Brae’s journey with 3B Brae’s Brown Bags inspired Dianna Wilson-Sirkovsky to write a story, which she titled “Just One Pebble: One Boy’s Quest to End Hunger.” She worked with a fabulous illustrator Sara Casilda and together they captured nine-year-old Braeden. It’s amazing to me, because now he is 20 years old. He’s still packing bags and delivering healthy snacks to people, but he’s a young man now. Through the book I feel I can now go back in time and see my Brae as he was when he was 9 years old and I love that.
The story is already published in multiple languages thanks to Clavis Publishing, but it is also hitting the airwaves via podcasts. Dianna shared the “Reading With Your Kids Podcast” with us and it brought tears to my eyes. As Brae’s Mom, of course I sometimes I feel biased about how compassionate he has always been. Hearing other people talk about him and hearing how he is still inspiring people, even after a decade of time, is just so moving.
Today is GivingTuesday, the motto for the day is “Everyone has something to give, and every act of generosity counts.” This is so true!
GivingTuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past nine years, this idea has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.
Whether you choose to donate money to your favorite charity or you choose to give your time by volunteering, the point is to choose kindness always. If you are able to give to 3B Brae’s Brown Bags this year, please know 100% of donations go to our mission. 3B provides homeless and low-income populations with access to healthy foods, clean water, and contact information for additional services that can aid them. Brae’s ongoing mission is not only to feed people today but to raise awareness about the problems associated with food insecurity. Through 3B we hope to help empower and inspire youth across the nation to become part of the solution.
Online donors will receive an automatic receipt via email from PayPal thanks to their Charity platform. The receipt you receive will list Brae’s Brown Bags Donation as the item.
Not only do we need your support, we need your help to spread the word. Share with those who you know support our mission. As always, we thank you for your commitment to 3B and thank you for your support of hunger relief, we could not do this without you!
Our EIN is 46-4307237. Your contribution is tax deductible.
“Just One Pebble. One Boy’s Quest to End Hunger” hit bookshelves in the United States on September 5, 2023. This incredible true story, written by Dianna Wilson Sirkovsky and illustrated by Sara Casilda, follows the journey of Braeden Mannering, who started the nonprofit 3B Brae’s Brown Bags at just 9 years old.
The book aims to inspire children and adults alike to make a difference in their communities and to raise awareness about hunger relief. The story emphasizes the importance of dreaming big and taking action to make a positive impact on the world. The book includes a note from Braeden to the reader in the back.
We are so grateful to Dianna Sirkovsky for writing this book about Brae and his mission. We love that the story is being shared, but most importantly we are thrilled by the idea that other young people could be inspired to throw their own dreams into their own ponds and see the amazing ripple effect that will happen!
Every dream, every change, starts with one step forward, one moment of kindness, one selfless act and it doesn’t matter how old you are!
Don’t miss out on this heartwarming and inspiring story that proves anyone can change the world if they dream big. Order your copy of “”Just One Pebble. One Boy’s Quest to End Hunger” today and join Braeden on his incredible journey to make a difference.
The drive to Harrington, Delaware took a little over an hour. The weather was brisk, but beautiful and traffic was minimal. Driving from north Delaware to southern Delaware is such a treat, the open roads, blue skies and farm land bring me a sense of peace.
The 2022 Delaware FFA Convention took place at the Harrington Fairground this year. Today was their day of service and they chose to invite us down for a chat and a bag packing event.
This is the first time my 12-year-old, Finnegan Stephan, took a leading role in a 3B event. Today Finnegan took the mic and introduced his brother. He provided brief information about how 3B was formed and what we have accomplished over the last 9 years. I am so proud of him for conquering this fear. Several of the FFA students took time to give him fist bumps afterward.
Braeden spoke less about what 3B is and more about why it’s important to him. His talk was more somber than at previous events. Of course he hasn’t spoken in-person for two years due to COVID-19, so a lot has changed in his life. He is now 18 years old, he’s not the same young kid who put this all together. He has seen the dark side of working with homeless populations. Thankfully, he still has the same big heart.
Braeden went on to give examples of some of the people he has met over the years. He told their stories, he shared how they are good people who worked hard and things didn't end up going their way. I think it is critical for people to understand that there are vulnerable populations who need support and compassion rather than hard knocks. Humanizing the man or woman behind the tattered clothes and cardboard signs is important.
There were many helpers assisting with the bag packing today. Of course the majority were current FFA students from middle and high schools across the state. I’d like to say thank you to a student named Jasmine who showed interest in doing research to help us find a more environment friendly way to pack our bags to hopefully someday use less plastic water bottles!
We had a great deal of enthusiastic help from Jackson Sylvester, a former president of Delaware FFA, and a graduate of Lake Forest High School in Kent County, who is now the National FFA secretary.
There were also some FFA alums, like Kristin Cook, who helped us find our way around The Centre Ice Arena, a 49,000 square-foot facility that sits on the Harrington Fairgrounds.
