Bag packing and meeting new people

3b-vbs-assemblyA couple weeks ago I was asked by a very nice lady named Katie if I would like to go to her church vacation bible school program and talk to the group about 3B Brae’s Brown Bags. My Mom said that would be nice and so I went, sometimes my brother Finnegan went also. One of the nights was called a super hero night and I brought in my presentation board and talked to the group of kids for a little bit, and then we all talked about what things we could do to be heroes. There whole topic or theme for the week was to be a giver and not a getter.

Then on the last night of the vacation bible school we backed bags. People in the group donated water and healthy snacks. We packed 100 bags! It was like an assembly line and it was just such a really good feeling.

Today I’m with my Mom at her work because at lunch time we’re going to go to the Hope Dining Room. I am going to get to meet volunteers and see what they do to help people in the community. It’s in the basement of the Kingswood United Methodist Church which is only about 10 minutes from where my Mom works. So it should be a good trip. Maybe we can even see if they would like bag deliveries sometimes. I packed five bags this morning to bring to them, the lady, Paula, who reached out to have me visit, she said they serve lunch there to the homeless. I’ll learn more and tell you about it later.

Then later in the afternoon I have a call in with people from Nickelodeon who want to learn more about what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. I don’t know why but who is going to turn down a call from Nickelodeon? Not this boy!

I hope everyone has a great day!

How do you describe a hero?

young-heroes-awardWhen you think about what being a hero means to you, what do you think? I guess most kids my age think about Batman, he is my favorite super hero because he doesn’t really have any extra powers, he’s just out to catch the bad guys. Anyway, there are a lot of kinds of heroes and you can have more than one. Usually I think people consider a hero to be someone they look up to because the person inspires them to do more and be better.

On Wednesday, August 6th, I was named a Young Hero by the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I can’t really explain how that felt. I toured the museum and saw exhibits about great people like Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa and saw all the people who died trying to help others after the 9/11 attacks in New York. Then later in the afternoon I was on stage receiving a medal of honor from this same museum. They will have my picture and my story about Brae’s Brown Bags in their museum as an exhibit. It doesn’t really seem right but at the same time it feels good.

young heroThere were 13 other kids honored who are all making big changes in the lives of the people around them. There was a boy who is helping mentor his peers and also raising money for pediatric cancer because he has had cancer and he lost a leg during his battle. There was a girl who is helping people who are in the LGBT community in her high school. She is helping fight against bullying and show people to be accepting of each other. One of the girls creates gardens all over to help war veterans have a place where they can find peace. I stood on the same stage as a young girl who stood up out of her wheel chair with braces on both her legs as we heard the story about how she petitioned the American Girl doll makers and told them there should be a doll with a wheel chair. All of these kids, all of them, definitely heroes, doing great things. Me though, a hero? Really?

My Mom said she nominated me for the award because I’m showing all kids in my community that it doesn’t matter how old you are, if you see a place where change is needed and you set out to make that change, then you’re a leader. She said I help her to want to be a better person and that when she sees me being a leader and helping to feed the hungry then that also makes me her hero.

selfies-youngheroesI would like to thank TD Bank who sponsored the event at the National Liberty Museum and also all the people at the National Liberty Museum who said really nice things about me and everyone else. I hope they know they make us kids want to do more because they encourage us.

To all the kids I stood on stage with, trying to take selfies! All of  you are pretty cool people and I hope we meet again.

Thank you!

Giving a speech at the White House with the First Lady #kidsstatedinner

brae-firstlady-hugWhat a roller coaster of a month July has been! I feel like I say something like that every time I begin writing a new post. I guess it’s good to be keeping busy though, right?

My last post let you all know that I was going to be giving a speech at the White House and I did on July 18th.

I also took my first plane ride and I really liked looking out the window and seeing how the cars got smaller and then seeing how I was above the clouds. It was really cool!

Me at the White House

Me at the White House

But about the trip, my Mom and I flew into Washington, DC Thursday morning and we stayed at the Westin in Georgetown. It was a really nice room and I got to go swimming, too. My Mom took a lot of pictures and she has them on Flickr if you want to see.

I also got to go with all the 2014 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winners to the National Museum of American History and I really like that. I got to meet everyone and talk with them. It was funny because everyone kept asking me what my recipe was because they all got to Washington because they were winners for their recipes. So I tried explaining that I was a 2013 winner but that the new Delaware winner was Roisin Liew and she was very nice. I met her in the airport before we got to Washington.

I think people were surprised when they got to the White House and I was already there. I got to go early with Tanya Steel and my Mom. They let me walk in the ballroom and practice a line of my speech and make sure I would be tall enough at the podium. They had to cut down the stool to be just my size which was pretty funny. We were joking it was like Goldilocks the three bears.

brae-white-house

Me and the First Lady Michelle Obama

When it came time for the 2014 Kids’ State Dinner I stayed with First Lady Michelle Obama and with Tanya Steel and then we were introduced in the room and I was on stage with them. My Mom was in the front at a table. Tanya gave a speech and she introduced me, she said she is proud of me and that she hopes my story will inspire other kids. I hope it will, too. And then I gave my speech. I was nervous, but I just did like I practiced before and when people in the audience started clapping and laughing during funny moments I knew I was doing good and so then I wasn’t nervous anymore. The First Lady gave me a big hug which was an awesome feeling and then she told everyone that I did a great job but that I’m not supposed to make the First Lady cry. Of course she meant happy, proud tears, so it was okay. She seemed really, really proud of me.

