August didn’t wind down, but Summer did

My Mom always says she wishes she had a 25th hour in the day. I know she would fill it with more things to do and then she would need a 26th and 27th hour. But I kinda understand what she is saying now. How do we fit everything in that we want to do? Have you ever played Minecraft? I could play it for four hours straight and not even know it. There should always be hours in the day when you can do something fun. But then I forget to do things like update my blog.

14124317_1191179457592452_5093569072657943110_oLOTS has happened.

August was busy!

Did I tell you I was able to talk to a class of high schoolers who were taking college level courses at UD over the Summer? I did. It was cool. Three of the students were from Africa. They asked great questions. They all helped me pack bags and I actually just got to send some of those 3B bags down to Louisiana so that is really cool. My Mom told me about the flooding in Louisiana and I wasn’t sure the bags would help, but they can’t hurt. She and my brother and sister also went out and bought a bunch of baby food and baby formula to send down to Louisiana with the bags, we sent 140 bags. I saw some of the picture of communities who lost everything because of the flooding and I just can’t believe it.

TedxWilmington_group_speakers-e1472135517934So I had been practicing and preparing for the Tedx Talk Wilmington Conference for months! And the day finally happened. I was nervous. Senator Coons was supposed to be the final speaker but his plans changed and so then I was the final speaker. And Mr. George, he was the host, he said he thinks Senator Coons changed his plans on purpose so he wouldn’t have to follow my talk. But it is really not easy to do those talks. I never used a power point before and I didn’t remember when to click. I forgot what I wanted to say and then I got really nervous and then the people listening started clapping for me. I felt so much better after that.

14066253_1187834541260277_6357352395584793986_oI feel like I made some new friends at the Tedx Talk. I really liked this guy they call Real Gumption. He is from the Virgin Islands. He talked with me at the rehearsal too and then I got to go talk to him after his talk because I think he did a really good job and I really like the idea of his glass bottom boat. He had a big dream and he made it happen and I think that is what I like the most.

I liked the wiggle woman. Her name is Janine Driver. But she talked about how to help yourself from going nuts, like if someone is driving you nuts what can you do to keep your cool. It was so funny! She was a really great speaker.

Kaamilah Diabate was also really awesome with her poem and the Twin Poets with their poem, they really made me think and it was very sad because they talked about racism and it is something that my Mom and my stepdad have talked to me about a lot and it was good to hear from a younger person especially from her perspective. Kind of like that I also liked hearing from Ian Khan because he had a really crazy childhood compared to mine and the things he went through seemed pretty scary and I think about my life and how lucky I am. So I liked hearing about other people’s lives and their ideas. All of the speakers were really just really good. And even though it was a long day I am happy I was there.

Also this month was our 3rd Annual 3B Summer Celebration. We have a lot of photos to share and people to thank but I think my Mom is going to handle that post so make sure to check back soon because I am sure she will have a zillion pictures to share.

Oh and I started 7th grade on August 30, yesterday! Yes, back to school, no homework yet though!

A tidal wave of ripples

I’m home sick today. I started having a bad cough yesterday and then this morning I was just a coughing machine. But I wanted to be able to tell you some things.

Yesterday, I went to the Hotel DuPont and had lunch in their Gold Ballroom. It really is all gold colored inside and there are big lights and mirrors. I had three forks near my plate, two spoons and one knife. Can you believe it?

So I went there because I was invited to the lunch and I knew I was a finalist for the regional LEAD 360 Challenge award. They said at the lunch that a Jefferson Award is meant to be like a Nobel Prize for community service. The speakers all talked about really great people in Delaware who give back and who care about people and want to make a difference.

Former Governor/State Representative, Mike Castle, shaking my hand

Mr. Mike Castle was the main speaker, he was very nice. But when the Jefferson Award for Outstanding Youth Service was announced they started out by saying, “This young man started his charity at the age of 9 years old, packing bags with healthy snacks to feed the hungry…” My Mom looked at me and I looked at her and she started to cry because we knew they were talking about me. I was so surprised!

My Mom was quoted when they were talking about Brae’s Brown Bags, “Christy says she sees the ripple effect that he has caused because of being one little pebble.” That was something she said that I really liked. When I started talking with Jefferson Awards people I told them about that quote. They remembered!

“He likes the idea that all kids can be pebbles. If they work together they can make ripples that can grow to tidal waves. One pebble at a time. One brown bag at a time.” (The he is me :D)

Thank you to Emma Rider for this photo and for liking what I said

I got to go up on the stage and get a special medal. It’s really cool and very heavy, you wouldn’t think it would be so heavy, but it is.

