Hurricane Help

texashelpRecently, we sent three big boxes of items down to Clear Lake Food Pantry at Clear Lake Baptist Church in Houston, Texas, to help them with their efforts in assisting those who were impacted by Hurricane Harvey. We sent 3B Brae’s Brown Bags with healthy food, clean water and messages of hope, but we also sent t-shirts, tooth brushes and things like that.

The letter in each bag included a message to express hope and let the receiver of the bag know that people all over the world are praying for Texas, even me and my family up in Delaware. Other places seeking to help Houston can be found in this NPR article: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/08/28/546745827/looking-to-help-those-affected-by-harvey-here-s-a-list

Soon after Harvey hit, as we all know, Irma then hit and destroyed whole islands in her path along with many many homes. We’re looking for places to assist in Florida and in the US Virgin Islands, but we realize there are many places still flooded, without power, and many down trees, so we’re playing it by ear and trying to figure out the best way to help.

In the meantime there are plenty of non-profits in Florida who are already there doing good work and helping people in need. It is suggested not to send things like clothing unless specifically asked especially since smaller places may not have a way to store things.

Here are some places currently helping aid people in Florida:

▪ The Miami Foundation

▪ The Greater Miami Jewish Federation

▪ The United Way of Miami

▪ The United Way of Broward

▪ Catholic Charities

▪ South Florida Muslim Federation

▪ Food for the Poor

▪ Hope South Florida

NPR also has an article about helping people  impacted by Hurricane Irma:
Governor Kenneth Mapp of the US Virgin Islands has expressed that while they are getting help, they need more. He asked that people who’d like to help log onto USVIrecovery.org.
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Friendly Reminder
Also, just as a reminder to people local in Delaware, Brae’s Brown Bags will be at the Read House and Gardens Farm 2 Fork event hosted by the Delaware Historical Society on Saturday, September 16th from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Enjoy a family friendly backyard expo that brings together several community organizations to explore urban gardening and food access through fun, educational hands on activities. Bring donations for the Food Bank of Delaware!

We can’t calm down, we’re too excited!

Our 4th Annual 3B Summer Celebration is now only a couple days away! We’re super excited by all the community support we have been receiving and are so happy to know we’ll be celebrating with all of you soon!

The theme of the event, ‘Ohana, is even more important now than ever before. I can’t wait to tell you more when I see you on Saturday. For those wondering about details, I’ll be taking the stage between 2:15pm and 2:30 pm most likely. At least that’s what my Mom tells me.

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While it’s too late to register to ensure a 3B swag bag, we do want you to know we will not be turning anyone away. All are welcome! For those who did register using the Event Brite platform, we thank you and we have your names printed out and ready to go. For those of you who registered early and donated to the event we also have your t-shirts ready to go, you’ll be able to get them when you pass by our registration table.

The Grain on Main‘s executive chef has sent over a menu for us to see and my Mom’s stomach immediately started growling. Seriously! And a couple of the dishes will be using fresh produce donated by the UD Fresh to You garden located on south campus at the University of Delaware. Many thanks again to 93.7 WSTW we’re so happy they will be attending our event for the fourth year in a row!

Another HUGE thanks to our sponsors! Armstrong Relocation Company,  the National Liberty Museum, Greg and Margie Mannering, Terri, Todd and Kristin Stephan, Bob and Rose Willey! We couldn’t make this happen without you! To Mcvey Elementary School PTA, Michele Fidance and Love What You Boo, Bobbie Willey Stump for the cookies, we appreciate all of your support as well!

To all who have said they would like to volunteer during our event. THANK YOU! We can’t wait to see you at the Bear-Glasgow YMCA on Saturday.

Kids are encouraged to wear clothes they don’t mind getting wet since we will have a water slide. We will have plenty to drink (non-alcoholic) to keep you hydrated! And don’t forget the Kona Ice Snow Cones!

For those of you excited about our raffles, as you should be, you’ll be able to buy raffle tickets between 1pm and 3pm, we’ll start calling out winning numbers after 3. We’ll be able to take cash and credit.

Social LEADia and Digital Leadership #SocialLEADia

We received a package in the mail from author Jennifer Casa-Todd who wrote the book “Social LEADia: Moving Students from Digital Citizenship to Digital Leadership” and we are super excited to share this for two reasons.

  1. She donated a signed copy for to raffle off at our 4th Annual 3B Summer Celebration.
  2. Braeden will also be signing this particular copy, because he is one of the leaders featured in her book!

