Well friends, I turned 12! We got to go to an arcade for my birthday. I played laser tag and games, it was fun. I also got to go on a haunted hay ride and shoot paint balls at zombies which I thought was really fun. And I had red velvet cupcakes.
I’ve been really busy and have not been writing a lot like I said I would, but being busy is good.
Last week I got to spend time with the hosts and film crew for a show called “Small Town Big Deal” which was really fun. I mean it was a long day but they were really nice. The hosts of the show are Rodney Miller and Jann Carl. They were both really nice and they seem to like diving into projects because by the end of the day they could pack a Brae’s Brown Bag in their sleep I think.
They were interviewed on the radio on WJBR and you can hear their interview here, it’s very nice and they say nice things about me and also about Delaware. Thank you!
I think that the show will air sometime soon and I will let you know when it does.
You can find out more about Small Town Big Deal here:
Also Mr. Jeff Gentry included a line about Brae’s Brown Bags is his most recent “Only in Delaware” column which was very nice of him.
I posted on Facebook this week asking people to pack a brown bag and bring it with them during their weekend travels. 19 people shared it! That means a lot of people might have packed a bag and kept it with them to give to someone in need. Did you? Please tell us about it!
World Food Day was on October 16, 2015. I didn’t get to really be a part of it too much by doing something out in the community but I did have my story featured on News-O-Matic to promote World Food Day which is pretty cool.
We got to be sponsors for the Waffle Cone Run which Caffe Gelato hosted to raise money for the Newark Empowerment Center. But then we couldn’t go to it because my brother and sister were sick, but it was still a really good cause and I am sure it was a great event!
And we got a digital copy of an article that the Charlotte Sun wrote after our trip to Florida earlier this month. If you want to read it I think it’s a really great article.
And then other big news is that my Mom, she helps me run 3B, she was named a top 10 Mover & Shaker in Delaware. I think that is really cool because I nominated her and she didn’t know. And I also think it is really cool because I was named one of the top 10 last year.
I am officially a middle schooler. I started 6th grade at Gauger-Cobbs this week. Our mascot is a cobra. I am going to try out for soccer next week. I’m really excited about that, I’ve been wanting to play soccer. I have a locker and we change classes. I have four minutes in between each class. There are A LOT of people in school. So far all my teachers are really nice and I like it.
Yesterday, there was an article that went onto the CNN Health website about young chefs who are paying it forward. It talked about me and also my friend Haile Thomas. Haile started the HAPPY Organization. She travels to teach kids about living and eating healthy. She is a really great chef and she won the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge in 2012. She’s really cool and we even had her and her Mom come out to Delaware in May because I knew she would be the perfect person to show the kids at the hunger conference how simple it is for them to make healthy snacks all on their own.
Also this week my Mom finished up the application for the 3B Ripples Student Chapters program. I came up with this idea for a couple reasons. One because I really want to be able to reach more people in need and I know I can’t do it by myself. But I also really think that other kids probably like to help and to give just like me. And I think that maybe having something in school to help them get into volunteering will make them feel happier and make them look forward to something else in school.
I also found out that I am receiving a special Rising Star in Philanthropy award in November. My friend Caitlin Custer who works at the Food Bank of Delaware, she nominated me and I am so very happy that I was picked for this award. It’s exciting. It makes me feel good that she thought of me and that the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) also thinks that I am a rising star. I will also be on a panel to talk to people about philanthropy on November 17 at the Chase Center. You should come if you can. NATIONAL PHILANTHROPY DAY 2015
There’s a very nice lady named Linda Prickett she works at Waters (Alfred G.) Middle School in Middletown. She gave me bags of stuffed animals, Beanie Babies, to give to kids in need. I can add them to my 3B bags as an extra surprise for kids I meet at the soup kitchens. I think this will be perfect for the holiday season. I am very excited to be able to give out the animals.
And I would also like to thank Wells Fargo in Wilmington and Ms. Meredith for helping to collect school supplies for us to add to bags. Thanks to family and friends and Wells Fargo we were able to give out over 50 back packs with healthy snacks and school supplies to schools this Summer.
Two more things, okay maybe three more things or four…
One is that the Big Fish Grill in Glenn Mills, PA is donating to 3B Brae’s Brown Bags this month as part of their Women & Wine night. We had a fundraiser with them last year, too. They make REALLY yummy food! Like really! And it’s not just for women, anyone can go and enjoy the menu. This year they are even including a really delicious sounding dessert with candy in it!
