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Donate Wedding Dresses to Charity

Many brides choose to preserve their wedding dress as a keepsake or hand it down to the next generation. But others would rather see it hit the dance floor a second time. Fortunately, there are a number of charities that accept gown donations. The organizations offer a variety of benefits, including the joy of giving and possibly a tax deduction (though that is more difficult now because of new COVID-19 guidelines). Additionally, donated dresses can help fill closets for those who can’t afford to purchase a new one. Angel Gowns: The nonprofit organization, based in Oneida, N.Y., is a great option for brides in the Capital District who want to give their gown a second life. The group supports families who lose an infant, offering support resources and mentoring programs as well as specially-made gowns and garments for the baby’s final journey. To donate, contact the organization through its website. Brides for a Cause: The organization sells donated dresses at its retail stores to raise funds for breast cancer early detection and awareness programs. It also supports a number of women-focused charities nationwide, including the Loveland Foundation, Dressember, Joyful Heart Foundation and Girls Who Code. Donated dresses designed within five years are accepted. Prom Dresses for Kids: The organization has locations throughout the country and takes in prom dresses as well as flower girl dresses and accessories. The items are sold at a discount and proceeds benefit youth mentoring, outreach events and professional counseling for survivors of sexual assault. To donate, visit the organization’s website to find a location near you. KEMP Hospice: The UK charity accepts wedding dresses to sell in its dedicated Bridal Room at its Coventry Street store. The money raised goes back into the community to help local people living with a life-limiting illness and their families. Dresses are sold for a minimum of £150, with the best sellers being displayed in the shop window. Wedding dresses aren’t the only items the organization accepts: It also accepts veils, hats, shoes and jewelry. The organization outfits military and first responder brides for free at its Operation Wedding Gown events twice a year. Brides wishing to donate can fill out an online form and are contacted with further instructions only if their dresses meet the organization’s acceptance criteria. The charity has outlets across the country, but it’s best to call ahead to make sure your local Salvation Army accepts gowns and if they have a specific drop-off schedule. To save the charity volunteers’ time, it’s a good idea to label the box with helpful information like its size and brand/designer name, as well as the year it was purchased and its original price. This will help expedite the process and prevent confusion. The organization also provides tips for preparing and packing your dress for donation, so it arrives in perfect condition. It’s especially important to use a sturdy, durable bag or suitcase to protect the gown from any damage during transit.

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Angel Gowns For Infants Who Die During Pregnancy

For the families who lose a baby during pregnancy, birth or shortly after, special garments known as angel gowns offer comfort and a way to honor their precious little one. These special outfits are crafted from wedding dresses or prom dresses, and come with a hat, blanket, keepsake charm and heart or cross. The gowns are given free of charge to families who may not have anything to bury their child in. For a group of seamstresses in Minnesota, the project is extremely rewarding. They meet monthly to transform donated dresses and help families in their community. In 2014, Edith Hauer, 69, read about the Angel Gown program at Riley Children’s Health in Indiana and knew she had to do something. A retired nurse and skilled seamstress, she recruited an army of volunteers who meet monthly in the basement of All Saints Lutheran Church in Darwin to turn donated dresses into the final outfits for infants who die during birth or shortly after. Every year, in the United States alone, 626,000 babies are lost during pregnancy, either through still birth or miscarriage. Those losses are often hidden away from the public because of the taboo nature of infant loss, but nonprofit organizations like the ones Hauer oversees have stepped in to shed light on these heartbreaking events. They collect dresses and donate them to hospitals across the country, where grieving families can receive a unique piece of clothing for their unborn baby. Another volunteer who works with the organization, Susan Arnold, says that the gowns help to take some of the pain out of a traumatic experience for parents. She says she feels a particular connection to the work of the group, as her own daughter died in utero. “I know how hard it is for parents to find a way to honor their loss,” she said. The nonprofits are run entirely by volunteers, who make the gowns out of their own clothes or repurposed dresses from thrift shops and garage sales. They also collect donations to purchase the materials needed to create the outfits. Some of the volunteers’ children and grandchildren also get in on the action, sewing hats, blankets and other accessories for each gown. They even sew bells onto each outfit, inspired by the ending of the movie It’s a Wonderful Life, in which Jimmy Stewart’s character gives Clarence the angel wings that will guide him to heaven. Fleury, who founded Angel Gowns of the South Bay in 2018, has been a fabric designer and artist for years, but it’s this type of work that brings out her best skills. Her team of seamstresses, who meet monthly at Waterfront Studios, her home-based studio on San Pedro’s waterfront, focuses on keeping the women uplifted during a labor of love that can be emotionally draining. The organization has received an outpouring of support since its inception, and is currently working on its first annual fundraiser in February. Its upcoming event will include a raffle for a custom-made angel dress, as well as a silent auction and dessert party. The organization plans to provide more than 150 dresses in the next year, but they need donations to keep up with demand.

