Oh the places I do go

flounderI know I promised to update more but it turns out that Summer is pretty busy. It’s a good thing to be busy though. My Mom and Gram have me doing my summer reading and I have a STEM project to complete for school. But it’s not all that type of busy it’s also fun busy, too. My family and I went to Fenwick Island beach for a week. My Grandmom and Grandpop and Aunt Kristin were there also so it was a lot of people. When we went for breakfast on our last day we needed a table for 8! We had fun and even went fishing. I had never been fishing before. I caught a flounder! My brother Finnegan caught a croaker.

So I’m helping with the Summer Meals program. I also visited the Emmanuel Dining Room before leaving on vacation because I had not been there in a little while and I needed to see everyone. I saw Tony and it was good. I didn’t see Miss Mary though. We gave out 70 bags and a lot of books!

southbridge-neighborhood-houseI went to the Neighborhood House in Southbridge in Wilmington. I got to be part of a special event there. I had a table with my information. We let everyone take home a bag so they could give it to someone in need. I hope they found out that it is nice to give.

We’re getting extra busy with the 3B Summer Celebration planning. All the decorations came in the mail. We also just found out that the Kona Snow Ice truck will be coming!!! AND AND AND We have some really cool silent auction and raffle items. If you like sports, like Blue Hens or Eagles… and if you like water parks you definitely need to come to the event. Because the things we have for people to win are super fun!

Summer Meals and Healthy Kids

summer-food-service-program-usda-r1_thumbHave you ever heard of the Summer Meals Program? While school is out for the Summer there are schools across the nation keeping their doors open during meal time. Nutritious free meals are available for children and teens 18 and younger.

My school district, the Christina School District, is participating in these efforts. I’m very happy to be able to help out by giving my 3B bags as an extra bit of healthy after people eat their meals. I am hoping to be able to go to the family dinner every Wednesday night so I can hand out bags when people leave.

The Summer Food Program is a federal program of the Food and Nutrition Services, United States Department of Agriculture. It is a very important program, i was thinking about what these kids would do and I am glad there is an answer to help them.

You can find a location near you by clicking here.

I’m also excited to share that my Pop Pop and me and my mom will be at the Healthy Kids Delaware community dinner at the Neighborhood House in Southbridge in Wilmington next week. We will have bags for all people registered and also be part of their nutrition education session and bringing out super cool trifold.

Summer time fun!

Fun fun fun 3B Summer Celebration Updates & Kid President

15554119049_608a98eb7a_zSummertime. The time of year when I’m not worrying about school and so I can really think more about 3B and share it with you guys.

Couple of things.

1. We pretty awesome silent auction items now from Deerfield Gold Club, Nutrisystem and QVC. We are still looking for more so if you are interested please let us know.

2. I asked WSTW if they would want to come to the 2nd Annual 3B Summer Celebration. YAYAYAY! I have an email from Mr. Mike Rossi of 93.7 WSTW who said he had fun at the 3B Summer Celebration last year and that WSTW would like to attend again this year.

3. Kid President, the very awesome Kid President, the very kid who is a leader and great dancer, is working towards raising awareness about childhood hunger. I think he will be able to really get a lot of people listening and involved and I am so glad he is adding his own style to this cause.Capture

4. Inflatables ‘R Us has agreed to work with us on the big date in August and since our theme is “Survivor” because let’s face it, helping people who don’t have access to healthy food presents a lot of obstacles, we will have an 80 feet EXTREME obstacle course this year!

Registration opens for the celebration on July 6!

Kohl’s Cares Scholarship Program National Winner

Braeden Mannering Kohls Cares National Scholarship WinnerThe Kohl’s Cares Scholarship Program awards youth all over the country for caring. It kind of seems silly but in an awesome way. Shouldn’t everyone choose to care about everyone else no matter what? I can’t tell you how grateful I am to have been nominated for the scholarship by multiple people and also how great it feels to have been chosen as a national scholarship winner.

Kohl’s has this year awarded more than 2,500 winners nationwide with nearly $400,000 in scholarships for higher education and prizes. The winners were chosen from more than 32,000 nominees nationwide, and selected for the positive impact their volunteer efforts have on the community.

The scholarship is for $10,000 and it will go into a college savings plan that my Mom set up for me. They are also going to contribute $1,000 to Brae’s Brown Bags which is very generous.

Thank you to Kohl’s and thank you to the people who nominated me. This is an honor. I can’t wait to tell my friends when I go back to school. I’ll be in middle school this year at Gauger-Cobbs.

