How students in need can access free formalwear

A formal is a teenage rite of passage but for many Northern Rivers students the associated costs of that end of year celebration make it impossible to take part.

Luckily, good Samaritan and resident Francis Hotschilt is helping bring back that ‘Cinderella’ moment for our teens in need but she wants your help.

Ms Hotschilt, who runs Year 12 Free Formal Dress Hire Northern Rivers NSW, said more kids than ever before were missing out on their special day due to costs.

“There’s so much need, it’s not really spoken about because we’re meant to be a wealthy regional area but there’s a lot of hardship in the area,” she said.

“Some families put out a lot of money for formal and the kids have that real pressure to compete.

“They will buy it but it means going without something.”

Ms Hotschilt said it was amazing the difference a beautiful dress could make to students.

“It’s just a real boost for their self-esteem to know they can look really amazing,” she said.

“They can get their nails and makeup done and have that really expensive side of dressing taken care of.”

Despite an abundance of donations, Ms Hotschilt said more help was always needed.

“I drive everywhere, I drive and find every resource I can, I wash the dresses and soak shirts,” she said.

“What I also need is the kids, trying to get kids here and how to best reach out to them.

“After all, all kids deserve to go to a formal.”

To get in contact with Ms Hotschilt to check out her wares or help out, head here or contact her via 0411 612 227 and

Originally published as How students in need can access free formalwear

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