Roundtrip in less than 48 hours

Braeden Mannering speaking to school in Port Charlotte, FloridaBraeden and I went to Port Charlotte, Florida a few days ago after being invited to come down and talk. Well, I should specify, Braeden was invited, I’m just his official PR and well, his Mom.

St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School reached out last year to see if Braeden could come out to talk to their students. We were finally able to make it down there for a talk on October 2nd. The staff and students at the school are wonderful people. Their hospitality and generosity were over the top and I am so grateful to have been able to meet them.

Principal Tonya Peters and Father John Fitch were very welcoming along with many other school and mission staff members including the lovely Rosemary and Elma. The teachers and students surprised us with a donation to 3B AND a birthday cake for Braeden since he will be having a birthday soon. Braeden was able to tour the school and he ultimately said he wished he could move there and attend the school after only spending a few hours with them.

We had dinner with a family on the harbor at Laishley Crab House. Oliver, Louisa and their son, 7th grader Lowell, were so wonderful. We had a great time walking around with them after dinner. They showed up some attractions and then took us for ice cream laser tag and go-carts. Braeden and Lowell had a great time together. I enjoyed taking it all in and getting to know our new friends.

We are excited to be able to extend the 3B Ripples Student Chapter program down to this school. Knowing that food insecurity is a major issue in Florida we know that Brae’s Brown Bags can definitely be of service to their community in Port Charlotte and the surrounding area.

DSC_0164We flew back to Delaware Saturday afternoon and were able to rest for the evening. Then we went to the 5K / Health Fair hosted by the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Society for Vascular Nursing. Brae’s Brown Bags was a sponsor for the event. Braeden, my Mom (Gram) and Finnegan decided to participate in the 5K. My Mom and Braeden both received 2nd place in their age groups.

Our intern Gabby, and her boyfriend Felix, joined us for the event and helped spread the word about 3B among the other vendors. The weather was blustery to say the least but we still made the best of it.

Coming up, Brae will be speaking at Kirk Middle School on October 19th for something that could end up being pretty awesome involving a film crew. Kirk Middle School was our first official 3B Ripple so we’re pretty excited about being able to join them and talk with their students.

More photos to come…

Happy St. Patrick’s Day #gogreen

Hi everyone, Brae’s Mom here with some updates and thank yous!

First of all, Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Braeden and I have decided we’re going to do our part to “go green” with his Brae’s Brown Bags by adding a line to the letter he inserts in every bag which encourages the recipient to recycle the brown bag and the water bottle when they are done using them. This line will go on each inserted letter from this point forward once we have used all the inserts which are already printed in our 3B warehouse… also known as our basement.

Before I dive into some fun updates I would like to say thank you to the Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity UD Chapter for your continued support in helping Brae to continue reaching more and more people. Thanks to your help during our last snow storm two weeks ago we were able to get 100 more bags packed and have 25 of those bags delivered to an emergency sanctuary in Newark when we were unable to get out and be there. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Brae with a group from Fusion Fitness in Newark, DE
Brae with a group from Fusion Fitness in Newark, DE

The Newark Fusion Fitness Center finished up their fitness challenge fundraiser and Braeden received a check for over $1,000 from their efforts on March 2. This is incredibly generous and I would like to share with you that Fusion Fitness does fundraising fitness challenges regularly to help fund small projects and non-profits who are aiding the local community. They not only promote healthy living but they also promote  being a good citizen which we think is fantastic!

Delaware FFA State Convention
State of Delaware FFA Convention

Braeden was invited to speak at the Delaware FFA State Convention in Dover on March 10. He was their speaker during their dinner ceremony. In addition the middle schoolers packed over 300 brown bags which were then delivered to shelters in Kent County. We are thankful Brae was invited to both learn more about FFA and also to share his insight on hunger relief, food insecurity and service. We are also grateful for the hundreds of bags packed and delivered on behalf of 3B to allow us to extend our reach further south in Delaware.