Thank you to Principal Timm from Carrie Downie Elementary in the Colonial School District for sharing a photo and a shout out on Twitter about this book, that was very cool!

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It is true that with all of the information online it can be hard to know what is real. My Mom drills that into my head because she says I need to know the sources of my information. And I think that is important. There is a lot of information on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and it can be a really great resource. We can learn a lot with everything we have at our fingertips. We can also learn things that are not true and we can spread bad information when that happens.

So for kids like me, if I am going to have a blog and I am going to be on social media then I want to make sure I am being a leader. I have emailed and tweeted to legislators, it has helped me connect to policy makers who can make a difference. It is possible. Be a voice for positive change. #SocialLEADia

And grown ups like our parents and our teachers can show us the best way to use things like this, too. My Mom is my friend on all my social media networks. I don’t think she would let me use them otherwise, haha.

Thank you to Jennifer Casa-Todd for including me in your book, I was very excited to get it in the mail. I am so glad that there are books like this because we really do have a lot of ways to advocate and empower and inspire each other, so we should use them.

3B Summer Celebration Poster Contest

3B Summer Celebration Poster COntest

This year for our 4th Annual 3B Summer Celebration we want to host a poster contest!

In recognition of public service and food insecurity/hunger relief we invite children ages 5 to 12 to create a poster for us to display at our celebration!

The theme for our event is ‘Ohana so please try to incorporate the theme into your poster and make sure it reflects what 3B is all about which is helping those in need and empowering youth to get involved in service!

Contest Rules:

  • Your poster cannot be larger than 12 inches by 18 inches, not 3-Dimensional.
  • Students may use crayons, chalk, colored pencils, charcoal, water colors, oil pastels or markers. Projects should be completed by students only and be turned in with a completed entry form attached to the back of the art. Download the form here: 3B-Summer-Poster-Contest-2017
  • The contest is open to any child who lives or attends school in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania or New Jersey and who will be able to attend our 3B Summer Celebration on Saturday, August 19, 2017 from 1pm to 4pm.
  • Contest entries should be mailed to the following mailing address and postmarked no later than August 4, 2017:
    • 3B Brae’s Brown Bags
      950 Rue Madora Drive
      Bear, DE 19701

Voting:

  • All artwork will be scanned and posted on the 3B Brae’s Brown Bags Facebook page and we will be asking our fans to vote on the posters. Facebook albums will be created for ages 5 to 8 and then ages 9 to 12 during the first week of August. Fans will get 7 days to vote and the top 2 voted posters in each age group will be displayed at our celebration on Saturday, August 19, 2017 at the Bear-Glasgow YMCA between 1pm and 4pm.

Prizes

  • Top 2 voted posters in each age group will be displayed at our celebration
  • The top 2 winners in each age group will be recognized at the event during Brae’s speech and will be given event t-shirts as well as other special artsy goodies! So please make sure you are available to attend on August 19!

If you have questions please contact Brae’s Mom, Christy Mannering, at christy@braesbrownbags.org.

End of the school year, nonprofit advocacy and #WeAreYoungHeroes

Hi everybody! I know my Mom has been doing a lot of the writing on the site these days. But I thought I would put up a few things real quick.

One is that I am now finished with the 7th grade at Gauger-Cobbs. I am very happy to be starting summer break!

Another thing is that we have had some really cool things happening. Like the Caravel Cares Club packed 100 bags on their last day of school as part of being a 3B Ripple Student Chapter which is really awesome. They were able to give the bags to a church who was able to use them. I’m really glad to know they plan on continuing to be an active chapter with our 3B Ripples program.

Me, my mom and Representative Longhurst

Last week I attended Nonprofit Advocacy Day at Legislative Hall with my Mom. Governor Carney talked for a little bit and then my friend Senator Bryan Townsend and also Representative Valerie Longhurst. Both of them said very nice things about me and 3B, but more importantly they talked about how important nonprofits are to the State of Delaware. Nonprofits are at the heart of many important social issues and can help to be the bridge the state needs to make sure people get the right services to help them. I thought that was good to hear and I am glad I was able to go. Especially since Senator Townsend then ended up scheduling a time for us to play minigolf, which we did over the weekend. I want a rematch, haha. No, it was a good game, VERY HOT THOUGH, and Senator Townsend won. But like he says, we had fun and we’re both winners!

So I am thankful to the Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement for setting up the advocacy day and thankful to my Mom for letting me go even though it was on a school day. I think I learned a lot and I think it was a good experience.

