On June 11, 2020 the National Liberty Museum held a virtual celebration to recognize the students and schools who participated in the 2019-2020 Youth Heros Outreach Program. Braeden Mannering, founder of 3B Brae’s Brown Bags, delivered the keynote talk followed up by a Q&A session.
To the young heroes…
Your interest in wanting to learn more about social justice is something I wish we could bottle up, pour into the clouds, and then make it rain down onto the world. Beyond your desire to learn, is your passion for activating change and it is that characteristic that sets you apart and makes you extraordinary.
The Youth Heroes Outreach Program empowers students to speak up and take action against social injustices. Each year we are amazed at the number of participants and their passionate responses to important topics like gun violence, bullying, human trafficking, and homelessness to name a few.
An emergency sanctuary opens as temperatures fall below 32 degrees, when resources are available, in Delaware and across the country. Depending on your locations the alert is called something like “Code Purple” which is what we call it in Delaware. Other states may refer to this system as “Code Blue.” The sanctuary opens at 6 p.m. and closes at 6 a.m. which means our addressless neighbors have a place to sleep when the temperatures typically drop to their lowest point. However, during the day there are still few places available to get out of the bitter cold.
Brae’s Brown Bags provides “go-bags” to the patrons who stay overnight at emergency sancutaries. In addition to healthy food, we add winter weather clothing and hand warmers knowing that the person receiving the bag might not have shelter again until 6 p.m. the next day. If the temperatures are above 32 degrees, they may not have shelter at all.
If you see someone in need, please let them know where they can seek help. Not all homeless individuals prefer going to shelters, but an emergency sanctuary is temporary relief from the cold. If someone refuses to come in out of the cold, we provide socks, hats, scarves and gloves to help them retain as much body heat as possible. Our bodies create heat by metabolizing food and water, for our addressless friends this is a challenge as they do not always know where their next meal will come from.
Recognizing Cold-Related Emergencies: • Moderate hypothermia – [core body temperature 82° F-90° F (28° C-32° C)] • Severe hypothermia – [core body temperature < 82° F (< 28° C)] • Shivering is lost and cooling is rapid. • Hypoventilation, respiratory acidosis, hypoxemia, aspiration pneumonia, atelectasis progress to apnea, and adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) • Pancreatitis, gastric erosions • Hyperkalemia, hyperglycemia, lactic acidosis • Rigidity progresses to rhabdomyolysis • Hemoconcentration, hypercoagulability progress to disseminated intravascular coagulation, and bleeding • Hyporeflexia, agitation, hallucination, dilated pupils progress to areflexia, coma, absent pupil responses • Arrhythmia
For additional resources and locations of shelters or sanctuaries, Dial 2-1-1. or text your Zip Code to 898-211.
As you know, Braeden is always looking to enhance the kindness we see in the world. He has mentioned that it would be nice if locations were able to offer a place to wash up and clean laundry. If you know of a way we can initiate this idea please leave a comment below.
Many people around the world just rush through the day to get it over with.
But I believe all of you in this room are of a different mindset.
You are doing what the others are NOT doing.
You are going about your day with a purpose.
And that purpose is to be a changemaker!
Braeden Mannering, during 2019 Coming Together Hunger Conference
We partnered with the Food Bank of Delaware and First Chance Delaware to co-host our 3rd bi-annual kids’ hunger conference which happened yesterday, April 4, 2019. (It was the 5th annual conference for adults). The event was a success and we are so excited to send over 100 letters to Delaware legislators written by the students who attended! These letters include their thoughts about hunger, food insecurity, service and advocacy. Hearing ideas from 1st through 8th graders is amazing. These students are not only intelligent, but also full of compassion!
We had volunteers from Christiana High School attend and help out with the gardening station of the day! They also showed off the Food Bank of Delaware’s mobile pantry in all its tie-dyed glory. These students are FFA members and their teacher Mr. Phipps shared them with us for the hunger conference. They were awesome!
The University of Delaware provided demos and educational activities at several stations. They taught about native bees and the importance of pollinators in relation to our food supply. The students learned about veggie regeneration, food waste, food recovery and the cost of nutritional food with a make-shift grocery store! Many thanks to the College of Agriculture & Natural Resources as well as Cooperative Extension!