Me with Tanya Steel

Me with Tanya Steel

I got to talk about Brae’s Brown Bags, but what was more important was to be able to talk about how everyone no matter their age or no matter if they are rich or poor that they should all have the opportunity to eat healthy. I think a lot of people agreed and seemed to understand. I think it is important that people think about it. Food insecurity is an injustice.

I know my Mom and really my whole family and all my friends were also very proud. Everyone watched and said I did good. And then I got like 100 tweets on my phone. Really, every time I cleared the screen I was getting more. I am still responding to people even now!

One thing I have learned about Tanya Steel and about First Lady Michelle Obama is that they are more than just inspiring leaders, they are Moms. I think people forget about that sometimes. They both talked about their kids and about how they love their families. But you can tell they love all kids and they want all of us to be happy and healthy.

So then after the trip to Washington, which was a crazy whirl wind, roller coaster ride, then my family went to the beach. We went to Fenwick Island, that is where we go every summer. It is always a lot of fun. It was nice to just be able to dig in the sand, watch Disney on TV and also swim in the ocean. I went out in the waves this year even without my boogie board. We all had a lot of fun and it was good to be able to unwind.

I’m heading back to the White House … and more! #2030NOW

If you follow 3B on Facebook than you most likely have already heard the BIG news.

I'm on the far left wearing my White House bag at the Julia Child FOOD exhibit July 2013.

I’m on the far left wearing my White House bag at the Julia Child FOOD exhibit July 2013.

I have been asked to attend the 2014 Kids’ State Dinner at the White House to be their guest speaker and introduce our First Lady, Michelle Obama.

Last night my Mom and I had a conference call with ladies from the White House and they asked me a little bit about what I might like to say.

I feel like I could probably answer them better today than I did last night because I’ve been jotting down some notes. I’ve also been thinking about it after hearing that they said about how the speech should include elements about healthy eating since that is that the Kids’ State Dinner and Healthy Lunchtime Challenge are all about. So now I have a much better idea on what is expected and on what I would like to include.

lm_kids_state_dinner_pre_weekend_headerSo next week, on Friday July 18th, you can tune in and watch the Kids’ State Dinner live from the White House to see and hear me talk but also to see all the new winners :)

Other very cool and exciting news is that I will be receiving a Young Hero Award from the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia. “This annual award, sponsored by TD Bank, recognizes young people who have championed liberty through their actions.” They will be taking my picture and putting it, along with my story, in their museum as an exhibit. WHAT! Isn’t that so cool? Thank you, thank you. This is really a great honor.

Oooo and I read about something called the Social Good Summit. It is happening in New York in September and the link I clicked on is asking for speakers. Do you think they’ll let a kid be a speaker? Because I’ve used the #socialgood hashtag before and I think I could give them a new perspective.

Has June been a busy month for you?

It has been a couple of weeks since I last updated everyone. Really there is so much to talk about!

Since my last post I’ve been keeping busy. My Gram, Mom, Finn and Amelia went with me to the Blue Ball Barn in Wilmington for the Cabot Community Tour event. It was fun and I had a chance to see Delaware’s First Lady Carla Markell again. The Fun Department was there, too, from WSTW and they were playing music and had games and stuff. It was a fun event.

10492341_743236225720113_7545320996577667562_nThen on Friday June 20th I went to Dover with my Mom. This time I spoke to a group just outside of Legislative Hall and it was the IM40 4-H group who had come to Legislative Hall for a field trip. It was a small group of kids but they asked good questions and it was kind of nice to talk to kids and try and encourage them to help out around their community.

Plus Ms. Kyle Jones from WMDT ABC 47 came to interview me and she took some video of me talking to the group and then it was on ABC 47 in Salisbury, Maryland.

She was really nice and so were the kids. And the leader’s name was Ms. Sequoia Rent and she gave me a cool IM40 shirt and she said she was very proud of me.

And then on Sunday, June 22nd I delivered 60 bags to the Emmanuel Dining Room. They were all work force bags so they had additional toiletry items in them. Many thanks to the girl scouts who gave me many of those donations.

10302039_745883812122021_7056946879157190157_nThen on Wednesday, June 25th bright and early in the morning my Mom took me to Wilmington and I was able to meet a bunch of the staff from the Ministry of Caring. I talked with them at their staff meeting. I told them about what I have been doing with Brae’s Brown Bags and I also told them about why it is important. The person who introduced me, his name is Mark, he was so nice. He said really nice things about me and it made me feel important. He even said that when I’m old enough to have a job that there are a bunch of things he would like to hire me to do. Include being a lobbyist which I had to ask my Mom what that meant. And when he introduced me he was talking about how there are hundreds of abbreviations that people know all over the world because they are a symbol of something important and of something that makes a difference. He said like MLK and JFK, like NASA and SOS. He said the newest important abbreviation, one that people all over will know and it will mean something to them will be 3B. I am not sure that I could have smiled bigger or felt more happy than I did when he said those things. At the same time I could not believe he was talking about me and 3B.

