Congratulations to YOU!

One thing we have learned in the last five years is that we have heroes all around us. And this year we want to make sure they are recognized.

We have emailed and are now announcing to you all of our “Every Day Local Heroes!” You can find out more about these amazing organizations and the people who make it happen by attending our 5th Annual 3B Summer Celebration on Saturday, August 18, 2018 at the Bear-Glasgow YMCA from 1pm to 4pm.

MEET OUR HEROES

Christiana Fire Company, Ladders 3, 6 and 12

Jacqueline Means (Wilmington Urban STEM Initiative)

Brooke Scuse (Teacher with Clayton Elementary School)

Skye Bunting (Girl Scouts of America – Service Unit #18 – Troop #34)

Stephanie Jaynes and Kathy Fintak (Girl Scout Troop #537)

Renee Yarrington (Diapers for DelMarVa)

Honorable Mentions

Nichole Eveland (Nichole nominated Renee and we are so touched by their story that we would like to honor both Nichole and Renee and share about their organization, Diapers for DelMarVa)

Braeden Mannering (nominated by his Gram, but does not qualify since it is his event and contest)

Local Heroes and Local Support – We Thank You

We are happy to report we have received a few “Every Day Hero” nominations. Emails will be going out to them to see if they can attend our event, along with their nominator. We’re so happy to see people choosing to share their appreciation to those who serve our community and provide inspiration or hope in times of need.

We would like to show appreciation and thanks to our sponsors who are helping to make this event possible!

Armstrong Relocations Moving Company (CHAMPION SPONSOR)

  • Greg and Margie Mannering
  • Bob and Rose Willey
  • John and Sue Ferenbach
  • Bob and Jamie Kahn
  • Dolores Thomas
  • Bobbie Willey Stump

And for many who are providing services:

  • Bear-Glasgow YMCA – for use of your outdoor pavilion
  • 93.7 WSTW – music, personality and prize wheel
  • Sam Lawson, logo design, 14-years-old
  • Cajun Sno
  • Party Business – face paint and airbrush tattoos

Please register for free here: https://3b-summer-celebration.eventbrite.com

Feeding Better Futures Scholar Program Finalist

We are so excited to finally be able to announce that Braeden is one of five national finalists for the General Mills Feeding Better Futures Scholar Program. As a finalist he has an opportunity to win $50,000 for 3B Brae’s Brown Bags. 3B is a small nonprofit so this prize would go a very long way in helping us sustain our mission.

Packing a brown bag is simple, but ensuring that the food is healthy is not as simple due to affordability, accessibility and shelf life. Further, making sure those bags reach the people who need them most is a challenge, fortunately Braeden doesn’t turn away from challenges.

A wonderful video production team came out to Delaware to visit Brae’s school, Gauger-Cobbs in the Christina School District. They produced a video which includes interviews with students, Erica Young and Nhi Nhi Nguyen, Mrs. Kathy Bin-Yusif, educator, and an interview with both Braeden and myself. It includes a bag packing event in which Gauger-Cobbs Middle School students worked together to pack 60 bags of healthy food. They then took those bags home so they would have something to give should they see someone in need in their community. (We always encourage students to give bags with a parent or trusted adult and not on their own.)

The video shares a little bit about the 3B mission of improving nutritional security, in part by getting youth involved in the solution. Winning the contest would help us to reach and feed more people in need. It will be easier to grow our 3B Ripples program with schools and youth organization. We are also happy to assist with natural disaster relief across the country. 3B has been able to provide bags after wildfires, hurricanes, and flooding in several states.

We Need Your Help

Anyone can vote on the videos that were produced and we need YOUR help to get Braeden votes.

Learn more about the General Mills Feeding Better Futures Scholar Program on their website: https://blog.generalmills.com/2018/04/5-students-changing-the-future-of-food-and-the-world/

3B relies solely on donations and youth grants to sustain our nonprofit, we do not receive federal or state funding.

Thank You Delaware FFA #MakingADifferenceTogether

braes bags packedWe would like to extend our sincere thanks to the Delaware FFA for yet again choosing 3B Brae’s Brown Bags to be a service project during their statewide convention in Dover last week.

Their convention is meant to span three days. However, this year due to a snow storm, they ended up cramming LOT of activities into just one day!

Fortunately, they still made time to pack bags of healthy food for those in need in the Kent County area and we are incredibly grateful.