So then on Saturday my Mom and my Gram went with be to Girard College in Philadelphia for the National Liberty Museum’s Young Hero Outreach Program Celebration. I was the keynote speaker for the event which was really cool, I liked being able to talk to everyone. But I also think it was great to meet all the kids who participated in the young heroes training program. They worked very hard on their projects and I got to see all the research they did and hear from them on their ideas.

 

Elbert-Palmer Elementary School created a Homeless Bill of Rights and that is a concept I think is very much needed and very important. I am very proud of them! My project and my story is in the young hero training curriculum. So the kids all learned about what I am doing. When they saw me at their event they seemed really happy which made me feel good. A lot of them wanted to take selfies with me and I have to admit that was kind of cool! I’m really grateful to the National Liberty Museum for staying in touch with me and for including me in this event. I had a great time!

We’re planning for the 4th Annual 3B Summer Celebration. I hope all of you reading this will be able to join us for our event. It is always a lot of fun and this year will be awesome!

Mom’s going to add in information about sponsorship to the end of this post. If you or your company wants to help sponsor the event I really hope  you’ll think about it.

Thank you!

There are three levels of sponsorship available, they each some with their own perks. You can download our sponsorship form here, please email christy@braesbrownbags.org if you have any questions! Sponsorship packets are DUE BY AUGUST 4, 2017! 

DOWNLOAD – 3B Brae Sponsorship-2017 Summer Celebration [pdf]

Happy First Day of Spring

Before we get into the highlights of what has happened since our last update we want to make sure you have all registered for the Coming Together Hunger Conference. We are co-hosting with the Food Bank of Delaware and are SUPER excited about this year’s event! We are anticipating nearly 200 students to attend for the Kid Track, but we are hoping all of you will attend on the adult side. Don’t worry, even the adults will have a chance to see what the kids are doing throughout the day.

Coming Together will feature both an adult track and kids’ track, with opportunities for both groups to come together to identify solutions to issues related to hunger.

I promise you that you will leave feeling inspired and you will learn something. Plus I would like to see you out, because you know we can only end hunger if we do it together.

Okay so what have we been up to since our last post. A LOT! You know we say that every time. Haha.

There have been a few code purples called in Delaware. We thought our winter had been mild and really it has been but the last couple weeks of winter went out in style bringing us frigid temperatures snow and even an ice storm! It was beautiful, but it was also really bad news for my friends without addresses.

We had a table at the 1st Annual Christina School District Family Resource Fair which was a big success. Many people came out to see what the community has to offer and we heard that the New Castle County library exhibit handed out over 100 new library cards to people! That is VERY COOL! I couldn’t be there for the event so my family helped out. My brother and sister, Finn and Amelia, they set up the table and they were happy to be able to support 3B. Plus they got to eat pretzels and have their face painted!

Town Square Delaware wrote an article about me. Ms. Christy Fleming came to visit me at my house and she interviewed me. It was nice to meet her and I appreciate that she wanted to know more about Brae’s Brown Bags. Ms. Fleming’s article shares how 3B has grown, “3B Brae’s Brown Bags helps get healthy snacks to the homeless and the needy. But it takes lots of time and coordination, and Brae now also counts on donations by schoolmates and others who read his blog because the charity has gotten so big.”

I was able to be a speaker at the annual Delaware FFA Convention earlier this month. It was nice to see a room full of students who care about agriculture and who realize that food insecurity is a solvable problem. They packed almost 500 bags of healthy food for people in need. We brought some home and the rest remained in the Kent County area to help any shelters who might needs extra supplies.

I found out that I am  a recipient of a 2017 Sodexo Foundation – STOP Hunger Youth Grant! This makes me very happy because it helps to keep 3B sustainable, but it also helps to show other kids that there are organizations out there who believe in them and believe that we are change makers. The Sodexo Foundation and STOP Hunger are empowering, they not only want to help end hunger but they also want to get kids involved and I am glad I can be one of those champions.

Last but definitely not least. I took a trip with my Mom up to New York to attend the Jefferson Awards Foundation annual gala at Gotham Hall. Yes, it sounds like something right out of Batman and yes I do think that is really cool. It was super fancy. There were a lot of incredible people there and all of them believe in public service, it was super inspiring to be a part of the event. I feel very honored that I was able to receive an activation award (Newark Post) on the same stage as Olympic Gold Medalist Laurie Hernandez and the great musician/social activist Harry Belafonte. Plus, I encourage all of you to look into the national LEAD360 winner for 2017! Her name is Emma Stumpf and she creates art kits to give to patients in children’s hospitals. She knows what it is like to be stuck in the walls of a hospital for long periods of time as she is fighting cancer and has been for many years. I didn’t get to meet her at the event because she was in the hospital having just come through her 17th brain surgery. She is definitely a huge inspiration! I hope you are willing to help her activate this project and help it to put smiles on the faces of kids across the country. I think it will be fun to help her with this project!

