NICU Helping Hands is working to make sure that those babies get a beautiful, one of a kind, angel gown to wear during their short time on this earth. There are more than 626,000 babies born through still birth or miscarriage each year, and the gowns are meant to give those families love, compassion and dignity in their time of loss.
The organization’s founder, Linda Soholt, has seen firsthand how the loss of a baby impacts a family. She lost her own son at 18 weeks gestation, and she walked away with a deep understanding of what these families are going through.
Soholt founded NICU Helping Hands to bring hope and comfort to these families. She and her team of volunteer seamstresses take donated wedding dresses and transform them into a soft, beautiful angel dress for little ones that won’t get to go home with their parents.
The gowns are given to hospitals, birthing centers, funeral homes and directly to grieving parents free of charge. In the Capital Region, hospitals that receive these gowns include St. Peter’s Hospital, Bellevue Woman’s Center in Amsterdam, Nathan Littauer Hospital in Gloversville, Albany Medical Center and Glens Falls Hospital.
In addition to the gowns, NICU Helping Hands also makes burial blankets and angel wraps that are used for these babies. They are made of white muslin fabric and have a small, embroidered cross on the front.
Every year, there are more than 626,000 infants who are born through stillbirth or miscarriage in the United States. The gowns are meant to give those families love, comfort and dignity in their time of loss. The program has been in operation since April 2014 and received 501(c) (3) nonprofit incorporation in September 2014.
Last year, Soholt began reaching out to people to find more dresses to turn into angel gowns for the tiny babies that might pass on. She said she was surprised to find how many people were willing to donate their dress. She even received a dress from an older man who wanted to donate it for his late wife; she had a stillborn baby many years ago.
Currently, there are more than 60 dresses waiting to be turned into a special angel dress. A single wedding dress can yield up to 12 delicate angel dresses for girls and boys of all sizes. These delicate angel dresses, which look like silk christening gowns for dolls, are then donated to hospital NICU units throughout the country.
PVHMC is proud to be the NICU Hospital of the Month for July 2023 and is grateful for the contribution from the Angel Gowns program.
For more information about the program and how you can help, please visit their website.
Every $30 donated can provide a golden keepsake angel, an angel gown, a memory blanket and a direct delivery into the hands and heart of a grieving family. Your generosity will give them hope in their time of loss.