Public service, polar bears and music #LEAD360

The past few days have been so busy that I don’t know where to start so I’m just going to go in order of when it all happened.

So last week I found out that I was selected for the 2017 Christina School District Middle School Band. I play percussion. I’ll be playing the Timpani. So that’s really cool and my family is really proud of me and excited for me. A few of my friends also made it, like Milan, he plays trumpet.

brae-voteSo I found out that I am in the top 5 projects across the nation for the Jefferson Awards LEAD360 Challenge. The winning project gets activated nationwide which means we will be able to launch 3B Ripples across the country and help provide people in need everywhere with healthy food while also activating the service project in schools across the US. The winner is picked based on voting. You can vote on the LEAD360 Web Page and also on the Jefferson Awards Facebook page.

indyAnd then the Jefferson Awards Foundation has Students in Action projects over the weekend. And it was really cool because Central Indiana packed Brae’s Brown Bags! They even did an awesome #mannequinchallenge while packing and I’m definitely going to plan on doing that during our hunger conference in April. So even though I couldn’t be there they still included me on everything because they were tweeting to me and sharing the process. I was able to record a quick message for them, too. So I was able to let them know that I am grateful for their service.

braeseafordThen on Saturday in Seaford, Delaware, my Mom and I visited their Students in Action and I was able to talk to some of the students. They packed about 80 bags of healthy food which was then donated to Jim Martin at the ACE Peer Resource Center in Seaford.

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Please take time to watch a video about the ACE Peer Resource Center. Jim Martin has been alone, he has been there, he has been homeless, he knows what that feels like on a personal level. He talked to us to try and help us understand. When someone comes in off the street they are exhausted, they are alone, they are hungry and sometimes all the need is a warm place to sit, to get something to eat and put on a pair of new socks. He is a very good man and he is helping a lot of people. I’m proud of the Students in Action for their service and I’m happy the ACE Peer Resource Center received the bags.

c36o9okvyaauqv3Then on Sunday the 3B team went to Rehoboth Beach to do the Polar Bear Plunge! We raised over $1,000 for the Special Olympics! My stepdad took this picture with me, mom Mom, my brother Finn and my sister Amelia. Before we jumped into the 41 degree water. Well, me, my Mom and my Gram went in the water. I still can’t believe my Mom and my Gram went in the water. But they did! My Dad and Mom Mom and brother Michael and my Grandmom and Grandpop and Aunt Kristin were all there to watch us be crazy! The radio said over $900,000 was raised all together by the plungers yesterday!

So please vote for me in the LEAD360 Challenge! You can vote once per day it ends on Tuesday, February 14 at midnight.

Thank you in advance!

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.

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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)

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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!

The weather has been SUBZERO cold

My mom told me this morning that if I didn’t wear layers and dress properly the cold weather would hurt my skin. Of course I didn’t believe her because when I went outside I wasn’t cold. But then she told me it was because I was dressed right. Moms!

imagesIt’s really cold. Like, really, really cold. The app on my phone said it was 2 degrees but with the wind it felt like -18 degrees.

We have been packing up 3B bags for the emergency shelters. I wish there was more I could do. I put hand warmers in the bags but that won’t help when it is this cold, at least not a lot. The Friendship House says, “Over the last two winters, the number of people seeking sanctuary on bitterly cold nights has dramatically grown and become more diverse.” You can donate to the Friendship House to help or you can volunteer.  For a current list and donation drop off options call 302-652-8133 for the Friendship House. You can also donate to 3B, we’ve been running out of hand warmers and food and buying them multiple times each week.

So a couple things to talk about. I don’t have school today because it is President’s Day but that doesn’t mean I won’t be busy.

This is me with Danielle Gletow

This is me with Danielle Gletow

Last weekend, my Mom and me, we went to Atlanta, Georgia for the Kids Are Heroes Youth Leadership Summit. I had a good time. I met a lot of people. Even a boy from India. There were hundreds of kids there all doing cool things. Some of them are business type things, like this boy who has an ice cream cart and sells ice cream. A lot of the people I talked with all do things like help to fight against bullying or helping to raise money for malaria or cancer or down syndrome. Oh and Danielle Gletow who is a CNN Hero and she helps grant wishes to foster kids with her foundation called One Simple Wish.

The airport lost my presentation. Luckily our hotel was near an Office Max. My Mom and me worked on creating a new tri-fold until 10pm the night before I was to present. I got green glitter everywhere. Really.

I gave a talk during the summit and I think I did well. My Mom recorded some of it. You can watch or listen on my YouTube page. There are some pictures too at the bottom of this post.

Also my project is one of the top 15 up for a national #LEAD360 Jefferson Award. Very exciting! There has been social voting where you can support Brae’s Brown Bags and the voting ends tonight at 8pm. Please vote for Brae’s Brown Bags 🙂

Then tonight I’m giving a presentation at the University of Delaware to the Kappa Omicron Nu Honor Society. My Mom has class so she won’t be there but she’ll be in the same building. I think I’ll do good though. I like the students at UD they are always really nice.

We have a meeting with the Food Bank of Delaware on Wednesday about the upcoming regional hunger conference. We’re going to talk about the kid track. My friend Tanya Steel will be on the call. I am happy about that.

Voting, delivering and working out

youth-fitness-bear-ymcaWhen I have a chance to go to the YMCA in Bear I like to go in the youth wellness center. They give you blue cards and show you different exercises. I like to play the activities with other kids, too. I know it has been hot out and so it’s not as fun running around outside, but it’s still important.

On Mother’s Day my Mom said she wanted to delivery some Brae’s Brown Bags to the Emmanuel Dining Room. Really I thought she would want to take a break, but it was important to her.

So we brought 60 bags to the soup kitchen. 10 of the bags were child bags and we put books and also the bubble fruit flavored toothpaste from the travel size donations my dentist gave us. We ran out of kid bags, there were a lot of kids there on Sunday. There were grown ups who asked for toothpaste also so I need to remember that for next time. Maybe if we have extra we can put them in more of the bags.

lead360-challenge-finallogo-2-_439x224The LEAD 360 Challenge with the Jefferson Awards is still going through public voting of the top 27 finalists across the nation. I have been trying to remind people they can vote every 24 hours. So I thought I would say it on here, too. It’s easy to vote. You click the link and click the orange button that says vote, that’s all.

Also you should look at the other finalists, too because all of them are doing really good things for people, animals and the earth.

Coming up I am participating at the University of Delaware’s Day of Service. I will have a table. I got an email from a girl named Amanda who is part of Alpha Phi Omega. She said it would be nice if I could come. I will bring the display I used at Ag Day.

Please vote for 3B as a Lead 360 Challenge Finalist

lead360-challenge-finallogo-2-_439x224I 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.

braedenmannering-headshot2 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.

Please vote for 3B today and every day through May 21st. https://lead360.jeffersonawards.org/challenge/3b-braes-brown-bags/