Teen raising funds for Hiatus House one sweet morsel at a time

Photo of Vanessa Brender courtesy of Vanessa Brender.

When the pandemic hit, Vanessa Brender got baking.

The 15-year-old was a baker before COVID-19, but it became a serious hobby during the lockdown, and friends and family encouraged her to start her own business.

So she did. She opened “Cookies and Crumbs.”

Almost two years later, the teen is holding her second fundraiser, this time for Hiatus House. Half of all proceeds will go to the shelter. She hopes to raise $1,000.

“I’ve always just wanted to help the community,” said Brender. “During the holidays, a lot of people usually donate to Salvation Army and a lot of those foodbanks, which I think is amazing. But, a lot of people forget about all the other charities.”

Her previous fundraiser was for the Windsor-Essex County Branch of the Canadian Mental Health Foundation. She raised over $200 through cupcake sales.

This year’s fundraiser starts on January 22 and ends on February 26. Cupcake boxes can be ordered either at the Cookies and Crumbs website, on Instagram, or on Facebook. There is a sale every Saturday.

Brender has some advice for other teens thinking of starting their own business.

“I would say just do it because you never really know what can happen,” “People just need to put themselves out there.”