Angel Gowns of WNY (AGOWNY) was founded in April 2014 in Buffalo,
NY. It is dedicated to creating beautiful final photo and burial gowns,
handcrafted by volunteers, from generously donated wedding gowns and
special occasion dresses, to offer comfort to grieving families during
their time of loss.
It was started by Missy Ray who, after making gown for a friend,
saw there was a need in our local community and decided to form Angel
Gowns of WNY. In September 2014, AGOWNY received its incorporation as a
501 c 3 Not-for-profit organization. It is the Mission of Angel Gowns
of WNY to distribute these Angel Gowns to any Hospital, Infant Loss
organization, funeral home or family that needs one, completely free of
After a wonderful story on the news, there was an outpouring of
support and Wedding gown and special occasion dress donations. So much
so, that in the following 7 months, we received over 2,500 gowns! By
May of 2015, our donations had to close and our volunteers went to work.
April 2017 saw a change of leadership with the Board of Directors.
Susan Lakowski, EdD, graciously accepted the position of Executive
Director/President. Under her leadership, AGOWNY has grown and
flourished. We currently have 40 active volunteers residing in the
Western New York area!
We could not do, what we do, without our amazing team of
volunteers. From the dress runners, dismantlers, seamstresses,
organizing, packaging and shipping, everyone is a piece of the puzzle
that makes up the beautiful picture that is Angel Gowns of WNY. Many of
our volunteers are bereaved parents or grandparents. They understand
the importance of having something special for your baby. We have
2020 was set to be an exciting year. We were going to open up for
gown donations again, since it had been closed since May 2015.
Unfortunately, Covid-19 put a damper on that, but along with the many
Angel Gowns our seamstresses created, they also had personal projects
that resulted in THOUSANDS of Face Masks and surgical caps being made
our local Health Care Professionals along with friends and families.
They made us proud! Thankfully, in the Fall of 2020, we were able to
start accepting gowns on a very limited basis.
The Heart and Soul of AGOWNY is for our local area, here in Buffalo
and surrounding areas, but our reach extends much further than we could
have ever imagined. We have been able to ship over 20,000 Angel Gowns
across all 50 of the United States, as well as 8 different countries
around the world.
It is the vision and dedication of the Board of Directors and the
volunteers, to continue the creation and distribution of Angel Gowns.
The need for Angel Gowns is not one that ends, and so our mission continues.