Brides Across America has become my life's work and has proven immensely rewarding. When you start seeing the transformation in brides and the hope you're giving, it's inspiring. We're giving them their dream come true and a moment in time they will always remember.
In 2008, I started working to help poverty stricken women by empowering and developing their own micro businesses. During some research, I came across an article about a soldier that felt that we forgot them in Afghanistan. After thinking about it and coming to conclusion that we take our daily lives for granted, I wanted to give back and say thank you for those sacrificing their lives for us.
At the time, I was expanding my bridal salon and decided to kick off Independence Day with the first free wedding gown giveaway. For two days, we gave away 60 wedding gowns to military brides. The brides were filled with happiness and tears that I knew at that time this was my journey to continue to transform these women. Most of them were waiting for their loved one to return home from Iraq or Afghanistan, some of them had babies that were never seen by their spouse, and the reality of the financial struggle to make the wedding happen existed. News flew from coast to coast of when the next giveaway was going to be and that was the stepping stone of the charity.
The charity has given over 20,000 wedding gowns to date. I wanted to make sure that BAA gave away the gowns for free since our veterans and first responders put their lives on the line for us. I believe the charity has given more to me and improved me as a person. Giving back to someone in need is the most rewarding and selfless act that I could have done. By helping others and planting seeds of greatness, I believe each person can strive for their dreams.
Heidi founded Brides Across America in 2008. Since then BAA has gifted over 20,000 wedding dresses to military and first responder brides. In addition BAA has gifted over 25 weddings to deserving couples.