I was supposed to update my blog last night to let everyone know that 3B: Brae’s Brown Bags is one of 27 super awesome service projects around the nation. There is a voting contest happening right now to choose the top 5 and those 5 will go to Washington, DC for a national ceremony. But I had school and then I had football practice and I completely forgot to write.
This morning I had the fun of watching my Mom try to tie a tie. I have two concerts today, I’m part of chorus at Keene and we are doing our Spring concerts for different grades today and I dressed up. I wanted to wear my blue tie and I asked her and she looked at me like I was crazy. So then I walked into the kitchen and I saw her trying to tie the tie on herself by looking at an image she found on google. I have to say she ended up getting it so thank you Mom.
More on the 360 Challenge with the Jefferson Awards. Like I said there are 27 really great projects that do good things for people, lots of people. I am happy and humbled that Brae’s Brown Bags is part of it.
There is a voting challenge which began yesterday and you can vote for your favorite project and the top 5 will be invited to attend the national ceremony in Washington, DC.
On Saturday, May 3, my Mom and I went to the Leadership Summit in Newark, DE to meet other people who submitted projects to the 360 Leadership Challenge. Normally I have flag football on Saturday mornings but instead I got dressed up and went out to something called a “summit.” So I’m sure you know this wasn’t my first pick. But it ended up being fun.
There were a lot of college students there from a LEAD class at UD and they planned activities for us. I was part of Group 1 which ended up being because I’m in elementary school. Group 2 was middle schoolers and they joined our room, too. We did an activity where you are given dried spaghetti, I think maybe 20 pieces, and three strips of masking tape, some rope and a jumbo marshmallow. We were asked to build something that could hold the marshmallow on top. The grown ups were on one side of the room and the kids were on the other side. We were competing against each other, it was a timed activity.
So I’m sad to admit the kids lost. The grown ups built a tower taller than ours (which fell over) and it held the marshmallow. It wasn’t straight, it definitely leaned, but it didn’t fall.
We also did a magic carpet activity where we split into groups of three and we had to flip the carpet over without stepping off of it. This was tricky, but my group did a good job.
We made posters, too. I couldn’t think of anything to draw for my poster. I was tired.
There was an award ceremony. The Mayor of Newark, Polly Sierer, was there and so was Dr. Williams the superintendent of my school district. They handed out certificates to everyone who submitted a project. That was really nice. I thought maybe I wouldn’t get one because they didn’t call my name, but it ended up that I was in 1st place. When they called my named and started talking about Brae’s Brown Bags I was so surprised. My Mom looked at me and I looked at her and then she told me I should probably get up and go to the front of the room. We had no idea that I was winning anything. Really!
So they gave me a certificate and a heavy medal award thing that looks like a giant coin. It’s actually pretty cool, I like it, it came in a case to keep it safe.
I’m really proud that my project is doing good and helping people, but I’m also really proud of everyone else who was there on Saturday. I met new friends and learned about other projects happening near by that are really cool. Like the Zero Waste Team Delaware. I met three of the kids working on that project and they were pretty cool.
If you follow Brae’s Brown Bags on Twitter or on Facebook then you have probably already heard all about my day at Legislative Hall on Thursday, May 1st. Wow! When we left I told my Mom it was one of the best days of my life, and I have met President Barack Obama. He was cool, too, but this was something unbelievable.
I read a book in school about Delaware and about Legislative Hall. I told my Mom when we sat down in the Senate Room that it looked just like the book. I waited while the session started and listened, but I was also nervous and thinking about what I would say. Senator Nicole Poore stood up and asked that Resolution #48 be read aloud in full. That’s when the guy (I can’t remember his name, it wasn’t Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn because I have met him before) in the front read a page all about me! Everyone looked at me! Then Senator Bryan Townsend stood up and he asked if I could have the privilege to take the floor and talk. I really hope Senator Townsend is proud of me. I really like him.
My Mom walked up to the front with me and at first it was confusing because I was too short to stand at the podium. Once we figured out where I could stand to talk my Mom sat back down. I think she was nervous, too.
I had my speech on note cards. My Mom practiced with me, she wrote down times for me to look up and she told me just to take my time.
I must have done a good job because everyone clapped and they stood up for me. I’m not sure I ever smiled so big or felt so proud of myself, not ever!
Some of the senators came up and shook my hand and gave donations to Brae’s Brown Bags right from their own pockets. This really surprised me and made me very happy.
I guess people really like what I said. I know my Mom cried, even though she heard me practice it before!
Then I was brought to a room where I was introduced to the House. Representative Valerie Longhurst introduced me but she said I was 9 years-old. I was 9 when I started Brae’s Brown Bags but I am 10 years old now. That’s okay I don’t know how old she is either, but I always guess younger, too.
So then I gave my speech to this room of people. They also clapped and gave me a standing ovation.
