Grieving Latrobe Valley parents will face one less heart-wrenching task, thanks to a partnership between Latrobe Regional Hospital and Angel Gowns.
First established in the United States, and operating in Australia since February, Angel Gowns is an organisation which provides packages for the families of babies who have died and include a gown and other clothes for burial.
Made in Morwell, the ‘angel gowns’ are constructed from donated wedding or debutante dresses and sent to headquarters in Cann River, which are then distributed to families in need.
“The loss of a child is a very difficult thing to go through,” Angel Gowns Latrobe Valley representative Delli Boyce said.
“The last thing you want to be doing is finding a tiny little gown to bury the child in.
“We come in and give them the angel care packages to say, ‘we’re thinking of you’.”
Ms Boyce knits booties and bonnets and collects donations of gowns.
“It gives a sense of relief to those grieving families who require extra help during their grieving process,” Ms Boyce said.
“(Latrobe Regional Hospital) are onboard, we’ve already supplied one family with a care package.
“We don’t just cover stillborns, we cover babies right up to a certain age.”
In addition to the gowns, the packages also contain a letter of comfort from the organisation, a photograph of the wedding dress the angel gown was made from, a bonnet or headband, booties, nappy, an angel wrap, cocoon or blanket and crocheted angel wings as a special keepsake item.
“We’re calling for donations, not only from the dress side of things, but we need businesses to get on board,” Ms Boyce said.
The non-profit organisation is in need of wedding or debutante gowns, sewing items and equipment, posting satchels and stationery.
For more information or to donate your time or goods, phone Delli Boyce on 0457 615 543 or email firstname.lastname@example.org