Angel gowns are small dresses that are sewn from old wedding gowns. These gowns are given to families who have lost a baby, and they can be worn at the burial ceremony or the funeral service. They’re a comfort to grieving parents, and also provide a way for them to remember their child.
Across the country, volunteer seamstresses are transforming wedding dresses into angel gowns for babies who pass away from illnesses or accidents. These gowns are given to parents and hospitals that work with the NICU, or neonatal intensive care unit.
In Indiana, Edith Gibson was reading a newspaper article about the Angel Gown Program at Riley Children’s Hospital when she realized she could help them. She immediately started getting donations of wedding gowns, and she began sewing them into beautiful dresses for babies who were stillborn or died in the NICU.
She soon joined a team of volunteers who make these dresses, and the group has spread around the state. Today, more than 50 people donate their time and talents to create these gowns for the babies they love.
The Angel Gowns Project is part of a group called NICU Helping Hands. It is a nonprofit organization that provides support to families of newborns who are in the NICU.
It was a devastating day for Tom and Deanna Williamson when they found out their son, Eli, had passed away. But they fortunately got a donated gown from Levine Children’s Hospital. The gown helped the Williamson’s feel some peace in what they knew would be a difficult time for them.
Kathleen Lateano, who lives near Charlotte in Lancaster County, S.C., doesn’t usually sew. She wanted to do something for another family, so she took a wedding dress she was no longer wearing to her local sewing circle.
As a team, the ladies of this community transformed her wedding dress into a gorgeous gown for a little boy who had passed away, and they’re making gowns for other babies, too. They’re also supplying them to hospitals in other states.
These gowns are also made into memory blankets for families to take home, which they can keep in their homes or to use at memorial services. Having something that looks like a christening gown for their infant is a great comfort for many families, says Mrs Grubbs.
She said she wanted to do something for the countless families who are facing such a devastating loss. ‘I just wanted to give them something that will remind them of their loved one.’
For more information about the Angel Gowns Project, please visit their website or Facebook page. You can also contact them directly to find out how you can get involved or volunteer.
You can also make a donation to the project. You can send money through PayPal or mail a check to the address on their website.
The program has already made a positive impact in hospitals nationwide. Several hospitals have established angel gown programs and are providing the gowns to bereaved families. Some are even donating them to other countries, as a way to provide hope and happiness to people who’ve lost a loved one.