Ultimately, this caring group of young FFA leaders packed nearly 250 Brae’s Brown Bags.
Amanda Powell, Executive Secretary of the Delaware FFA Association, let us know that the bags will be donated to People’s Place in Dover, Delaware. This organization offers a variety of services. One of which is called “Whatcoat Social Services” (Whatcoat) provides emergency shelter and transitional housing for low-income individuals and families.
Today is the start of Delaware’s statewide convention for FFA. They chose for their service project to be a bag packing with 3B Brae’s Brown Bags. Braeden and I will be heading to Harrington, Delaware to be part of this experience. We’re excited to be able to work with other youth again. This is our first big bag packing since the pandemic started two years ago!
Many thanks to the Delaware FFA for inviting us! We’ll post photos and talk about the event after we get home!
During the COVID19 pandemic we have had less of an opportunity to create bag packing events at schools. This means we have been doing more bag packing on our own as a family which is always fun to do, but it also means we are looking for ways to ensure schools and other youth organizations can still be involved.
We are grateful for the Delaware Girl Scout Troop #537 for taking the initiative to host a parking lot bag packing event with their group. We were happy to provide supplies and hope to Zoom Braeden in for an inspirational talk and a thank you to the group.
If your school or youth group would like to do a service project with 3B Brae’s Brown Bags it might still be possible. Our addressless friends and neighbors are still in need, perhaps now more than ever, and your help is priceless. Please feel free to reach out using our contact form so we can find the best way to continue working together to end hunger.
Braeden Mannering had an opportunity to speak to a group of people who support Boston Community Fridges to help with hunger relief in the Boston Area before their virtual inaugural celebration on Wednesday, January 20, 2021.
Each person we see in our lives has value. They are someone’s son, someone’s daughter, whether they have a roof over their head or not. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris understand this, they see the value in every person and they seek for equity, they seek to show all of us that we belong.
Braeden Mannering, 1/20/2021
Boston Area Community Fridges These outdoor fridges, often built under a roof alongside some pantry shelves, are typically monitored and stocked by volunteers, filled with everything from fresh produce to canned goods and sometimes even toiletries and other non-food household essentials.
A friend of ours, Rachael Dubinsky, is hosting a virtual inaugural ball as we celebrate President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris during their swearing in ceremony. Her event is also an effort to raise funds for community fridges in the Boston Area.
These fridges are stocked with food items by volunteers in a community. Folks in need of noursihment can go to the fridge and take what they need, no questions asked. We love this concept and are thrilled for the opportunity to offer support and be a part of the event.
It is exciting to share that Braeden will be giving a brief talk at the beginning of this event tomorrow evening. For those of you interested in supporting Boston Area Community Fridges, you can donate to receive a link to this Virtual Inaugural Ball event.
Click through to the event below for more information.
This summer we were planning on hosting our 6th (newly) Bi-Annual Summer Celebration. Due to the global pandemic and wanting to ensure the safety of our guests and volunteers we chose to cancel the event. Our theme this year was “Spark Change.”
We can spark positive change now. Today. Tomorrow. And beyond.
Since we cannot be together, we thought we’d offer a way to celebrate virtually! Here’s our plan, if you’d like to be part of a 6th Bi-Annual Summer Celebration then send us a photo of yourself wearing a facemask. At the end of August, we will put together a fun animated montage of all your protected faces!
This summer we had plans to hold a 3B Summer Celebration. Our initial planning phases began prior to the coronavirus pandemic hitting the globe. And while we are hopeful that things will continue to improve as Delaware reopens in phases, there is still a great deal of information we do not know and cannot predict.
At this time, we are sad to share that we do not have a location at which we can host our celebration. In part, this is due to the number of people our events can potentially bring to one place in a short period of time. It is also understandable that locations for group events will ask organizations to have special event insurance.
Additionally, we’re not comfortable asking for event sponsorship from the local community and companies during this unprecedented time. We would rather your generous donations go to direct assistance of organizations who can immediately help those in need.
Now, the theme of our event was going to be “Spark Change.”
We still want you to embrace this theme. We must spark change and it must happen now. For those of you old enough to vote, please make sure you vote locally and nationally. For those of you not old enough to vote, please make sure you encourage the adults in your life to make sure they exercise that right. It is not only our responsibility as adults to vote in elections, but it is our obligation and we must take it seriously. We are seeing millions of people protesting, making their voice and their presence be heard. It’s an inspiring thing to see and we need to see the same numbers at the polls.
Be the spark that ignites the change we need to see in the world. You can do it. You are the ember. You are the light. No one else can do what you can do. And when we stand together, we can pave a path so bright that every dark corner is blinded by our unified strength.
It is overwhelming to see so many who are lost, but if we let our sparks shine then we can help them find the way. Sometimes the lost are scared, they are hurting, but we can dare to help them heal. We do not need to host a community event to make this happen.
We can spark change now. Today. Tomorrow. And beyond.