Charity group aims to help ball-goers

    Donagh Booth and daughter Maddison (16) are requesting formal wear donations from members of the public to give to people in need for the school ball season.

    THE Shoe Booth wants to reach out to young people in need of school ball attire.

    Donagh Booth and her daughter Maddison (16) said they had about 30 ball dresses, 10 suits and 40 pairs of formal shoes to give out to pupils in need.

    They were aiming to get 100 ball dresses before school formals began.

    “We just want to help any young person who may be needing school dresses, suits or shoes, it doesn’t matter who you are,” Mrs Booth said.

    This did not exclude pupils at the Southern Institute of Technology or other courses.

    “It doesn’t matter who you are, we want to help.”

    Five months ago, the duo started as a charity group which gave out quality school shoes to families and were now extending their donations to formal wear.

    The pair began to think about supporting young people with ball attire after members of the community started donating fancy shoes.

    They thought about the young people who could not afford to attend school balls, Maddison said.

    “There’s so much peer pressure among teenagers to go to the ball and you also have to pay for tickets which are expensive, so when you weigh that with shoes, suits and dresses, that’s a huge expense,” Maddison said.

    Through word of mouth they were able to get other people on board who wanted to offer services for free including a hairstylist and a make-up artist.

    “Our school [Southland Girls High School] librarian Paula McIntyre co-ordinated with her hairdresser and has really helped us out,” Maddison said.

    “But we just want young people to get in contact with us.”

    The Shoe Booth’s venue was filled with 100 shoes which included a range of sizes at 131 Gala St, Mrs Booth said.

    “We’re going to need a bigger room for dresses and suits but we’ve got hundreds of shoes so I’m probably wanting more people to approach us, so come and see us at the shoe booth.”

    The mother and daughter had more plans to help out in the community and potential ideas included a pop-up event, a fundraiser or a fashion show at the end of the year.

    They wanted to thank people who had sent them donations.

    “We are overwhelmed with the support that we have received from people within the community and across the country.”

    • Anyone who wished to donate formal dresses, suits and shoes could contact Donagh and Maddison through their social media page, The Shoe Booth or email,