Marleigh’s Angel Gowns volunteers work to meet need for baby burial garments

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Marleigh’s Angel Gowns, a group of volunteers who provide burial gowns to families after the loss of a baby, held an Angel Gown Prep Night at OakVue Farm in Bristol Saturday.

The volunteers met Saturday to prepare donated wedding dresses/formal gowns and men’s formal wear/suits for transformation into incredible burial garments for babies who died during a pregnancy or soon after birth.  The disassembled material and cut patterns will now be passed to other volunteers who will use their sewing talents to create beautiful and much needed burial outfits.

Kris Kordecki, a resident of Bristol, began the group project after reading a story on Facebook about the critical need for burial gowns for babies gone too soon.  She realized that the stress a family was already going through was significantly intensified by the need to make such heartrending decisions as what your baby will wear for his or her burial – and where to get the necessary outfit. She immediately contacted her friend, Jill Gilmore, a Kenosha County Supervisor, who is active in charities that support families of premature babies and has contacts in local hospital neonatal intensive care units.  Together, the two women determined the scope of the need, along with the how, when and where solutions that would enable them to attain their objective – the lofty goal of fifty gowns/outfits ready whenever and wherever the need arises.

“It broke my heart when I realized that all of the Angel Gowns will be needed and, at the same time, I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of donations, help and positive feedback,” Kordecki said. “We are especially grateful to Uline, a local area company that provided the organza bags used to package the finished gowns.”

Thirty four wedding gowns were disassembled Saturday by the volunteers, Gillmore said.

In an effort to allay any further stress at the time of a family’s immense sorrow and confusion, Marleigh’s Angel Gowns has now decided to go beyond the original 50 outfit goal and continue  creating and providing burial garments for as long as the need exists and supplies and volunteers are available.  To achieve this goal, the group is asking anyone interested in helping — by either donating formal wear or money to allay the cost of supplies, or by becoming a volunteer to disassemble gowns and suits, cut patterns (no experience necessary) or sew the finished garment – to go to the Marleigh’s Angel Gowns’ page on Facebook for contact information.

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