Non-Profit Sewing Group Makes Gowns for Bereaved Parents
Story originally published by Journal Courier.
October 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day-a day that one San Antonio family has a special connection to.
Janet Scheller was pregnant with her second daughter when doctors revealed that her baby had trisomy 13-a chromosomal abnormality that only one in 18,000 live births are diagnosed with. Janet was told her baby wouldn't survive, but she wanted to give her daughter the best chance at survival possible. At 35 weeks pregnant, labor was induced and Janet and her husband, Dustin, were able to spend 24 precious hours with their daughter, Allison.
During funeral arrangements, Janet realized she would need to find something for Allison to be dressed in. That is the moment she realized how many other parents struggle with this as well. "My pastor bought a gown for [Allison] that she intended as a baptismal dress and I decided that it could also be a bereavement gown," Janet told the Journal-Courier. "The more I thought about it later, the more I realized that this is something that all parents who have lost a child could benefit from."
And that was it. Janet started the non-profit organization Allison's Angel Gowns in 2014 to lend a helping hand to mourning parents. They run on donated wedding and bridesmaid dresses as well as a volunteer staff of around 40. Allison's Angel Gowns has donated 5,000 outfits over the last two years. Not only are they made in different sizes, but they are also made for different genders. Janet has had an enormous response to her call for donations and volunteers and hopes to expand her organization even more throughout the coming years.
"I didn't know Janet, but I saw the post on Facebook through another friend," said seamstress and volunteer at the organization Kathie Daugherty. "I saw it by chance and I felt like I was meant to be a part of this."
Read more about Allison's Angel Gowns and find out how you can help here.