Remember being a little girl and trying on all of the clothes in your mom's closet? You would put on the silly 80's blazer with the thick shoulder pads or maybe it was the puffy 90's tees that look way too small before you put it on. On your search to find that funky 00's scarf, you stumble upon her wedding dress. There it is, sitting in the same box it has been since 1995. There's almost a yellow tinge to it from the preservation embalming. You ask her why she still has it if she isn't going to use it again. She says no, but explains that preserving your wedding dress is "just what you do."
Marie Murphy has other ideas. As our world changes, so do traditions. More and more brides are opting to donate their one-time use wedding dress for something meaningful to others. While some couples are celebrating the beginning of their new lives, other couples are dealing with the loss of their children. In this new age of philanthropy and ever-changing fashion trends, Marie Murphy developed a charity where wedding dresses aren't collecting dust in boxes.
Little Angel Gowns is a 501(c)3 charitable organization that transforms donated wedding dresses into beautiful infant burial attire. Often times with the passing of an infant there is nothing to clothe them in besides a simple blanket or shirt adding to the overwhelming heartbreak of the parents. Little Angel Gowns takes upcycled wedding dresses and provide them as a gift to the grieving family. Their mission is to give some sort of relief and comfort to parents in knowing that their loss has been acknowledged in a most personal way. There is never a charge for their services, nor will there ever be. Almost everyone knows someone who has suffered the loss of a baby or perhaps even endured this pain themselves.
Little Angel Gowns was founded in Indianapolis in 2014 by Marie Murphy, a career NICU nurse, who observed firsthand a very sad need – appropriate burial garments for infants who do not survive. The devastating loss of their baby was compounded with the realization there were no respectable garments to bury their child in.
"Following research and consultations, simple designs were adapted to address the specific challenges and requirements of medical and burial professionals. By transforming donated wedding dresses, beautiful yet practical burial gowns and infant pockets for the tiniest babies, were created to fill the need. " (Little Angel Gowns, 2023).
Through a network of dedicated volunteer seamstresses across the United States as well as corporate and private donors, Little Angel Gowns has helped parents with deceased infants across the country. Wanting to learn how you can get involved in this compelling and honorable charity? Here are some ways to get involved:
Instead of letting your wedding dress collect dust in your closet or attic, consider donating your wedding dress to Little Angel Gowns. In addition to white and off white wedding dresses, they also accept satin or satin like pale pink, pale blue, lavender, navy blue, and black bridesmaid dresses.
Have a sewing machine and are ready to put it to good use? Or would you like to help organize events, do administrative work or join their team in another capacity? Contact me firstname.lastname@example.org.
Little Angel Wings holds several fundraising events throughout the year including their On the Wings of Angels Gala and a Charity Motorcycle Ride.
They are eagerly accepting volunteers as well as new and exciting ideas to spread the word about their charity.
If you don't have the time to bring out the ole sewing machine, or you are saving your wedding dress for a rainy day - which we completely understand and respect as well - consider sponsoring Little Angel Gowns.
All funds donated are used to keep the foundation running and serving the community. Not everyone may have the financial freedom to make monetary donations, but simply asking all of your friends and family for $5 a year could mean hundreds of dollars a year to fund this organization and their mission.
Thank you to Little Angel Gowns for all that you do for families across America!
Visit Little Angel Gowns to get involved today: https://www.littleangelgowns.org/