I’m going to visit the Sunday Breakfast Mission in a couple weeks because I want to be able to partner with them and give them 3B bags and stuff for them to use and give out. I am happy to be able to work with them and I have bags to bring with me, too.
My Mom and I are flying to Florida on October 1st to meet the great people at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School. They invited me to come talk to all the students about Brae’s Brown Bags and also about service and food insecurity. I’m pretty excited about it 🙂
So I think that is everything. I hope you all have a really great weekend. I’m pretty excited it’s a 3-day weekend. Happy Labor Day!
I know I promised to update more but it turns out that Summer is pretty busy. It’s a good thing to be busy though. My Mom and Gram have me doing my summer reading and I have a STEM project to complete for school. But it’s not all that type of busy it’s also fun busy, too. My family and I went to Fenwick Island beach for a week. My Grandmom and Grandpop and Aunt Kristin were there also so it was a lot of people. When we went for breakfast on our last day we needed a table for 8! We had fun and even went fishing. I had never been fishing before. I caught a flounder! My brother Finnegan caught a croaker.
So I’m helping with the Summer Meals program. I also visited the Emmanuel Dining Room before leaving on vacation because I had not been there in a little while and I needed to see everyone. I saw Tony and it was good. I didn’t see Miss Mary though. We gave out 70 bags and a lot of books!
I went to the Neighborhood House in Southbridge in Wilmington. I got to be part of a special event there. I had a table with my information. We let everyone take home a bag so they could give it to someone in need. I hope they found out that it is nice to give.
We’re getting extra busy with the 3B Summer Celebration planning. All the decorations came in the mail. We also just found out that the Kona Snow Ice truck will be coming!!! AND AND AND We have some really cool silent auction and raffle items. If you like sports, like Blue Hens or Eagles… and if you like water parks you definitely need to come to the event. Because the things we have for people to win are super fun!
The Kohl’s Cares Scholarship Program awards youth all over the country for caring. It kind of seems silly but in an awesome way. Shouldn’t everyone choose to care about everyone else no matter what? I can’t tell you how grateful I am to have been nominated for the scholarship by multiple people and also how great it feels to have been chosen as a national scholarship winner.
Kohl’s has this year awarded more than 2,500 winners nationwide with nearly $400,000 in scholarships for higher education and prizes. The winners were chosen from more than 32,000 nominees nationwide, and selected for the positive impact their volunteer efforts have on the community.
The scholarship is for $10,000 and it will go into a college savings plan that my Mom set up for me. They are also going to contribute $1,000 to Brae’s Brown Bags which is very generous.
Thank you to Kohl’s and thank you to the people who nominated me. This is an honor. I can’t wait to tell my friends when I go back to school. I’ll be in middle school this year at Gauger-Cobbs.
You can read about other Kohl’s Cares winners in these stories:
Over the weekend I went with my parents into Washington, DC and North Bethesda for the STOP Hunger Scholars Celebration with the Sodexo Foundation. We took the train Sunday morning and had a dinner Sunday night and then a great big huge dinner Monday night. There were over 1,000 people there on Monday night!
I met Ellie Krieger, she is a Food Network chef and has her own healthy eating TV show. She was very nice. She interviewed me up on stage along with Lorna Donatone, she is the COO of Sodexo.
Five scholars across the nation were chosen for their service work pertaining to ending hunger. The Stephen J. Brady STOP Hunger Scholars receive a $5,000 scholarship for their education as well as a matching grant for the hunger charity of their choice. So very generous!
We all shared our #EndingHunger dreams and this was mine, that everyone would have access to healthy food and clean water regardless of their financial situation. Make sure you download your own selfie sign so you can share your big dream for ending hunger. I think everyone who attended the dinner and the other four scholars all feel the same way. It was so nice to meet everyone. Amazing people with BIG dreams who are doing really awesome things.
The Sodexo Foundation, and their pal Corey, created a super awesome video where all five scholars got to say hi to each other and talk about what they are doing in their communities to help end hunger and provide hunger relief. To Sophie Bernstein, Caroline Ford, Kylee McCumber and Isaac McFarland, I’m so humbled to have met you and very proud to call you my friends.
The couple days I had in Washington, DC were just so fun. And the people at the Marriot were SO NICE TO US! They brought us mints, three mints every day. Their pool was so nice, I loved it, I wish i could have gone and swam for longer. The woman who checked us in asked about Brae’s Brown Bags and she was so emotional when I told her and my Mom ended up giving her a hug later because she kept apologizing for crying.
