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Sewing wedding dresses into 'angel gowns'

Stacey Spivey

POSTED: Monday, April 7, 2014 - 6:22pm

UPDATED: Monday, April 7, 2014 - 6:42pm

NICU Helping Hands is an organization started in fort worth that collects wedding dresses, and turns them into what they call 'angel gowns' for babies who pass away in the neonatal intensive care unit. This organization provides mourning families with beautiful gowns for their lost loved ones free of cost. Volunteer seamstresses sew wedding dresses into baby gowns. When hospitals or families request them, they are shipped overnight.

Generations Consignment Store in Lufkin is collecting wedding dresses, and in just one week, 8 dresses have been donated. "We've had a great response, our goal is to collect 25 dresses in the month of April, but I have the feeling that we're going to reach that pretty quickly," said Erin Gallagher, store owner. At the end of this month, Gallagher will be delivering all of the dresses to helping hands. Gallagher decided to take part in this project after finding out about it on Facebook. "I had my dress hanging in the closet for ten years and I didn't want to sell it, i didn't want to give it away kind of thing, I just thought this was a great program," said Gallagher. She also wanted to do it in honor of her nephew who spent infancy in the NICU.

Gallagher's sister, Kirsten Redd, watched her son grow in the Shreveport NICU. Even though he was lucky to come home, she saw a lot of families go childless. "There are times in the darkest hours of families lives that you know, you don't want to be thinking of what you're going to be burying your loved one in," said Redd. She reflected on her wedding day, and her dress being 'the one.' "When I found it, it was just the one, and so I want another, I want to bring it back to life and donate it and donate the love that is in it," said Redd. She then decided to give up to transform into an angel gown. "Don't be so selfish as to keep it for your purpose or your child who in twenty years will not want to wear your dress, they'll want one of their own. Bless another family, as you were blessed when you wore the gown,' said Redd.

Generations Consignment Store is open Monday-Friday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., and Saturdays 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. If you're not available to stop by during those hours, you can contact them to come pick up the dress. The shop is located at 203 N. John Redditt Dr. Lufkin, TX, and their phone number is 936-632-0111.

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