#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

LA, Ag Day, MOT, 3B Summer, what’s happening? #the3bway

And sooooo wow it is May 5th already. I’ll be done 6th grade in about a month. Time flies.

Me with Gwen Stefani and Whitney Stewart

Me with Gwen Stefani and Whitney Stewart

For those of you who do not follow me on social media (and you should!) then you might not know all of the details of my trip to Los Angeles. I did receive a Disney Hero for Change Award and I did talk in front of 7,000 people and I did learn to use a teleprompter which I really liked and I wish my Mom could have one with us all the time!

The end of the red carpet walk

The end of the red carpet walk

The Radio Disney Music Awards was a lot of fun and I know I will remember it forever. I made a new friend in Whitney Stewart who was the other award winner. She was very nice and I can tell she really enjoys being a leader with the Boys & Girls Club. I was able to meet Gwen Stefani and she is very nice. She kept saying that she didn’t think she did well when she received her award and I think she is crazy. Her speech was very nice and she spoke from her heart. So if Gwen ever reads this I hope she knows she is being too hard on herself.

I got to walk on the red carpet before the event. That was a lot different than I thought it would be. Some of the actors and actresses were being yelled at to look at different cameras. They must have been really important but I wouldn’t want to be yelled at. The red carpet is very long and even though you get announced at the beginning one at a time it still gets really crowded. There were A LOT OF cameras!

Backstage I got to talk with People Magazine and Entertainment Tonight and have my picture take with a bunch of people. And a dog, a Pomeranian which really looked like a toy but it wasn’t a toy it was real. There was an after party where people did a lot of dancing and jumping and I ate not one but two cookies on a stick. That’s right. Cookies on a stick. It is a genius idea.

This award is a really big honor and I am very humbled to have been chosen.

I couldn’t do everything I am doing with 3B without all of the people who encourage me every day.

Like my Mom. And that is why I am so happy she is also being recognized for all she does for 3B.

MOT Charter

MOT Charter

Calvary Baptist Youth Group

Calvary Baptist Youth Group

So in the last couple of weeks I have also had a chance to talk with two groups of students about 3B and food insecurity and how they can help. I went to MOT Charter and talked with all of their 2nd graders and then I went to Calvary Baptist Church in Newark to talk with their youth group. I think my favorite part is when I get asked questions. At MOT Charter I think every student wanted to ask questions. They were so excited. They have packed bags in the past for 3B to give out during the winter months which was very helpful. The youth group at Calvary Baptist packed 50 bags just last night and they seemed to really enjoy helping out. I hope I am able to work with both of these groups again.

YouDee mascot with 3B bag

YouDee mascot with 3B bag

My Gram and Pop Pop were at the Ag Day event for me. They said there were a lot of people and it was a great turn out. My Gram said a lot of people knew about 3B and other people were excited to learn more, especially about the 3B Ripple Student Chapters. She said everyone took something like a pen or a brochure. I am sorry I missed Ag Day because it is always a lot of fun and I like seeing people at the University of Delaware because a lot of the students have had events with me and they stop by to say hi.

There are a couple other events coming up which will be fun but I will talk about them later.

We also just announced our SAVE THE DATE for our 3rd Annual 3B Summer Celebration. It will be held on Saturday, August 20, 2016. Location to be announced. Mr. Graham, my art teacher from when I was in elementary school at Keene Elementary, he is designing the artwork for the event. That’s pretty cool. So please put it on your calendar and I hope to meet all of you there!

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

Me!

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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.

Another bitter cold week here in Delaware

Monday night after school I packed 26 Brae’s Brown Bags because my Mom told me there might be a code purple day with freezing temperatures this week. She ended up bringing them to the Calvary Baptist Church in Newark, DE on her lunch break as they said they would be able to use the bags. So now I’ve officially given out over 650 bags to people in the last six months! We calculated it all out yesterday. Plus, one of the outreach people at Calvary Baptist, his name is Mr. Parkins, he emailed my Mom and said the nicest thing.

Here’s a little bit from the email Mr. Parkins’ sent to my Mom:

I had told Pastor Bruce Martin about the Brown Bags and forwarded him your earlier email where you explain the origins. Last week Pastor Bruce preached a sermon titled “Storm Stories”. He talked about some storms in the Bible and how people responded. Then he talked how Braeden saw a need and took action. He read your email to the congregation. One of his points was that if a 10 year old sees a need and does something, shouldn’t we too. He had good words to say about you as parents. So please tell Braeden that he was “preached about”!!!!!!”