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A Child Funeral is a Special Service That Honors a Child

Children often have unique questions and concerns about death. A child funeral is a special service that honors the life of a child and offers comfort to those who have lost a child. A funeral can be a time to remember the hopes and dreams you had for your child. It is a time to share memories of your child and connect with other people who loved them. A celebration of life ceremony, a memorial service or a graveside service are all ways to remember your child and honor them. Some families choose to arrange a funeral for their infant or child with a funeral home, while others choose to organize the service themselves. In either case, it is important to include your child in the planning process. Talk with them and listen to their questions and concerns. A funeral director can help make suggestions based on the child’s age and comfort level. They can also provide special touches, such as a casket lining or ceremonial shroud made from the child’s favorite blanket, doll bed or sports team jersey; an open or closed casket; a baby or children’s memorial table; or a funeral vehicle decorated with their name, birth date and/or a photo of them. During the visitation period and funeral, it is important to talk with your child about what they will experience. During this conversation, it is appropriate to explain that their sibling is no longer alive and will not come back. It is also helpful to explain that some people have closed caskets and that their sibling will not be able to see them. It is also important to reassure them that their sibling cannot feel cold, pain or fear. If your child wants to view their sibling’s body, it is best to do so with close adult supervision. The viewing may be more difficult for young children and it is normal if they become upset. Some families find it comforting to give the children a snack or beverage during the viewing and to offer them some breaks from the crowd. If you are having a funeral service, it is a good idea to prepare a booklet that lists what will happen in the service for your guests to take with them. This can be a simple handout or a more professional brochure. A point person can be assigned to any child who may need a break during the service. If they leave, it is important to have a trusted adult who can bring them back and be a comfort to them.

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How to Select Baby Clothing

The arrival of a new baby is an exciting time for families. However, it is also a time of many new responsibilities. One of the most important concerns is selecting the right clothing for your little bundle of joy. The wrong fabrics can irritate sensitive skin, cause rashes or even cause dermatitis. The skin of babies is up to five times more delicate than that of adults. It is therefore important to choose clothing made from natural materials, such as cotton. If possible, opt for organic cotton. This is better for the environment and also supports farmers who work under fair conditions. Additionally, organic fabric does not contain harmful pesticides and fertilizers. It is best to purchase clothing that is labeled as organic, or certified OEKO-TEX 100 percent organic. Comfort is another important consideration when choosing baby clothing. Infants spend much of their time sleeping, so they need soft, comfortable garments. Most newborns wear bodysuits and sleepers, which cover their entire bodies except for their feet. These are worn during the day and night, and can be supplemented with bibs for feeding time. In warmer weather, young infants often wear t-shirts or short sleeve dresses, which can be worn with leggings for warmth. For more formal occasions, infants might wear scaled down adult style clothing such as mini-tuxedos. When shopping for baby clothes, it is best to try on a few styles and sizes before making a purchase. Babies grow quickly, and repeated washes can shrink clothing. In addition, some brands run a bit larger than others, so it is wise to buy a slightly bigger size. This allows for a bit of room to grow, and you can always roll up sleeves or pants on the garment if it is too big, as babies tend to have growth spurts from time to time. Babies spend a lot of time in the laundry, so they need durable, washable clothing. Look for fabric that will hold up to poop explosions, spit up and constant machine washing without becoming misshapen or pilling. Also, consider whether the garments are easy to put on and take off. Having to struggle with zippers or buttons while changing your baby can make the experience difficult and stressful. Look for onesies with snaps or zippers that are easily accessible for quick diaper changes. Buying clothes that are both comfortable and stylish is always a good idea. When you are shopping for baby clothes, be sure to look for a wide selection of colors and styles. It is also a good idea to shop in person, as this will allow you to see and feel the clothing before you make a purchase. You can also ask the sales associate for recommendations based on your child’s gender and age, as well as your budget. In addition, you can also find out if the store offers personalization services. This can be a great way to give a special baby gift that will last for years.