I thanked everyone there for supporting and encouraging me. When I go to an event like this I think we are all really winners. Everyone in that room yesterday was part of a group, a school, a project doing good things, great things. I wouldn’t be where I am, 3B wouldn’t be what it is, without all of those people and their support.

Braeden with Omicron Alpha Upsilon (KON) Chapter
Braeden with Omicron Alpha Upsilon (KON) Chapter

Another thing that happened was on Sunday I had a bag packing event at the University of Delaware. The Omicron Alpha Upsilon (KON) Chapter donated TONS of healthy snacks. I brought the supplies for packing and the water. We packed 94 bags in RECORD time! They should help me every time I pack, they were really fast!

Conference-Save-the-Date-2015The Coming Together: Community Response to Hunger Conference is on May 4. We are still looking for volunteers but many, many thanks to the people who have already signed up. Weston Williams and Emma Rider are going to help me moderate the Public Town Hall which I’m excited about. Emma is a friend of mine who does a lot of public service all around the world. She is a National Jefferson Award winner! She has helped collect over 100,000 pairs of shoes to make money to donate to Water Step which is an organization that helps get countries clean water. She started working with Water Step at the age of 12 and she has collected over 5 tractor trailer loads of shoes!

Being a Mover & a Shaker

Nominees_MOVERSSHAKERS_2014I’ve been nominated as a 2014 Mover & Shaker in Delaware, North Delaware actually. There are other people who have been nominated, but I am the youngest person. That makes me feel proud. I think it would be really great to receive this award, you can help me because there is a People’s Choice vote happening right now and you can vote once per day through September 30, 2014.

Click here to vote for Braeden Mannering in the 2014 Movers & Shakers as the People’s Choice!

In other news I’ve been kind of taking it easy lately. My Mom told me she wouldn’t plan anything else for me for September because the beginning of the month was so busy with packing, delivering, filming and going to New York for Rachael Ray.

But I did join a Junior Youth Leadership Program at the Bear-Glasgow YMCA and I really like it. I have made some new friends and we play cool games to learn to work together as a team. My Mom told me that sometimes being a good leader means being a good team player. I can see how that can be true. It is important to be able to lead and to listen. You can’t really do one without the other, at least not if you want people to actually like you as a leader.

I have some things coming up for next weekend and I’ll tell you more about them next week.

Birthday_for_a_Cause_Page_BannerAlso, I am turning 11 years old on October 12th!

If you want to give me a birthday present you can donate to 3B Brae’s Brown Bags! The money we raise goes towards supplies for the bags we hand out but it also goes towards mileage, events, 3B materials to help raise awareness and website costs. We’re also raising money so I can attend a Youth Leadership Summit in Atlanta, Georgia in February where I have been asked to be a speaker.

Depending on the type of bag packed and delivered it can cost between $1 and $5 per bag. The special bags with books and toiletry items cost a little bit more, but they are the most exciting bags!

I like to be able to go places and talk to people about 3B. It’s more than just giving out food, it’s about being a helper, a leader and a friend to people who really, really need it. Even on days when I don’t have an extra bag to hand out, I still can do things to help people around me. We all can. It’s like Spencer and Nancy say on 93.7 WSTW, we all need to #SpreadTheLove.

The Leadership 360 Challenge Jefferson Awards

Jefferson 360 Challenge Award 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.


A weekend trip to Family Promise

Family Promise 3B Drop OffMy brother, sister, Mom and I went to Family Promise of Delaware off St. James Church Road on Saturday. We met with Ms. Cheryl there in July and she let us know a little bit about what Family Promise does and how it offers shelter to whole families instead of just women and children.

Ms. Cheryl said they offer training and education for their patrons to help them get back out into the work force. That is how I came up with the “Workforce 3B Bags.”

So on Saturday I brought 69 of the “Workforce” bags to Family Promise. It was good to see Ms. Cheryl again and she was very happy by all the bags I brought. They included toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, one water bottle, one healthy snack and then some of them also included gloves, soaps and scarves. Most of these items were donated to 3B by the UD Chapter of Alpha Phi Omega and also by the Appleby Family. Ms. Liz works with my Mom.

So thank you to Ms. Cheryl for having me back to Family Promise. Thank you to APO for all your donations and thank you to the Appleby Family for the soap and scarves!

3B went back to the Emmanuel Dining Room

Me and my brother Finn
Me and my brother Finn

Using some of the bags I packed with the University of Delaware Food Science Club, my family and I went to the Emmanuel Dining Room (EDR) yesterday and handed out 85 Brae’s Brown Bags to the people who visited.

