Angel gowns are special outfits for babies who passed away, typically after an extremely short stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). They are made from wedding dresses or other donated items. These outfits are intended to give comfort to bereaved parents and their loved ones. For example, they may be used for a memorial ceremony or family visit to a hospital.
There are many organizations that make angel gowns. Some of them are a nonprofit charity that specializes in making these outfits for bereaved families. Others are simply volunteer groups that sew these outfits. Other organizations donate them to local hospitals and funeral homes. However, one organization in particular makes an effort to turn donated wedding dresses into beautiful burial gowns for newborns.
Aside from being a philanthropic endeavor, the Angel Gowns program also helps alleviate grief in hospitals. The organization has spent more than three-quarters of a million dollars sending these gowns to hospitals in the last year. This cost includes monetary donations, as well as volunteers who turn donated wedding dresses into little gowns for babies who were not so lucky.
As part of a larger NICU Helping Hands initiative, the Angel Gowns project is part of a larger mission to help women and their families. The program offers free kits to grieving families, including a specially designed infant burial gown, a keepsake baby blanket, and a heart-shaped pin for parents. Although the program isn’t limited to the United States, the best way to donate is to donate to your local angel gown group or hospital.
One organization that makes the actual baby-sized gowns is West Coast Angel Gowns. This program works with Jordyn’s Gift, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing support to the bereaved and their families. Another organization, Hillary’s Cherished Gowns, is a volunteer group that sews the baby-sized bereavement gowns.
The Angel Gowns Project has a warehouse full of donated wedding dresses. These gowns are custom-made to the specifications of each recipient, which are typically smaller babies, newborns or small children. In the end, these outfits are a big hit. During their most recent shipping period, the group sent over 5,000 garments to hospitals and bereaved parents across the country.
Although not the largest nonprofit in the country, the Angel Gowns project has a lot going for it. It helps women get their bearings, finds their purpose, and provides comfort to the bereaved. Even the smallest donation can be a huge lift for a family dealing with infant loss.
For example, the smallest size gown available is for babies who are born at just 14 weeks of gestation. The biggest angel gown, however, is the one that can fit a baby who is more than 13 pounds. Of course, the best thing about the Angel Gowns is that every family that receives one gets to see it.
While the aforementioned angel gown is the most common, there are other outfits that can provide relief to bereaved parents. For example, the Little Angel Gowns group in Fort Wayne, Indiana, sews baby-sized outfits in their home.