Somehow the afternoon got even more awesome and do you know why? Because I got to meet Governor Jack Markell in his office. I think I was probably really quiet, his office was really big. I wish I could have read my speech to him but I didn’t think about it. He let me sit at his desk in his big chair and my feet couldn’t touch the floor.
I think another thing that really made me happy is that I met a lot of people from the Food Bank of Delaware. I never met them before and it was nice to have them come to Legislative Hall to hear my ideas. They invited me to go with them later next month for a legislative day where they will be teaching about hunger. Hopefully I can do that, too.
One thing I am glad to say is that today is Friday and while I do like talking to people and helping people I am really happy the weekend is coming up!
Troop 1148 is a Girl Scout troop I presented to on Monday, April 28th. I liked being able to talk to them about Brae’s Brown Bags. They were interested in what I have done and how it is has helped people. They surprised me by donating a bunch of healthy snacks and water to my cause. Their kitchen table was piled high with stuff! It was very nice of them and I am grateful they put some of their cookie money to helping out Brae’s Brown Bags.
I also exhibited at the College of Agriculture and Natural Resource’s Ag Day which was on Saturday, April 26th. I had a table with a display and brochures and magnets and pens. I shared a tent with the Food Bank of Delaware which I was really excited about. I think it’s cool that I got to be in their tent with them. I handed out brochures near the ice cream stand to convince people to come look at my display. Some of the people told my Mom that she has a great marketer on her hands. My Mom and my Pop Pop helped me put my display together, it looks really nice, I have been able to use it two more times. Once at the Girl Scout presentation and also it was on display at the 5K event.
Speaking of the 5K event it was called the Bolt to End Hunger. A couple of weeks ago only about 30 people were signed up. So when we got there and over 250 people were racing I was really shocked and really happy. I told my Mom I wanted to run in it. She let me run ahead with the college kids most of them were from Alpha Phi Omega which is the service fraternity who helps me pack bags. I had to stop a couple of times but I think I did a good job. Everyone was really nice and cheered for me. I don’t know how much money we raised for Brae’s Brown Bags but I do know it was a chance for more people to learn about 3B.
One of the things I have learned is that it’s important to tell my story. I think it’s important because it shows other people they have the chance to go out and make changes in the world, too.
Last night I went to the Code Purple Celebration in Newark, DE. The celebration was a potluck dinner and it was held in Calvary Baptist. I brought two cakes from Acme but they looked like giant donuts which I thought was funny. I got to meet Richard Waibel who did a lot of the organizing behind the code purple nights. I also go to meet Tom Parkins who emails with my Mom sometimes about 3B. And I got to see some faces again from when I dropped off 3B bags over the winter. Everyone was so nice to me. They asked if I could talk about my project a little bit and they asked me some questions. I also learned a lot about the behind the scenes of code purple. On the way home I told my Mom it was interesting to hear more about the Friendship House and also learn more about how many people are in need.
The code purple celebration got me thinking more about other ways I can help. Tomorrow I am visiting the State Capitol in Dover, Delaware and presenting to senators and representatives. I am going to share with them some of my ideas. I am nervous but also excited. I will let you know how it goes.
Well this morning I’m getting ready for a football game at the YMCA in Bear. Then as soon as I’m done I will be joining my Mom at the Townsend Hall in Newark. The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources is having their annual Ag Day. It’s really fun and we go every year but this year I’m exhibiting! 3B Brae’s Brown Bags will be sharing a tent with the Food Bank of Delaware out in front of Townsend Hall.
My Mom and I worked hard on my display. My Gram and PopPop helped figure out how to get it to be sturdy. We will also have brochures (my mom and stepdad folded and printed all night), magnets, pens, water bottles and t-shirts. For people who donate we will be able to give them a shirt. We’re thinking a $15 donation will get them a water bottle and a $25 donation will get them a t-shirt. I think that’s a really good deal! The bottles and shirts are really cool. I’ll be wearing one!
But what I really want to talk about before I head out if Wednesday night’s dinner celebration for the 2014 Governor’s Youth Service Awards. I was the youngest individual person to receive the award. I was nervous when we were waiting in line to go on stage. My family said you could not tell that I was nervous, but I really was.
I met Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn and he talked to me at my table for a little bit. He was pretty funny. Actually a lot of nice people introduced themselves to me and asked me about Brae’s Brown Bags. I felt pretty proud of myself. I also found out about a lot of other kids doing community service and volunteering places. There really are a lot of young people in Delaware doing awesome things. Everyone should be proud and should keep up the good work.
This was the first time I had been to the Dover Downs. The dinner was in the ballroom. It was really nice. They had slides playing while we ate. I was happy to see that the race I hosted at my school, Keene Elementary, was on one of the slides which rotated through while they were showing what kids did in Delaware for Global Youth Service Day!
