Simone Selby: Angel Gowns for Australian Angel Babies
Simone shines a ray of light in a time of grief
The $10,000 Westfield Local Heroes grant has been used on freight and supplies for the Angel Babies gowns.
Because of the grant, Angel Gowns were able to supply 26 funeral homes and 24 hospitals with complete packages, ready to donate to recipients. Funds were very low over Christmas which means that there would be a delay in before out packages. Hospitals can usually wait up to a month or two for their orders, so this enabled Angel Gowns to distribute their packages, especially out to the rural areas.
There are 320 women volunteers Australia wide who were ecstatic to hear about the grant, as well as Angel Gowns being able to help hundreds of women in the communities who have lost their babies.
There are many volunteers throughout Australia, including State Managers and Team Leaders. The grant has been spent largely on freight to date, as well as $1.5k worth of wool and $300-$400 on ribbons and thread for volunteers. This has been an amazing opportunity, as a lot of volunteers are elderly and cannot afford to purchase this themselves.
Our Head Manager Julie has supplies at her house and then arranges distribution to volunteers. There are also 3 storage units which take 60 – 80 hours a week managing supplies and postage. Most of the volunteers and some funeral homes are in regional areas, and unfortunately freight companies don’t often service those areas, so they have to use Australia Post which can be quite costly.
During the voting period, friends of friends would get in contact to donate wedding dresses and anything else. Word of mouth was amazing, even at my day job, all work mates were getting involved. Wherever I went, people recognised me, including the receptionist at my local Doctors. Wedding dresses to collect, people coming to me and giving me wool and wedding dress donations. The wool is knitted and crocheted to make blankets and booties for their packages to be distributed when needed.