Angel Gowns for Angel Babies Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep

Last week I met up with a lady  in the parking lot of a bank.  She opened the trunk of her SUV to reveal baskets of beautiful tiny silk and satin treasures — baby outfits.  Whoah, they were GORGEOUS , with lace and pearls, and elaborate embellishments, even tiny bow-ties . . . and the BONNETS!  Oh Swoon!

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Angel Gowns by Diane donated a supply of handmade gowns to photographers who volunteer with Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. From left: Emily Crump, Affiliated Photographer; Renae Carr, Area Coordinator; Pamela Schwarz, Community Volunteer; Pamela Contreras, Area Coordinator; and Shelly Chetty, Area Coordinator

I hope and pray that nobody reading this post EVER becomes the recipient of one of these gowns, because they were sewn for babies who don’t get to go home with their families and grow up.  But if you should ever go through an infant loss,  and see one of these gowns or use the services of a Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep photographer, please know that your baby will be wrapped in LOVE!

You see, these aren’t just beautiful baby dresses. They have been lovingly crafted from wedding dresses by a newly-formed group of volunteers in the Katy area, Angel Gowns by Diane .   Their concept is to use memento from a happy and joyful day to help ease the sting of sadness and grief when a baby dies.  This specific supply of gowns in preemie to newborn sizes is going to the local professional photographers who serve with Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, a worldwide nonprofit organization that provides bereavement photography at no charge to families The Angel Gowns group also contributes their gowns directly to hospitals in the area.

Want to get involved?  Want to help?

First – NILMDTS is in DESPERATE need of more qualified professional photographers, both in the Houston area and throughout the United States.  In Houston we ask our photographers to be on call and  available to go  to the Texas Medical Center just one day a month, and to help with suburban cases near their homes or studios on an as-needed basis. If you know a photographer or if you are one, I  (or one of the other two local NILMDTS Area Coordinators) will help get you through the application process.  You will receive training, and one of us will actually accompany you on your first shoot  and walk you through the process so that it’s not as intimidating  the next time around.

It’s just SO STINKIN’ SAD when a hospital calls us, and we do not have a photographer available to create beautiful images for the grieving family. There are SO MANY TALENTED photographers in this city, and I believe that just about anyone who wants to can find a way to schedule one non-appointment day a month to  be available provide this gift of healing.  Please check out the NILMDTS Web Site to learn more about our organization.

If you’re not  a photographer,

you CAN still talk to photographers you know and encourage them to get involved.

Also, I know that NILMDTS operates on a shoestring.  Tax Deductible financial contributions will help keep the organization’s website and resources up to date and to provide training and support for volunteers.  

And if you’d like to  to get involved with Angel Gowns by Diane.  They need

  • wedding dress donations
  • people to dismantle the dresses, cut patterns and/or sew the gowns
  • people to help coordinate with area NICU’s and with NILMDTS.
  • People to pick up and deliver donated dresses

Just check out their facebook page (I understand that a full website is in the works) for more details.

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6 Comments

  1. I had wanted to volunteer for this but I don’t have enough of the sample type images they asked for to join in the website.

  2. OH, Teresa, we need you! There is a review process for photographers to ensure that families who use NILMDTS services receive quality images. Primarily the reviewers are looking to make sure that photographers understand posing, that they can achieve tack-sharp focus, and that they know how to use flash. There are suggestions on the application page for creating sample images with a doll and a bounced flash if you don’t have the portfolio that they need. PLEASE give it a shot — and keep me posted on your progress and let me know how I can help. https://www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org/volunteer/photographer-application/

  3. I have several wedding dresses I would like to donate how can I arrange this. Live in Galveston county. Can’t drive to far to drop off. Thank you

  4. I know this is for volunteering and such but my daughter is in need of guidance or counseling, we lost her first baby that was delivered at just 14 weeks, we were not aware that we could have dressed little Brooklyn and take photos. I did get one picture but it breaks my daughter heart to even look at it b/c the baby look so distressed. Please give any information available. Thank you

  5. Julia Please accept my condolences on the loss of your sweet grandbaby. The sting of loss is very very real. There are some resources available at http://www.NILMDTS.org that might help in your healing process, but I believe it would be worthwhile to seek out a professional counselor as well. Regarding your photograph, guidelines specify that we at NILMDTS only photograph babies who have made it at least past the 22 week gestation period. Up to that point they are so tiny and fragile that we cannot guarantee that we will get images that will be of comfort the family. If, however, you would like to send me the image that you do have I will be happy to attempt to retouch or send it to one of our dedicated retouch artists to edit the image in our signature style. Email it to me at shellychetty@spccreative.com I’ll be looking for it.

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