Our Volunteers

Janet S.

Janet S.

Hello everyone! I am Janet. I am the Founder and Executive Director of Allison’s Angel Gowns. This project was started as a way to memorialize my infant daughter Allison, who passed away in December 2012 at 1 day old, and also as a  way to help other bereaved parents as they enter into the life changing world of child loss. I started this project in March of 2014 and it has grown beyond my wildest expectations and I am just thrilled. I am a mother to 2 other children, Olivia and Elizabeth. I am married to my husband Dustin, we have been together for 9 years. He is also very supportive of this project and does a lot of behind the scenes work for me. In my spare time, I love to hang out with my family and let the girls experience new things all the time. I love my friends and the occasional girls night. I cant sew at all, so I leave that aspect to the real angels of the group, the seamstresses! I am much better at the business side of things! Thank you all for visiting our page!!      “There is no footprint too small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world”

 

Dustin S

Dustin S

Hi everyone, I am Dustin. I am Janet’s husband and the daddy to 3 beautiful girls. I am a mechanical engineer and in my free time I enjoy golfing, fishing, and hanging out with my family and playing with my kids. I am so proud of this organization we created in our daughter Allison’s memory and I hope our gift helps other families facing a similar loss.

 

Kathie D

Kathie D

Hey all!I I am a retired mother of 2 adult daughters , nana to 4 beautiful grandchildren, and Mother-in-law to one son-in-law. I have been married for 44 years to a very patient man that has put up with all my ‘honey-do’s’ and ideas that I think up for him to make. I have always loved doing volunteer work, and I have loved sewing since I was 15, so what better thing to do than this!

 

 

Carolyn C.

Carolyn C.

I have been sewing since my Grandmothers started me making doll clothes and piecing a quilt at age 9! Made all my own clothes by high school and continued through the years sewing anything and everything — for myself, my girls and others. Have been doing it for others as a side business for 25 years — along with weaving, knitting, design, etc… When I first read about a group making Angel Gowns out of wedding dresses, I was so drawn to do this. I have several friends who lost babies, as well my own nephew and his wife losing twin sons at 24 weeks. It brings me comfort to feel I am sending love and comfort and care to grieving parents. This is a special ministry and I’m honored to be a part of it.

 

Debbi G.

Debbi G.

Hi, I am Debbi and I am a full time wife (33 years) to a truck driver, and a mother to 3 (2 daughters 30 & 26, both married and they are both giving us our first grandchildren this year – a boy born 3.5 months ago, and a girl due in September. We also have a 19 year old son who lives at home while attending college). I babysit a 3 and 6 year old, fulltime. In my spare time I love to sew (especially quilts) and crochet! I am honored to be a part of this special group making these precious Angel Gowns! I am doing it in memory of a baby sister and brother my mother lost due to premature births – both only surviving 4 days.

 

 

Stacey N.

Stacey N.

Hi I’m Stacey Nance. My husband Kevin and I have an amazing 8 year old son, Spencer who brings us so much joy! I love crafting and sew here and there. I am so glad to help support this wonderful project helping other parents like us. I am doing this in memory of our daughter, Raylin and all precious babies gone too soon.

 

 

 

Denise G.

Denise G.

Hi, I’m Denise. I do medical billing for a living, and have a small sewing business on the side. I make teddy bears, crafts, and memory bears. I taught myself to sew as a teenager. I am most proud of my 2 beautiful daughters, Amy and Alex, ages 25 and 19. I lost my husband when my girls were little, so I feel deeply for those experiencing great loss, and hope I’m helping maybe just a little bit to ease their pain.

 

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Angela G.

Hi everyone. I started sewing in the 6th grade. My first project was a corduroy jumper. I have four grown children and 3 grandchildren and 9 stepgrandkids. I didnt do much sewing until I moved to Germany. I made Halloween costumes for my kids, maternity clothes for me and patches on military uniforms for inspections. I made a raphael ninja turtle costume for my son. When I was working at church with the youth I made all of the costumes for their programs. Some of these include camels with humps, sheep in assorted sizes, cows, donkey, angels, etc. I have even made my daughter one of her formals.

 

 

Helen S.

Helen S.

