Article in Border Mail

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Angel Gowns for Australian Angel Babies branches to the Border

By Tahlia McPherson
26 October 2015

GOWNS and dresses that have been sitting idle in the wardrobe, awaiting another wear, can now be used to bring comfort to parents who lose their child.

SMALL COMFORT: Shannon Hourigan is calling on the Border community to donate dresses for angel babies. Picture: TARA BELL

Barooga woman Shannon Hourigan has been working to bring Angel Gowns for Australian Angel Babies to the Border area.

The idea is for people to donate unneeded dresses used for a wedding, debutante, christening, formal or worn by a bridesmaid.

Volunteers use the material to create small gowns for stillborn babies or infants who die before one year of age.

Mrs Hourigan will hold a donation drop-off at Sumsion Gardens, Wodonga, on Tuesday from 4pm to 6pm.

She posted on Border Facebook pages and said she had been blown away by the generous response from the community.

Already up to 10 people have offered to donate gowns and dresses and one woman has filled out a volunteer form to be Albury-Wodonga’s point of contact.

Mrs Hourigan said between 12 and 20 angel gowns could be made from a single dress.

“I thought I’d get four or so gowns, but it’s turning out to be more like 20,” she said.

“You can nominate which hospital you’d like the gowns to go to otherwise they are sent around Australia where they are needed.”

There are 4.49 deaths for every 1000 live birth babies each year in Australia.

About 1750 babies are still born and 850 babies die under 28 days.

Mrs Hourigan said she had been knitting baby blankets and wanted to help a charity.

Now she is rallying the troops to get a solid volunteer and donation base on the Border.

“I’ve had close friends lose babies and there’s not a lot you can do to help them,” she said.

“We hope to give each family who needs an angel gown just one moment of peace, love and support as they dress their baby to spend some precious time together before they have to say goodbye for the last time.”

Gowns are made into special packages with a wrap, bonnet or beanie, handmade booties, a blanket and a keepsake memory gift.

They are delivered to hospitals, funeral homes or directly to families for free.

Mrs Houraigan said the charity is particularly in need of postal satchels, stamps, volunteers and other items including needles, thread and yarn.

“I was hoping to get some seamstresses, knitters, crocheters and an area representative,” she said.

For more information contact Mrs Hourigan via email or visit

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