Good Neighbors

From Scrubs To Sparkles: How This Shop Is Giving Engaged Health Care Workers Something To Smile About

They wanted to give their town's healthcare heroes and brides-to-be one less thing to worry about while working on the front lines.

Over the past few weeks, you've likely seen photos and videos of hospital workers circulating on social media.

Nurses and doctors clad in PPE from head-to-toe: masks, scrubs, gloves, caps, gowns – they look like soldiers suiting up before going into battle. And for most of them, the fight to protect themselves while helping their patients to recover after they've contracted the virus has been just that – a battle.

Healthcare workers are often required to wear layers of PPE while they treat Covid-19 patients. @aaaidsc

That's why Ava Clara Bridal has stepped up to give engaged healthcare workers something to look forward to wearing once the pandemic has passed.

The bridal store, located in Virginia Beach, VA, recently announced that they would be holding a giveaway event for local healthcare workers who are planning to tie the knot.

"We couldn't think of a more worthy group of women to receive these free wedding gowns than the brave ladies who are risking their lives every day to help save ours," Alex Fleear, Ava Clara Couture Bridal's president, told GMA.

The Virginia Beach area store is planning a giveaway event for local healthcare workers. 13NewsNow

The company plans to give away 75 dresses. To qualify for the giveaway, nurses must be currently engaged and able to provide valid hospital identification. They also have to provide proof that their unit works directly with Covid-19 patients.

Check out our recent Sparkt story about a wedding that didn't go exactly as planned due to the coronavirus: Couple Says Their Vows Online With Family Attending From Across The Globe

This isn't the first time that Ava Clara has given away their gowns. The company started a non-profit organization called "Tulle 4 All" to help brides in need get their dream dresses. T4A hosted a similar event in 2018 where they gave dresses to teachers.

"The idea was to segway 'Tulle 4 Teachers' into a giveaway for other occupations," Fleear said. "Then, coronavirus hit, and it immediately threw us into a giveaway for nurses as a way to show our support and appreciation for them."

The bridal shop started a non-profit called 'Tulle 4 All' to provide gowns to brides in need. Ava Clara Bridal/Facebook

The event is scheduled to take place at the bridal shop on August 16, 2020. Brides will be given a private shopping experience where they can work with the store's stylist to choose from a selection of designer gowns.

Some of the designer labels that brides can expect to browse are Casablanca, Ella Rosa, Kenneth Winston, Blue Willow by Anne Barge, and several others with a maximum retail value of $4000.

Brides-to-be will be able to choose from a variety of designer gowns. Ava Clara Bridal/Facebook

Like many other small businesses, Ava Clara has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. The shop has lost 80 percent of their monthly revenue according to Fleear, and they've had to lay off some of their staff and have greatly reduced the hours of the workers they have kept on.

"Though this time is trying, we are focusing on the good by organizing this event," Fleear said.

The deadline to apply for the giveaway is April 24, 2020. Ava Clara Bridal/Facebook

So far, the shop has received 50 applicants for the giveaway, and Fleear hopes that even more will sign up for a chance to win a gown for their special day.

The applicants will be judged on their applications responses as well as their field history, and candidates will be contacted via email if they qualify for the giveaway in August.

"Hopefully, this will impact our community to show we are all in this together," Fleear said. "We really want to rally around our heroic health care workers as they are truly the ones who have impacted us the most since this outbreak."

How can you start something good?

Those who qualify can enter the contest by visiting the Ava Clara Couture Bridal website and click the link under the Events tab.

The deadline to register for the giveaway is April 24, 2020.

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