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APR 2016


Angel Babies,
100 Years Young

Dear Readers:

Inspired by a story about women in Texas who make infant burial gowns, the Athena Philoptochos Society of St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Fresno, California, joined the cause. For over two years, the community has been making infant gowns from donated wedding gowns and donating them to the Hinds Hospice Angel Babies program, which serves families in Fresno, Madera and Merced counties.

“Angel Babies helps around 35 families a month,” says its program director Kathy Cromwell as reported by The Fresno Bee. “Since Angel Babies began in 2001, it’s helped grieving families cope with the deaths of around 3,800 babies.” For more of this heartfelt story, I invite you to turn to page 4.

This month, the HJ offers a personal congratulations to its longstanding contributor and inspiration Virginia Lagiss, who enthusiastically celebrates her 100th birthday on April 27. While her contributions in the Greek community are legendary, her pioneering spirit began at a young age. We offer a glimpse into the fabric of Virginia’s amazing life on page 5 and invite you to raise your glass in her honor!

Hronia Polla Virginia!




Wedding gowns transform to gifts of comfort for grieving families of Angel Babies

St. George Philoptochos Society partners with local Hospice to create burial gowns for infants

By Frosene Phillips

“The outpouring has been amazing,” said Elaine Sotiropulos about the national attention the Athena Philoptochos Society of St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Fresno, CA, received in December. Through the inspiration of a neo-natal nurse, Angel Gowns for Angel Babies was born. “We were inspired by a news story about a group in Texas which we saw on Facebook,” said Sotiropulos.

Read current issue online for full article

Frosene Phillips