Widow with brain cancer accidentally donates wedding dress to charity after donation bags get mixed up

A heartbroken widow cries out for help in finding her wedding dress, which she accidentally donated to charity.

Josie Smith was cleaning at her home in Rhyl, North Wales, when she placed the £1,000 backless dress in a separate bag.

The 60-year-old then dropped a pile of donations into an Oxfam clothes bin before realizing later that she had picked up the wrong bag.

She is desperate to get the hugely sentimental dress back after losing her husband Leon to brain cancer four years ago, North Wales Live reports.



Josie lost Leon to brain cancer four years ago

The couple had married in Paphos, Cyprus, in November 2012 before the 56-year-old fell ill.

Oxfam told the family the dress could have been recycled or found anywhere in the UK.

Josie said: “I had decluttered in January after New Years. I had two very similar bags. It’s devastating to lose it.

“The dress could have been recycled or resold. I have no way of knowing where it is.”

Josie, a senior homelessness prevention project worker for the Wallich charity, had purchased her brand new wedding dress online.



Josie Smith (right) calls for help finding her wedding dress after accidentally leaving it at a clothing bank in Rhyl.
Josie Smith (right) is appealing for help to find her wedding dress after accidentally leaving it at a clothing bank in Rhyl

She does not remember the designer but it is a Josephine-type model, partly chosen because that is her name. It has only been worn once.

Josie has undergone modifications including a bare back with thick ribbon around her neck and a corset-style back.

His daughter, Sandra Sutton, also appealed for help on social media.

Sandra said: “I plead for the help of social media and ask everyone if they can share this message.

“My wonderful mum donated a zip bag to Sainsburys Clothing Bank in Rhyl.

“A few weeks ago she thought the bag contained pillows but she accidentally pulled the wrong bag from under her bed and grabbed the one containing her wedding dress.

“My mum contacted Oxfam who said it could be anywhere in the UK and they couldn’t help any further.

“The dress has huge sentimental value. Unfortunately, we lost my stepfather to brain cancer a few years ago and it’s one of the few things he has left.

“It’s understandable that she is heartbroken. Please let the power of social media reunite the dress with my mother.

“We are willing to pay a reward if we can reunite the dress with my mother. Please contact me or Josie Salt for any information, thank you.”

Lorna Fallon, Oxfam’s retail director, said: “We will be working with our clothing bank collectors to do our best to track him down.”

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