A lot of people said thank you for the bags.

The best part was when a lady took one of the bags, left EDR and then came back. First she went up to my Mom and my Step Dad to say thank you but they told her that the bags were my project and so she came over to me at the table I was standing at to hand out bags. She tapped me on my shoulder and she said she almost cried when she read the insert that I put in all the bags. She must have thanked me 12 times for the bag I gave her and I really felt so happy that she liked it that much.

I’m not sure when we will be going back to EDR but I hope we can soon!

Thank you to everyone there for your help and for letting us hand out the 3B bags.

60 bags gone in record time

9600998026_1e868b8972_cSo as you know the Ministry of Caring has a place called the Emmanuel Dining Room which is located in Wilmington, Delaware. My Mom and I visited recently and met Brother Miguel to talk about 3B: Brae’s Brown Bags. Brother Miguel asked us back and I returned with my family on Sunday, August 25th.

Brother Miguel said 50 bags would be okay but we ended up making 60 bags. Two sets of my grandparents, my parents, neighbors and some of my Mom’s coworkers donated bags, water bottles and snacks to help us make extra bags. I stuffed most of the bags by myself but my Mom and my brother Finn helped also. I put a drink and three snacks in each bag. I wanted the snacks to mostly be healthy.

9598208483_7f6840581b_cWe brought them in six big boxes to the Emmanuel Dining Room. My Mom, Brian, Finn, Amelia and me all went and helped on Sunday. We set up all the bags on tables and after people ate their meal they were allowed to have a bag to take with them for food to have later in the day. I helped people find bags with things they might like best. My brother helped me, too. We handed out all 60 bags in just about 20 minutes. I still can’t believe how fast they were all gone! There were a lot of people looking for one and I had to say they were gone, but I helped by giving them some extra sandwiches at the table.

9600999996_a0a4dcb519_cBrother Miguel said the Emmanuel Dining Room would love for us to come back once a month. I think it would be nice if we can have enough bags to be able to do that it wasn’t easy but it was good for the people we helped. I liked when I could give a bag to the kids, because I knew they would like what I packed. It also made me kind of sad though.

In other news, today was my first day of 4th grade. My teacher’s name is Mrs. Mannering, we have the same last name but I don’t know her. I think that is kind of funny. I am happy to be back in school, I got to see my friends. I had to bring 10 composition books. 10! Can you believe that? My friend Trevor from last year is in my class and I am happy about that.

3B Update, what I’ve done and where I’m going

So my Mom told me that next week on Wednesday I will be meeting with people at the Emmanuel Dining Room which is one of the Ministry of Caring projects. I’m excited about this because it means Brae’s Brown Bags will maybe have more helpers and also will have the chance to be given to more people.

So far I have given out 8 bags and I feel good about that.

We always have a bag with us while we are driving around.

There is a place near my house that often has a homeless person standing nearby but yesterday I saw a sign that says people aren’t allowed to loiter there anymore. I found out that means people must have complained about the people who would stand there. I don’t know if that will make a difference but it kind of makes me sad.

So like I said, on Wednesday August 7th I will visit another place who is interested in helping with Brae’s Brown Bags and I think it will be a good thing.

Article in Crossroads, Special to The News Journal

Me and my family went to Fenwick Island for a week. It was a lot of fun. I got really good at boogie boarding. Me and Finn (my 4-year-old brother) found a lot of seashells and they weren’t broken ones either. It was a really good week. We stayed at a house with my Grandmom and Grandpop. My Aunt Kristin and Uncle Ben were there for a few days, too. It was Amelia’s first time at the beach. She ate some sand. She didn’t really like the cold water but she seemed to like the beach. My Daddy Brian and my Mom helped build moats and sandcastles. My Mom has a bunch of pictures she said she will help me put one on here.

While we were at the beach my Gram and Pop Pop let me know my article was published in The News Journal.

braeden-mannering-crossroadsA couple of weeks ago I did a phone interview with Ken Mammarella and the article he wrote was published in the Crossroads section of The News Journal on Thursday, July 25th.

You can read it on

Or you can download the PDF version here if the link stops working.

I talked to the reporter about the 2013 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge and how would it was to be the winner for Delaware. I also told him about 3B, Brae’s Brown Bags. My Mom shared the story on Facebook and she said some of the other winners from the challenge are going to hand out Brae’s Brown Bags, too. I’m very happy to hear about that. I hope they do share bags with homeless people who need them.

When I get a chance I will share pictures from the beach, too.