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Choosing Burial Gowns For Your Loved Ones

When a loved one passes, you may be overwhelmed by the choices available to dress them for their final journey. You may want to choose a suit or dress that reflects your loved one’s style or personality, or you might prefer something more traditional. Some people may even wish to wear jewelry that was sentimental or important to them in life. Many funeral homes have a selection of clothing and jewelry to choose from for your deceased family member. However, if you’re looking for a more personalized look, you can also turn to independent designers who specialize in bespoke burial attire. These artists use a combination of design, anthropology, forensics, fiber science, and more to create outfits for the dead. Burial gowns are designed to fit over a human body, and they usually have high necklines and long sleeves to hide any scarring that could be left from a person’s passing. They are typically made of easily adjustable materials like cotton, wool, linen, or silk. They are also designed to be worn while a person is lying down, with drawstrings and long slits to allow the deceased to be dressed by a mourner or by a funeral director. Designers who focus on clothing the dead can often be found in the art and fashion industries, but they can also come from a variety of other backgrounds. Seattle-based artist Mark Mitchell draws on his background in theatrical costume to create one-of-a-kind, heirloom-style burial ensembles from fine fabrics. His work is exhibited in galleries around the country, and his collection has been featured in several major national museums. For those who have pre-planned their end-of-life, it can be helpful to check to see if they left instructions on what they wanted to wear for their funeral or memorial service. Depending on the person, this may be as simple as checking their closet for an outfit that they had set aside to wear. If your loved ones didn’t leave any specific instructions, it’s a good idea to start by talking with the funeral home about their clothing preferences. They may be able to manipulate an outfit from your closet so that it fits over the corpse, or they might have recommendations on where to purchase burial clothes in the area. Some people choose to bury their loved ones in clothes that they would have worn in daily life, which reflects the value of equality. Others may dress their loved ones in religious or cultural garb that was significant to them. In the past, most people wore dedicated death outfits called “burial shrouds.” Similar to bridal nightwear or wedding dresses, these were sewn by women before their big day and kept until needed. They’re still popular in some cultures and religions, but they aren’t the norm in western society. However, a few artists are reviving this tradition with modern garments that can be worn by both men and women. These are often made from linen or cotton, and they feature drawstrings and long slits so that they can be put on the deceased with ease.

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Tips For Buying Baby Clothing

Newborns grow very fast, so it’s important to register for a lot of clothes that will fit well. When it comes to baby clothing, there are a lot of different brands that sell high-quality and stylish options. From everyday essentials like newborn bodysuits and footie pajamas to special occasion wear including tulle skirts and tuxedo suits, there’s something for every budget and style. One of the most common mistakes that new parents make is purchasing baby clothing too small. Babies are so incredibly small that they often grow out of their clothing almost overnight, and buying too small can lead to expensive returns. So, to prevent this from happening, it’s best to purchase clothes that are slightly bigger than what you think your newborn will need, and then just roll up the sleeves or pants as needed. Another tip is to shop by weight, not age. Babies are so tiny that their age doesn’t mean much, and it can be difficult for new parents to determine what size their infant is, especially when shopping online. Instead, many brands list their size based on weight rather than age, so that shoppers can avoid a lot of confusion. Lastly, it’s a good idea to buy season-appropriate clothes, and be sure to consider your geographical climate when making your purchases. The weather in Southern California will likely be very different than the weather in New York, so it’s important to purchase clothing that is appropriate for your area. When it comes to swaddling your newborn, it’s a great idea to invest in some muslin blankets. These are lightweight cotton cloths that can be draped over your newborn to help keep them warm without overheating, and they are very soft and gentle on your baby’s skin. Muslin blankets also make excellent gifts for new moms and babies, and you can even find ones with adorable designs and phrases to celebrate a new baby. Some of the most popular brands of baby clothes include Carter’s basic onesies and Old Navy’s trendy styles and prints, but there are a lot of other choices out there too. The Posh Peanut collection, for example, is made with bamboo and features a number of thoughtful details that make it stand out from the rest. For example, they have gender-neutral bodysuits that have lap shoulders and snaps for easy diaper changes, plush sleeper gowns with peek-a-paw cuffs to avoid self-scratching, and stunning prints that make them perfect for newborn pictures. Another brand that gets high marks from parents is Pehr, which makes ethically manufactured clothing using recycled materials. They use organic and GOTS-certified cotton, which means they’re free of any potentially hazardous chemicals. Their line of rompers, dresses, and overalls is designed in Canada and ethically made in India, and they ship via recycled paper and vinyl-free packaging. They also give back through their Good+ Foundation to support low-income families.

