(CNN) — A nonprofit organization is helping healthcare workers treating coronavirus patients have the wedding of their dreams by providing them with free wedding gowns.
Brides Across America has been gifting wedding gowns and even weddings to members of their military and first responders for more than 10 years. However, in May, the Massachusetts-based firm introduced an initiative to expand its reach.
“When the pandemic started, we detected all of the physicians and nurses and other health care employees giving up a great deal of their time to encourage our communities so we wanted to include them within our mission,” creator Heidi Janson told CNN.
So far, the team has given wedding gowns to greater than 150 health care workers on the front lines of the outbreak.
Nicole Harris, one of the recipients, is a registered nurse in South Shore Hospital in Weymouth. She’s been working with Covid-19 patients since March. With Brides Across America, Harris attended an event on Friday to pick her wedding gown.
“Working during the Covid-19 pandemic was a roller coaster of feelings, but I am thankful I managed to generate a difference in my patients’ lives, much like Brides Across America made a difference in mine,” Harris, 26, told CNN.
While some other brides-to-be excitedly plan their dream weddings, Harris has spent hours at hospital rooms caring for patients and doing her best not to contract the virus herself. Next 15, it’s left her to get ready for the big day.
Harris described planning a wedding whilst responding to the pandemic as physically and mentally exhausting.
“The stress of this pandemic has added to the strain of arranging a wedding in that many places are limited hours and vendors are not operating as normal. This free wedding dress has helped out tremendously since now I can use the money towards other aspects of the wedding”
Brides Around America hosts fitting events across the United States. Health care employees depart with gowns in their arms — attend with rings on their hands and — after lots of some tears and laughs.
Janson said it’s her organization’s method of giving back.
“To be able to give back to them in such an intimate way, especially since weddings are minutes people dream about, is merely a beautiful experience,” Janson said. “This is simply to show them that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s a classic time for them to remember forever.”
Since its founding in 2008, Brides Across America has talented 26,000 wedding gowns and 24 weddings.
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