Maggie Mancuso paints, enscribes stones, collects gowns for families in mourning
A Dorchester mom has turned the tragic death of her infant son into a crusade to help others struggling with loss and grief.
Margaret (Maggie) Moran Mancuso was devastated when her son Ambrose died unexpectedly three weeks after his birth last August.
Seeking solace, she started collecting and painting stones with inspirational quotes from Sunrise Beach, a favorite destination near her vacation home in Marshfield. She started calling the hand-painted stones “Ambrose’s Angels.”
“I found total beauty in the rocks,” says Mancuso. “The more I painted, the more people kept asking and I kept telling my story."
Now she connects with people from all over the world as they take requests for personalized stones.
“I just started writing quotes for everyone to take and I started doing the baby garden [dedicated to mothers who have lost children], and the words of hope, love and kindness. In a world today, that is what everyone needs. It’s bringing in positive support and it’s healing others and healing me one little step at a time, it is love put back into the world.”
On the 25th of the month (her son was born on July 25, 2016) Mancuso requests that people do an act of kindness and share it with her using the hashtag #AmbrosesAngels. The community has helped in unimaginable ways with acts of kindness. Boston Police ran in honor of Ambrose in the Halfway to Dot Day 5k Race and donations have been made to the Boston Children’s Hospital, St. Jude’s Cancer Research, veterans and the homeless in memory of Ambrose.
Mancuso’s latest endeavor is “Ambrose’s Angel Gowns,” a charitable donation drive where she and her friends, Pat Marsters, a Pembroke entrepreneur, and Kelly Goff, the head seamstress for the gowns, collect new or used wedding gowns, christening gowns, and bridesmaid’s gowns for families who have experienced a similar loss.
The idea is to make the clothing available for families that have lost their children and are unprepared for a funeral.
“Pat [Marsters] and I had become very close friends from her events, and I started telling her about angel gowns and the need for them. It’s not like you’re prepared to plan a funeral in any way, but having the baby’s gown there and made for you from the generosity of others at no cost, there’s a need for this service,” said Mancuso.
She is currently partnering with local organizations and hospitals so that clothes and blankets will be available on-site for the families in the event of any health tragedy.
Donations can be made at three drop-off locations in Dorchester, Marshfield and Pembroke, or by going to Mancuso’s home address on Minot St. in Dorchester. More drop-off locations will be added soon. Those interested in donating can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain the drop-off location addresses.