Townsend Elementary School
Talking with 3rd graders at Townsend Elementary School

Over the last month Braeden has had the opportunity to give school assemblies at both Carrie Downie Elementary School in the Colonial School District and Townsend Elementary School in the Appoquinimink School District. During these assemblies Braeden told his story about how Brae’s Brown Bags got started, why he feels it is important to get food to homeless and low-income populations and he also talked about being young leaders in their communities. Braeden encouraged the groups to think big and dream bigger. He told all the students that if they have a gift or have a talent they need to share it with the world. Braeden asked the kids to think about how they can help people around them and explained that sometimes the smallest gestures and ideas can have the biggest impacts.

Braeden with a group of students at Carrie Downie Elementary
Braeden with a group of students at Carrie Downie Elementary

I have to say as his Mom I’m always very proud to hear him talk to other young people. But I want to explain I’m not just proud because of Braeden, I am proud of all the young people he talks with, too. We have met great kids who have their own ideas on how they can reach out and help in their communities. As a Mom I find it very rewarding and exciting to see so many young faces looking inspired and excited. It’s not just Braeden who is out there being a change maker, there are many other kids who are making differences in the world, too.

Youth_Service_America_logoI am excited to let you know that Braeden has received another Global Youth Service Day grant from Youth Services of America in part from the Sodexo Foundation. This $400 grant will go towards the hunger conference he is co-hosting in May along with the Food Bank of Delaware and the Food Research Action Center.

One more thing. There is still more time for Delaware students 1st through 12th grade to enter the Multimedia Design Challenge for the Coming Together: Community Response to End Hunger conference. The deadline to enter is April 3, 2015.

Brae has some big news to share with you later this week or early next week so stay tuned!

– Christy

Ending the year with a bang

3b-thank-youHi everyone, Braeden’s Mom here. I just wanted to write a quick post on behalf of Braeden and myself to thank all of our supporters! 2014 has been an incredible year and we could not have done it without your encouragement, kindness, help and dedication to 3B and our mission.

I’ve let Braeden know that he can have the rest of December off. We’re moving some speaking engagements around and into the new year so he can catch up on his studies and, well, you know, be 11.

Stepping in for him I have gained some new helpful volunteers. Sarah Vito and Helena Bush have helped enormously by making deliveries to new locations for us.

We have also received many donations from people all over! We wrote 21 thank you notes over the weekend! We still have more to write so if you haven’t received a thank you yet please be on the look out for one.

Over the last two weeks we have given out 200 scarves and hats to three different locations: Hope Dining Room, Sunday Breakfast Mission and Friendship House. We hope the items will help to keep people warm as the temperatures drop this winter. We also have sent out more bags and our new total is nearing 2,300 bags!

In the New Year we have some big plans! Braeden will be co-hosting the first ever hunger conference to include kids. He has been working with the Food Bank of Delaware on developing a kid track for the conference scheduled to happen on May 4th. We’re looking for possible speakers, panelists and demonstrators.

One of the coolest things about working with 3B and watching it evolve is that we have learned that all people, no matter their age, should be given the opportunity to speak up and share their ideas on how they can help better their community. This conference will bring the community of Delaware together, and perhaps further extend into neighboring states. Kids and adults will be able to mingle and learn from each other and I think the outcome will be incredible.

Can you imagine a world without hunger? Thanks to my son, Braeden, I CAN imagine this and it makes me smile so big!

As we get more information and continue to work out logistics of the conference we will keep all of your posted.

Thank you!

Brae’s Mom, Christy

It’s Giving Tuesday

3B-givingTuesday

1 in 6 Americans Struggles with Hunger. 1 in 5 children experience food insecurity. Donate & Help End Hunger.

Donating to 3B is a way to help us continue and expand Brae’s Brown Bags. Each bag costs anywhere from $1 to $5 to create. This includes the food, water, labels, inserts, bags and in the case of specialties it would include a book, toiletry items or winter weather items. This does not include travel time to deliver the bags.

Also a friendly reminder, it is tax deductible when you donate to 3B. Braeden also sends out personalized thank yous to everyone who donates which is pretty cool.

Also if you shop on Amazon.com please use their Smile.Amazon.Com link and choose “3B Braes Brown Bags” as your charity, then a portion of your total purchase will go to 3B. 🙂

Thank you!

– Christy