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Benefits of Burial Gowns

When someone dies, their loved ones often choose clothing to dress them in for the funeral service. They can either select clothes they’ve worn in life or purchase new outfits that reflect the deceased’s personality and interests. It’s common for older people to choose a more formal outfit while younger people may opt for less formal attire that speaks to their personality and lifestyle. For example, if Grandma was a dedicated baker or Dad was a fisherman a pair of fishing pants and an embroidered hat might be perfect. In many cultures, including those of the Christian faith, it’s a tradition to dress the dead in clothing that was worn in life. It’s also a way to help loved ones grieve in a way that’s personal and unique to the individual. However, there are situations when the person’s own clothing isn’t appropriate for burial. This is due to the fact that the body may have lost or gained weight and because of the stiffness caused by rigor mortis. For these scenarios, funeral directors often provide a selection of burial gowns for families to choose from. These are typically made of light-weight cotton or linen and are designed to drape over the body, allowing for easy movement. They are also designed to be comfortable and soft against the skin, which helps comfort loved ones who are grieving. Another benefit of burial gowns is that they are designed to be easily put on, either by a funeral director or by the loved ones of the deceased. This is an important consideration because dressing a deceased person can be emotionally and physically challenging. It’s also important that the garment is lightweight to make it as stress-free as possible. The selection of burial apparel can be overwhelming for some loved ones, but there are ways to narrow down the options. A great place to start is by checking if the person left any instructions on their death wishes. Whether it’s in a will or a note, this will give you clues as to their preference. Aside from checking for specific instructions, loved ones can also check their closet to see if they have an outfit that they’ve set aside for just such a time as this. It’s common for people to do this when they realize that they are getting closer to their end-of-life and have been trying to prepare accordingly. Other sources of burial clothes can be found through non-profit agencies and stores that specialize in infants, like Beverly Duckett. She crafts tiny burial gowns for the infants who never come home from the hospital, as well as a variety of other custom angel gowns for grieving parents who are struggling to find peace with their loss. It’s a labor of love that gives some relief to the countless grieving parents who must cope with a premature loss. In her bright second-floor sewing room, Duckett’s work offers hope and comfort to families as they deal with a difficult situation.

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5 Reasons to Donate Wedding Dresses

If you haven’t worn your wedding dress since your big day or you’ve realized that it’s too small to make a good reuse, consider donating it. Several local and national charities accept wedding dresses for use as part of charity events or to sell in their stores. Some charities also provide a tax deduction for the donation, which can offset the cost of a new wedding dress or even make it free. A common repurposing option is to create a unique throw blanket or a decorative pillow using pieces of the gown and its lace. You can find tutorials for this on sites like Craftsy or DIY Network. This is also a fun project to do with your kids or to give as a gift for a loved one. Some charities, such as Brides Against Breast Cancer, take donated wedding dresses and resell them to raise money for early breast cancer detection and other women’s causes. Other nonprofits, such as Brides for a Cause, are based in the United Kingdom and support brides who can’t afford to buy a dress for their special day by providing discounted dresses. Another way to repurpose your wedding dress is to donate it to an organization that transforms it into infant burial gowns, or Angel Gowns. These are provided to hospitals, birthing centers, funeral homes, or directly to grieving families. One such organization is Angel Gowns of the Capital Region, based about an hour north of Albany, NY. The pandemic has caused many people to experience financial hardship, including couples preparing to get married. Many bridal shops are accepting gowns to help brides who can’t afford to purchase a brand-new dress during this difficult time. This is a great way to show your support and help those in need. You can also give your dress to a thrift store or resell it online to raise money for charity. Just be sure to check with the charity or store to see what their specific requirements are and if they require a donation fee. Also, consider having the dress cleaned professionally before you donate it. This will ensure that the fabric is in good condition and doesn’t contain any stains or marks. Donate your wedding dress to a charitable organization and feel good about yourself at the same time. You’ll also make room in your closet and possibly get a tax deduction for the donation. A lot of clothing and textiles end up in landfills, where they release carbon dioxide and other toxins into the air. However, donating your wedding dress and other items that you no longer use can reduce the impact on the environment. According to GreenDrop, this is a simple way to make a difference in the world. Besides, a used wedding dress is much more eco-friendly than buying a new one!