Hello, I am Helen Scheller. I dabble in a lot of crafts , florist is my trade, in which I am retired. I truly enjoy sewing these beautiful angel gowns . This is my passion now! I am married and have 2 grown children and a new grand baby. My Mother taught me how to sew and am doing this in her memory. She would be proud that we are all donating our time for such a wonderful cause.

 

Jennifer R.

Jennifer R.

Hi, my aunt started me sewing when I was about 7, but I have been doing a lot of sewing mainly in the last 3 years. I like to quilt and do general sewing and embroidery. I am doing this in memory of the 4 babies I’ve lost (3 were 2nd trimester and born in the hospital so I appreciated the memory items people had donated that the hospital gave to me)

 

 

 

 

 

Affton W.

Affton W.

I have been sewing for a few years. My two children leave little time for sewing these days but I definitely enjoy creating something out of a piece of fabric. I am sewing in honor of my first baby who I lost before we were able to meet face to face.

 

 

 

Janet W.

Janet W.

am a retired Special Education teacher now for 2 yrs…I have been sewing since about 10 yrs old and love it. I have just joined a quilt club and starting my first quilt. Sewing for Allisons Angel gowns has given a purpose to celebrate the memory of our precious twin boys that were stillborn 46 yrs ago. We lost our 18 yr old son (Jeremy) 18 yrs ago 3 days after Christmas. We have another son, 47 and dau, 42. Grandsons, Cooper and Cameron (5 and 6). By the way, grandsons were born at Anderson while they lived in O’Fallon. So happy they moved back home, Carmi, IL. (40 min from Evansville, IN)….wish I could be at the get-together June 8. ‘Nuf said….

 

Beth I.

Beth I.

Hi, I am Beth, I have been married to my wonderful husband for almost 25 years and we have two kids, a boy, 21, and a girl 19. I learned to sew when our son was born. I haven’t been sewing much in the last 10 years or so but I am excited to get started again. I was a stay at home mom until our youngest was in first grade, then 12 years ago I went back to work full time as an aide to special needs children at my kids school.

 

 

 

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Mary G.

Hi, I’m Mary. I found out about this group through my dear friends, Evie and Patti. I just couldn’t part with my wedding gown for 24 years. When I found out about this group there wasn’t a second thought. I not only wanted to donate my gown I wanted be involved in helping make these beautiful gowns. I have requested that the first boy’s gown made from my dress be in honor of my nephew Pete Isaac Zimmerman 4/2/200-4/2/2000.

 

 

 

Gail S.

Gail S.

 Hi Everyone Im Gail! I am Allison’s Grandma! I have 3 grown children and 5 grandchildren. I am retired, and in my spare time, I show horses, spend time with my grandkids and I love to sew! I am sewing with Allison’s Angel Gowns in memory of our angel Allison.

 

 

 

Brenda M

Brenda M

 

 My mother sewed dresses from flour sacks when she was young. She taught me to sew at 12 years old. My first project was a green flowered apron. I was excited with the finished product (not so much about using it while cooking). I took Home Economics class in school and improved my skills. I continued sewing clothes for myself until I had my own children. My 2 daughters had new matching dresses to wear to church every Sunday. When my oldest daughter voiced interest in learning to sew, I joyfully passed on the family tradition and taught her to sew. When she planned her wedding, she requested me to make her dress. I nervously sewed each seam, hoping to create a beautiful gown for her. She was gorgeous! Now she sews for her five daughters! I heard about Allison’s Angel Gowns on a Fox 2 news segment. It is a pleasure to participate in this ministry. I pray my angel creations bring comfort to those in grief. Brenda McCall

Sharon F

Sharon F

I am originally from Little Rock AR but married into the Air Force in 1966 and began moving as he was transferred. Belleville IL has been our permanent home since 1982. My mother began teaching me to sew on her treadle sewing machine when I was five. As I got older (and much taller than average) sewing became a necessity. Later, sewing for my three sons helped to stretch our budget. Since they are grown I haven’t sewn much but after seeing a post about Allison’s Angel Gowns on facebook I felt drawn to investigate it. I’m only on my third wedding gown at this point but as I work on each Angel gown I feel a connection to the family and the baby that may someday need it. Praying that it in some way offers some comfort to the family of the little angel.