Public service, polar bears and music #LEAD360

The past few days have been so busy that I don’t know where to start so I’m just going to go in order of when it all happened.

So last week I found out that I was selected for the 2017 Christina School District Middle School Band. I play percussion. I’ll be playing the Timpani. So that’s really cool and my family is really proud of me and excited for me. A few of my friends also made it, like Milan, he plays trumpet.

brae-voteSo I found out that I am in the top 5 projects across the nation for the Jefferson Awards LEAD360 Challenge. The winning project gets activated nationwide which means we will be able to launch 3B Ripples across the country and help provide people in need everywhere with healthy food while also activating the service project in schools across the US. The winner is picked based on voting. You can vote on the LEAD360 Web Page and also on the Jefferson Awards Facebook page.

indyAnd then the Jefferson Awards Foundation has Students in Action projects over the weekend. And it was really cool because Central Indiana packed Brae’s Brown Bags! They even did an awesome #mannequinchallenge while packing and I’m definitely going to plan on doing that during our hunger conference in April. So even though I couldn’t be there they still included me on everything because they were tweeting to me and sharing the process. I was able to record a quick message for them, too. So I was able to let them know that I am grateful for their service.

braeseafordThen on Saturday in Seaford, Delaware, my Mom and I visited their Students in Action and I was able to talk to some of the students. They packed about 80 bags of healthy food which was then donated to Jim Martin at the ACE Peer Resource Center in Seaford.

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Please take time to watch a video about the ACE Peer Resource Center. Jim Martin has been alone, he has been there, he has been homeless, he knows what that feels like on a personal level. He talked to us to try and help us understand. When someone comes in off the street they are exhausted, they are alone, they are hungry and sometimes all the need is a warm place to sit, to get something to eat and put on a pair of new socks. He is a very good man and he is helping a lot of people. I’m proud of the Students in Action for their service and I’m happy the ACE Peer Resource Center received the bags.

c36o9okvyaauqv3Then on Sunday the 3B team went to Rehoboth Beach to do the Polar Bear Plunge! We raised over $1,000 for the Special Olympics! My stepdad took this picture with me, mom Mom, my brother Finn and my sister Amelia. Before we jumped into the 41 degree water. Well, me, my Mom and my Gram went in the water. I still can’t believe my Mom and my Gram went in the water. But they did! My Dad and Mom Mom and brother Michael and my Grandmom and Grandpop and Aunt Kristin were all there to watch us be crazy! The radio said over $900,000 was raised all together by the plungers yesterday!

So please vote for me in the LEAD360 Challenge! You can vote once per day it ends on Tuesday, February 14 at midnight.

Thank you in advance!

August didn’t wind down, but Summer did

My Mom always says she wishes she had a 25th hour in the day. I know she would fill it with more things to do and then she would need a 26th and 27th hour. But I kinda understand what she is saying now. How do we fit everything in that we want to do? Have you ever played Minecraft? I could play it for four hours straight and not even know it. There should always be hours in the day when you can do something fun. But then I forget to do things like update my blog.

14124317_1191179457592452_5093569072657943110_oLOTS has happened.

August was busy!

Did I tell you I was able to talk to a class of high schoolers who were taking college level courses at UD over the Summer? I did. It was cool. Three of the students were from Africa. They asked great questions. They all helped me pack bags and I actually just got to send some of those 3B bags down to Louisiana so that is really cool. My Mom told me about the flooding in Louisiana and I wasn’t sure the bags would help, but they can’t hurt. She and my brother and sister also went out and bought a bunch of baby food and baby formula to send down to Louisiana with the bags, we sent 140 bags. I saw some of the picture of communities who lost everything because of the flooding and I just can’t believe it.

TedxWilmington_group_speakers-e1472135517934So I had been practicing and preparing for the Tedx Talk Wilmington Conference for months! And the day finally happened. I was nervous. Senator Coons was supposed to be the final speaker but his plans changed and so then I was the final speaker. And Mr. George, he was the host, he said he thinks Senator Coons changed his plans on purpose so he wouldn’t have to follow my talk. But it is really not easy to do those talks. I never used a power point before and I didn’t remember when to click. I forgot what I wanted to say and then I got really nervous and then the people listening started clapping for me. I felt so much better after that.

