Massachusetts Nonprofit Donates Wedding Gowns to Healthcare Workers

Brides Across America is giving back to the people who give so much.

Jul 18, 2020

(Margo Basarab / Shutterstock.com)

What little girl doesn’t grow up pretending to be a bride? Or when she is older, dream of a perfect wedding with a beautiful gown? Now, a nonprofit organization in Massachusetts is helping frontline healthcare workers have the wedding of their dreams.

That’s because Brides Across America (BAA) is giving these workers who are helping coronavirus patients free wedding gowns.  According to CNN, the organization has been providing gowns for women serving in the US military and first responders since it was founded in 2008.

In May 2020, BAA launched a new initiative to help healthcare workers that are fighting the battle against the coronavirus. "When the pandemic started, we noticed all the doctors and nurses and other health care workers giving up so much of their time to support our communities so we wanted to include them in our mission," BAA founder Heidi Janson told CNN.

The organization has already provided free wedding gowns to more than 150 healthcare workers. One recipient is Nicole Harris, a registered nurse at South Shore Hospital in Weymouth, Massachusetts.

"Working during the Covid-19 pandemic has been a roller coaster of emotions, but I am grateful that I was able to make a difference in my patients' lives, much like Brides Across America made a difference in mine," Harris said.

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Janson, told Today, that the response from the public to helping the healthcare workers has been very positive. “The girls are so happy. They’re like, ‘I’m working, I’m planning a wedding. I don’t really have time [to look for a dress].’ They can’t believe it’s free,” she said.

Since its founding, the organization said it has given away 25,000 wedding gowns and 25 weddings in what they call “Operation Wedding Gown Event”. These events are held twice a year, one around July 4, and one around Veteran’s Day in November as a way to support the troops.

While BAA is located in Andover, Massachusetts and has over 1,000 dresses at the outlet (where gowns can also be purchased), you do not have to come in yourself, the nonprofit  will ship gowns to participating boutiques and event places where women who qualify for the free gowns can try them on, even as far away as California.

The gowns are donated by designers, bridal salons, manufactures, and by people who just want to help. The dresses come in a very large assortment of sizes so there is something for everyone.

“We’re pretty small, but we have a big mission,” Janson told Today. “It’s definitely hard, but we’re trying our best to continue as much as we can with the current circumstances.”

Helping the people who are frontline workers in the pandemic is not confined to just providing wedding gowns for brides. Hotels have given free rooms to these essential workers so they can isolate from their families, and restaurants across the US have been providing free food. In fact, neighbors have been helping neighbors around the globe. There has never been a better time to do good.

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BONNIE RIVA RAS, EDITOR & WRITER
Bonnie Riva Ras has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.