Instead of carefully storing their wedding dresses for years to come, some brides have donated their gowns to a nonprofit that prepares them for a new use – helping grieving parents honor the children they lost. Through her group, “Angel Gown Sewers,” Merchantville’s Jean Lee helps turn donated wedding dresses into baby gowns, wraps or blankets 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 past 2 years, she’s organized 60 seamstresses and 15 crocheters across South Jersey who have made over 3,000 angel gowns. Lee has shipped the special packages to 48 hospitals across the state.

“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.”

Lee says they have plenty of wedding dresses, but they do need sewers and donations. Each gown costs $15 to ship, so monetary donations help cover those costs.

If you’re interested in helping, visit Angel Gown Sewers on Facebook.

April 2023
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