FAQ

Please check back often for updates – thank you  (updated July 6/14)

What is an Angel Dress?
-Angel Dresses are handcrafted tiny gowns made from donated wedding dresses for little angels who are born sleeping, have not survived an illness or are born premature and don’t make it home from the hospital.

– There are a variety of sizes; wraps for micro-preemie, small being for babies before 20 weeks, medium for 20-30 weeks, and large for full-term babies

Do Angel Dresses cost the bereaved family or hospitals any money?
It is an honor for us to provide the gift of Angel Dresses to any family or hospital requesting them. Other non-profits providing bereavement services to families can also submit requests through the request forms.

How can a family or a facility get an Angel Dress?
– please see the links under “Angel Dress Requests”  so a family or a facility can be contacted regarding Angel Dresses if they are not currently available at a specific location.

I want to donate a wedding gown what happens next?
– Complete the “Donate a Gown” form.  Once your form is received it will be reviewed and you will be contacted regarding your request.  If the gown fits the requirements of our volunteer seamstresses, arrangements will be made to get your donation to a seamstress or a holding center.  Thank you for considering our project for your donation!!

-All wedding gown donations will be tracked from the time they are donated until the time they are delivered to facilities.  We want to ensure all donators have confidence in this process.

What type/color of gowns will you be accepting for donations?
–  We utilize wedding gowns that are pale in color – white, ivory, and cream
– We also accept light blue tone or pastel colored bridesmaid gowns as these can be used for boy garments and accenting.
– Formal gowns in white, ivory, cream, light blue tones or pastel colors are also accepted.

– Donations outside the colors noted will be reviewed at the time of the donation request based on seamstress needs.  Colored dresses a well as their lace and beading can be used for accenting Angel Dresses however only a limited number will be required at a time.

– Fee free to check with organizations in your area that provide high school students with graduation dresses prior to submitting a request if your gown is outside the basic guidelines
Alberta – Cinderella’s Closet Foundation , Saskatchewan –  The Princess Shop

What material should donated gowns be made of?
-Fabric must be satin, silk, chiffon, charmeuse, lace or rayon, all materials that are smooth and soft to the touch. Tulle and organza are to rough for the delicate skin of a angel baby and cannot be accepted.

Do I need to  alter my wedding gown in anyway prior to donating?
– Please DO NOT make any alterations to your gown until your donation request is approved.  Tulle must be removed by the owner prior to collection.  If shipping is necessary, it will be less expensive (reduces both size and weight).

Does my wedding gown need to be cleaned before I donate it?
We ask that all wedding gowns be cleaned prior to shipping or delivery. You may have it professionally cleaned or you may wash it on a gentle cycle and let it air dry. We respectfully request that all donated wedding gowns be prepared so that our seamstresses can immediately use them. If your wedding gown is heavily stained, unevenly yellow from age or otherwise damaged it may not be usable.

I would like a keepsake piece of my wedding gown – what do I do?

– You are more than welcome to remove a piece of your wedding gown to keep as a keepsake PRIOR to donating your gown.

I can’t sew but would like to volunteer – Do you have anything for me?
Absolutely!  Please complete the Volunteer in your area form.  When a need arises in your area we will be in contact with volunteers. Thank you!

I crochet,  can I volunteer to make hats or gowns?
– premature and newborn infants have very delicate skin so we are only making dresses from materials that are smooth to the touch.

– many hospitals have axillary programs that use donated crochet items for maternity wards or for fundraising.  Please consider contacting your local hospital to volunteer in this area

I would like to volunteer to sew but my home is not smoke free and/or pet free?
– at this time we will be unable to accept any seamstress volunteer requests from homes that do not meet this criteria.  The Angel Dresses will be provided to families that have suffered a loss and need to be in a condition that will honor their child.

Why do I need to be an approved seamstress? I own a machine and want to help.
– the goal of this program is to be able to provide any family across the province with access to the same beautiful Angel dresses.  We feel quality and consistency are just as important as quantity.

-Taking into account research, discussions with Angel Parents, conversations with established international programs and  nursing staff we have chosen to follow the established practices outlined on the website.

Are patterns provided to volunteer seamstresses?
– yes patterns will be provided to all volunteers. These patterns have been used by organizations in the USA and are properly sizes for what facilities will need.

Are gowns only for little girls?
We provide Angel Dresses garments for boys and girls as well as wraps for those too small for gowns

I know a family that would like a special color or requires a special size of Angel Dress. Can you help?
– we will do our very best to help any family in need of an Angel Dress. Please contact us ASAP

Can I make the Angel Dresses and then drop them off at the hospital myself?
– There is a very specific way in which our garments get boxed, labeled and sent to hospitals.  We want to ensure this is done properly so our Angel Dresses get placed into the right hands and distributed to the families in a very heart felt manner.

-Once completed, all Angel Dresses are sent back to Alberta Angels for packing and shipping to hospitals and families. We respectfully request that this policy be followed if you sign up to be a volunteer seamstress for us so that we can provide families with the absolute best experience. If you prefer to provide dresses yourself to hospitals, please understand they cannot be donated under this program’s name.

Can I use my own gown and turn it into dresses?
Yes, we would love for you to do that. Please see the Volunteer to be a seamstress page for further information.

What is the timeline? How long will it take for my dress to be turned into an Angel Dress?
–  We will be organizing everyone’s information, unpacking, working with the donated gowns and filling the hospital requests. It may take awhile for your wedding gown to make it into the hands of a seamstress.  This is a delicate process and we appreciate your patience.

I would like a keepsake piece of my wedding gown – what do I do?

– You are more than welcome to remove a piece of your wedding gown to keep as a keepsake PRIOR to donating your gown.

Do you accept cash donations?
– cash donations are accepted into our paypal account and are used for shipping, purchasing sewing materials and angel dress packaging supplies.  If you would like to donate you can do so by clicking here :  Donate

Is Alberta Angels a registered non profit corporation or do you have charitable status?
– at this time we are not registered as a non profit corporation or hold charitable status for the following reasons:

  • as this program earns no profits from sales or business activities there is no benefit to becoming a non-profit corporation (which has yearly fees and obligations attached)
  • under CRA regulations, used clothing items are not eligible for a tax receipt. Occasionally  Items with a high values are approved however these item must be appraised prior to donation.   This added expense in most cases out weighs the cost of the item

Why does your website name not reference Alberta specifically?
-the domain name was chosen and registered based on general suggested guidelines for choosing a webpage name: easy to remember, reference your product, easy to type/spell.

-the format chosen also follows the naming trend of other Angel Websites successfully operating in North America and other parts of the world but is different enough as not to confuse multiple programs.