FAIRFIELD, NJ - In Loving memory of her dear friend Daniel Brockschmidt, who died suddenly in March, Fairfield resident Kim Martyniak Carlton created the charity NJ Angels 4 Kids.
NJ Angels 4 Kids is dedicated to transforming donated wedding/christening/communion dresses and christening/white suits into precious angel (burial) dresses/suits for those in need. Carlton, who loves to sew and personally transforms each gown, said she was inspired by an article she read about Baby Gowns for Eternity, a charity in Texas.
“The article talked about the overwhelming amount of wedding dresses they received and the heartfelt responses from grieving families that I just felt there would be a need in our area”, said Carlton, who added that she "hopes that by making these angel dresses, NJ Angels 4 Kids can help lift some of the burden during such a difficult and unimaginably heartbreaking time.”
Carlton is making everything from plain dresses to beautiful embellished dresses and suits. Each Angel package will have a dress/suit, pillow, hat, booties and a matching Mom & Angel bracelet. The micro preemies will be different and will range from micro preemie to full term Angels.
Upon request from those who donate a dress, Carlton will make a small pillow from a piece of the donor's dress as a keepsake. To further honor her friend, Carlton said that each angel dress will have a label sewn into it with his name.
Carlton expressed her gratitude to everyone who has already donated and said that, as of now, her angel dresses are going to the following hospitals to be given to grieving families: St. Clare's Hospital, Holy Name Hospital, Englewood Hospital, Hackensack Hospital, Monmouth Medical Center and Saint Barnabas in Livingston.
NJ Angels 4 Kids' goal is 1,000 Angel packages to start and Carlton is driven to reach this lofty goal by the encouraging messages that she has received from people like Christine, who donated her wedding dress:
"I wish I had a dress for my daughter," she said. "I had had to go and pick out a dress for her two days before they induced me. One of the hardest things I've ever had to do besides the funeral."
Anyone who would like to donate a gently used wedding dress can drop them off at the following locations: The Ultimate Scholar II, 1520 Blvd., Seaside Heights, Bayville Preschool 800 Route 9, Suite 5, Bayville, a private residence for the areas surrounding Edison/New Brunswick/Freehold (contact NJ Angels 4 Kids Facebook page for address, and 10 Dey Ave., Fairfield, NJ 07004 ( this is where they can be mailed to also) and a drop off in Paramus (again contact NJ Angels 4 Kids Facebook page for address)
To volunteer or to learn more about this charity, contact Kim Martyniak Carlton via Facebook at NJ Angels 4 Kids.