I thought you might like that, because I know it made me feel really special.

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Code Purple or Blue Emergency Shelters – Frigid Weather

Code Purple/Blue (depending where you live) is declared any time the actual or wind-chill temperature is 20° or below.

Code Purple Shelter Calvary Baptist Church

Code Purple Shelter Calvary Baptist Church

Yesterday, I brought 34 bags to a Code Purple shelter in place in Newark, Delaware. The Calvary Baptist Church on East Delaware Avenue was open last night and will be open today due to the frigid temperatures.

I will collect information on local places who will be open for homeless people to take shelter. Please share this if you see anyone in need. Also if you would like information added to this post or changed please let me know.codepurple

Delaware

New Castle County

  • The Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew and Matthew (SAM) open their space at 4:00 PM and close at 9:00 PM; that is when the Salvation Army opens and provides sleeping accommodations for the remainder of the night. SAM  is located at 720 N. Orange St. in Wilmington, DE and volunteers provide soup and sandwiches.
  • On Code Purple nights in Newark, a coalition of 10 Newark faith communities offer emergency sanctuary from dusk to dawn. Eight local churches serve as the host site on a rotating basis. A team of volunteers from local faith communities and community organizations support guests who are homeless in a church common room with access to bathrooms, a light evening meal, hot beverages and blankets. Those in the Newark area who are in need of sanctuary from the cold weather are encouraged to call (302) 544-0165.
  • Friendship House in Newark is also a “Sanctuary In Time Of Need” you can call them (302) 652-8278.
    • Wilmington –   Old Asbury United Methodist Church, Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew and Matthew (SAM)
    • Newark – Newark United Methodist Church,  Newark United Church of Christ,  Calvary Baptist Church, Holy Family Roman Catholic Church, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Newark, First Presbyterian Church of Newark, St. Thomas Episcopal Church,  St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church

Kent County

  • State health officials said a Kent County Levy Court spokeswoman reported that Kent County currently has no designated Code Purple shelters. Hopefully this will change.

Sussex County

  • People in need of overnight sanctuary are encouraged to go to Epworth United Methodist Church, 19285 Holland Glade Road, Rehoboth Beach. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. For more information, call Nan Ruhl, director of Immanuel Shelter, at (302) 604-2619.

Maryland

Anne Arundel County

  • Arundel House of Hope – Winter Relief Emergency Shelter – Phone: (410) 863-4888

Cecil County

  • People in need of shelter can come to the Mary Randall Center on North Street in Elkton. Address: 401 North St. Elkton, MD 21921, Phone number: (410) 620-4701
  • Moore’s Chapel United Methodist Church, Address: 392 Blake Rd, Elkton, MD 21921, Phone Number: (410) 398-7245
  • Five Rivers Homes, 216 East Main Street, Elkton, MD – 21921

Howard County

  • Columbia, MD Homeless Shelters and homeless services. We provide homeless Winter Relief for the Homeless Arundel House of Hope 410-863-4888

New Jersey

Atlantic County

  • Atlantic County Homeless Hotline (609) 345-5517
  • Egg Harbor Township Community Center, 5045 English Creek Ave., Egg Harbor Township, NJ – (609) 272-8179

Burlington County

  • After-Hours/Code Blue Emergency Shelter Hotline (856) 234-8888

Camden County

  • In Camden County, Union Organization for Social Service (UOSS), Camden County Homeless Hotline, (800) 331-7272
  • Walter Rand Transportation Ctr.,100 S. Broadway Camden – (856) 968-3880
  • Cherry Hill Township Community Center, 820 Mercer St. Cherry Hill, (856) 488-7800

Mercer County

  • Mercer County Homeless Hotline (609) 278-1481
  • The Rescue Mission at 72 Ewing St. and the Salvation Army at 575 E. State St. in Trenton a re conducting normal business operations.

Pennsylvania

Philadelphia

  • Depending on where you are there are shelters in place. Local homelessness and poverty advocacy organization Project HOME operates a 24/7 Homeless Outreach Hotline. Call (215) 232-1984 for the Project HOME Homeless Outreach Hotline
  • In conjunction with community organization Broad Street Ministry, the Bethesda Project is another program that will be able to provide special services to homeless persons during extreme cold temperatures in the winter months. Address: 315 S. Broad Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19102
  • St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 1831 Bainbridge Street, Philadelphia, PA 19146