The birth of a child is, for most parents, both one of the happiest and most stressful times of their lives. However, it can also be one of the most tragic times in their lives when there are complications. When children are born premature, or worse, stillborn, parents are faced with a heart-wrenching situation that sometimes does not have a happy ending.
For some people, this situation is often made worse when parents are unable to find clothes that will fit their tiny child. Not only do the parents have to deal with the potential agony of losing their baby, they are forced to search all over town to find miniature baby clothes for their christening or burial ceremonies. In some tragic cases, parents are even forced to resort to using doll clothes.
Shannon Angel Sisters, a charity formed in April, aims to ease the burden of parents facing such a trying time.
Their solution is as touching as it is novel; they use donated wedding dresses to hand-make the tiny gowns for premature and stillborn babies. The gowns come in four sizes, based on the weight of the child, from 1.5 pounds to 8.0 pounds and above.
“It’s something we’re really proud of, being able to help parents in what is their darkest hour, is special. I’ve lost a child myself so I know how difficult it is,” Alice Meyer’s co-founder of Shannon Angel, told the Independent.
Meyer and her team have sewn 86 dresses so far for families in need, each one given for free.
According to Meyers, a wedding dress can typically make up to 12 gowns. That means 12 families have one less thing to worry about in their time of troubles.
But more than that, each dress comes with two special heart-shaped keepsakes knitted from the same material as the gown; one that gets tucked into the dress, and another for the parents.
“People have said to us that these little bits of material have become so precious to them,” she said according to the Independent.
Meyers and her team are so well-stocked with wedding dresses that they have begun sending some back, as they lack the storage space to properly house all of them. However, the burden of running a charity without donations is becoming a little too much to bear.
“At the moment we’re paying for everything out of our own pockets, which is great, but you can’t ask people to become involved in a charity at their own expense. We’ve been overwhelmed with people’s generosity when it comes to donating dresses, but we’ve also set up a GoFundMe page to help raise funds to support the other costs involved in construction,” said Meyers according the Independent.
Despite the financial burden, this is ultimately a personal mission for the Shannon Angel Sisters.
“Four other members of the group have also lost babies, so it is an emotional thing. The gowns are so tiny, you’d almost cry over every one,” said Meyer’s according to the Independent.
It’s never easy to face the possibility that your child might never have the opportunity to grow up, but thanks to Meyers and her team, those parents have one less thing to worry about.
If you wish to get involved, and help Shannon Angel Sisters continue their work, you can donate at their Gofundme page, or visit their Facebook page.
Source: The Indepedent