#Hello2017

hello2017While Braeden and I ended 2016 with the flu and pneumonia, we were able to begin 2017 feeling MUCH better and hopeful for a bright new year. Braeden tweeted on New Years saying, “This year let your light shine! Make the choice to believe that 2017 is going to be amazing.” I absolutely love that sentiment. Way to go, Brae!

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Finn, Amelia and Tom Parkins from Calvary Baptist

My other two kids, Finn and Amelia, were able to help me deliver 3B bags to Calvary Baptist Church on Christmas Eve which has become an annual Christmas tradition for us since we started 3B. We provided bags for all of the homeless guests who partook in their Christmas Eve festivities. Thanks to my Aunt Mares we were also able to provide hats, scarves and gloves.

While Brae was sick my sweet Finn really stepped up. At first he didn’t want to leave his Google Santa Tracker, but when I explained that tracking the houses Santa stops at is fun to do. but not everyone has a house. So for those people we get to be Santa! He put on his Santa hat immediately and was ready to go!

It feels so good to be able to play Santa every now and then.

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One of the photos of some fantastic kids at MOT Charter (other photos are on our Facebook page)

MOT Charter invited Braeden to speak to the 2nd and 3rd graders a few days before Christmas (when he was still healthy). We are absolutely amazed and humbled to report they packed 426 bags! They also donated a car load of books and healthy snacks for us to use in making additional bags.

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The Power Of One

When we initially walked into the school one of the first things we saw was a showcase that featured Braeden! Of course I had him stand near it so I could take a picture, but honestly, normally you see trophies in cases like this and to see 3B featured felt pretty incredible. The showcase was titled “The Power of One” and it inside were pictures of Brae’s last visit to MOT Charter as well as quotes printed out from Brae’s talk. It definitely helped both of us to feel even more inspired that day. And to see  all the great work MOT Charter has done in helping to provide healthy food to those in need in their community via Our Daily Bread and with help from the Jefferson Awards Foundation.

Less than a week prior to the MOT Charter visit we received word that our 3B Ripple at Caravel Academy packed 131 bags! We were able to use some of those bags on Christmas Eve for those in need!

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3B Ripple – Caravel Cares Club (3C)

The generosity and compassion I see in these young students overwhelms me with joy. I know it means a great deal to Braeden as well. When he is invited to speak at a school he is always very excited to hear that the kids will ask him after his talk. And as his Mom, I love being able to see him interact with youth and empower them to be involved in what he is doing, but also to dream big with their own ideas on how they can help their community.

So we hope that you all had a very Merry Christmas and happy holidays! We also wish you a new year filled with happiness, love and laughter. Be the light in the world, be the change!

– Christy, Brae’s Mom

Summer time high fives

13640783_860560587421752_4553159800088006036_oIt is hard to believe that Summer break from school is already halfway over. Let’s not think about that right now though. It’s still Summer time and we have a lot of fun things happening.

I have been to schools and a summer camp as well as my Gram and Pop and friend Laura. We have been giving out bags as part of the #SummerMeals program. For this I just really want youth to know how important it is for them to eat healthy, too. So they come to schools for lunch or dinner and they get a healthy meal, but taking a bag with them gives them a chance to reach for something healthy to eat at home, too.

13640922_1152379174805814_2165661344635176608_oAlso the Christiana Fire Company invited me over for hamburgers and hot dogs off the grill. They showed me around their station and I even learned that it is haunted! Maybe not, but it’s a cool story and it has been around for a long time. I am sure the walls could tell many stories. Chief Perillo and Captain Semonelle were very nice to me and my family. 13603277_1152379521472446_2500457531476419471_oThe fire company participated in a WaWa Hoagie Challenge recently and they raised money for a charity. Captain Semonelle decided he wanted to donate the money to Brae’s Brown Bags!!! That is so exciting! Also I decided I want to be a volunteer firefighter when I am older. I think I would really like to do that. They said I can start helping out after I turn 13 years old!

The Middletown Jazzercise Summer Camp and the Circle of Friends Daycare Ripple “Small Hands, Big Hearts” both helped pack and deliver LOTS of bags over the past couple of weeks. It is so much fun when I get to work with other kids. They are really good helpers and I like how excited they are to know they will be giving to people in need13690944_1158009850909413_6107354723130820813_o. 13615299_1153580788018986_1781115289723400908_nI couldn’t do all I do with Brae’s Brown Bags without the help of my family, friends and NEW friends I have been making a long the way. There were even girls who baked breads and cookies to raise money to buy the healthy snacks at the Jazzercise place. Isn’t that so nice!?

Also we are still planning for our 3rd Annual 3B Summer Celebration. We’ve been getting sponsors but would still benefit from some raffle items. If anyone knows any local companies who can provide gift baskets or gift certificates it would be very helpful and appreciated. Check out our 3B Summer Celebration page for more information.

Thank you to WSTW, Bear-Glasgow YMCA, UDairy Creamery, The Crop Foundation, Del-One Federal Credit Union, Dover Federal Credit Union, Gerri and Bill Irish, Transportation Communications Union IAM Unit #86, Terri, Kristin and Todd Stephan and Greg and Margie Mannering for their donations and sponsorships thus far.

Ever wonder how far a ripple can reach?

udLast week I got to talk with two different groups of people about Brae’s Brown Bags, food insecurity and service. First I talked with a group from the University of Delaware. They were having a service retreat which I think is a really great idea. I think every company should have a service retreat where they spend time out of their office or out of their warehouse and they go and they do something good.

