This group donates wedding dresses to healthcare workers on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic

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Brides Across America has been offering wedding dresses and even weddings to the military and first responders for over 10 years. But in May, the Massachusetts-based organization launched an initiative to expand its reach to healthcare workers.

“When the pandemic started, we noticed that all the doctors, nurses and other health workers were giving up so much of their time to support our communities, so we wanted to include them in our mission,” founder Heidi Janson told CNN.

To date, the group has offered wedding dresses to more than 150 health workers on the front lines of the pandemic.

Nicole Harris, one of the recipients, is a registered nurse at the South Shore Hospital in Weymouth. She has worked with Covid-19 patients since March. On Friday, Harris attended an event with Brides Across America to choose her wedding dress.

“Working during the Covid-19 pandemic was a roller coaster of emotions, but I am grateful that I could make a difference in the lives of my patients, just as Brides Across America made a difference in mine”, Harris, 26, told CNN.While other brides-to-be enthusiastically plan their dream weddings, Harris spent long hours in hospital rooms taking care of the patients and doing their best not to contract the virus itself. This left him little time to prepare for the big day in August.

Harris described planning a wedding while responding to the pandemic as physically and mentally exhausting.

“The stress of the pandemic has added to the stress of planning a wedding as many places have tight schedules and the vendors are not operating as usual. This free wedding dress helped enormously because now I can use the money for other aspects of the wedding. ”

Brides Across America organizes events adapted to the United States. Health workers attend with rings on their fingers and – after much laughter and even a few tears – leave with dresses on their arms.

Janson said it was the way his organization gave back.

“Being able to make their lives so intimate, especially since weddings are moments that people dream of, is just a great experience,” said Janson. “It’s just to show them that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It is a timeless moment for them to remember forever. ”

Since its founding in 2008, Brides Across America has offered 26,000 wedding dresses and 24 weddings.

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