Overwhelming generosity from the community has given students a new outlook on their upcoming high school formal.
After finding out their school formal had been set to an earlier date this year due to booking restrictions which were out of the school’s hands, a number of students feared they would not be able to attend their ‘night of nights’.
One student went home to her mother devastated at the fact that she did not have enough time to earn money to pay for a dress, shoes, a ticket and all the other costs that go with a high school formal.
This student wasn’t the only one.
Formals have become increasingly expensive over the years, with everyone wanting to look and feel their best.
Parent Jessica Holmstrom Clark said she was upset that her daughter could miss out and decided to seek help.
She posted a message on a local buy, swap and sell group asking if anyone had any cheap formal wear for students to buy or hire and if anyone had anything formal related they could offer.
After an influx of donations, a Facebook group called the Murray Bridge Informal Formal Group 2017 was created so everything could be in the one place.
“People are donating all kinds of things,” she said.
“It all started from one little girl’s voice and one person offering to help.”
More than 800 members have joined the group and there have been hundreds of offers for help including donations for tickets.
Year 12 student Liesl Miller said the kindness was incredible.
“It made me feel very proud that I have friends actively helping people that would’t be able to afford it,” she said.
Ex-student Jasmine Yates said the stigma that formals have to be expensive needs to end.
“Formals are for everyone and should be accessible to everyone.”
There is now a committee for the group and members are hoping to keep it going into the future and create a formal library.
They want anyone in the district to be able to come through and have a look at what they have to offer and know that they have the option of going to formal.