Angel Gowns at Lil Me Market

By Kimberley Price

DEB Ruedin is encouraging people to support Angel Gowns — a group that turns donated wedding dresses into outfits for stillborn babies.

On Saturday, September 29, the Echuca resident is holding a fundraiser at the Echuca Lil Me Market to raise money for the group.

Deb (pictured) has made tutus from leftover tulle and will be selling them at the market, which will be held outside Echuca Uniting Church between 9am and 1pm.

‘‘I’ve got about 120 tutus for sale which range in price from $3 to $35,’’ she said.

‘‘I’d be happy if I raised $500 but more would be even better. I don’t want to take any tutus home.

‘‘All the money raised will go to Angel Gowns.’’

Angel Gowns for Australian Angel Babies is a not-for-profit volunteer service who provide bereaved families with angel gown packages free of charge.

Deb joined the group 18 months ago because she was thankful for everything she had.

“I was put on this Earth to be a mum. I have been blessed with six daughters and five grandchildren, but I know others are not so lucky,” she said.

‘‘It reinforced to me to be thankful for what I’ve got and made me realise what’s important.’’

Since joining, Deb has made between 300-400 gowns, as well as hundreds of keepsakes.

On average, a single wedding dress can make between 12 and 30 angel gowns.

‘‘They range from babies born between 16 and 20 weeks gestation and full-term,’’ Deb said.

‘‘Imagine that you deliver between 20-24 weeks. There is not really anywhere you can go to buy something off the shelf. This way, they have something less to worry about.’’

Deb said she hoped the angel gowns provided a bit of comfort to bereaved parents in possibly the worst time in their lives.