You can read about other Kohl’s Cares winners in these stories:

Thank you to all the media people who cover the good news!

STOP Hunger Scholars Celebration

Over the weekend I went with my parents into Washington, DC and North Bethesda for the STOP Hunger Scholars Celebration with the Sodexo Foundation. We took the train Sunday morning and had a dinner Sunday night and then a great big huge dinner Monday night. There were over 1,000 people there on Monday night!

brae-sodexoI met Ellie Krieger, she is a Food Network chef and has her own healthy eating TV show. She was very nice. She interviewed me up on stage along with Lorna Donatone, she is the COO of Sodexo.

Five scholars across the nation were chosen for their service work pertaining to ending hunger. The Stephen J. Brady STOP Hunger Scholars receive a $5,000 scholarship for their education as well as a matching grant for the hunger charity of their choice. So very generous!

18267503164_f2b7eb2fcf_zWe all shared our #EndingHunger dreams and this was mine, that everyone would have access to healthy food and clean water regardless of their financial situation. Make sure you download your own selfie sign so you can share your big dream for ending hunger. I think everyone who attended the dinner and the other four scholars all feel the same way. It was so nice to meet everyone. Amazing people with BIG dreams who are doing really awesome things.

The Sodexo Foundation, and their pal Corey, created a super awesome video where all five scholars got to say hi to each other and talk about what they are doing in their communities to help end hunger and provide hunger relief. To Sophie Bernstein, Caroline Ford, Kylee McCumber and Isaac McFarland, I’m so humbled to have met you and very proud to call you my friends.

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Click to watch our STOP Hunger Scholar Video

The couple days I had in Washington, DC were just so fun. And the people at the Marriot were SO NICE TO US! They brought us mints, three mints every day. Their pool was so nice, I loved it, I wish i could have gone and swam for longer. The woman who checked us in asked about Brae’s Brown Bags and she was so emotional when I told her and my Mom ended up giving her a hug later because she kept apologizing for crying.

I’m feeling pretty lucky about everything.

The whole Flickr photo album is available for everyone to look through, too.

Thank you, thank you, everyone!

Ready for some summer fun?

becomesponsor We’re so excited to announce the 2nd Annual 3B Summer Celebration. Registration for the event will begin July 13, 2015 and we will be posting links to it all over the place so don’t worry about that. We have new ideas for this celebration including a silent auction AND Braeden has chosen a theme this year. Theme: SURVIVOR (we promise not to vote you off the island) Think luau meets tiki torches and obstacle courses. Right now we are looking for event sponsors. You can download the 2015 Summer Celebration Sponsorship Application here.

UPDATE: Our first sponsor is “LOVE WHAT YOU BOO” – Silver Sponsors, thank you so much! We now have two other individual sponsors Greg & Margie Mannering and Bob & Rose Willey. Braeden’s grandparents AND great-grandparents!

5th grade honor students at Brick Mill Elementary make a difference

On May 22, the Friday before Memorial Day weekend, I had a day off school. So did the kids at Brick Mill Elementary. But that didn’t stop us from getting together and packing 206 bags to deliver to people in need in the Middletown, Delaware area. The room was full of students, a couple teachers, a handful of parents and even their Vice Prinicpal, Ms. Jacobs.

We all worked together to pack bags, some of which had toiletry items, all of which had clean water and healthy snacks. I also had a chance to talk to the kids and answer some questions. These were 5th grade honor students. They were all so nice and they seemed really happy to be helping. I think we all had a really good feeling being there. My Mom was able to talk to everyone, too. She’s getting pretty good at adding little bits of things here and there when I forget. Thanks Mom!

Thanks to the Brick Mill Elementary School 5th grade honor students. You guys are awesome. We made big changes that day and I am so happy I was able to work with all of you! I hope to come back next year!

Helping to feed the hungry is a very important job

My blog readers, I’m sorry, I have been waiting too long to write to you. I will work on this. I get busy. Many of you have asked if I am feeling better and I would like to say that I am. My cough is all gone and I’m back in school catching up on things.

Braeden Mannering with Mayor Polly Sierer at Jefferson Awards CeremonySince I wrote a lot has happened. The Jefferson Awards dinner award ceremony in Newark was held on April 30 at Home Grown. I couldn’t stay long because I still didn’t feel well but I did get to see a lot of other young people who live in the Newark area and who are doing really awesome things. I am very impressed by what everyone is doing and I would like to offer a very special thank you to the Mayor of Newark, Polly Sierer for choosing Brae’s Brown Bags as her top project. It really means a lot to me and I hope I can do more in Newark to help people in need.