 

Katie S

Katie S

I learned to sew from my grandma when I was about 8 years old. I don’t normally sew clothes, but when I heard about Allison’s Angel Gowns through a woman who volunteered at the rescue group where I adopted my dogs, I decided I wanted to give it a try. I love to sew for others, so I am thrilled to be able to be a part of something that means so much to people. In 2010, I graduated from Saint Louis University with a BA in psychology and anthropology. I returned and am currently working towards a Masters degree in social work.

 

Chris T

Chris T

Hi, my name is Chris and I enjoy country living with my husband, Tom. I started sewing as a child and was most inspired to learn by my grandmothers and a special aunt. Now that I’m unofficially retired, I try to keep up with the requests from my five grand daughters and I do some custom embroidery work and make special children’s clothing out of my home. I first learned of Allison’s Angel Gowns via Janet’s post on Facebook and could hardly wait to get started! This is the most fulfilling work I’ve ever done and I am honored to be a part of this wonderful group. I hope that my efforts bring comfort to families in need and I sew to honor my little angel grand baby and all the little angel babies that we help to prepare for Heaven.

 

Lisa M

Lisa M

I learned how to sew from my mother starting when I was about 7. I sewed on and off until I was in my 30’s when I started quilting in addition to sewing. I found about Allison’s Angel Gowns when Ii was looking for an organization to donate my wedding dress. Because it was about 15 years old no organization wanted it. A friend found AAG on FB. I went from donating to sewing for AAG quickly. Although I have no children of my own I sew to remember my mother who was taken too soon. I wish there was not a need for our gowns but it is rewarding to know we are providing comfort to parents who are in an unimaginable situation. In addition to sewing for AAG I volunteer as a transport driver for Rescue Road Warriors and work with Santa’s Helpers in the fall.

 

Debbie W

Debbie W

My name is Debbie Weinman. I live in Brighton, IL and I’m married with 3 grown children and 2 grandchildren. When I was very young my mom signed me up to participate in 4-H. The leader of the 4-H group took each of us to her home and taught us to sew, knit and crochet. I’ve continued to sew most all of my life making my own clothes, making dresses for my daughter and now as a quilter and owner of Sew Far Sew Good Custom Quilting. Found out about Allison’s Angel Gowns when I met fellow seamstress, Christine Taul. Over the years I’ve had co-workers and friends who have lost little ones. Most recently was my cousin’s first grandchild became an Angel. Their little grandson would be the same age as my granddaughter, Makenzie. I have several other friends who have lost little ones over the years, but I would like to volunteer and make little gowns in honor of Thomas Noah Keppler. Now that I’ve retired from The Boeing Company, I wanted to put my sewing skills to service. I also sew with a group who are making quilts for the residents of Beverly Farm in Godfrey. Beverly Farm is a home for adults with disabilities. Beverly Farm also has a Special Olympics Equestrian Team that I volunteer my horse, Tex, and my time to support the teams success.

denisec

Denise C

I was married for 52 years before I lost my husband. I have three wonderful children and 6 beautiful grandkids. I worked in the garment industry since I was18, finishing my career as a designer and patternmaker for a bridal manufacturer, my all time dream job! I learned from my niece about AAG and decided this would be my next endeavor, I love it, makes me feel like I am doing something to help parents of angels who need any comfort they can get. I lost 2 nieces at birth and 2 nephews at age 5 so i do this in their memory

 

 

DeeDee

DeeDee

I’m DeeDee and I learned to sew in Jr High in Home Ec. It was something that I enjoyed doing. I went many years without sewing after I got married and raised my son. Now, he is getting married and my husband and I will be celebrating out 30th anniversary this year. So when I saw a post about Allison’s Angel Gowns, I knew I had to do this. It has been the greatest decision.Seeing the wedding dresses being transformed into the beautiful Angel Gowns is just so rewarding. It breaks my heart that the need for these gowns never ends, but I feel comfort in knowing it is making the difference in someone’s life who is grieving. I am honored to be able to put a little love into these gowns to wrap these precious angels in as they journey to heaven. This mission has touched my heart and I hope these gowns can touch others.

