ALTON - Last spring a parishioner made a very special donation to the Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic School’s fundraiser. That donation was a brand new wedding gown which has gone on to be transformed into multiple gowns and wraps for stillborn infants.
Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic School decided to donate the gown to Allison’s Angel Gowns, a non-profit organization which transforms new and gently used wedding gowns into different sizes for infants and then donates them to local hospitals in the area, helping to ease the minds of parents at a very difficult time.
Janet Scheller started the organization in honor of her daughter, Allison, who died at only one day old in 2012. She said in addition to the feelings that come with losing a child was the issue of what to dress her daughter in for her baptism and funeral.
Scheller said during that time in 2012 she read an article about an organization in Texas that was donating gowns to local hospitals for children, like Allison's Angel Gowns is doing now.
“When I saw the article about the place in Texas, I thought we needed something like that around here,” Scheller said. “The response was huge. The dresses just kept coming in.”
This April marks the four year anniversary of Allison’s Angel Gowns and around 7,000 gowns have been donated to over 100 hospitals in all 50 states.
“It’s been a huge blessing and a nice way to honor Allison,” Scheller said. “We just want to help others that are in the situation we faced.”
Scheller said with plenty of dresses on hand and 200 to ship this week, the organization is looking for help from any experienced seamstresses that would be interested in volunteering their time with the organization and help a family as they suffer from the loss of a child.