Gown For Every Child
Throughout the country, groups are transforming donated wedding gowns into infant burial gowns for babies who have died or are too small to fit into regular burial outfits. These gowns are given free to families in hospitals, birthing centers and funeral homes.
The process of making these gowns can be heartbreaking and even a little overwhelming for some volunteers. But a handful of them will tell you that the experience has helped them heal.
“It is a very special project to work on, because it brings me back to my own child, and what my doctor told me,” said Ann Awerkamp Dickson. The Quincy woman has a passion for sewing and is now using her talent to help other mothers who are mourning the loss of their babies.
Neal started the organization in 2012 to provide support services to bereaved parents in memory of her daughter who died at 17 weeks pregnant. It has become a pillar of the community and has raised awareness about pregnancy and infant loss.
Her mission is to shed a light on this very taboo subject and make it more acceptable for parents. She says she has received requests from women who were born with a severe fetal abnormality or their pregnancy was terminated for medical reasons.
Donated Dresses Are Transformed Into Infant Burial Gowns
At no cost to the grieving family, Sunshine State Angel Gowns provides a gown made from a wedding dress that has been generously donated by caring people all over the country. The gown is delivered directly to the hospital along with a prayer card and a keepsake angel.
Donated dresses are also transformed into blankets and keepsake gowns for children who have died or were too small to be buried in an Angel Gown. These are often given to children who have been conceived through surrogacy or whose parents died in an accident.
Volunteers in rural areas are needed to help make these gowns. If you are interested in volunteering to help sew these gowns, please contact Angel Gowns of WNY at the link below.
The Angel Gown Program aims to help bereaved parents who are in need of a burial gown and keepsake angel for their baby. It is a service that can only be provided through donations and the hard work of volunteers like Ray.