 

 

Regan C

Regan C

Hi everyone, I am Regan. I am happily married for three years to my husband Charlie. We have two children. Peyton is 2 and keeps us on our toes. Our angel Garrett was born sleeping on January 7, 2015. After meeting Janet to personally deliver my wedding gown, I knew I wanted to volunteer in whatever way possible to help other bereaved parents. I currently wash dresses and help prep them to become beautiful angel gowns. I volunteer in memory of our angel Garrett.

 

 

Becky F

Becky F

I was always involved in crafts and sewing with my mom from a very young age. I honed my skills in middle school home ec class. My mother sewed and quilted and when she passed away I inherited a ton of fabric and her sewing machines. I started up-cycling clothes a few years ago and sewing for friends babies. I love turning the unuseful into creative new items. When a friend of mine had a baby pass from trisomy I found AAG in my research and thought it would be a wonderful way to up-cycle and help families. I am also a Social Worker love having another way I can help others.

 

 

Debbie B

Debbie B

I learned to sew in 4-H and Home Ec in high school. My mother was very supportive of my efforts. Sewing my own clothes really helped stretch the budget. I sewed for my children, especially one who was a difficult size and couldn’t find clothes to fit. I have sewn a wedding, bride and bridesmaids, several Santa suits, several Easter Bunny, all my kids Halloween costumes and for years did most of my own clothes. My children are all adults and out of the house so I hope to find a little more time to sew for AAG. When I heard about this I knew it was something I wanted to be involved in.

 

 

Chris Z

Chris Z

I have been married to my HS sweetheart for 40 yrs and have two wonderful children, Jennifer just graduated with her doctrine in nursing and is a CRNA in Ca. My son Brian is getting his degree in preaching at Trinity College in FL. I have one granddaughter Ella, 8 and she is my world! I started sewing in HS where I made my own prom dress and have been quilting for many years now as therapy. I prayed to God to show me how to use my gift to glorify Him and within weeks I was introduced to Allisons Angel Gowns. What a blessing it is to do something I love to help others in need. Bless these little angels

 

 

 

Gail C

Gail C

I am Gail Re Cavallo, am married to a wonderful man and have a beautiful daughter. We lost our son after 15 days in the NICU at Childrens Hospital. I understand first hand and embrace this wonderul opportunity to give some comfort, beuty and support to parents facing such a difficlt period in their lives

 

 

 

 

Deb M

Deb M

My husband Jim and I live in Greenville Illinois. I’ve been sewing since I can remember. I first heard about AAG from another seamstress and dear friend Mary Gorman. I had done “deadline” sewing in the past and was honestly burned out. We too have a son with wings and I still wanted to help so I originally signed on to clean and disassemble the wedding dresses. One day a gown passed through my home and spoke to me. I’ve been sewing ever since. There’s a feeling I can’t describe about being involved in something that forces you to step outside of yourself and your problems and be thankful you can just be there and contribute a little light into someone else’s day.

 

Rev. Deborah Atkins

Rev. Deborah Atkins

I am Rev. Deborah J. Atkins, the Pastor of St. Paul United Church of Christ in Staunton, IL. I am a widow with three children, two grandchildren and an 85 lb. German Shepherd furbaby named Daisy.  In addition to my pastoral duties, I enjoy reading, quilting, and making doll clothes.  Having shared the experience of infant loss with several families, I decided to become a part of Allison’s Angel Gowns.

 

 

 

Liz H

Liz H

Hi there! I’m Liz, and joined the AAG seamstress team in 2015, as a way to use my skills, interests and talents to serve those in need. By day, I am project manager at a communications firm that specializes in brand marketing, and philanthropic and stewardship solutions. By night, I moonlight as a stage manager, seamstress and costume designer for local theatre companies. Favorite design shows include Grand Hotel, Cherry Sister Revisited, The Woman in Black, The Mary Shelley Monster Show, Midsummer Night’s Dream (three times!) and, most recenty Or, which follows a night in life of Aphra Behn, Charles II and Nell Gwyn.

