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Local foundation finds way to repurpose wedding dresses into infant burial gowns

The foundation hopes this will be a long lasting initiative.
The foundation hopes this will be a long lasting initiative.(WHSV)
Published: Sep. 4, 2018 at 12:41 PM EDT
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The Sadie Rose Foundation in Dayton provides support to grieving parents, and now they have found a way to honor babies who pass away using donations of wedding dresses.

The foundation is re-purposing the dresses to make burial gowns for infants, and is giving them to local hospitals.

Amy Saum lost her daughter at birth, and now she is doing her part to honor her daughter by donating her wedding dress to be made into gowns for other parents who are dealing with the same heartbreaking loss.

"My dress isn't gonna sit in a box for years just going to waste basically. It's going to be used for a purpose. Babies deserve something pretty to be buried in, or like their services," said Saum,

Regina Cyzick Harlow is the executive director for the Sadie Rose Foundation and said for years she has had people ask her if they take wedding dress donations, but they did not have a way to re-purpose them.

When Cyzick Harlow and Saum connected, Cyzick Harlow thought of a childhood friend who had struggled with her own loss.

"I reached out to her and she felt like this was exactly the thing she felt like she could do to provide support for other families going through loss," said Cyzick Harlow.

She posted the announcement on the Sadie Rose Foundation's Facebook page, and donations started to pour in, including some from out of state.

"It has just already gone far beyond what I ever dreamed the response would be," remarked Cyzick Harlow,

Some women donate their dresses to honor a lost child; a few people giving up their gowns from failed marriages to make something beautiful; and a few brides that just want to see their dresses reused rather than sit in a closet. Each dress comes with its own background.

"The stories with each gown have just been really special," said Cyzick Harlow.

The Sadie Rose Foundation is working on making different sized gowns and wraps for babies lost in miscarriage.

"Those wraps will help give, provide some sense of honor and dignity to this life that has impacted them so greatly," said Cyzick Harlow.

She also mentioned that they have the materials and resources right now that if someone would need one custom made, that is an option as well.

Currently, the foundation has an agreement with Augusta Health to distribute the dresses and is also working with Sentara RMH and UVA.

The foundation is turning dresses that once walked down the aisle, into a treasure for families so they don't have to walk this path alone.

Donations can be dropped off at any of the following locations:

Sadie Rose House

195 Main Street

Dayton, VA 22821

Hours: Mondays and Thursdays 9 am- 1:30 pm. Other times by appointment.

Countryside Sewing

960 Mason Street

Dayton, VA 22821

Hours: Monday-Thursday 8:30-4:30

Friday 8:30-12.

Rosser Motorsports

104 Apple Tree Lane

Waynesboro, VA 22980

Hours: Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri, 10 am - 5:30 pm

Wed, 1-5:30 pm, Sat, 10-2:30

If a business would like to become a drop off location, please contact the Sadie Rose Foundation at 540-810-4351.

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