Amanda Powell, Executive Secretary of the Delaware FFA Association, let us know that the FFA students packed 270 bags. They have also already delivered 110 bags to the Salvation Army and 160 bags to Peoples Place both in Dover, Delaware. PLUS they plan on packing EVEN more bags in the near future!

Future Current Leaders

When Brae spoke at the Delaware FFA Convention last year he said, “I think it is safe to say that we all realize food insecurity is a problem, it’s a big problem. And it’s something that one person cannot fix alone. But when we all work together, I have learned we are pretty much unstoppable.”

The Delaware FFA students never cease to amaze us with their dedication and leadership. They are proof that when we all work together, we can make a big difference!

High Fives and Hugs to McVey Elementary School #3Bripples #the3bway

3B Ripple Student Chapters is definitely an amazing part of Brae’s Brown Bags.

We’re excited and incredibly proud to announce and share news about out newest chapter at McVey Elementary School in the Christina School District.

Not only did they pack bags of healthy snacks for children in need in their community, but they also added a special reading element to the mix.  They visited a neighborhood with bags AND books and read aloud to the children who participated. Amazing!

Ms. Kim Blevins, a teacher at McVey Elementary School shared a little bit about the experience and it made our hearts smile!

“The past two days have been soooo incredibly amazing. From the kids helping to pack the bags to yesterday’s Read and Feed night my heart is overwhelmed. The look on the children’s faces as they received the bags and the hugs from the mother’s giving the kids a small snack that they can’t afford was priceless.”


To all of the students, teachers and staff involved with the new 3B Ripple at McVey we appreciate you so much! You are awesome! Thank you!

“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.

Cold snaps can be death sentences for the homeless

We recently read an article “Cold comfort: U.S. homeless shelters overwhelmed in brutal weather,” which shared how overwhelmed shelters are and not just in the US. For example, homeless are dying in places typically known for their warmth, like Texas.

Homelessness is on the rise in the United States, according to federal survey data released last month, which said 553,742 people lacked homes on a given night in 2017.

What most people probably are not aware of is that homelessness is very, very undercounted. In Delaware, for example, there is only one night a year in which the number of people on the streets are counted. This one night is called Point In Time (PIT). I don’t know if this is true across the country, but it is quite unnerving. Many homeless are transient, many homeless are not necessarily roofless. Many homeless youth are trafficked, receiving shelter for sex, yes even here in little ol’ Delaware. They will not appear in the head count of homeless people in the state. Hearing the number has grown nationwide, and yet is still significantly lower than actuality, well I find that unnerving.

The 2015 PIT Count in Delaware was conducted January 29, 2015. These people can be in shelters, motels paid by voucher or wandering the streets. On that date, 950 people were homeless in Delaware. Now this is what I know, the school district in which we live has a homelessness advocate who reported that their schools were dealing with 840 homeless families. How can one school district have 840 homeless families and yet the state’s PIT says there are 950 people homeless?

snowstormBack to cold spells… if we’re under counting, it makes sense that our shelters have waiting lists and are overwhelmed, right? Something to give thought, I suppose. Nobody should be left in the cold. When we provide people on the street with our 3B bags we include the names, locations and numbers to multiple shelters. We also let them know if it is a “code purple” night which means emergency sanctuary shelters are open to help them.

I think more needs to be done to understand this issue. We are helping with nutritional security and spreading awareness, but while the data is inaccurate, the respources given to foundations assisting will continue to be very low.

As the holidays are upon us

grinch“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”

I say, “Merry Christmas.” You may say something else and I respect that, please enjoy, embrace and share your love for the holiday which YOU celebrate. Aren’t our holiday intentions all pretty similar? Winter holidays have much in common in that we celebrate love, life and light.

Winter is colder, darker, bleak, right? That’s why people bring evergreen trees into their home? Evergreen trees are a sign or symbol of everlasting life during a time of year during which much dies, especially in areas of colder climate.

christmas-givingAll of this being said, the point of this post is that no matter what holiday you may be celebrating, all of us can benefit from bringing life, love and light into each other’s lives. For Brae’s Brown Bags that means continuing to deliver bags of healthy food to those in need. To make sure we are able to donate handwarmers, socks, coats, gloves, etc. If you drive by bus stops in the morning, knowing how bitter cold it is outside, and you see a child waiting without a hat or without a coat, you have the ability to provide that child with something to keep them warm. If you’re not comfortable stopping and handing the child a coat, then bring gently used coats to your local schools. I promise you they will be used.