The group were people from Student Services and Enrollment Management and after I talked with them for a little bit they packed 250 bags of healthy food for people in need. Some of them took bags home with them in case they see someone in need during their travels. The rest I was able to take him so I can bring them to a shelter or soup kitchen who needs them. So thank you very much to this group, I had a great time and I am thankful you invited me.

greenwood2The next day I got to visit Greenwood Elementary School in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. A group of their 4th graders decided to start a 3B Ripple Student Chapter. A student named Josh Bernberg heard me talk at one of his Boys Scout meetings. And then he shared information with his classmates. They decided to name their 3B Ripple “Greenwood Strong” which I think is pretty awesome. So they were my 8th official ripple! And oh my goodness! They were so impressive! After we talked we ended up packing 358 bags of healthy food! Can you believe it!? We had a couple tables lined up with the supplies and once the students got the hang of it they packed the bags so fast!

The principal at Greenwood even donated 100 books to the cause! I also got to meet some of their Girls on the Run team and they were very excited to meet me which I have to admit was pretty cool.

Then this week we got an email from one of the middle schoolers who was there with their younger sibling. And she was so inspired that she said she wants to start a 3B Ripple at her middle school in Kennett! The ripple effect of Brae’s Brown Bags is something really unbelievable. I really can’t thank all of you enough!

Also I want to share I got invited to be a member of the Junior National Honor Society at my school Gauger-Cobbs Middle School!

I also want to let you know we are less than three months away from our 2016 3B Summer Celebration. You can find out more here! We are looking for sponsors!

Young people being awesome across Delaware

brae20under20There is so much to tell you. I either have to remember to write smaller posts more frequently or hope you don’t mind these long ones.

So the first thing is that Delaware Today included me in their April Magazine which featured 20 under 20. That means 20 kids from across Delaware who are doing some cool things. They really are, too!

Devon Ragolia, Dhruv Mohnot, Jenaya Vann, Elias Randall, Blair Isken, Ariel Friedlander, Hope Abbott, Jonathan Scurato and Braeden Mannering at the 20 Under 20 photo shoot

Devon Ragolia, Dhruv Mohnot, Jenaya Vann, Elias Randall, Blair Isken, Ariel Friedlander, Hope Abbott, Jonathan Scurato and Braeden Mannering at the 20 Under 20 photo shoot

I met students who make their own clothes, even glowing shoes and students who have their own skin care line funded in part by people on Shark Tank. There was even a girl who is REALLY GOOD at several instruments and she is younger than me. So if you get a chance you should read the article, Emma Way wrote it, she is very nice.

Then I have talked with two different groups recently.

brae-hillcrestI went up to West Chester, Pennsylvania last week to talk with a group of Girl Scouts at Hillcrest Elementary and one of their brothers. They were all so excited to pack bags and hear about what I have been doing. They asked some good questions and then packed 75 bags of food for people in need. It went by very fast they were super focused! The principal for the school was also there and he said he hopes to launch an official 3B Ripple at the elementary school next year!

brae-wilsonYesterday I went to Wilson Elementary School to launch a 3B Ripple. There were about 80 kids there, all 4th graders and I am pretty sure almost all of them ended up raising their hands with questions. It made me feel good that they were interested in learning more. Their school counselor signed them and they are still figuring out what to name their chapter. She talked with them after my presentation and she said if they volunteer to participate in the chapter they will have to give up one recess period to take time to pack bags. I know how important recess is, I am still bummed recess doesn’t happen in 6th grade. But you know what, so many of the students raised their hands and asked if they would be allowed to give up 2 recess periods! WOW! I was very impressed with these students and their school. I am happy to be working with them.

PepsiCo just released information about what their brand is doing to help provide hunger relief across the world. Their article spoke about how young people play a big role in this initiative and they included me! So you can read about what they are doing on the Huffington Post and on a Sustainable Brands website.

More news coming soon so stay tuned!

Small Town Big Deal and then even more big deals

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.

smalltownbigdealLast 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:

STBD on YouTube
STBD on Facebook
STBD on Twitter

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? newsomatic-braedenPlease 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.

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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.

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…

Kirk Cougars Care – Our first 3B Ripples Student Chapter

kirk middle schoolWe have recruited our first 3B Ripples Student Chapter! Many, many thanks to Kirk Middle School of the Christina School District and to Jackie Kook who has applied as a mentor to start a 3B Ripple Student Chapter.

Their chapter will follow 3B guidelines, but their chapter, Kirk Cougars Care, will be able to choose where to deliver their 3B bags and how they will get students involved. They will report back to 3B a couple times throughout the school year to let us know how they are doing. We’re super excited!

This isn’t the first great thing Kirk has done for their community. Ms. Kook shared “We have started a school garden program to provide fresh produce for the Delaware Food Bank. We also have held supply donation drives and other activities across many disciplines to raise awareness of and benefit people in need.” She says 3B Ripples fits right in with helping to educate students about food security.

Braeden is hopeful he will be able to meet the students and talk with them. We have prepared a starter kit AND this chapter qualifies for financial assistance to help get them started. 3B will be granting the Kirk Cougars Care student chapter with a small seed fund, $50, to get the ball rolling.

Way to go, Kirk Middle School! We can’t wait to work with you.

Happy Friday, here’s a 3B update for you #the3bway

cnn-braedenI 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.

3b-ripplesAlso 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

lindaprickett-braedenmannering-animalsThere’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.

menuTwo 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.

MASVNHealthFairOn October 4, 2015 I’ll be at the Glasgow Park as a sponsor for the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Society for Vascular Nursing Health Fair which also has a 5K. You should come to the fair and even sign up for the 5K! All participants will receive a t-shirt and YAY the 3B logo will be on the back.

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!