I’m trying to remember everything I have been doing so I can tell you all about it. I hosted something called a Race Against Hunger for the 4th graders at Keene Elementary School in the Christina School District on Friday, April 11, 2014. One of the enrichment teachers, Mrs. Utterson, helped me with it, thank goodness for her being so supportive. My art teacher, Mr. Graham provided supplies so I could make posters with some of my friends for the race. I wish more of the grown ups at the school had helped out or come out to see us run. It really did end up being a perfect day. No rain and very warm. My Mom said she did a reverse rain dance. It worked!
We’re closing fundraising for the Race Against Hunger this week but so far we have raised $500 and the money will go to Action Against Hunger USA.
So one thing I forgot to talk about was that I had another bag packing event with my friends in Alpha Phi Omega at the University of Delaware. It was the same weekend as my Mom’s birthday back in March. We packed something like 300 bags! I took 100 of them home to give out and they kept the remaining bags for the upcoming 5K they are hosting to benefit Brae’s Brown Bags. Definitely sign up to race with me for 3B on Sunday, April 27th.
This past Sunday my Mom and my Dad took me to the Emmanuel Dining Room and we handed out 100 bags to the people who came to eat lunch at the soup kitchen. We decided to have 10 of those bags be for kids and the kids really liked the Spring activity booklet. I got those booklets from Mrs. Christine Sweeney as a donation. Thank you!
Today my 3B Facebook page went over 1,000 fans! It’s crazy! Thank you to everyone who encourages and supports me and the work I’m doing with 3B. I couldn’t do it without Y-O-U!
Plus tonight Reverend Paul Mast is coming to my house to interview me for a book he is writing. He said he was impressed with what I am doing and heard about me through the 2014 Governor’s Award for Youth Service. I’ve done interviews before but never for a book!
On top of the stuff I’m going with 3B I also started playing flag football at the YMCA in Bear. We haven’t done too much yet but I really like it. It’s fun to play and also fun to make new friends.
First I’d like to say I hope everyone is having a great Martin Luther King Jr. Day even though really his birthday was last week. He was a really cool guy and I wish I could have known him.
This weekend I went to New York City two days! It was kind of crazy and we had to walk a lot! It was really fun though and I really like the city.
Trying out for Masterchef Junior was a good experience. And I don’t know if I will get to be on the show but even if I do not get picked I am happy I went and cooked and interviewed. It will be even more fun to watch the show for season 2 now that I know what those kids had to do!
On Saturday my Uncle Greg went with me and my Mom up to NYC (that means New York City) and we took the train. He showed us FAO Schwarz, M&M World and Central Park. We walked through Times Square a couple times. It was sleeting and hailing for part of our walk. We just kept going.
On Sunday my brother Finnegan and my stepdad Brian went with my Mom and me to the city. We drove most of the way and then took a train. We used the subway, too. It was confusing.
Finn wants to tell you he likes the train and he liked looking at the map. He also said having hot chocolate on the train was his favorite.
I think the trip was fun. I hope we get to go back soon.
This weekend will be a lot of fun. I’m going to New York with my Mom and my Uncle Greg. Uncle Greg knows people in New York so he’s going to stay longer but he will be there on the train with us when we ride up.
I love to cook. I think when I grow up I will be a chef and a writer and also run 3B. It really is all kind of connected.
To practice for the casting I’ve been spending a lot of time in the kitchen. It hasn’t all be fun. There was a lot to clean up from spilling cream on the floor and I also learned why it’s very important to keep your fingers away from the knife while cutting!
I made muffins with carrot puree and yogurt (they were moist and yummy), homemade pasta which I cut into thick noodles and paired with chicken and a mango cream sauce, I made an elbow pasta dish with Italian sausage and a homemade tomato sauce and I topped the weekend off with a crab dip that everyone loved! I learned it takes a long time to get the smell of crab off your hands.
I have my apron with me and the trip should be fun. It’s exciting to have been invited to casting by the producers there and I know no matter what happens it will be a good way to meet people and learn.
I’m excited about 2014. It’s going to be a really great year.
As of right now I have handed out 558 bags to homeless and poor people.
On Saturday my step Dad, Brian, and I went to the Emmanuel Dining Room and handed out 56 more Brae’s Brown Bags. We had 8 children’s bags with books to hand out and it ended up being just enough this time. Some of the bags also had scarves and gloves for the adults.
2014 will hold big things for Brae’s Brown Bags. One thing is that it will now be 3B: Brae’s Brown Bags Foundation. We have our very own federal ID number now and soon will be an official 501(3)c which I don’t really know what that means but my Mom has been working very hard on that part of the project. The form she sent into the IRS was very long and it ended up costing a lot of money. But hopefully this will help us to get more funding and sponsors so we can really get 3B to become even better.
So to all of you, a very Happy New Year! Remember sometimes all you need to do to help someone in need is to lend them a hand and a smile.