Donating your wedding gown to the Angel Gowns project is a great way to give back and help those in need. The project is run entirely by volunteers, who deconstruct the gowns, sew them, and package them for distribution to hospitals and care centers. You can follow your gown from its initial donation in the United States all the way to the developing country, and you can even virtually meet the seamstress. If you wish, you can even choose to have some of your donated angel gowns come back to you!
You can donate angel gowns to hospitals or local bereavement groups, or you can contact an organization directly to donate one. Organizations that provide angel gowns include: Share, the International Stillbirth Association, HAND, Postpartum Support International, Miscarriage Hurts, First Candle, Mend, and Bereaved Parent.
Angel gowns can help bereaved parents cope with the loss of a baby. They can help parents honor their baby and take photos with it. This can be particularly comforting for the parents, especially when there is no way to alleviate their grief. For Justine Deslauriers, wearing an angel gown helped her get through the painful process of losing her child.
Although the subject of infant loss has remained a taboo subject, organizations that make angel gowns are helping to provide support for bereaved families and raise awareness about the issue. Neal founded this organization in 2012, after losing her daughter at 17 weeks. Through this work, the organization has helped shed light on this difficult subject and helped the bereaved community find their way again.
Levine Children’s Hospital has a Comfort Committee that meets monthly to provide support for parents and newborns. The group works with families of newborns in the NICU and offers practical assistance to the families. Melissa Tyo, a bedside nurse at Levine Children’s, is on the committee.
Heather Gibson has dedicated her life to the cause of angel gowns, and by sharing her most harrowing experience with other families, she hopes to raise awareness of pregnancy loss and the pain that comes with it. Heather has spent over 10 years working in human resource services, including as a case manager at Steven A Cohen Military Family Clinic.