One of the saddest things in life is when a baby passes away right after it is born. One nonprofit organization is hoping to help grieving families properly say goodbye to their babies. NICU Helping Hands’ Angel Gown® Program takes donated wedding dresses and turns them into tiny gowns for these angel babies.
The nonprofit started in 2013 after noticing the need for support for grieving families who lost a baby. They provide these beautiful, custom-made gowns and can also provide support and mentoring programs for the families going through such unimaginable loss.
How Does the Program Work?
Donors and volunteers from across the country come together to make this nonprofit run. Brides can donate wedding dresses. Next volunteers take the dresses and sew them into new tiny white dresses. According to their website, the “garments are a gift of love from both a bride and a seamstress to honor not only a precious baby but their family as well.”
Losing a child is so traumatic, the nonprofit hopes to relieve one stress involved in the bereavement process. It can be difficult to find a tiny dress or outfit for a baby, so having a precious dress already available can help.
Many of the volunteer seamstresses are retired and involved in churches. Many love to make each dress very special and unique, even adding phrases like “heaven’s angel” onto the dresses. Others add antique buttons or bells inspired by movies like It’s a Wonderful Life. They also make tiny suits for boys if the family desires a suit instead.
How Do They Make The Tiny Dresses and Suits?
To measure and make such small dresses and suits, they often use doll dress patterns or even Coke cans. Some of the dresses are made to be adjustable. After each dress is done, many of the women pray over the outfits before turning them in. Many also include special and loving notes to the parents.
They estimate that around 200 dresses have been made at this time of writing. The nonprofit hopes to expand the program to hospitals all around the country. The program right now is nurse-run and nurse-funded. If you would like to learn more or make a donation, please visit the NICU Angel Gown Program’s website.
What do you think about this sweet way to honor such a heartbreaking time? If you found this article interesting, please SHARE with your friends and family who would be interested in donating or learning more!
Check out this video about another group in Kentucky also making angel gowns: