They are beautiful dresses, once worn at weddings. Now, they’re sewn into gowns for babies who never come home from the hospital.
It’s called the Angel Gown Program.
They need your help, but not with wedding dresses right now. Their shipping costs are rising with their demand. Last year, the group spent more than $35,000 sending gowns to homes and hospitals.
“We’ve never had to tell a family no,” said NICU Helping Hands President Lisa Grubbs, as she and volunteers iron, fold, wrap, and box gown after gown.
“The lavender is from one of my bridesmaids’ dresses from when I got married in 1981,” said volunteer Peggy Lawrence, who is one of the countless women across the country who washes and repurposes wedding gowns into tiny angel gowns.
“We’ve had a very busy year-and-a-half,” Grubbs said.
Since its conception, The NICU Helping Hands Angel Gown Program has spread its love, reaching countless families across the country. An Australia branch has opened to lend its hands to demand from Europe.
They stock hospitals and ship to homes. Most of the time, recipients don’t pay a dime.
“We don’t ever want a family to feel like they can’t have one.” Grubbs said.
But, shipping costs are now almost too much to bear. Grubbs said sending one box, weighing one pound, using two-day shipping is $25-35.
“That’s just the shipping cost — not the packaging of the actual garment,” Grubbs said, adding that overnight delivery can reach $100.
“We’re not actually able to cover that cost, currently,” she said.
That’s the only cost families face, if necessary. Shipping in bulk to hospitals is cheaper, but takes longer.
“It usually takes about a week to ten days to get there,” Grubbs said. That’s time some families don’t have before memorials and burials.
“If we have any shipping delays, a family could miss having that garment,” Grubbs said, which is something the volunteers want to avoid.
So, they’re asking for a hand with shipping costs. It’s a simple offering, but no greater gift for grieving families.
To donate online, visit: nicuhelpinghands.org/donate
You can also send checks to:
3023 S. University Dr.
Fort Worth, TX 76109
The Angel Gown Program does not need wedding dress donations at this time.
Originally featured on WFAA8 at http://www.wfaa.com/news/local/angel-gowns-program-needs-shipping-help-to-meet-demand/22321486