ANGEL GOWNS // gifts for grieving parents

Yesterday, I had the most amazing experience: I donated my wedding dress to the NICU Helping Hands Foundation at Baylor All Saints Hospital in Fort Worth. Here I am pictured with Natalie, the project coordinator and mother to twins born premature.

angelgowns.nicole.ii

Natalie has personal experience in this NICU unit. Four years ago, she delivered micro-preemie twins, a boy and a girl. Her babies were born at 24 weeks and weighed just one pound each. Now, they are healthy and driving their older sister bonkers! Unfortunately, though, not every baby leaves the hospital and lives in their earthly home. To support grieving families after the death of an infant, NICU Helping Hands provides, without cost or obligation, Angel Gowns made from donated wedding dresses. One wedding dress can provide as many as 40 infant gowns, depending on the amount of fabric available. Each gown is handcrafted and sewn by a volunteer seamstress and detailing is as unique as the precious child wearing it. No two gowns are exactly alike and there are outfits for boys and girls.

angelgowns

Next week, on March 31, Husband and I will celebrate our seventh anniversary. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate our marriage and abundant blessings than to donate to this worthy cause. The donation process was incredibly simple. Even though my dress was professionally cleaned and stored in a protective box seven years ago, this is not a requirement. My dress — a plain, white, strapless, A-line from David’s Bridal with a mini-jacket and modest neckline — has gone from a boxed memento to a sacred gift for grieving parents.

nicoleandkevin

As the parent of a happy, healthy, and hefty three-month-old son, I cannot fathom the grief experienced by parents who have lost their child. When I heard of the Angel Gowns project, my heart-strings were tugged and I knew I had to participate. Since becoming pregnant last spring and Kamden’s birth in December, I’ve had to cancel a third trip to Haiti and a few local mission trips, but donating my wedding dress was super simple and something I could accomplish on a random Thursday. I even ate lunch with Husband and Kamden before making the donation. What’s better than that?

If you are interested in donating your wedding dress (or any light-colored formal gown, including bridesmaid dresses) to the Angel Gowns project, visit the NICU Helping Hands website. You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter. This is NOT limited to the Dallas and Fort Worth area; Angel Gowns are distributed nationwide. Donations are welcome at anytime and seamstresses are always needed. NICU Helping Hands will provide any hospital with Angel Gowns. As a bonus, folks who donate a dress and wish to keep a portion of it will receive a keepsake sash upon request.

By |2014-03-28T03:00:47+00:00March 28th, 2014|Blog, Kamden, Motherhood|0 Comments

About the Author:

No Comments

  1. Celeste Zachry March 28, 2014 at 5:29 am - Reply

    This is so very beautiful. I am happy you did this – sooo very Auntie Nicole ! Love you!

    • Nicole March 28, 2014 at 8:07 am - Reply

      Thank you, darling. Love you too!

  2. Jennifer March 28, 2014 at 6:32 am - Reply

    I love this!! I’ve had a wedding dress sitting in my closet for 2 years! I didn’t get to wear it, and when we renew our vows and FINALLY get to celebrate with friends and family It will be too big for me! I’ll definitely have to look into donating it!

    • Nicole March 28, 2014 at 8:08 am - Reply

      You definitely should, Jennifer, it’s a worthy cause and they can use your donation! My dress was sitting in the closet too, I think every dress probably is after the wedding day. I’ve talked to my mom and I think she’s going to bring her wedding dress, the one she wore 37 years ago, with her the next time she drives to Texas. It’s a special cause for sure!

  3. NICU Helping Hands March 28, 2014 at 7:55 am - Reply

    Nicole,

    Thank you so much for your heartfelt donation and incredibly sweet words. We wish your family the best!

    • Nicole March 28, 2014 at 8:09 am - Reply

      My sincere pleasure! I’m delighted to be able to donate to the cause and be a part of something so incredible. You’re doing amazing work. Thank YOU.

  4. Jane Sadek March 28, 2014 at 7:56 am - Reply

    This is a great program. Unfortunately, I can’t send them my gown. It went to Egypt with my sister-in-law and has been re-made several times for the weddings of her daughters and their friends. Who knows who’s getting married in it now!

    • Nicole March 28, 2014 at 8:12 am - Reply

      Oh Jane, that’s an incredible story though! Your dress, in its own way, is being repurposed and the special gift for others. That is so cool. Do you have pictures? I can only imagine the beautiful work that’s been done and re-done to your dress over the years for so many ceremonies. This is a really neat, very cool story. Thanks for sharing!

      • Jane Sadek March 28, 2014 at 8:19 am - Reply

        I do have the pictures of my nieces, but I know the dress has gone far beyond them. My sister-in-law is an extraordinary seamstress and if you weren’t in on the secret, you’d never know that each girl wasn’t wearing their very own gown. What’s sad for me is that it WAS supposed to be a secret. Their culture is different than ours and a shared gown is not something you brag about. I can enjoy my intentions, but I’m afraid the girls will never appreciate the gift in the way an American could.

  5. Julie F March 28, 2014 at 7:57 am - Reply

    What an amazing cause! I wish that I would have known about it. I donated mine to Brides for a Cause just last year, but totally would have given to this project as well. You have such a sweet heart!

    • Nicole March 28, 2014 at 8:13 am - Reply

      Thank you, sweet friend. You donated yours to a worthy cause, it’s all good! Hey, at least your dress isn’t sitting in a box in a closet anymore, right?! BIG HUGS TO YOU

  6. Whitney March 28, 2014 at 8:17 am - Reply

    You are such a great person! Always looking for ways to help others.

