Local 2nd grader turns birthday party into fundraiser for friend

Kennedy Burrell got her birthday wish on Sunday, but it didn’t come wrapped in a box. It came in the shape of a glass donation jar.

The second-grader from Level Grove Elementary School asked friends and the community to donate money so that Faith Baird can expand her business. And they did. Kennedy raised $700 to help expand the baking room at Brownies by Faith in Cornelia.

“When my family first met Faith, we knew that these were really nice people,” says Kennedy. “After my mom gave me the idea of having my birthday party here, I got really excited! I knew that raising money for Faith would be better than receiving presents.” 

The two became friends after meeting last year.

“I met Kennedy last Spring when her mom asked me to speak to the fourth-graders at Level Grove Elementary School. This was the first time I ever saw Kennedy and was able to meet her,” explains Faith.

Faith Baird has an inspiring story to tell.

Overcoming

When Faith and her mom Misty Baird first opened their shop last October, they both realized long-held dreams. Faith, who was born with special needs, decided she wanted to become a baker in high school. Her mom longed for a place where her daughter could work and achieve.

They both found that in Brownies by Faith, but it wasn’t easy getting there.

Born prematurely, Faith weighed just 15.6 ounces at birth. She came home from the hospital on a feeding tube. She was two years old before she learned how to eat and walk. For years, she didn’t talk.

Faith and Misty Baird were named Entrepreneurs of the Year by the Habersham County Chamber of Commerce for 2020. (photo courtesy Cliff Baird)

“Her eyes were so undeveloped from early birth that she had to have glasses before she was one,” Misty says. “Life is not perfect, and Faith has some really hard days at times, but she is one tough cookie.”

Brownies by Faith celebrates anniversary

Misty Baird openly shares the challenges her daughter and family face. She also shares the lessons and joys, too.

“When we as parents stopped focusing on what she couldn’t do and focused on what she could do, then she did the same. She knows and understands her limitations, but she chooses to focus on what she can do!” says the proud mom.

And Misty has many reasons to be proud. Her daughter’s perseverance and kindness have inspired countless people in this tight-knit Northeast Georgia community, and she’s become a successful entrepreneur.

The Habersham County Chamber of Commerce awarded the mother-daughter duo its Entrepreneur of the Year Award in February of this year.

Goals

Through perseverance, Faith reached her goal. Her friend Kennedy almost reached hers – she set out to raise $1,000 for the ‘brownie expansion.’ And although the fundraising fell a bit short, it will still go a long way in helping her friend build on her dreams.

More than the money, though, Faith appreciates her friend’s kindness.

“I love Kennedy! She is so sweet and such a great friend,” says Faith. “I am so thankful she wanted to do this.”

Brownies by Faith is located at 504 Irvin Street in Cornelia. For more information on hours and menus, visit them on Facebook. To donate to the brownie expansion, scan the Venmo code on the flyer below.

By: Rylan Pugh and Joy Purcell | Now Habersham 

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