TEGNA Foundation 2021 grant is a Christmas miracle


December 27, 2021

Heather received a $5000 miracle for Kennedy’s Angel Gowns on Christmas Eve

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — 13News Now is shining a light on people making a special impact in our community. In a recent interview with Heather Wilson, founder of Kennedy’s Angel Gowns, she shared how the organization currently sends out about four Angel Box deliveries each week. A handcrafted infant burial garment and keepsakes are items in the Angel Box put together and created by a team of volunteers.

If you’re familiar with Kennedy’s Angel Gowns, you know it is named after Heather & Demitri Wilson’s daughter Kennedy Milan Wilson who was was stillborn on August 17, 2009. Heather recalls the motivation for turning her pain into purpose by creating this nonprofit organization. “The reason I did it was because it always resonated with me that she (Kennedy) didn’t have the perfect gown,” she said. “My mom and husband searched high and low for a gown that would fit such a perfect, but small angel.”

TEGNA Foundation grant awarded to Kennedy’s Angel Gowns

On Friday, December 24, 2021, 13—13News Now surprised Heather Wilson with a $5,000 check to give her nonprofit a little boost. The funds came from the 2021 TEGNA Foundation Community. TEGNA is the parent company of 13News Now.

Heather laughed with joy with her rainbow baby Ryleigh (a baby that’s born after the parents have a pregnancy loss) right at her side. “This is a Christmas miracle! Thank you so much!” Heather said.

The Wilsons continue to help other families remember their tiny angels through Kennedy’s Angel Gowns.

“Infant loss is one of those silent topics that I am hoping this brings awareness to,” Heather said. “And that we continue to lift the voices of the families and angels in heaven that were silently born into this world.”

Kennedy’s Angel Gowns will plan to use the money to purchase a cooling unit for a Sentara hospital. This device aids in preserving a baby’s body after they pass away to give the families the gift of more time with them after the loss.

Here are ways you can support the cooling unit program:

Heather responds to check from TEGNA Foundation with laughter and joy
Heather and daughter Ryleigh after receiving the $5000 check from TEGNA Foundation.

#pregnancyinfantlossawareness #miscarriage #stillbirth #neonatalloss #infertility #1in4 #1in8 #angelbaby #rainbowbaby


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