Instead of brides carefully folding up their wedding dresses and storing them away for years to come, volunteers across South Jersey are putting them to a new use – helping grieving parents honor the children they lost. Through her group, “Angel Gown Sewers,” Pennsauken’s Jean Lee helps turn donated wedding gowns into baby gowns or wraps for children lost to miscarriage, stillbirth or who died before leaving the hospital.

Lee was a labor and delivery nurse for 46 years, and she never forgot the heartbroken parents whose children did not make it. When she heard about the idea of angel gowns, she went to work. In the few months since starting, she’s gathered 44 seamstresses across South Jersey who have made more than 450 angel gowns, which she delivers to local hospitals.

“They are gifts of love from a bride and a seamstress to a family grieving the loss of their precious baby,” says Lee. “Parents treasure any evidence that their baby existed and was loved.”

If you’re interested in donating a dress or volunteering to sew, visit Angel Gown Sewers on Facebook.

April 2021
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