Before coronavirus hit, there were plenty of healthcare workers across the country who had beautiful wedding plans. Obviously, those have now changed! Now, one nonprofit wants to help by donating wedding gowns to engaged healthcare workers who need them!
Giving Back To The Community
Founded and based in Andover, Massachusetts, Brides Across America usually helps military and first responder brides that need help affording a wedding dress. However, amid the pandemic, they have decided to open this up to any engaged healthcare worker! After all, finding a wedding dress is hard, under the best of circumstances. Now, imagine trying to find one while fighting COVID-19! So, Brides Across America is not only helping them, but also footing the bill!
“We just wanted to do something to give back and at least say, ‘Hey, we’re thinking of you,’” the nonprofit’s founder, Heidi Janson (seen above), said. “They’re putting their lives on the line, just like the military or a first responder, so this was our way to give back to them. We just thought it lined up nicely with our mission.”
The nonprofit works in conjunction with shops and boutiques across the country, making it easier than ever for these deserving brides to find what they want. And they have not kept their happiness from the non-profit. “The response has been great,” Janson said. “The girls are so happy. They’re like, ‘I’m working, I’m planning a wedding. I don’t really have time (to find a dress).’ They can’t believe it’s free.”
Janson decided to found the nonprofit after watching the military women struggle to find wedding gowns while serving their country. Unfortunately, when these women went to help, some had to cancel their wedding or scratch their idea or a beautiful white dress. That’s how Brides Across America started back in 2008. Since then, Janson’s organization has bought and donated around 2,000 gowns a year, giving more than 25,000 in total during its 12 years of existence. Talk about an incredible cause!
“We had a lot of deployments, and people needed dresses last minute,” Janson said. “We felt the need to give back and do something.” In 12 years, the nonprofit has grown a lot in terms of gown purchases, but not in terms of employee size. Even now, in 2020, only 7 people work there, to keep their non-profit status, and they are busy every day. COVID-19 made it harder to work. “We’re pretty small, but we have a big mission,” Janson said. “It’s definitely hard, but we’re trying our best to continue as much as we can with the current circumstances.”
Helping Brides Across America
Interested in helping out Brides Across America? Well, there are many ways you can! First, take gowns that are less than five years and still in condition. Meanwhile, you can also donate receiving veils, jewelry, gift cards, and wedding favors.