Amazing Grace: Grace Roddy is not a budding 11-year-old entrepreneur — she simply wants to make money to help others
by Leo Hohmann
April 19, 2013 12:00 AM | 5182 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Eleven-year-old Grace Roddy of Kennesaw will have her tote bags, wallets, bracelets and other brightly colored items — all made from duct tape — for sale at this weekend’s Big Shanty Festival. All the money she makes will go to a nonprofit foundation to help victims of the Newtown, Conn., school shootings. <br>Special to the MDJ
Eleven-year-old Grace Roddy of Kennesaw will have her tote bags, wallets, bracelets and other brightly colored items — all made from duct tape — for sale at this weekend’s Big Shanty Festival. All the money she makes will go to a nonprofit foundation to help victims of the Newtown, Conn., school shootings.
Special to the MDJ
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Grace Roddy, 11, is on a mission.

The Kennesaw girl wants to sell as many of the fancy tote bags, wallets, bracelets, pens and pencils she makes from duct tape as possible.

No, she’s not a budding entrepreneur looking to strike it rich.

She is doing it for charity, and she’ll be doing it on the biggest stage available in Cobb County this weekend — the annual Big Shanty Festival in downtown Kennesaw on Saturday and Sunday.

All proceeds from the sales of her duct tape creations will go to the Charlotte Bacon Act of Kindness Award, a nonprofit organization started by friends and family of Charlotte Bacon, a 6-year-old Newtown, Conn., girl who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting of Dec. 14, 2012.

The organization encourages children around the world to commit simple acts of kindness. They are then encouraged to tell their story of kindness in writing or by drawing a picture for a chance to win a Charlotte Bacon Act of Kindness Award.

“Charlotte Bacon was one of the kids who got shot at the elementary school in Connecticut, and I’m in elementary school, so to think that could happen here made me very sad,” said Roddy, who is in fifth grade at Chalker Elementary School in Kennesaw.

She said she wanted to thank Mike Everhart and the Kennesaw Business Association for letting her share space at the festival’s information booth.

“It’s one of the biggest booths there where they sell waters and give out information, so I’m very excited,” she said.

Grace is the daughter of Jeannie and Will Roddy. She said she started making things out of duct tape at Christmastime and hasn’t stopped.

“I was at my mom’s work, and one of the ladies taught me how to make a rose petal, and I just got really good at it,” she said.

Her mother wondered where this new hobby would lead.

“She got a couple of duct-tape rolls and a book at Christmas, and she would sit down in the evenings after her homework and make these things,” said Jeannie Roddy. “We were sitting around one day talking, ‘OK, what are we going to do with all of these things?’ And it came up, ‘well, maybe an art festival,’ and the biggest arts festival around here is the Big Shanty.”

Creating things with her hands to help raise money for a good cause could also be a bit of therapy for a child trying to make sense of an unspeakable tragedy.

“Honestly, I think this is her way of trying to figure out what happened at Sandy Hook,” said Jeannie Roddy, who is a special-needs school teacher for Cobb County Schools. “She noticed the locked doors at her school, the outward signs that something was different, and was searching for answers. Kids talk, and you can’t shelter them from everything.”

Grace Roddy said all of her creations will be priced at $5 or less.

“It’s not like big money,” she said. “But I have lots of colors!”
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