“Angel babies that we have lost are forever close our Hearts“
– Felicia Tan
And this is how Angel Hearts came to be. We adopted the name Angel Hearts (AH) instead of Angel Gowns (AG) as Angel Hearts also encompasses the other services we provide to help our bereaved families cope with grief bringing comfort as we travel together along this long and difficult journey.
Dress angel babies with dignity for their final journey by repurposing wedding gowns.
Provide bereaved parents avenues to be supported by those who have suffered similar losses.
Instill hope and provide services for bereaved families to rebuild their family.
PEOPLE BEHIND ANGEL HEARTS
Co Founder, Marketing and Operations Lead
Having gone through multiple pregnancy losses and the loss of her 26 week daughter prematurely birthed, Ros feels deeply for mothers who have gone through similar losses.
She remembered how despite undergoing a 36 hour labour, days of on standby in NICU and watching her daughter take her last breath, she and her husband had to hunt the shopping centres during the festive Christmas for a suitable dress for the funeral, just so her daughter can be dressed with dignity for her final journey.
And this is the motivation behind Angel Gowns project, so that no family have to go through similar again.
With no sewing skills and non profit experience, she took a sabbatical in mid 2016 to kickstart the cause. Joined by other experienced sewists from a local Facebook sewing hobby group, together they prototyped and customised the sizes of the angel gowns and apparel to suit Asian sizing and organised the distribution of the angel apparel to the hospitals.
The cause grew quicker than expected with mothers sharing similar stories about how their babies didn’t have anything to wear during their last journey and many lamented on the loss. The wedding gowns came pouring in and commercial warehouse space rented to store them.
It took long hours to process the donated gowns, the sweat working in the hot and dusty warehouse and even tears as she and the core team learnt how to manage volunteers’ expectations and demands to even the wee hours.
We soon found out that the grief doesn’t end after the funeral, many mothers came forward and shared how they wish they had emotional support after their losses.
Pregnancy and infant loss is a taboo topic and it’s awkward to talk about it when family members and society out of good intentions tell them to move on and life goes on. The bereaved mother and father are left to grieve alone and some turn into unresolved grief, resulting in a less positive quality of life.
Over time, bereaved volunteers shared how volunteering at Angel Gowns have helped them process their grief and helped them cope with their losses, even years after their loss.
Hence the decision was made to do more than the Angel Gowns and reaching out to Felicia Tan who shared similar losses, Angel Hearts was created to bring comfort to bereaved parents through sewing, craft and grief management workshops.
Co Founder, Media and Fund Raising Lead
Felicia has gone through multiple infant losses, including a twin pregnancy. She worked through her grief by writing and publishing 3 books on her journey and appeared on various media channels to bravely share her experience and how she grew stronger after each loss.
Despite doing all these, she felt she can do more and thus reached out to Rosalind to see how they can build on the synergy and common grounds to help the community.
With her personal media experience, she became the public face of Angel Hearts, sharing passionately the cause in media and interviews, creating awareness of pregnancy and infant losses, abolishing this taboo topic and the measures to cope with grief.
She also brought with her many years of experience as an entrepreneur with her own graphic and web design business, and sustainability measures to continue the cause in the long run which includes revenue generation through fund raising and CSR programs.
In 2017, Angel Hearts registered as a CLG and is actively fund raising so that we can build a steady stream of income to sustain the cause in the long run.
It is often not easy to make changes into the processes which have been set and it’s an ongoing uphill process as she work with Rosalind to streamline processes, better manage and react quicker to meet the expectations of the public and our volunteers.
This also poses a great challenge to the new found friendship between two people from different backgrounds who came together with similar yet different life experiences to build a cause that never has been done before in Singapore. Through it all, our common goals remind us to put our differences aside and to focus on growing Angel Hearts sustainability in the long term.
Together, we are working towards attaining charity status to ensure that Angel Hearts lives on beyond our efforts. And we can’t do this alone, we need all the help we can get and we trust that it is just a matter of time that you, the community and an answering nation will respond to our cause.
History of Angel Gowns (AG)
Angel Hearts has its beginnings from Angel Gowns which started off from a Facebook sewing hobby community and evolved into a platform to comfort bereaved women and send angel babies off with dignity.
How it all started
5 women met for the very first time in August 2016 to make a difference to help the bereaved. Within minimum knowledge, they sat and worked on prototypes, figuring out Asian babies sizing, shapes to work on and requirements of the hospitals. After which they launch the angel gowns patterns to sew during the first official meet up in October 2016.
The concept of angel gowns is adapted from similar organisations in the United States and Australia where they have robust charities upcycling preloved wedding gowns into angel apparel and bringing comfort to bereaved families.
why wedding gown?
“The gowns were used for happy occasions. When you link that love and happiness of the person who wore it, we hope it brings an element of love and comfort to a sad event.”
– Andrea Toh
So from wedding gowns, we re-purpose to Angel Gowns
From Angel Gowns, we extend the range to sewn wraps, bonnets and receiving blankets as well as loom beanies and crocheted booties….
Wedding gowns and other materials are donated by members of the public
Gowns and materials are taken apart by volunteers and packed into kits
Kits are distributed to volunteers through distribution points
Volunteers sew, crochet and embellish various angel apparel
Completed items are QC-ed before sending to packing team volunteers
Volunteers launder, iron and sew on an angel charm on each apparel before packing
Delivery to partner hospitals
To date, we have:
donated gowns received
gowns, wraps & beanies delivered
hours training volunteers
hours spend sewing
hours meet up sessions
We are thankful for everyone who have contributed, donated and volunteered with us.
Are you on board yet?
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller
Nothing is made possible also without the collaboration with our corporate partners who helped delivered the gowns directly to the bereaved with immediate needs, love and attention. The various organisations (alphabetical order) are: