Have you always wanted to be someone’s fairy godmother? Well, here is your big chance…
Ipswich mum Sam Harrison wants your old formal dress or suit to lend / gift to disadvantaged students in Ipswich, to create magical school formals to remember.
The Fairy Godmother Project (formerly Gift of the Gown Ipswich) was founded from Sam’s own experience as a single mum who struggled to pay for her daughter’s formal dress. Sam believes that many young women (and men) in Ipswich simply cannot afford to attend their school formal. Sam took inspiration from a similar project on the Gold Coast, Gift of the Gown run by Carol Millar.
Much to her delight, Ipswich non-profit the Hearts & Minds Foundation stepped in and took Sam’s project under its wing, providing a committee of helpers, a shop front and the infrastructure needed to take the initiative to the next level.
The Fairy Godmother Project is about gifting confidence and self worth to these young people, via the gift of a formal dress or suit, shoes and accessories. By donating to The Fairy Godmother Project you are granting a beautiful Cinderella (or Cinderfella) the opportunity to fulfil their school formal dream, and you become his or her fairy godmother!
How does it work?
You clean out your wardrobe and donate good quality formal dresses and suits to the project. Ideally these dresses and suits are clean, not stained and in an acceptable condition for the girls/guys to wear immediately. If you have a dress or suit that needs dry cleaning, you can drop it at Ipswich Dry Cleaners, mention that you’re a fairy godmother and they will dry clean it for a reduced fee of $33 (less than half the usual cost). Sam says vintage dresses are okay, but to PLEASE avoid donating your puffy sleeved, shoulder padded 80’s number.
These items are then provided free of charge to anyone in need, or to anyone struggling to afford their school formal. If a family can afford a cash donation, that is certainly appreciated, but not a requirement of the project
Sam says it is a system based on honesty and integrity. If you don’t need the help, please don’t apply. Sam requires school ID to be sure that only year 12 students from the local Ipswich area are being supported.
Two things in return
All Sam asks is that one day the recipients of The Fairy Godmother Project pay the gesture forward, either by gifting their dress or suit back to the project, or by donating when they’re financially able. Sam loves seeing photos of the formals, and always hopes to share pictures to donors of The Fairy Godmother Project so fairy godmothers can see the joy that they have gifted.
The Fairy Godmother Project is now a registered non-profit through the Hearts & Minds Foundation, and can issue tax deductible receipts for cash donations. Sam will soon have a shop front for dress and suit fittings upstairs at 156 Brisbane Street, Ipswich (Top of Town Precinct) thanks to the generous support of Steve and Jaye Mallet from Choices Flooring who have offered the space free of charge.
If you’d like to donate a dress, shoes, handbags, accessories or a suit, please send Sam a message via the facebook pageor drop your donation to Ipswich Dry Cleaners at 255 Brisbane Street, Ipswich – the main drop off location.
Milton State School mum Zinta is also helping collect items. Drop items to Bayswater Street, Milton in a bag marked Fairy Godmother Zinta for collection.
On Sunday August 13 The Fairy Godmother Project will be holding its first Ladies’ High Tea fundraising event at the Ipswich Club from 1pm. Head to the facebook page for details.
A message from Sam
Thank you so much for your support, and for helping fairy tales to come true for so many worthy local teenagers who could do with a helping hand.