Happy St. Patrick’s Day #gogreen

Hi everyone, Brae’s Mom here with some updates and thank yous!

First of all, Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Braeden and I have decided we’re going to do our part to “go green” with his Brae’s Brown Bags by adding a line to the letter he inserts in every bag which encourages the recipient to recycle the brown bag and the water bottle when they are done using them. This line will go on each inserted letter from this point forward once we have used all the inserts which are already printed in our 3B warehouse… also known as our basement.

Before I dive into some fun updates I would like to say thank you to the Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity UD Chapter for your continued support in helping Brae to continue reaching more and more people. Thanks to your help during our last snow storm two weeks ago we were able to get 100 more bags packed and have 25 of those bags delivered to an emergency sanctuary in Newark when we were unable to get out and be there. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Brae with a group from Fusion Fitness in Newark, DE
Brae with a group from Fusion Fitness in Newark, DE

The Newark Fusion Fitness Center finished up their fitness challenge fundraiser and Braeden received a check for over $1,000 from their efforts on March 2. This is incredibly generous and I would like to share with you that Fusion Fitness does fundraising fitness challenges regularly to help fund small projects and non-profits who are aiding the local community. They not only promote healthy living but they also promote  being a good citizen which we think is fantastic!

Delaware FFA State Convention
State of Delaware FFA Convention

Braeden was invited to speak at the Delaware FFA State Convention in Dover on March 10. He was their speaker during their dinner ceremony. In addition the middle schoolers packed over 300 brown bags which were then delivered to shelters in Kent County. We are thankful Brae was invited to both learn more about FFA and also to share his insight on hunger relief, food insecurity and service. We are also grateful for the hundreds of bags packed and delivered on behalf of 3B to allow us to extend our reach further south in Delaware.

Townsend Elementary School
Talking with 3rd graders at Townsend Elementary School

Over the last month Braeden has had the opportunity to give school assemblies at both Carrie Downie Elementary School in the Colonial School District and Townsend Elementary School in the Appoquinimink School District. During these assemblies Braeden told his story about how Brae’s Brown Bags got started, why he feels it is important to get food to homeless and low-income populations and he also talked about being young leaders in their communities. Braeden encouraged the groups to think big and dream bigger. He told all the students that if they have a gift or have a talent they need to share it with the world. Braeden asked the kids to think about how they can help people around them and explained that sometimes the smallest gestures and ideas can have the biggest impacts.

Braeden with a group of students at Carrie Downie Elementary
Braeden with a group of students at Carrie Downie Elementary

I have to say as his Mom I’m always very proud to hear him talk to other young people. But I want to explain I’m not just proud because of Braeden, I am proud of all the young people he talks with, too. We have met great kids who have their own ideas on how they can reach out and help in their communities. As a Mom I find it very rewarding and exciting to see so many young faces looking inspired and excited. It’s not just Braeden who is out there being a change maker, there are many other kids who are making differences in the world, too.

Youth_Service_America_logoI am excited to let you know that Braeden has received another Global Youth Service Day grant from Youth Services of America in part from the Sodexo Foundation. This $400 grant will go towards the hunger conference he is co-hosting in May along with the Food Bank of Delaware and the Food Research Action Center.

One more thing. There is still more time for Delaware students 1st through 12th grade to enter the Multimedia Design Challenge for the Coming Together: Community Response to End Hunger conference. The deadline to enter is April 3, 2015.

Brae has some big news to share with you later this week or early next week so stay tuned!

– Christy

What do Ag Day, a 5K and Troop 1148 have in common?

Me!

troop1148-girlscout
Girl Scout Troop 1148 and Me

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.

bolt-to-end-hungerSpeaking 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.

Spring has sprung and there’s much going on

First group of runners RACE AGAINST HUNGER
First group of runners RACE AGAINST HUNGER

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.

5kSo 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.

Handed out 3B bags at the Emmanuel Dining Room
Handed out 3B bags at the Emmanuel Dining Room

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.

 

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!

First Alpha Phi Omega Bag Packing Event

Alpha Phi Omega Bag Packing EventDo you see all these cool people in the photo? Those are my new friends, also known as, Alpha Phi Omega at the University of Delaware.

Mr. Kyle said that around 90 people helped out with our first joint 3B bag packing event. Their fraternity collected $1,000 worth of items to put in my Brae’s Brown Bags. We made our first workforce bags which included the toiletry items: toothbrush, toothpaste and travel size deodorants. There were 70 workforce bags made and I hope to give them to the Family Promise organization but I need to get them all together with inserts first.

We also packed 179 regular Brae’s Brown Bags, but I’m going to turn 30 of those into children bags where I will add a book for a school-aged person and I will be giving those bags to my school district, the Christina School District, this coming Friday so they can be handed out for Thanksgiving to some families in need.

DSC_0004My brother, my Mom and my Gram and Pop Pop all came to the event. It was in the same room where I gave a speech a couple of weeks ago in Purnell Hall. One of the girls who is in Alpha Phi Omega, I don’t remember her name, but she gave me a fist bump!

The whole afternoon was really great. It was kind of crazy with a lot of people but it was also really good because all of those people came to help.

When we went outside to pack the car with the bags we had to put some of them into my Gram and Pop Pop’s car because Mommy’s Jeep ran out of room.

Next up I will be going to Philadelphia to the Fox News station to be on the Good Day Philadelphia Morning Show on Tuesday, November 26, 2013! Be sure to watch!

Round of applause for Alpha Phi Omega at UD

You might have seen this announcement on Facebook yesterday, but just in case you have not I thought I would also mention this great news on my blog.

A service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega at the University of Delaware, sent my Mom an email yesterday to let us know that 3B will be their philanthropy for this school year. Their fraternity chapter has said they will be collecting food and holding bag packing events for 3B so we can reach even more people!

APOFront

It is so very cool to know students at the University of Delaware are excited about Brae’s Brown Bags and they want to help my project be even more successful. I’m very happy they like the idea. I can’t wait to have my first meeting with them so I can show them my presentation and meet everyone!

You can find APO at UD on Facebook, too.