 

 

Dolores V

Dolores V

I started sewing when I was about 8 or 9.  My Mother helped me learn on her treadle sewing machine.  That was quite an adventure!  I took 2 years of Home Ec in high school and that really helped.  After I started working I made some of my clothes, especially skirts, (they were easy).  I sewed for both of my daughters when they were young.  When my Grandchildren were born I sewed each of their Christening gowns, dresses for the 3 girls and rompers for the 2 boys.  I also made some short outfits for them as they got older.  Right now their ages are 11, 13, 16, 18 & 20 so Grandmas sewing for them ended quite a while ago.  I enjoy doing crafts (sewing & flower arranging).  I met Janet at a Craft Day event  at DK’s Market in Hamel.  I make American Girl doll clothes and accessories.  She asked if I would be interested in joining the group.  I love volunteering, it gives me such a wonderful feeling to know that in some small way I am making a difference in someones life.

 

 

 

 

Christian J

Christian J

Hi! My name is Christian Jonas and I live in Florissant, Mo. I started sewing around 4 or 5 and was hooked when my grandma got me my first sewing machine for my 5th birthday. My mom and grandma were both great seamstresses and taught me a lot. Unfortunately I do not have children of my own. A friend told me about AAG when she saw them on the news. She just knew this is something I would want to do. I am honored to be able to create something so precious for these angel babies and proud to be a volunteer for AAG.

Amanda K

Amanda K

I am a mother of 2 teenage boys, 16 yrs prek teacher for Hazelwood School District, love projects indoor and outdoor and get lots of my ideas from Pinterest, have 2 very spoiled puppies, and obviously love to sew!!
brendan

Brenda N

I am Brenda. I was born 6-17-1949. Raised in East Alton, Il. Married to Otto Nurnberger for 48 years. Retired Para professional at Southwestern High School,Piasa, Il. Two children. Ryan, wife Genna, he is 36 an Aerospace Engineer and lives in Chicago. Daughter,Jamie is 33 yrs old now lives in Jacksonville, Fla with her husband, Jon, and daughter, Rosie. She is a veterinarian. I love to dance,sew, and spend time with a great circle of friends. I have been a 48 yr member of St. John’s UCC, BrightonI sew for AAG because I had a niece (who passed away right after she was born ( Meconium Aspiration). Her Dad had to buy her an outfit to be buried in. A young teacher and his wife lost their firstborn at birth. I sew to keep their memory alive
Paula L

Paula L

Hi, I’m Paula. I grew up with my Grandma sewing me cute little tops and crocheting so many blankets for my baby dolls. She taught me everything she knew about sewing and crocheting and that’s how it all began. I started making clothes for my dolls and then myself when I was 12. I continued developing my skills from there and even tried a little bit of quilting. It was early 2016 when I stumbled across Allison’s Angel Gowns website and I was hooked…I had to be a part of this…I needed to do this for some reason. Being a part of this organization that is transforming the beautiful wedding gowns into the tiny gowns and outfits for these angels is an honor. I’m glad I stumbled upon this wonderful bunch of ladies…and their families.

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3 thoughts on “Our Volunteers

  1. I’m NIcole Whiteside (Pederson) and I was curious to read the bio of the awesome lady who received my dress to sew. It is Hollie, and I see she has a grandbaby who was born at 28 weeks. My son was born last March at 27 weeks and is thankfully doing really well. I just thought it was really special we both have experience with a preemie. I also wanted to thank her for what she is doing. I know this is something that I will talk about forever and I know the families who receive her beautiful creations will be forever grateful. So thank you!

  2. Hello Everyone,
    My name is Jillian. My husband and I had our daughter, Sophia Maria on February 1, 2014. She was a stillborn due to the umbilical cord being wrapped around her neck. It was a devastating time in our life but we are doing well. I found this organization while surfing the web today and think this is such a heart warming thought to donate wedding dresses. I think this we be a good way for us to give back to others going through the same thing and would love to participate.

  3. I just read the bios for each of these lovely ladies. I want to tell them all thank you for their talents, their time and their love. I look forward to seeing each new gown as it is posted and I can’t wait to see the special creations that will be coming from my daughter’s gown that I recently donated. I am friends with Grandma Gail and I have followed this amazing story from the beginning. Allison will live on in the hearts of those that have lost love ones as well as those that read and fall in love with her through this amazing memorial. Bless you all.

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