Brisbane woman Ingrid Kahn (front left) from Formals For Farmer's Kids was in Stanthorpe on Thursday afternoon.
Brisbane woman Ingrid Kahn (front left) from Formals For Farmer's Kids was in Stanthorpe on Thursday afternoon.

Free formal dresses for drought-ravaged farm kids

THE clothes might have been free but it doesn't mean Stanthorpe students won't be looking the part for this year's graduations.

On Thursday afternoon the Formals for Farmer's Kids initiative rolled into town with hundreds of free suits and dresses in tow.

Led by Brisbane's Ingrid Kahn, the scheme was kicked off when she was moved by seeing the drought devastation on social media.

"Being from Brisbane the drought is a bit of a far off thought," Ms Kahn said.

"Driving down here was actually a bit of a wake up call.

"The media does touch on it but maybe doesn't make it sound as bad as it is.

"I started researching on Facebook and Instagram and found a lady down in Victoria doing a very similar thing (to Formals for Farmer's Kids) and I contacted her to ask if she minded if I expanded on it.

"She was more than happy to do that."

Things snowballed from there and Ms Kahn started to be flooded with donations.

"I reached out to local groups to get the donations rolling and everyone has been amazing.

"My gratitude for their support is immense.

"We've got dresses from basic $50 ones up to $3000 wedding dresses."

Teenagers can be a quiet bunch, but Ms Kahn said they've all been incredibly grateful.

"They seem very humble to be honest. Quiet but grateful.

"It's not like they're expecting anything.

"A lady said to me today that these kids are going to wear these suits to the formal, their job interview, even court she joked."

Stanthorpe's Kellie Biggin supported Ms Kahn in getting the word out.

"There's lots of help out there for families and farms but not for the kids.

"Ingrid rang me and from there it has just blown up.

"The community has been amazing. The kids are so excited. I've had parents ring me and say thank you.

"The first customers through the doors, which surprised me, was the boys.

"Formals and graduations can be a lot of money. So to walk out with something for free is great."

Stanthorpe Border Post


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