“Everyone deserves someone who cares. Everyone deserves a friend and that’s easy to do. So pack up a brown bag before you go to work. That way if you see someone in need you will have something you can give them. One brown bag can make you a champion.” – Braeden Mannering

I had a Skype interview with STOP Hunger on May 1st. I think it went well. It was hard to remember to look into the web cam instead of into the computer monitor and the monitor kept showing up in my glasses. I had to take them off. I’ll tell you more about that soon. You’ll be getting a super awesome fun update about STOP Hunger and the Stephen J. Brady Foundation :)

But now the update you have all been waiting for…

DSC_0220The Coming Together: Community Response to Hunger Conference update!

Wow!

To say that they event was a success is an understatement. (Okay that’s my Mom talking, but it’s true). We had nearly 200 kids attend from all across Delaware. There were 500 people at the conference and for the morning we all were in the same room learning together. One of the most eye opening moments of the group during the morning was when a student spoke during the town hall session and asked the legislators on the panel what they could do to help her family. She explained that she and her brothers and sisters don’t have food to eat every day.

We know that 1 in 5 kids are hungry. We know those numbers. We talk about that statistic. The morning of the hunger conference the number turned into the face of a real little girl right there in the room. It made a lot of people stop and think. It made me stop and think. To the panelists who answered questions from all of the kids, I thank you very much. I know it meant a lot to all of them and I wish we had more time to answer everyone’s questions. State Senator Bryan Townsend, State Senator Colin Bonini and Charlie Copeland, State Committee Chairman Delaware GOP many thanks.

Multimedia Design Challenge Winners' Wall

Multimedia Design Challenge Winners’ Wall

We had many of the Multimedia Design Challenge winners in attendance. We hung up their posters and essay on a wall for everyone to see. They were very good and covered a bunch of different ideas about food waste, food insecurity and the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. Please check out the complete list of winners here.

We had a special video message from none other than the amazingly gifted Food Network Iron Chef and TV Host on The Chew, MARIO BATALI.

He said he was sad he couldn’t attend the conference but encouraged all the kids to continue raising awareness about food insecurity. He even congratulated me for coming up with the idea. Thank YOU Mario for sending us a video message, how cool is that!?

Most of the day was spent in a great big room called the Wilmington Room and this was the “Kid Track” of the conference. We had eight different activities which groups of students rotated through and participated in together. Most of the activities required a group effort. The Bear-Glasgow YMCA was there with their “Born to Move” program for youth fitness. The exercises were super fun! Even two Wilmington Police Officers joined in on the fun!

The Delaware Cooperative Extension Master Gardener’s taught kids about planting their own food, every kid left with a plant. Tanya Steel and Haile Thomas cooked healthy snacks for the kids at a healthy eating demo and taught them about how important it is for everyone to be able to eat healthy. My Gram and Pop took care of the 3B bag packing table and handed out shirts. My Grandmom Stephan and my friend Suzy from North DelaWHERE Happening worked with a Food Bank volunteer on the Money Pit activity. 11182304_957346807639319_5697334352616091189_nMy Mom and me came up with that idea. Here’s our description of the game. “In a timed, interactive game designed by Braeden Mannering, himself, students will team up to dive into a money pit (ball pit) finding index cards with food items on them and then racing back to their table to create a nutritional meal out of their cards for under $1.25. As of 2015 (2011 statistics), the World Bank has estimated that there were just over 1 billion poor people in developing countries who live on $1.25 a day or less.”

We also had volunteers Linda and Mike Jarrell facilitate a “Power of Words” activity where the kids wrote how they felt about certain hunger themed quotes. They wrote such cool things that we are going to turn it into a book and send it to the volunteer, legislators and schools who participated in the event. It’s going to be awesome! My Uncle Greg and volunteer Katie Hegedus worked on a “Rice Bowl” activity which taught kids about the 1 in 5 children are hungry statistic. Then my friend Jada Littman and two legislative aides from the State Senate helped kids draw pictures or write letters to share their feelings about food insecurity. The letters will be sent to the students representative in Dover, Delaware. We are still working on matching up the zipcodes of the kids to their representative.

I’d like to thank Juan Castellanos, our photographer, the Food Bank of Delaware, the Food Research Action Center and Bank of America along with Senator Townsend and Jessica Stump for all their hard work in helping to plan this great event.

Now for some photos!

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.

BraedenMannering-MikeCastle

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!