Did you know there is a way to scan your skin and find out about your nutritional intake? Well there is and it is called a Veggie Meter, at least that is what the Food Bank calls it and they allowed the students and opportunity to check out what their vitamin levels look like.
The Delaware Farm Bureau made the trip with their Ag Education Mobile Classroom. Laura Simpson said, “The Ag Lab is a traveling classroom that allows kids to see different aspects of agriculture and try it out for themselves.” It was a super fun addition to the conference and we are so grateful Ms. Simpson was able to attend!
Additionally, NFL Play 60 came out to the event and hosted a station about physical fitness and living a healthy lifestyle. They had their music playing and got the kids moving around. After they got their fitness activity in, the students then moved along to a station which included mindfulness and yoga. It’s so critical for our youth to learn about to decompress and unwind. Their brain health and emotional well being is vital and something they need to make time for every day.
Obviously, it wouldn’t be a 3B hunger conference without hearing about Brae’s Brown Bags and packing some bags of healthy food for those in need in our community. So every student had an opportunity to do just that and they were all excited to help! They helped to pack over 200 bags of healthy food for our homeless and low-income populations.
To end this eventful day we joined the adults, who were partaking in the Food Banks adult track of the conference, for lunch. It was during this time when we had the honor of listening to Jason Brown speak about leaving the NFL to become a farmer in North Carolina. His speech was inspirational and moving. Wise Farmer Brown spoke to all of us about the importance of service, empathy and heart. He said, “Never Stop Giving, Never Stop Loving, Never Stop Growing!” Many thanks to the American Dairy Association Northeast Branch for being a sponsor to the event and connecting us with Farmer Brown!
As always we want to thank every single person who came out to the conference as a participant and volunteer. We thank the many generous sponsors who helped to make this event possible. We truly believe there is no better way to learn and grow as individuals and as a community than through hands-on activity and meaningful opportunities.
What are they calling it? An arctic vortex? I don’t know what it is, I’m not a meteorologist, but it’s cold, it’s really cold. And it’s not just here in Delaware. Birmingham, Alabama got snow yesterday! The wind chill is -65 degrees in parts of the midwest. Even New Orleans, Louisiana is opening shelters for the homeless to keep them out of the cold, they call it their Citywide Freeze Plan. Cold, scary times.
While Delaware isn’t getting the snow and isn’t currently -50 degrees, it is still wicked cold and our hearts go out to all of our addressless friends who are struggling.
In Delaware, when the temperatures are frigid it is called a Code Purple. Essentially what this means is that emergency sanctuary locations will open for the homeless to stay overnight. The locations are typically open from 6 p.m to 6 a.m. and patrons receive a meal for dinner, our 3B bags when they leave and a bus ticket. It’s not enough, but it’s something and it’s currently all we can do. There are not enough shelters to hold all of our homeless.
The emergency sanctuary locations are not homeless shelters. So when they open their doors, they are equipped with volunteers offer. The consistently awesome thing about Delawareans is that they are givers. I am humbled each and every day when I drop off 3B bags and see all of the kind people helping others. I am so grateful.
If you are unable to volunteer, please consider packing a bag of healthy food, water, chap stick, hand warmers, socks and hats and leaving it in your car. If you see someone in need, then you will have something to give them. Please also consider calling 2-1-1 to find out where the nearest emergency sanctuary or shelter is located. There are often shuttles who will pick up the homeless and take them to the location. Local police will also take them to a shelter.
If you know people who need help and would like us to see what we can do please send an email. We will do our best. We hope you will as well.
Participation is available through a school application process. Schools interested in applying to bring *students to the conference may fill out an online application by clicking here.
Applications are due January 25, 2019.
Agenda/Schedule information will be coming soon.
Station topics include:
Healthy food demonstration
Eating on a budget
Worms and butterfly garden
Brae’s Brown Bag packing
Letters to our Elected Officials
For the second year in a row the Armstrong Relocation Company in Delaware has chosen to be a 3B Summer Celebration Champion Sponsor and we are so happy to know they not only value 3B, but they also value fighting against hunger!
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.
We 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!