On May 22, the Friday before Memorial Day weekend, I had a day off school. So did the kids at Brick Mill Elementary. But that didn’t stop us from getting together and packing 206 bags to deliver to people in need in the Middletown, Delaware area. The room was full of students, a couple teachers, a handful of parents and even their Vice Prinicpal, Ms. Jacobs.
We all worked together to pack bags, some of which had toiletry items, all of which had clean water and healthy snacks. I also had a chance to talk to the kids and answer some questions. These were 5th grade honor students. They were all so nice and they seemed really happy to be helping. I think we all had a really good feeling being there. My Mom was able to talk to everyone, too. She’s getting pretty good at adding little bits of things here and there when I forget. Thanks Mom!
Thanks to the Brick Mill Elementary School 5th grade honor students. You guys are awesome. We made big changes that day and I am so happy I was able to work with all of you! I hope to come back next year!
My blog readers, I’m sorry, I have been waiting too long to write to you. I will work on this. I get busy. Many of you have asked if I am feeling better and I would like to say that I am. My cough is all gone and I’m back in school catching up on things.
Since I wrote a lot has happened. The Jefferson Awards dinner award ceremony in Newark was held on April 30 at Home Grown. I couldn’t stay long because I still didn’t feel well but I did get to see a lot of other young people who live in the Newark area and who are doing really awesome things. I am very impressed by what everyone is doing and I would like to offer a very special thank you to the Mayor of Newark, Polly Sierer for choosing Brae’s Brown Bags as her top project. It really means a lot to me and I hope I can do more in Newark to help people in need.
“Everyone deserves someone who cares. Everyone deserves a friend and that’s easy to do. So pack up a brown bag before you go to work. That way if you see someone in need you will have something you can give them. One brown bag can make you a champion.” – Braeden Mannering
I had a Skype interview with STOP Hunger on May 1st. I think it went well. It was hard to remember to look into the web cam instead of into the computer monitor and the monitor kept showing up in my glasses. I had to take them off. I’ll tell you more about that soon. You’ll be getting a super awesome fun update about STOP Hunger and the Stephen J. Brady Foundation 🙂
But now the update you have all been waiting for…
The Coming Together: Community Response to Hunger Conference update!
To say that they event was a success is an understatement. (Okay that’s my Mom talking, but it’s true). We had nearly 200 kids attend from all across Delaware. There were 500 people at the conference and for the morning we all were in the same room learning together. One of the most eye opening moments of the group during the morning was when a student spoke during the town hall session and asked the legislators on the panel what they could do to help her family. She explained that she and her brothers and sisters don’t have food to eat every day.
We know that 1 in 5 kids are hungry. We know those numbers. We talk about that statistic. The morning of the hunger conference the number turned into the face of a real little girl right there in the room. It made a lot of people stop and think. It made me stop and think. To the panelists who answered questions from all of the kids, I thank you very much. I know it meant a lot to all of them and I wish we had more time to answer everyone’s questions. State Senator Bryan Townsend, State Senator Colin Bonini and Charlie Copeland, State Committee Chairman Delaware GOP many thanks.
We had many of the Multimedia Design Challenge winners in attendance. We hung up their posters and essay on a wall for everyone to see. They were very good and covered a bunch of different ideas about food waste, food insecurity and the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. Please check out the complete list of winners here.
We had a special video message from none other than the amazingly gifted Food Network Iron Chef and TV Host on The Chew, MARIO BATALI.
He said he was sad he couldn’t attend the conference but encouraged all the kids to continue raising awareness about food insecurity. He even congratulated me for coming up with the idea. Thank YOU Mario for sending us a video message, how cool is that!?
Most of the day was spent in a great big room called the Wilmington Room and this was the “Kid Track” of the conference. We had eight different activities which groups of students rotated through and participated in together. Most of the activities required a group effort. The Bear-Glasgow YMCA was there with their “Born to Move” program for youth fitness. The exercises were super fun! Even two Wilmington Police Officers joined in on the fun!
The Delaware Cooperative Extension Master Gardener’s taught kids about planting their own food, every kid left with a plant. Tanya Steel and Haile Thomas cooked healthy snacks for the kids at a healthy eating demo and taught them about how important it is for everyone to be able to eat healthy. My Gram and Pop took care of the 3B bag packing table and handed out shirts. My Grandmom Stephan and my friend Suzy from North DelaWHERE Happening worked with a Food Bank volunteer on the Money Pit activity. My Mom and me came up with that idea. Here’s our description of the game. “In a timed, interactive game designed by Braeden Mannering, himself, students will team up to dive into a money pit (ball pit) finding index cards with food items on them and then racing back to their table to create a nutritional meal out of their cards for under $1.25. As of 2015 (2011 statistics), the World Bank has estimated that there were just over 1 billion poor people in developing countries who live on $1.25 a day or less.”
