In September 2014, Angel Gowns of WNY, a not-for-profit organisation, received a 501(c)(3) charitable incorporation. Their aim is to provide beautiful angel robes to families of infants who will never go home. The garments are made in Australia and trickle in from different teams. The charity has a growing list of families that would like to donate an angel robe to a child in need.
Aside from bringing comfort to the baby’s parents, angel gowns also aid in the grieving process of bereaved parents at the hospital. For example, one woman, Justine Deslauriers, lost her baby at 20 weeks of pregnancy. An angel gown made her stay in the hospital more bearable. A baby in an angel gown helps parents honor their child and capture memories. Those who want to remember their baby can wear an angel gown and take a picture of themselves with the baby.
Sunshine State Angel Gowns works out of their office in Altamonte Springs, Florida. Their goal is to help families in need throughout the entire state. They partner with several hospitals to ensure that supplies are always available. In case supplies run low, the organization personally delivers the items. Other services provided by Sunshine State Angel Gowns include memorial blankets for grieving mothers who have lost a child. This service also benefits the community by providing hope and healing.
Thousands of donated wedding gowns are accepted by Angel Gowns every year. For $100, donors can follow their dress’s journey from creation to delivery. They can even virtually meet the seamstress who made the dress. They can donate all of the gowns to a developing country or choose to send some back to the United States for donation. With your help, you can help these families feel comfort in knowing their loved one has a beautiful handmade garment to wear in his or her honor.
The creation of these dresses helps families deal with the loss of an infant. While the subject of pregnancy and infant loss is taboo, organizations that create angel gowns help these families cope with their most difficult days. The organizations that make these gowns also raise awareness of this sad condition. The founder of the nonprofit, Neal, lost her daughter at 17 weeks and wanted to provide support to bereaved parents. Neal has worked with people from all over the country and has a growing list of volunteers who have donated dresses for angel gowns. While this work is difficult and sensitive, the overall mission is to bring hope to these bereaved families.
While the Angel Gown Program is grateful for donations, the program relies on donations to cover the costs of shipping the garments to families who lost a loved one. Sadly, some ministries are not currently accepting wedding dresses. If you want to donate a wedding gown, you can find a list of angel gown ministries on the Angel Gown Project website. Some of the organizations do not accept wedding gown donations and instead dispose of the gowns. In some cases, angel gowns are ready-made and distributed.