By Alyssa Schnugg
Sometimes, good things can come from social media.
When Lafayette County native Libby Bauer watched a recent TikTok video from a woman in Cordova who was upset that no one RSVP’d to her 8-year-old sister’s birthday, Bauer knew she could help make the girl’s birthday one to remember.
Chloe Sexton has been caring for her younger sister, Charlotte since their mother died in April from brain cancer.
Sexton was planning a birthday party for her sister – the first since their mother died – but only one person responded to the party invitations. She took her frustrations to TikTok.
“If a kid in your child’s class gives out birthday invitations, just come. It’s an hour or two out of your life,” Sexton said.
However, her anger and frustration turned to grief and sadness during the short video.
Within hours of posting the video, Sexton, who owns Bluff Cakes in Memphis, started having people reach out who wanted to help give Charlotte an amazing birthday.
Bauer was one of those people.
Charlotte’s story was just too close to Bauer’s for her not to try to help.
Bauer lost her mother at 17 years old.
“My mom was always doing things to help people,” Bauer said. “And when I saw the video, I thought ‘I can help, so why shouldn’t i?’”
Bauer has a special friend, Gracie, a 22-year-old Quarter Horse. Gracie has lived in Bauer’s front yard for 18 years.
Gracie, a former competitor and jumper, got all dolled up with ribbons and bows in her mane and Bauer and her father, Ty Bauer, drove Gracie to Sexton’s home for Charlotte’s birthday party.
Gracie was a little nervous when they first arrived.
“She saw this big water slide and balloons and noise everywhere and she just kind of looked at me like, ‘Oh my,’” Bauer said. “But as soon as the kids walked up to her, she just immediately knew her job, knew what she needed to do.”
Charlotte and the other children at the party loved having Gracie visit.
“She was so sweet and a bit overwhelmed,” Bauer said of Charlotte.
Sexton posted a follow-up video on Tik Tok showing the love and support that so many offered to help make Charlotte’s birthday special – from people showing up and decorating Sexton’s home, to 30 Mid-South Jeep Group members driving by, showering Charlotte with presents, to a live showing of reptiles and Gracie’s visit.
“This birthday party changed my life, it changed my sister’s life,” Sexton said in the follow-up video.
Bauer said after her own mother died, she was shown such love, compassion and support that she wanted to pay it forward by providing the same love and support to Charlotte.
“People wanted to do anything they could to make us feel better, and I’ve always had a hard time kind of trying to figure out how to pay those people back,” she said. “I felt like this was a good way to share that.”