On October 15, 1988, US president Ronald Reagan issued a proclamation designating October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. He said, “This month recognizes the loss so many parents experience across the United States and around the world”. One in four women will experience miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss. October is a special month designated to raise awareness and provide resources for these losses that continue throughout the year.
In 2014, Becky Panter of Saskatchewan developed a resource and service for families who have experienced such losses. On February 28, 2014, she lost her infant son Christopher. She wrapped him in a doll blanket for his burial. Following his passing, she asked two seamstresses to sew outfits out of her wedding gown to donate to the Regina General Hospital NICU in memory of Christopher. Soon after, she had gathered twenty seamstresses and began Saskatchewan Angel Dresses. Manitoba Angel Dresses was founded in 2014 following Becky Panter’s organizational model.
Manitoba Angel Dresses is an organization that creates and provides Angel clothing to families who have lost an infant. The organization’s mission statement is to ease the stress of grieving families by providing a beautiful hand-sewn outfit to clothe each family’s precious loved one. These outfits are created from donated wedding dresses and wedding clothing. Outfits have been provided to hospitals, funeral homes, and nursing stations across the province. They can also be requested directly from the organization.
Manitoba Angel Dresses is currently looking to start a group of volunteers in the Brandon area. This group would be responsible for supplying local hospitals and funeral homes with angel outfits. Volunteer positions to be filled include seamstresses, knitters/crocheters, good will ambassadors, fundraisers, and people to help with packaging and delivery of angel items. For more information or to volunteer, contact Melissa at 204-750-1517, email email@example.com visit www.manitobaangeldresses.com.
Submitted by Melissa Spraggs