We also had volunteers Linda and Mike Jarrell facilitate a “Power of Words” activity where the kids wrote how they felt about certain hunger themed quotes. They wrote such cool things that we are going to turn it into a book and send it to the volunteer, legislators and schools who participated in the event. It’s going to be awesome! My Uncle Greg and volunteer Katie Hegedus worked on a “Rice Bowl” activity which taught kids about the 1 in 5 children are hungry statistic. Then my friend Jada Littman and two legislative aides from the State Senate helped kids draw pictures or write letters to share their feelings about food insecurity. The letters will be sent to the students representative in Dover, Delaware. We are still working on matching up the zipcodes of the kids to their representative.
I’d like to thank Juan Castellanos, our photographer, the Food Bank of Delaware, the Food Research Action Center and Bank of America along with Senator Townsend and Jessica Stump for all their hard work in helping to plan this great event.
My Mom and me met with people from the Food Bank on Thursday to talk a little bit more about the conference we’re all planning together. We have some more ideas on how to move forward and who to to invite. I would really like to invite Mario Batali and Gabby Douglas. I’m also going to work on creating a video invitation to send to the Kid President. I’ll let you know when I get it put together.
Then on Friday we met with Richard Rind, Director of Auxiliary Services at the University of Delaware and Sue Bogan who is the Director of Dining Services. My friend Jessica Stump joined us and so did Senator Bethany Hall-Long. We were meeting again to talk about how the University of Delaware should try and recover some food around campus to give to people in need. It isn’t really the dining halls, it’s the other food locations like Einstein Bagels or Starbucks who might have leftover food at the end of the day which, if not recovered, would be wasted. I’m hoping we can get the food to places who will be able to use it. It sounds like UD will be willing to work with me and my Mom, but we need a place to accept the food on a regular basis, and that seems to be the problem right now.
My Mom and me are flying to Atlanta, Georgia on Friday. I just know I will have a lot to share about the Kids Are Heroes Young Leaders’ Summit I’m attending. I am happy I’ll get to meet new people and share with them what I am doing with Brae’s Brown Bags and learn what they are doing in their communities. I can’t wait to meet the other “kid heroes.”
Ooooo and Fusion Fitness in Newark, DE is doing a fundraiser for Brae’s Brown Bags. I’m so happy they want to help out and also encourage people to not only be change makers in life but also to live healthy! They have held fundraisers for several different community organizations. Thank you Fusion Fitness!
And it has been SO COLD here in Delaware. I think it was 18 degrees this morning when we woke up for school and that wasn’t with the wind chill. There have been 15 or 16 code purples which means the nights are below 20 degrees. Really nice people volunteer to host sanctuary at their churches to allow people to come in out of the cold. I have been trying to get my 3B bags to these hosting sites as often as I can. It’s hard though sometimes I don’t have bags packed in time. I hope people like them when they get them and that they are helpful. Which reminds me, I need to tell my Mom we’re out of hand warmers. Again.
Holidays are fun. Thanksgiving is coming up and then Christmas. I am very excited because my family is going to Disney World for Thanksgiving. I have never been there. We are taking a plane. We will also stop into Universal Studios. It should be a lot of fun. I am excited to go on a plane again. My brother and sister have never been on a plane. I am wondering what we will do. I have seen pictures and heard things but I think it will be really cool.
There has been a lot going on in my world. Do you know what the word vague means? I did not. I do now. Vague means you can something a little bit about something, just enough, but then not everything. It’s mysterious! My step dad made up a word “Vague Book” on Facebook yesterday. Hahaha!
I was interviewed yesterday. It took a lot of work. I am VERY tired. I didn’t want to say anything wrong or mess up or anything, I get nervous. My little sister sat in a makeup chair. She picked pink blush. She didn’t need it though, but she smiled really big. My brother, Finn, had the makeup artist spike his hair up better.
I met some fun people. Really fun. AND I got a new laptop. It’s awesome! I played World of Warcraft and Minecraft on it and they weren’t slow or glitchy anymore. THANK YOU Mr. Adam!