14066253_1187834541260277_6357352395584793986_oI feel like I made some new friends at the Tedx Talk. I really liked this guy they call Real Gumption. He is from the Virgin Islands. He talked with me at the rehearsal too and then I got to go talk to him after his talk because I think he did a really good job and I really like the idea of his glass bottom boat. He had a big dream and he made it happen and I think that is what I like the most.

I liked the wiggle woman. Her name is Janine Driver. But she talked about how to help yourself from going nuts, like if someone is driving you nuts what can you do to keep your cool. It was so funny! She was a really great speaker.

Kaamilah Diabate was also really awesome with her poem and the Twin Poets with their poem, they really made me think and it was very sad because they talked about racism and it is something that my Mom and my stepdad have talked to me about a lot and it was good to hear from a younger person especially from her perspective. Kind of like that I also liked hearing from Ian Khan because he had a really crazy childhood compared to mine and the things he went through seemed pretty scary and I think about my life and how lucky I am. So I liked hearing about other people’s lives and their ideas. All of the speakers were really just really good. And even though it was a long day I am happy I was there.

Also this month was our 3rd Annual 3B Summer Celebration. We have a lot of photos to share and people to thank but I think my Mom is going to handle that post so make sure to check back soon because I am sure she will have a zillion pictures to share.

Oh and I started 7th grade on August 30, yesterday! Yes, back to school, no homework yet though!

How are you making history NOW? #historyNOW

Brae’s Brown Bags isn’t about fame and glory, but I have to admit, being able to go to The White House a few times and the Radio Disney Music Awards in the Spring and now having my story shown with the History Channel’s HistoryNOW is pretty awesome.

Hopefully though this means that a lot of other kids will see that it really doesn’t matter how old you are, that you can really make a big difference in the world. I’m not the only kid doing amazing things.

This world is a pretty awesome place filled with great people and we need to be happy to share our story and their story. Be the good, be the change, MAKE HISTORY NOW!

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Summer time high fives

13640783_860560587421752_4553159800088006036_oIt is hard to believe that Summer break from school is already halfway over. Let’s not think about that right now though. It’s still Summer time and we have a lot of fun things happening.

I have been to schools and a summer camp as well as my Gram and Pop and friend Laura. We have been giving out bags as part of the #SummerMeals program. For this I just really want youth to know how important it is for them to eat healthy, too. So they come to schools for lunch or dinner and they get a healthy meal, but taking a bag with them gives them a chance to reach for something healthy to eat at home, too.

13640922_1152379174805814_2165661344635176608_oAlso the Christiana Fire Company invited me over for hamburgers and hot dogs off the grill. They showed me around their station and I even learned that it is haunted! Maybe not, but it’s a cool story and it has been around for a long time. I am sure the walls could tell many stories. Chief Perillo and Captain Semonelle were very nice to me and my family. 13603277_1152379521472446_2500457531476419471_oThe fire company participated in a WaWa Hoagie Challenge recently and they raised money for a charity. Captain Semonelle decided he wanted to donate the money to Brae’s Brown Bags!!! That is so exciting! Also I decided I want to be a volunteer firefighter when I am older. I think I would really like to do that. They said I can start helping out after I turn 13 years old!

The Middletown Jazzercise Summer Camp and the Circle of Friends Daycare Ripple “Small Hands, Big Hearts” both helped pack and deliver LOTS of bags over the past couple of weeks. It is so much fun when I get to work with other kids. They are really good helpers and I like how excited they are to know they will be giving to people in need13690944_1158009850909413_6107354723130820813_o. 13615299_1153580788018986_1781115289723400908_nI couldn’t do all I do with Brae’s Brown Bags without the help of my family, friends and NEW friends I have been making a long the way. There were even girls who baked breads and cookies to raise money to buy the healthy snacks at the Jazzercise place. Isn’t that so nice!?

Also we are still planning for our 3rd Annual 3B Summer Celebration. We’ve been getting sponsors but would still benefit from some raffle items. If anyone knows any local companies who can provide gift baskets or gift certificates it would be very helpful and appreciated. Check out our 3B Summer Celebration page for more information.

Thank you to WSTW, Bear-Glasgow YMCA, UDairy Creamery, The Crop Foundation, Del-One Federal Credit Union, Dover Federal Credit Union, Gerri and Bill Irish, Transportation Communications Union IAM Unit #86, Terri, Kristin and Todd Stephan and Greg and Margie Mannering for their donations and sponsorships thus far.