Angel Gown FAQ

Thank you so very much for your love, support and wedding gowns. Due to the overwhelming response we are unable to personally respond to every call or email. We have created our FAQ in hopes that it will answer most of your questions.

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Updated 3:40pm CST 7/14/2014

 IF YOU WISH TO SIGN UP AS A SEAMSTRESS OR WORK IN A VOLUNTEER CAPACITY FOR NICU HELPING HANDS PLEASE CLICK HERE.

 

This program is available across the US and Canada and we provide any requesting hospital or family with Angel Gown garments as a gift.

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 Learn about additional service opportunities and programs with NICU Helping Hands.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

1. I live outside of the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Where do I ship my wedding gown?

NICU Helping Hands
C/O Ideal Partners
6913 Camp Bowie BLVD Suite 181
Fort Worth, Texas 76116

Please DO NOT ship your wedding gown to our office on Commerce Street.

Although we recommend using shipping confirmation and purchasing insurance when mailing anything of value; we will confirm that NICU Helping Hands has received and opened your shipment if you place a self addressed, stamped post card in with your donation. We do not have any other way of confirming the arrival of your wedding gown unless you enclose a self addressed, stamped post card.

Please note it is our intent to return your self addressed, stamped post card as quickly as possible to let you know that your gown was received. Proper acknowledgement and tax donation receipt if applicable will arrive in a separate mailing. 

2. I live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Where can I drop it off?  

You can drop your gown off Monday-Friday between 1-6pm at

Bliss Bridal Salon
4624 Camp Bowie
Fort Worth, Texas 76107

Bliss Bridal has asked that gowns only be dropped off during these days and hours. Please help us thank them for their help by honoring this request.

3. Does my wedding gown need to be cleaned before I donate it? 

Yes! We ask that all wedding gowns be cleaned prior to shipping or delivery to us. You may have it professionally cleaned or you may wash it on a gentle cycle and let it air dry. We respectfully request that all donated wedding gowns be prepared so that our seamstresses can immediately use them. If your wedding gown has any odor we ask that you remove the odor before sending us the gown as any gown sent that has an odor may not be usable. All gowns must be from smoke-free homes. If your wedding gown is heavily stained, unevenly yellow from age or otherwise damaged it may not be usable.

It is our commitment to hospitals and bereaved families to provide clean, beautiful and high quality Angel Gown garments.

4. Is this a charitable donation? Can I write the expense off on my taxes? Absolutely! NICU Helping Hands is a non profit organization and donations made to us are tax deductible. We cannot value your wedding gown but we will send you a letter acknowledging that you have donated a wedding gown to our organization. If you would like a tax acknowledgement you must securely pin this request to your gown before sending it to us. We must have your name and mailing address on the written request in order to send a tax acknowledgement letter.

Please note: Tax acknowledgement letters will be sent to donors in time for tax filing preparations. If you donate your gown in 2014 and request a tax acknowledgement you will receive your letter prior to January 31, 2015. 

5. Do you have chapters in other states?

NICU Helping Hands is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas and our Angel Gown Program operation is based there as well. We have one Official Chapter of our Angel Gown Program operating in Kansas City, Kansas and an international program operating in Australia. We are looking at setting up other Official Chapters across the United States. Even though we currently only have one Official Chapter we still serve every community requesting assistance.

6. Can Angel Gown garments be sent to a specific hospital?

We welcome your suggestion of hospitals that may be interested in our program. If the hospital you suggest is not currently signed up as a participating hospital we will contact them to see if they are interested in receiving our angel gown garments.

7. All urgent or time sensitive requests from families or hospitals should be made by filling out this form or calling 817-584-1437.

8. Are gowns only for little girls?

We provide Angel Gown garments for boys and girls.

9. How can we replicate this in our community?

We would love to work with you in serving your local community. As a non profit organization we offer parent support and education to families of premature infants and serve the needs of bereaved families as well. We invite you to become involved as a volunteer seamstress, request gowns for a hospital in your local community and let us know if you are interested in being involved in a chapter of NICU Helping Hands’ Angel Gown Program in your community. Please let us know how we can assist you.

10. Can I make the Angel Gowns and then drop them off at the hospital myself for NICU Helping Hands? 

No. When volunteering as a seamstress for NICU Helping Hands you must follow our guidelines. Items cannot be donated on our behalf before they are processed by our staff. In our professional experience we know that most hospitals, due to funding, cannot provide Angel Gown garments to a bereaved family in a manner we consider to be consistent with best practice. Most clothing and gowns donated to hospitals are placed in buckets, baskets or bins that have to be sorted through each time a baby passes away. Sometimes a bereaved family has to sort through donated clothing to find something to fit their precious baby. It is with this knowledge that we created our Angel Gown Program and the guidelines surrounding distribution of our Angel Gown garments.

