keep it local

Local seamstress donates bereavement gowns to CHEO NICU

Sabrina Bedford

A local mom has found a unique way to give back to the hospital that’s taken care of her six-year-old foster daughter since birth. Anjie Valgardson, a foster mother and nurse from Merrickville, satiates a need in the world you probably didn’t even know existed.

Valgardson hand-crafts and donates bereavement gowns to the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). Baby bereavement gowns are worn by young babies who passed away before, during or after birth. She makes the gown sets in three sizes, and they can fit babies as small as one pound and as big as nine pounds.

This is a time in a person’s life that nobody can anticipate, she noted. When parents find themselves in that situation, the last thing on their minds is shopping for a bereavement dress – so that’s where Valgardson comes in.

“I have always loved to sew and started sewing when I was about [my foster daughter’s] age while sitting on my grandmother’s knee at the sewing machine,” she said, adding

“I wanted a way to give back to the hospital that has done so much for our little one as well as our own grown boys when they were young,” Valgardson said.

She said that about a year ago, she became a foster mother to a six-year-old girl who had been “followed at CHEO pretty much since birth.”

She was always grateful to the hospital, but was unable to donate her time volunteering, so when her cousin told her about a similar story in the States, she knew this was the way for her to give back. She said the hospital was in need of this specific item, adding they occasionally received donated christening gowns but they were always too large for the tiny preemies.

“The hospital was quite happy to receive the sets as there was a need,” she said.

The bereavement gown sets she makes are all one-of-a-kind, and all sets come with a bonnet, booties and two bracelets. One bracelet is a keepsake for the parents.

The gowns are made from of recycled wedding dresses, and Valgardson relies completely on donations from the public. She posted an ad on Kijiji for wedding dresses to see if anybody would like to donate to the cause, and she had an overwhelming response from women all across Canada

“I had to take the ad down after a day or two,” she said. “I received 11 wedding gowns from all over Canada even though I had only posted on Ottawa Kijiji.”

She also said that some of the donated gowns were from other women who had babies in the neonatal intensive-care unit (NICU).

However, there’s more to making the gowns than just the wedding dresses.

“Right now I am only one seamstress with a limited amount of spare time,” she said, adding the way the public can help out the most is by donating crafting supplies. “There is a need for other items to be donated other than just the wedding gowns. I have a great need for ribbon, beads, tissue paper, clothing boxes, and thread.”

She said if anyone is willing to donate to the cause, gift cards to Michael’s or fabric stores would be most appreciated. To get in contact with Valgardson, you can contact her at agardenfairy@gmail.com.

Leave a Reply

*

Smiths Falls Waste and Recycling Guide

Read HERE: Smiths Falls Waste Guide ... Read More








loading Loading

    • What people are saying...

    • Very happy with the creation of this page.  I find out lots that’s going on and great pictures of stuff that did! Thanks to the creators of this website!

      -Jennifer Bell – Smiths Falls Resident

    • What people are saying...

    • We are currently advertising with Discover Smiths Falls and it is an all around great experience and I recommend it!

      -Brian Paquette, Zendragon Martial Arts & Fitness

    • What people are saying...

    • We just moved to SF from Ottawa this past January and I find this website and FB page extremely helpful in helping us get to know the town better! Good job!

      -Stéphanie Farrell, Resident

    • What people are saying...

    • We have been fortunate to discover business opportunities as a result of our engagement with Discover Smiths Falls and we will most certainly be encouraging other businesses to talk to you about the services you offer.   Thank you for your support!

      -Amy Rensby, Magnolia Catering & Event Creations

    • What people are saying...

    • Great site… DSF is a one-stop Smiths Falls shop! Everything to see and do all in one online spot and it’s easy to use!! Whether you are a resident or a visitor, you will find it all on DSF! I was able to find a place to stay, a place to eat and something to do, all in a few clicks!

      -Bill Pilkington


Local seamstress donates bereavement gowns to CHEO NICU

Sabrina Bedford

A local mom has found a unique way to give back to the hospital that’s taken care of her six-year-old foster daughter since birth. Anjie Valgardson, a foster mother and nurse from Merrickville, satiates a need in the world you probably didn’t even know existed.

Valgardson hand-crafts and donates bereavement gowns to the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). Baby bereavement gowns are worn by young babies who passed away before, during or after birth. She makes the gown sets in three sizes, and they can fit babies as small as one pound and as big as nine pounds.

This is a time in a person’s life that nobody can anticipate, she noted. When parents find themselves in that situation, the last thing on their minds is shopping for a bereavement dress – so that’s where Valgardson comes in.

“I have always loved to sew and started sewing when I was about [my foster daughter’s] age while sitting on my grandmother’s knee at the sewing machine,” she said, adding

“I wanted a way to give back to the hospital that has done so much for our little one as well as our own grown boys when they were young,” Valgardson said.

She said that about a year ago, she became a foster mother to a six-year-old girl who had been “followed at CHEO pretty much since birth.”

She was always grateful to the hospital, but was unable to donate her time volunteering, so when her cousin told her about a similar story in the States, she knew this was the way for her to give back. She said the hospital was in need of this specific item, adding they occasionally received donated christening gowns but they were always too large for the tiny preemies.

“The hospital was quite happy to receive the sets as there was a need,” she said.

The bereavement gown sets she makes are all one-of-a-kind, and all sets come with a bonnet, booties and two bracelets. One bracelet is a keepsake for the parents.

The gowns are made from of recycled wedding dresses, and Valgardson relies completely on donations from the public. She posted an ad on Kijiji for wedding dresses to see if anybody would like to donate to the cause, and she had an overwhelming response from women all across Canada

“I had to take the ad down after a day or two,” she said. “I received 11 wedding gowns from all over Canada even though I had only posted on Ottawa Kijiji.”

She also said that some of the donated gowns were from other women who had babies in the neonatal intensive-care unit (NICU).

However, there’s more to making the gowns than just the wedding dresses.

“Right now I am only one seamstress with a limited amount of spare time,” she said, adding the way the public can help out the most is by donating crafting supplies. “There is a need for other items to be donated other than just the wedding gowns. I have a great need for ribbon, beads, tissue paper, clothing boxes, and thread.”

She said if anyone is willing to donate to the cause, gift cards to Michael’s or fabric stores would be most appreciated. To get in contact with Valgardson, you can contact her at agardenfairy@gmail.com.

Leave a Reply

*

Connect With Us


Comments/Feedback
“Our Strength lies in our differences, not in our similarities” ― Stephen R. Covey
"Come experience our world-class destination on the banks of the Rideau Canal"