grandma-736004_960_720Plan time for your family to volunteer at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter. Write a letter to your mail person, the people who pick up your garbage or recycle. Bring a basket of fruit to your community firehouse or police troop. Send a care package overseas to troops who are away from home during the holidays. Visit a nursing home with your kids and bring books to read or pictures that they have colored.

sacredheartThis past weekend, Braeden, my Mom, Finn and Amelia (my two younger kids) took a trip out to Sacred Heart Parish in Chestertown, Maryland. Brae spoke with the group and they ended up packing 85 bags of healthy food, chapsticks, socks and handwarmers for those in need in their local community. It is always a beautiful activity to be a part of and it brought peace into my day.  This group was excited to hear from Brae and even more excited to be able to help! That is the best thing about Brae’s Brown Bags, it’s so easy to do and yet it packs a powerful punch.

There are so many ways we can warm hearts, shine light and celebrate life if only we take a moment to do so. When you pass someone during your travels, or even in the office hall, say Happy Holidays, or Merry Christmas, and then add on a compliment, a bit of kindness. This time of year is about sharing good will, so let’s practice just that.

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas, from all of us at 3B

3b-spiritwear

Were you there, did you celebrate with us? #the3bway

On Saturday, August 19, 2017 at the Bear-Glasgow YMCA we held our 4th Annual 3B Summer Celebration.

Our theme was “Ohana” and while Braeden was giving his talk to all those in attendance he said, “Part of Hawaiian culture, ʻohana means family. In the movie Lilo says that Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.”

He continued, “Ohana means family. All of you are my family. Because if you needed something I would not leave you behind. I would not choose to forget about you. And this isn’t just about the people here for this very awesome event. This extends to any person. To all people.”

Running a non-profit is not easy. Planning a big event, also not easy, but when it all came together and everyone was celebrating, there was an ease about it, because EVERYONE helped, worked together, celebrated with each other. We had so many volunteers decorating, putting pieces of games together, hanging banners, organizing raffles, providing food and entertainment. I am so grateful to every single person. Drew Taylor with 93.7 WSTW was an amazing DJ for the event. He entertained our guests, got involved, came down off the stage and became a part of our 3B family. Jim Berman with the Grain on Main delivered a delicious menu using fresh produce from the University of Delaware farm (UD Fresh to You thank you Mike Popovich and all of your farm interns), complimented by fruit cut up and served by m parents and cookies made by my Aunt Bobbie. The YMCA let us use their outdoor space! All of these people gave their time, their service and their heart to helping make our event the best one yet!

To Laura Nash, Cathy Kinney, the Kim Family, Monica Moriak, the Cerasoli girls, my parents, my in-laws, and to my family who not only helped the day of but also had to put up with me while I planned and stressed and ran around for the last three months. I thank all of you, every single one of you. We couldn’t have done this without your support.

I’ll end with some of Brae’s final words.

“Take your hand and put it on your heart.

Okay. Now close your eyes. Breathe. And feeling it beating.

Maybe mine is beating faster than yours and maybe yours skips a beat sometimes. Now open your eyes. What I want you to do is to live your life in a way that let’s everyone else know that your heart is indeed beating.”

Please enjoy our full Flickr photo gallery, photos by the very awesome Monica Moriak!
https://flic.kr/s/aHsm6Won7g

And also, one last thanks to the event sponsors!

A huge shout out to our sponsors! Armstrong Relocation Company reached out to say they feel what Braeden is doing is amazing, they signed on at the Champion Sponsorship Level! So if you are going to be moving anytime soon please make sure you use their services! Terri, Todd and Kristin Stephan also sponsored the event at the Champion Sponsorship Level. Many, many thanks for their continued support!

Additionally, we would like to thank the National Liberty Museum, Bob and Rose Willey and Greg and Margie Mannering for signing on at the Supporter Level of sponsorship.

Interview Feature in Successful Farming

Hi everybody! We wanted to let you know that Brae was recently featured in a magazine called Successful Farming!

Gil Gullickson, Crops Technology Editor, for the magazine reached out earlier this Summer and spoke with Braeden about what he has been doing with Brae’s Brown Bags.

Mr. Gullickson originally heard Braeden speak at the 2016 Commodity Classic in March 2016 in New Orleans. Brae was invited to be one of the speakers for their Agvocacy Forum by Bayer CropScience.

braeden-successfulfarming
Click the image to download a PDF

You can view Brae’s presentation, speech and Q&A session from the 2016 Commodity Classic on YouTube.