Positively the Heartland: Omaha woman sews memory gowns

Posted at 4:00 AM, Jul 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-07 08:17:34-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Mary Jane Zeller went on Pinterest to find ideas to upcycle her wedding gown. She used part of it to make her granddaughter's dress for her First Communion. She then found ideas to make memory or angel gowns.

"We've been very, very blessed, other families haven't been, so why not give back," said Zeller.

She has given the gowns she sews to her sister who works at Bellevue Medical Center.

The gowns go to families who have lost an infant. They allow the baby to be baptized or photographed in the gowns and may often be used for burial.

Zeller doesn't want attention for what she's doing, but says she is sharing because she thought it might provide an idea for others looking for ways to give back. She posted about the gowns on Facebook and the response touched her.

"One lady wrote to me, 'Oh bless you, I want to give you my gown, I sat at 2 a.m. with my granddaughter helping her pick out one of these angel gowns when she was going to meet Jesus,'" Zeller recalled what a message said to her.

She said a few gowns showed up at her door.

In fact, she isn't looking for more donations at this time, but she did start a Facebook page so she can let people know when she needs more.

There are organizations that make gowns too.

Zeller hopes this helps families going through such a difficult time.

She said, "my hope would be that it would give them some kind of comfort to know that people are out there that are praying for them and thinking about them."

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