Paying Gratitude Forward

There is so much to be grateful for in life. I would love to know that people will be waking up feeling blessed, without complaints and full of a passion to live life to the fullest.

A few years ago Former First Lady Michelle Obama told me about the idea of paying it forward in life. Truly that is what Brae’s Brown Bags has been all about. I have been given so much and I am thankful. I know not everyone has been as blessed as I have been. I know not everyone is given the same opportunities or has the same kind of support system. But if I can lend a hand to someone in need then maybe someday they will be able to lend a hand as well.

The biggest realization I have had with Brae’s Brown Bags has been the ripple effects. The ripples are truly waves of people paying it forward in their lives. It’s an amazing thing. And I am so grateful to Michelle Obama for tossing the first pebble my way.

As we near Thanksgiving I’m suggesting you create a Thanksgiving Meal Kit if you have the means to do so. You can donate these kits to a local school or food pantry or you can give them to a family you know needs the help. Get a basket at a dollar store and purchase a turkey or see if you can obtain a gift certificate from a local meatery or deli. Include cranberry sauce, green beans, potatoes and perhaps a pumpkin pie in your basket.

There are so many ways to show gratitude, there are equally many ways to pay it forward, why not do both!?

Happy Thanksgiving, from all of us at Brae’s Brown Bags!

Event registration is now open

We are happy to announce you may now register to attend our 5th Annual 3B Summer Celebration honoring “Every Day Heroes.”

We’re using Eventbrite again this year: https://3b-summer-celebration.eventbrite.com

Please pass along the link, if you received an email because you are on our email list then please forward the email to your friends and family.

We want to make sure this is our biggest, most awesome summer celebration yet. Not just because we’re celebrating five years, but because we are honoring Every Day Local Heroes!

Thank you for your support!

And please let us know if you or anyone you know is interested in sponsoring our event!



Mazda USA helps us DriveForGood

mazdabagshipmentWhen my Mom saw we were running low on the brown bags we use for 3B, the kind with the handles, because they are more sturdy, she reached out to Mazda. It has been a few years since I won the Mazda Drive for Good contest, but the great news is that all the wonderful people at Mazda still take time to help our nonprofit.

When our friends at Mazda heard that we needed additional bags, they delivered more, a lot more! They had twenty boxes of 3B stamped brown bags delivered to us! Thank you to my Pop Pop for receiving the bags and getting them to our storage unit!

drive-for-good-logo

Mazda Drive for Good® is an annual charitable program that allows Mazda to give back by helping those in need. For every test drive taken between November 21, 2016 and January 3, 2017, we pledged one hour of our time to a worthy cause in your community. We are continuously grateful for all Mazda does to help communities nationwide!

Related News:

We know Girl Scout Troops rock BUT WOW

Girl Scout Troops #537, #841, #67 and #472 know what it means to volunteer for service and they practiced this last week by packing 108 bags for moms and children at Mary’s House of Hope!

You can see a live video feed we took by looking at the bottom of this post.

I talked to them a little bit about Brae’s Brown Bags and then my Mom talked a lot, she just kept going and going.

Then we got down to the real fun, the service!

In the cafeteria of Leasure Elementary School we had a HUGE assembly line set up, it was multiple cafeteria tables.

I showed everyone that if you lay the water bottle down on it’s side in the bag first it will help to keep the bag balanced and make sure nothing gets crushed.

One More Thing

But something else you should know about this event is that the girls had other stations. One table had crafty things so they could write special notes of kindness to put in the bags. The table next to that station had cards to write thank you notes for soldiers. Seeing those extra stations made me think about how much the troops are doing to make positive change. They do a lot and it is really cool.

Thank you so much!

2018 Building a Healthier Future Summit #PHAsummit

It’s really awesome to be able to share information about this year’s “Building a Healthier Future Summit” and to let you know that myself and a few other amazing young people will be panelists during the event. I am honored and humbled to be part of a session with Amber Kelly of Cook with Amber, Haile Thomas of The Happy Organization and Braxton Young of Healthy Little Cooks. It’s even more awesome to know that our friend Tanya Steel will be moderating the panel.

brae-amber-haile-braxton

We will be discussing “Kids’ Secrets on Impacting Kids”, which I think will be a lot of fun, because I believe that age does not matter when it comes to making positive change in the world around you. And I have met a lot of young people who are doing just that! So I hope to see you in a couple months! Let’s help create a healthier future together!

See more about the speakers who will be attending and presenting at this event from May 2 through May 4 in Washington, DC by visiting the Summit Sessions page of their website.

Other speakers include:

and many, many more!summit-youtube

Feeding Better Futures with DoSomething.org and General Mills

To all my friends who are interested in hunger relief and food related issues. There are so many of us who want to help and have really awesome ideas, but maybe we’re not sure how to make them happen or who to tell. Which is okay, because with the Feeding Better Futures campaign you can become the changemaker you always knew that you were meant to be!

General Mills with the help of DoSomething.org is asking youth to give them their best ideas and let them know how you would like to implement them. They want to tackle hunger relief and sustainable agriculture. That means things like food deserts, food waste, water quality and conservation, pollinator health, and soil health and preservation.

square-crop-CYou’re probably learning about food waste, food supply and water conservation in school, so take that knowledge and apply it to a way you can help and then teach others to help. We have the power to make big changes in the world, so take the first step and apply.

To submit your idea to DoSomething.org for a chance to win a $5,000 scholarship you have until February 28, 2018.

You can send in your submissions to General Mills, Feeding Better Futures through Monday, March 5, 2018.

In June, a grand prize winner will receive $50,000, be introduced to an industry mentor and get busy prepping for Aspen Ideas Festival.

Billions of dollars to be cut from nutrition assistance programs

HelpfeedToday Patricia Beebe, President and CEO, of the Food Bank of Delaware wrote an editorial piece for The News Journal which I think you should read.

She wrote about what we already know about looming budget cuts, but explained how it will actually impact real people who work hard. We know how important nutritional security is, it isn’t just about how much food someone has or doesn’t have, but also about the quality of the food they have access to and how consistently they have access to it. Healthy food really impacts our lives in so many ways. If you can’t eat healthy then you won’t feel good, you won’t be able to do your best in anything, not at school or at work.

“Congress has just passed a budget resolution that proposes cutting the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program by $150 billion dollars, more than 20 percent, over the next 10 years. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that this will either end benefit eligibility for millions of families or drastically reduce the number of SNAP dollars available to the millions of families, seniors and people with disabilities who rely on the program to meet their nutritional needs.”

Please take the time to read Patricia Beebe’s full article here:

http://www.delawareonline.com/story/opinion/contributors/2017/11/02/lets-work-future-without-hunger-dialogue-delaware/823026001/

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.

ohana

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!

prinicipaltimm

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.