    • Nicole March 28, 2014 at 8:23 am - Reply

      Aww, thank you, Whitney. I try to give back whenever I can, especially with Kamden in tow. As an only child, I know we get bad raps for being spoiled

  7. Amanda Coers March 28, 2014 at 8:55 am - Reply

    How beautiful! I had just read about this project on Huffington Post. I would love to donate my old wedding dress. Thanks for giving to grieving parents, and for telling us how we can help.

    • Nicole March 28, 2014 at 9:38 am - Reply

      You are so welcome, Amanda!!!!

  8. allthatglitters810 March 28, 2014 at 9:24 am - Reply

    I saw this on the news when I was at my parents house in Dallas last weekend. Soo sweet….what a great way for it to be used!

    • Nicole March 28, 2014 at 9:41 am - Reply

      I saw it on WFAA Channel 8 too, I’m so glad because this is a great cause!!!

  9. Natalie Gordon March 28, 2014 at 11:10 am - Reply

    Nicloe, it was such a joy meeting you yesterday! We are beyond excited that you were willing to donate your wedding dress for this very special cause!! You are helping us make a difference and we cannot thank you enough!!

    • Nicole March 28, 2014 at 12:04 pm - Reply

      Natalie, it was a DELIGHT to meet you and donate my dress. My offer still stands for you and Lisa to join me on May 17 too. I really hope you and your team of seamstresses are blessed beyond measure by the outpouring of support and dress donations. This is such an amazing cause and I’m grateful for the opportunity to support these precious angel babies!!!!!

  10. Natalie Gordon March 28, 2014 at 11:11 am - Reply

    I am so sorry for my typo…Nicole:)

  11. Lora @ Crazy Running Girl March 28, 2014 at 11:19 am - Reply

    Wow, so awesome that you did this!!

    • Nicole March 28, 2014 at 12:05 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Lora! It’s an incredible project and worthy of support. I cannot imagine the grief experienced by parents who do not bring their precious babies home.

  12. babyjill7...Marilyn Griffin March 28, 2014 at 8:11 pm - Reply

    wonderful idea…Good for you!…so thoughtful!

  13. Skye Kilaen March 29, 2014 at 9:58 am - Reply

    I bought my dress from a Brides Against Breast Cancer event so I am very grateful to whoever donated it to that cause so it could find its way to me and help women and their families. If I can ever manage to let it go, you’ve given me a good idea for how it could continue paying that generosity forward.

    • Nicole March 30, 2014 at 2:09 am - Reply

      That is fabulous, Skye, and a very cool way to get one’s wedding dress. If you decide to give your dress away, I hope you’ll consider Angel Gowns.

  14. Jeannie March 29, 2014 at 11:16 am - Reply

    I’ve been watching the stories on the news. I wish I still had my dress to donate. My parents had a house fire 3 months after my wedding and it was destroyed.

    • Nicole March 30, 2014 at 2:10 am - Reply

      Oh Jeannie, that’s awful and I’m so sorry. I hope everyone survived and is well.

  15. vintage1973regina March 29, 2014 at 7:45 pm - Reply

    Love.

  16. […] donate to a worthy cause I donated my wedding dress to the NICU Helping Hands Foundation for the Angel Gowns project. It was an amazing experience and an honor to be a part of this wonderful cause. If you […]

  17. […] cause MARCH 27 — I donated my wedding dress to the NICU Helping Hands Foundation for the Angel Gowns project. You can read about my experience HERE. APRIL 30 — I donated 300 ounces of breast […]

  18. […] cause MARCH 27 — I donated my wedding dress to the NICU Helping Hands Foundation for the Angel Gowns project. You can read about my experience HERE. APRIL 30 — I donated 367 ounces of breast […]

  19. […] cause MARCH 27 — I donated my wedding dress to the NICU Helping Hands Foundation for the Angel Gowns project. You can read about my experience HERE. APRIL 30 — I donated 367 ounces of breast […]

  20. 5644 | Three 31 July 17, 2014 at 7:01 am - Reply

    […] weeks later, I met another NICU Mom and director of the NICU Helping Hands organization when I donated my wedding dress for the Angel Gown program. The reality that some babies never leave the hospital is heartbreaking, […]

  21. […] cause MARCH 27 — I donated my wedding dress to the NICU Helping Hands Foundation for the Angel Gowns project. You can read about my experience HERE. APRIL 30 — I donated 367 ounces of breast […]

  22. […] cause MARCH 27 — I donated my wedding dress to the NICU Helping Hands Foundation for the Angel Gowns project. You can read about my experience HERE. APRIL 30 — I donated 367 ounces of breast […]

  23. […] cause MARCH 27 — I donated my wedding dress to the NICU Helping Hands Foundation for the Angel Gowns project. You can read about my experience HERE. APRIL 30 — I donated 367 ounces of breast […]

  24. […] cause MARCH 27 — I donated my wedding dress to the NICU Helping Hands Foundation for the Angel Gowns project. You can read about my experience HERE. APRIL 30 — I donated 367 ounces of breast […]

  25. […] cause MARCH 27 — I donated my wedding dress to the NICU Helping Hands Foundation for the Angel Gowns project. You can read about my experience HERE. APRIL 30 — I donated 367 ounces of breast […]

  26. Year in Review | 2014 | Three 31 December 31, 2014 at 3:30 am - Reply

    […] that was meaningful to others? I donated my wedding dress to NICU Helping Hands Foundation for their Angel Gown program. I’m a registered donor at Mother’s Milk Bank of North […]

  27. All Good Things Must End | Three 31 January 22, 2015 at 3:53 pm - Reply

    […] in our chest deep freezer. It was around this time I was introduced to the Angel Gown program and donated my wedding dress. It was then I learned specific details about NICU babies receiving breast milk from registered […]

Leave A Comment