For millions of women, their wedding dress is the most cherished keepsake from such a special day in their lives. These bridal gowns are a lasting symbol of the day when a woman marries her soulmate, and are often preserved as mementos or to hand down to future generations. A non-profit organization, however, found an inspiring way to breathe new life into them by turning used wedding dresses into burial gowns for babies.
The project, also known as The Angel Gown Program, was started in 2013 by NICU Helping Hands in support of families across the United States and Canada who have either lost or about to lose their beloved babies. According to the organization's founder and president Lisa Grubbs, the idea came to her after having witnessed grieving parents who were unable to find something for their dead infants to wear. The program offers a little assistance and comfort at the most difficult time in so many families' lives.
“We’re talking about the last time that they hold their baby and what they’re giving their baby,” Grubbs told Today. “It’s those last personal acts as a parent, those last things you do for your child.” The story quickly caught the attention of so many generous brides that NICU Helping Hands Angel Gown Program has already reached capacity with thousands of dresses that are ready to be made into precious burial clothes. With the help of over 700 seamstresses all over the country, the dresses are refashioned into garments for the babies to be buried in.
“A wedding gown donated by a bride from the happiest day of her life, sewn by a volunteer into a one-of-a-kind custom gown for a baby that has died or will die… importance, honor, respect, caring, and love are embodied in this gift that is freely given to anyone that needs it,” Grubbs said.
Visit the NICU Helping Hands website to find out more about The Angel Gown Program and how you can volunteer or donate financially.
Images: NICU Helping Hands