There is a very specific way in which our garments get boxed, labeled and sent to hospitals and we make sure this is done properly so our Angel Gown garments get placed into the right hands and distributed to the families in a very heart felt manner.  Volunteer seamstresses for our organization do not drop off Angel Gown garments for us at hospitals. All garments once completed by our volunteer seamstresses are sent back to NICU Helping Hands for packing and shipping to hospitals and families. We respectfully request that this policy be followed if you sign up to be a volunteer seamstress for us so that we can provide families with the absolute best experience. If you prefer to provide gowns yourself to hospitals, please understand they cannot be donated under the trademarked NICU Helping Hands’ Angel Gown Program brand.

11. Can I use my own dress and turn it into gowns?

Yes, we would love for you to do that. Again, please send your finished gowns to us so that they are distributed properly.

12. Am I required to pay shipping to Fort Worth when I am done sewing the Angel Gown garment?

Yes. Volunteer seamstresses for NICU Helping Hands agree to return Angel Gown garments to Fort Worth so that we can follow established best practice for distribution to bereaved families and hospitals.

13. What kind of wedding gowns do you accept? 

We accept all types of wedding gowns. We also accept pale colored bridesmaid gowns as these often provide needed trim pieces for the wedding gowns. We are no longer accepting any other type of gown. This includes communion dresses, christening gowns, flower girl dresses, formal gowns, ball gowns or prom dresses. 

14. Can we send in suits, ball gowns or colored dresses?

We do not accept anything other than wedding gowns or bridesmaid gowns that meet our color specifications for our Angel Gown Program.

15. How do I start sewing for NICU Helping Hands?

If you are outside of the DFW area please click on the Volunteer-Out of State box to sign up as a seamstress. If you are in the DFW area please click on the Volunteer-Local DFW box to sign up.

16. I don’t have a wedding gown to donate, how can I help?

A donation of $10 is enough to package Angel Gown garments to four bereaved families. A donation of $8 will cover the cost of two day priority mail of an Angel Gown garment to a bereaved family. A donation of $40 will cover the cost of supplying a hospital with an initial shipment of Angel Gown garments.

18. Do you need any other supplies donated?  

A couple of items that are easy to collect include white tissue paper measuring 20 x 24 inches and white and cream colored thin satin ribbon. You can mail supplies to:

NICU Helping Hands

301 Commerce Street, Suite 3200

Fort Worth, Texas 76102

19. Do Angel Gown garments cost the bereaved family or hospitals any money?

It is an honor for us to provide the gift of Angel Gown garments to any family or hospital requesting them at no cost. Requests from hospitals and non-profits should be completed here.

20. Do you need local volunteers?

Yes, we need local volunteers to help organize, unpack and prepare wedding gowns for shipping and pick up.  If you live within 50 miles of DFW and are willing to help please fill out this form:  http://www.nicuhelpinghands.org/local-volunteers-dfw/

21. What is the timeline? How long will it take for my dress to be turned into an Angel Gown garment?

Angel Gown garments are being shipped daily to families who desperately need them for their urgent and time sensitive situations. It can take several months for a wedding gown to be processed in our warehouse and put into the hands of our volunteer seamstresses to be made into Angel Gown garments. Once we receive the garments back from our seamstresses we then check them, package them and ship them to families and hospitals across the US. This is a delicate process and we appreciate your patience.

22. Are you willing to take pictures of the gowns that are made from my dress?

You may securely attach a written request for this to your gown when you donate it. It will be up to the discretion of each volunteer seamstress as to whether they do this or not as they finish the Angel Gowns from your donated wedding gown. Be sure however to list your email information or cell number so that if they do take photos they can easily text or email you the photos. Our seamstresses cannot provide printed and mailed copies of the completed Angel Gown garments.

23. I would like a keepsake piece of my wedding gown – what do I do?

If you would like a keepsake piece from your wedding gown please remove it BEFORE SENDING US YOUR GOWN. Due the high volume of gowns that we receive and the return postage cost for keepsake pieces we are no longer able to provide this service as we need to reserve our funding for shipping garments to bereaved parents and hospitals.

Click here for additional information about our Angel Gown Program

Help us give bereaved parents a voice on the Ellen Show!

Please send any inquiries to angelgowns@nicuhelpinghands.org