Twenty-seven years ago, Debby Camp of Alberta, Canada, gave birth to a stillborn child. After carrying the grief of that loss for many years, she has found personal healing by ministering in a special way to families in similar situations.
Camp is a volunteer seamstress forAngel Dresses Canada, a non-profit that provides families and hospitals with free burial gowns for infants.
“Making these little gowns has allowed me to finally put my grief to rest after all these years,” Camp says in a video on Facebook. “This is one small thing I can do to assist grieving families as they say goodbye to their little ones who have gone too soon.”
The gowns are made from donated wedding dresses that are washed and then carefully deconstructed to save any lace, trim, and beading. After taking a dress apart, Camp uses the remaining fabric to cut out a pattern for an infant’s gown, with sizes ranging from micro-preemie to large.
“Only one style [of burial gown] is allowed under the guidelines, but I am able to use my creativity to make each one unique through using the embellishments from the wedding gowns,” Camp says.
The Canada branch of Angel Dresses began around May 2014 when a mother in Saskatchewan experienced a loss and decided she wanted to “help make someone’s day a touch better when their heart is breaking.” Camp volunteered as a seamstress soon after the organization was founded and has since made hundreds of burial gowns. She now oversees the Alberta branch of Angel Dresses. On their Facebook page, the Alberta branch explains, “There is no greater gift that can be given to a grieving family than affirming the importance of the life of their child by offering this simple gift.”
And as a Latter-day Saint, Camp’s offering of service is all about following the Savior’s example.
“I feel so much joy in applying my talents and skills to offer this one small act of kindness,” she says. “This is one way I am able to serve those around me while following the Savior’s words: ‘A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.’”
Hear more from Camp about her experience making the dress in the video below or see Newsroom.