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Angel Gowns for Pregnancy and Infant Loss

If you’re a parent who has suffered pregnancy or infant loss, you know how devastating it can be. The pain is all-encompassing and sadly, there isn’t much that medical professionals can do to ease the pain. But, there are organizations that help parents by providing comfort and raising awareness. One of those organizations is called Angel Gowns, which repurposes donated wedding dresses and prom gowns into outfits for babies who do not make it home from the hospital. Angel gowns are a special garment that is worn by families as they say goodbye to their baby, or sometimes after a funeral. The gowns are designed to look like an actual baby and are meant to bring comfort to grieving parents who have to dress their child for the last time. The Angel Gown program at Levine Children’s Hospital is an important part of their care for families who suffer pregnancy and infant loss. “The idea that you can have something to hold onto and remember your little angel is so precious,” said Tom Williamson, who lost his son at 20 weeks gestation. Williamson said that he and his wife were grateful for the gown that Levine Children’s gave them for their son, Eli, to wear when they had to say their last farewells. The gowns are handmade by volunteers and sewn by people who have experienced loss. Many of them say that they do this because they want to help other families in their difficult time and it is also a way to honor their own losses. They are passionate about this work and often don’t even get recognition from the hospitals to which they provide the gowns. Almost every hospital now offers the service to families who have experienced a loss. However, the supply of angel gowns isn’t keeping up with the demand. “We always have more requests than we can make,” said Alisha Neal, who runs the nonprofit Angel Babies in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts. Her organization provides angel kits, which include a gown, blanket, keepsake and two hats to families who have lost an infant. Last year, it gave out 175 kits. Making these garments is not an easy task for everyone, Bauer says. Creating such tiny pieces of clothing can be too emotional for some and she has seen many volunteers drop out over time. She is trying to encourage more volunteers by creating kits for them, which contain fabric that has been pre-cut to the needed size. For those who do not have the resources to make their own angel gowns, there are a number of nationwide ministries that will accept wedding and prom dresses to be repurposed into sleeping angel outfits. The seamstresses who run these ministries have specific needs, but a standard wedding dress can yield eight to 16 gowns, according to Bauer. She is always in need of white and ivory thread, fabric ribbon, tiny buttons, Tide PODS, OxiClean laundry spray and Ziploc bags in one to two gallon sizes.

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Funeral Arrangements For Your Child

Having to make funeral arrangements for your child can be one of the most difficult things you will have to do. When deciding whether or not to involve your children in the ceremony, you must take into account their age and level of understanding. If they will be attending, you should discuss what to expect and how they can participate if they choose. If they are not, it is important that they understand that there are ways to say goodbye without having to be present at the funeral. If the funeral will be in a church, be sure to tell your children what they can expect. Explain that their friend or family member will be lying in a casket, or an urn if cremation is chosen. If the body will be open, describe what they may see and that it is okay to look. During the visitation period, you can ask your children what they would like to do with their loved one. For example, they might want to write a letter or draw a picture and put it in the casket. You can also encourage them to give out order of service sheets or sign a memory board. A funeral is a very emotional time, so it is best to have a back-up plan if your child becomes overwhelmed or uncomfortable. If they need to leave, have them walk to a lobby or other quiet area with a trusted adult who can sit with them and help them calm down. It’s also a good idea to bring along a bag of toys that they can play with while taking a break. Many children have fear and misconceptions about death. This can include a belief that they too will die or that they caused their loved one’s death. It is crucial that you reassure your child that they will not die and that the person who died did not do anything wrong. Children of all ages can find comfort in knowing that their loved ones will be remembered by people who will share stories and pictures. During the service, you can pass around an empty picture frame for guests to write messages in and allow children to share their thoughts as well. It is also a good idea to include special items from your child’s life such as their favorite toy, teddy bear or stuffed animal. You could even have a coffin that your child has made or a special piece of clothing they wore that you want to bury with them. You can also decorate with things that represent the child’s life such as a banner with their name or their favorite color flowers. Some families choose to transport their baby into the ceremony in a coffin with a favorite teddy or toy they had. This can be a very memorable and meaningful moment for all involved. It’s a good idea to speak with the funeral director about these choices.