I'm time-pressed and always counting the pennies as a single-mum writer, so going out has to be worth the lipstick. It's the year of discovering tantalizing Melbourne and, sometimes, a tease of Adelaide's treasures. Join me.
Let the love for a baby, lost, never leave your heart
The unspeakable sadness of losing a baby who never had the chance of coming home from hospital is acknowledged and cradled by the enormous hearts of 300 talented seamstresses across Australia. Angel Gowns Australia Inc create exquisite garments from donated wedding dresses for babies born sleeping – lost to their families prematurely in still birth or illness. Love from the heavenly hands of the organisation's one hundred percent volunteer base creates a compassionate gift, a pathway of healing, allowing bereaved families to dress their departed baby in a sacred gown of care and quality. In remembrance, a handmade angel pendant is gifted to the family with a printed poem keepsake. Loving symbols to hold forever.
The love and care concentrated into a wedding dress is re-captured in beautiful garments for special babies.
Founder and President, Fiona Kirk, began the program less than a year ago whilst following the journey of Isabelle Rose, a baby diagnosed with infantile leukaemia. When Isabelle Rose succumbed to the disease and passed away at seven months of age, Fiona's response was to make a special gown for her. Inspired by NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) Helping Hands in Texas, Fiona set up a Facebook page for her new charity on the spot and had volunteer representatives getting to work in every Australian state within the week. Fiona expresses the highest regard for all the organisation's volunteers, saying, "they are the heart and soul of our Angel Gown Program," committed with compassionate professionalism across Australia.
Angel Gowns Australia Inc in Victoria will hold a special open day to showcase the deconstruction of wedding gowns and their reconstruction into Angel Gown garments. Donations of wedding dresses can be accepted on the day and signing up as a volunteer is also possible. The beautiful work of the volunteers' garments will be on display alongside full details of the Tutu Program – an ingenious use for surplus wedding gown tulle put to use as fun and lively tutu dress-ups for children living with illness or disability.
The divine crafting of a special tiny vest - a volunteer's gift for a grieving family.
Devonshire teas, sandwiches and drinks from a licensed bar (genius!) will be available for purchase, so plan morning tea, lunch or afternoon tea at the Ashton Manor venue in Diamond Creek. It costs $18 to wrap, package and post each gown for a family. Community contributions are fundamental to the continuation of the program and donations are vital as it enters its second year.
Fiona Kirk tells us, "It is often difficult for people to understand that when a baby dies, no matter how early or late in gestation, the life of that baby has already been celebrated by a Mother and a Father, and then celebrated with family and friends, imprinted into our hearts and souls. When losing this tiny life there is so much grief and heartache, the same grief and heartache of any parent, of any family when a life is lost." Angel Gowns Australia Inc connects grieving families to one another whilst taking their hand to place it in the hand of the community. Join the state representative Vicki Agius and her volunteer team at the Diamond Valley open day to support their loving touch.