Recently, I met a lady who made me realize angels do live among us. I had the pleasure of spending time with Virginia Cortes, founder of Sunshine State Angel Gowns, Inc. Virginia gave me a tour of her home where she uses donated wedding dresses to create beautiful burial gowns for babies and children up to size 4T. Virginia lost her son at age 5, so creating these gowns is a way for her to give back to other families who are experiencing the unbearable heart ache of losing a child. Virginia also shared stories of the families she has met through this incredible journey, who have become lifelong friends. Her heart is pure and her mission is one that completely touched my heart.
“For no parent should ever have to go through the pain of having to get the last outfit for their child.”
The gowns Virginia creates are absolutely stunning. Since each wedding dress is unique, Virginia is able to create customized gowns in various sizes. I was able to view about 60 unique gowns, each with its own bonnet, that she has completed. Each gown is individually boxed with a poem and a keepsake angel. This is all free of charge to grieving families, so their babies have an angel gown to wear for their final pictures and/or burial.
Virginia does all of this in her spare time, along with some amazing volunteers. If you are interested in helping this wonderful cause, please contact Virginia. Even if you live outside of Orlando, you can still get involved! Virginia can ship patterns and gown making supplies right to your doorstep!
Next month, my husband and I will celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. Our special day was filled with love and happiness. Since then, my dress has been preserved in a box. When I reflect on the past 20 years of beautiful memories, I couldn’t think of a better charity to donate my gown to. I only hope my kind gesture can bring love and peace to a family who needs it most. Once Sunshine State Angel Gowns finishes deconstructing my dress and creating burial gowns from the material, I will receive photos of the actual gowns that were created from my dress.
If you’d like to help this amazing cause, please consider volunteering your time or making a monetary donation. More information can be found here.