Braden Baker, an 11-year-old boy from Fort Worth, Texas, set out on a mission to help the hearing loss community a little over 6 months ago. Wearing hearing aids himself since he was 3 months old, he hoped that through a GoFundMe campaign, he could raise funds to donate to the Oticon Hearing Foundation to help those with hearing loss receive hearing aids.
What began as a simple campaign, has turned into a hearing loss movement. Braden who set out to donate $1,000 with his campaign has raised $70,000 for the Oticon Hearing Foundation, and with it created more awareness around hearing loss. Bringing his campaign full circle, Braden and his mother Ashley Baker traveled to the Panajachel area of Guatemala for five days with Entheos Audiology Cooperative to see their funding being put to use. The Oticon Hearing Foundation was able to provide 150 hearing aids and other instruments to the “Hearing the Call” humanitarian trip.
“It’s kind of crazy because I never thought all this would happen,”- Braden Baker
Braden’s first hearing smile he witnessed ended up being a friend until the end – 7 year old Christian, which also coincided with Braden’s 11th birthday which he celebrated in Guatemala among new friends.
“It was my first hearing smile on my birthday in Guatemala, and I never really thought that would happen, so yeah, it was really cool.” – Braden Baker
Now back from Guatemala, Braden isn’t stopping or slowing down his efforts. He’s set a new goal, to raise $100,000 by the end of the year.
“I thought, maybe we should be done, but Braden said ‘nope’” – Ashley Baker
“My mom suggested $80,000, and I said let’s make it $100,000.” - Braden Baker
Braden and Ashley are working on another possible hearing trip to Zambia, Africa in June and are excited to continue to provide contributors and supporters with updates as to where their campaign is going.
“I hope people are seeing it. We feel it’s on us to constantly keep people updated on what is going on and where the contributions are going.” – Ashley Baker
Click here to contribute to Braden’s campaign and help him reach his new goal!