Local Stake Relief Society comes together to help grieving families

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On Feb. 29, the Freedom Stake Relief Society came together and ripped apart wedding dresses to turn them into something new — angel gowns. 

Analane Powell, who founded a non-profit called Angel Gowns by Analane, helped lead the event.

“Angel gowns are burial gowns for stillbirth, pre-me, and miscarried babies. We have people who give us their wedding gowns and we repurpose them into burial gowns,” she said. “We donate them to local hospitals and the nurses in the hospitals give them to the families in need.”

She said she started making angel gowns in honor of her brother, who only lived for three days.

“I remember very, very vividly the experience and I thought, you know, I really want to do this to honor him,” she said.

But it isn’t only her brother who Analane pays tribute to through her work. Analane’s sister, Megan Astle, experienced the loss of her stillborn son.

“I was really devastated to say the least, I was devastated … as you can imagine … there was nothing that would be small enough to bury my little boy in. And that was something that was really important to me,” Astle said. “But then the nurse brought in these donations that people gave and had made, and my heart was at peace, and I got to see him dressed in a beautiful white gown that we could lay him to rest in. That meant the world to me.”

She said receiving a donated angel gown in the hospital that day was a bright spot amidst an otherwise dark time. Her experience ignited Powell’s passion to share that light by crafting and donating angel gowns worldwide.

“I realized at that moment how significant and how needed these were to families,” Powell said.

After the women cut patterns from the wedding dresses and sew them together, Powell takes the angel gowns to local hospitals. Nurses distribute them to families who need them.

Angel Gowns by Analane can be found on Facebook and accepts donations of wedding gowns and sewing supplies.

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