Alberta Angel Dresses- A Project Near My Heart

One of the things I really enjoy is my volunteer work with Alberta Angel Dresses.

Alberta Angel Dresses provides tiny gowns for premature and term babies ( angels as we like to call them) who never leave the hospital with their family. These little dresses are made from donated wedding gowns from around the province. This program provides comfort for families by providing a beautiful gown for final photos and for burial services.

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Alberta Angel Dresses

I started Alberta Angel Dresses almost 3 years ago with my good friends Tara and Heather. My own personal reasons for doing it were pretty selfish really, I was a doula for over 10 years and I really have a soft spot for babies. I was blessed and never had to deal with the loss of a child or grandchild, but I know people who have. I also have a love of sewing and bridal wear. A long time ago, I used to work with a bridal designer in Calgary. I loved the fabrics, the lace, the designs, the gowns…. oh the finished gowns! What I really hated was the stress of working with the very expensive lace and fabric along with trying to make something perfect for a brides special day.

I knew that sewing bridal wear was never something I wanted to do for a living, I just found it stressful. BUT this new project allowed me to work with gowns, beautiful fabrics and lace. And no Bridezillas.

Now, as I head up this project,  I meet so many gracious women who are so happy to be handing over their beloved gowns for such a meaningful program, some have very personal reasons for wanting to do so. Or occasionally, some women are handing over gowns, that had bad memories and were otherwise going to be burned; they would rather have them used for good.

My love of babies, my love of gowns, my love of sewing and my desire to help a grieving parent by doing something very small and nice for them felt like just the right volunteer project for me. I get to be creative and create beautiful things, for such a good cause.

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Alberta Angel Dresses

But I do not do it all alone.  Alberta Angel Dresses is lucky to have Heather< who is an amazing, organized admin for us. We also have numerous dedicated volunteers who use their time and talent to sew for us. We are happy to be in so many Alberta Hospitals and have so much support for our project that started as an idea between 3 friends on Facebook messenger.

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Alberta Angel Dresses

Each gown usually takes at least 20 hours to deconstruct and transform into our little Angel Dresses. But for those of us who do this, it is truly a passion and while sometimes a sad process it really is a passion and a labour of love.

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So.. that is a little bit about my volunteer project that melts my heart. Some  people coach hockey, some people teach adults to read. I sew Angel Dresses.  I feel it is really important to have something that you love and share with others for no other reason than it makes ‘ your heart happy’, as my granddaughter Lilli likes to say!

What about you? Do you have a volunteer project that you love, and that is never a chore? Please share it in the comments.

*Here are some helpful resources*

https://www.facebook.com/AlbertaAngelDresses/

www.angeldressescanada.com

http://www.stillmothers.com/

www.traceyswainson.com

 

 

 

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12 Comments

  1. I absolutely love this!! I have never had to go through the loss of a child, but I have many friends who have and this is such a meaningful gift for families. Thank you for doing what you do.

    1. I have never lost a child either. I have been blessed. My heart breaks for those who have. So if in a small way I can do something nice for them, it makes me feel like a better human.

  2. This is so beautiful and dear to my heart! These ladies are amazing, they are sharing such love and commitment at such a heart wrenching time. I relocated from the East Coast 3 years ago to Fort McMurray, Feeling lonely (missing my dear family) and needing to connect with my new city as I was always a volunteer, I came across Alberta Angel Gowns on Facebook looking for seamstresses, I nervously applied, and was honoured when they graciously accepted me! It is with deep heartfelt gratitude, that I can design and create these little gowns, to maybe just ease a little of the pain these families are enduring! My family and friends have had loses as well. I am thankful for the ladies who bless us with their beautiful gowns! I am proud to say I am a seamstress with Alberta Angel Gowns!
    Blessings to all Holly Misener

    1. Holly we are so happy to have you! Your work is beautiful, and like all of us, you put some of your heart in each little gown that you sew. We are so lucky to have a way to share our time and talents.

  3. That is so lovely. I bet you really bring some beauty into what is a horrible time for a family.

    My two boys spent time in the NICU. We were fornuate they both came home and are healthy. If it had been the other way, this would have been a great gesture.

  4. My dear friend and photographer at my site 1010ParkPlace.com is a regional co-ordinator for Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. These photographer volunteers are on call to photograph a baby and their family that has already passed or they know won’t make it. How would the families get these dresses in time to bury their babies? I’d like to tell my friend about this so NILMDTS can share it with these families. Thanks, Brenda
    1010ParkPlace recently posted…MY SECOND WEDDING AND WHAT I WOREMy Profile

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