So thank you. Thank you to everyone who helps me with Brae’s Brown Bags and please know that you are also helping everyone who gets one of the 3B bags. We are all making a difference, one bag at a time.

My Mom and I have been sending out invitations to my 3B Summer Celebration. It’s going to be a super fun family event held at the YMCA in Bear and it is for everyone who has helped Brae’s Brown Bags grow. So be on the look out for your invite.

10464046_10152141361271570_841057194132431595_nOh and my stepdad and my Mom and my brother, we all went to see a concert last night. We saw American Authors, The Script and OneRepublic and it was AWESOME! So awesome! I knew a lot of the songs. I am hoping to get them so I can listen to them now at home, too.

Big BIG things are coming up and I can’t wait to tell all of you but it has to wait a little bit. So check back here in the next week or so to find out what amazing opportunity I have been given for July!

People helping me, helping people

heroWow, wow! I have a lot to say, I bet you are not surprised.

Well one things is I received another grant this time from the Start A Snowball Organization who “a non-profit organization committed to empowering kids to engage in philanthropy.” So a few weeks ago I asked my Mom what does Philanthropy mean? Because I see that word a lot on people I follow through twitter. And she told me it means giving and sharing of yourself and your ideas to help other people. So that is what that means.

And then I found out I was nominated for the JOLLY TIME Pop Corn Kernels of Kindness Award by a fan of mine who follows me through my Facebook page! Wow and thank you! JOLLY TIME is awarding 1,000 dollar grants to people who do good in their communities and the winners will be announced in late July.

And then I got a really cool award from “Kids Are Heroes” that certifies I am a hero because of my selfless generosity. Which made me think of philanthropy and so now I understand better. So Kids Are Heroes gave me an award and talked about me on social media and then invited me to their Young Leaders Summit at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta, Georgia on February 7, 2015. And I will get to speak to the people who attend and also share information about Brae’s Brown Bags! I have never been to Georgia! I have been to a leadership summit before but I didn’t get a chance to speak at it and so that will be exciting.

photo 4Before lunch today my Mom and I went to the Newark Empowerment Center on Main Street in Newark to drop off some of our Brae’s Brown Bags to their group. They were very happy to see me and I was happy to see them still helping people, too!

Meeting at UDThen this afternoon I got to meet Mr. Richard Rind, Ms. Sue Bogan and Ms. Lynn McDowell from the University of Delaware. Plus Bryan Gordan who works at Legislative Hall attended along with Senator Bethany Hall-Long and so we met and I shared a presentation with them and talked with them about some ideas I have for the University of Delaware. Really I just want to do whatever I can to help homeless people have more access to food. I think we’re going to be working with the Food Bank of Delaware. Nothing has been finalized but a lot has been talked about. There is a possible “Pilot” project in the works for the UD campus which I am VERY excited about. I hope I get to meet with everyone again soon and keep this ball rolling!

School is out for the Summer and now I’m all done 4th grade! Something tells me I will be keeping busy until 5th grades starts though.

The Awesome Foundation thinks 3B is awesome!

awesome-foundation-3b

So in between eating dinner and listening to some country songs my Mom saw a new email for me. She started to read the email out loud and we all stopped and listened. I took her phone and read it again to myself, too.

It said, “I’m Trina King, Dean of the Awesome Foundation Philadelphia chapter. I’m contacting you to let you know that your Awesome project, 3B Brae’s Brown Bags, was chosen as the May 2014 winner of our $1,000 grant!”

So it’s super cool that there is a place called The Awesome Foundation and it’s even cooler that their Philadelphia Chapter things 3B is awesome enough to give me a $1,000 grant for my project!

Thank you so much!

Helping the Food Bank of Delaware

Braeden Mannering at Legislative HallToday I was back at Legislative Hall but this time it was to support and help the Food Bank of Delaware.

For their legislative day they had their culinary graduates serve food in the senate hearing room. They had nine life-size cardboard cut outs of people they have helped with their programs. I helped hand out booklets that shared stories of those people. I also for to talk with some people.

Braeden Mannering at Legislative HallMy Mom sat in the senate balcony during the resolution that honored the Food Bank but I got to sit on the floor near Senator Bryan Townsend. I was with Pat Beebe and Chad Robinson and their friend Edward who told his story about how the Food Bank has helped him. He seemed like a nice person and I was surprised to hear that without the Food Bank he wasn’t getting enough to eat and he even lost a lot of weight. And then the Food Bank, one of their services, it helped him get the food he needed. That means a lot to me. I hope it means a lot to you.

We waited around and talked with people for awhile and then we had a quick photo with Governor Jack Markell. I think it must be very tiring to be Governor or to be a Senator because they never stop moving!

I had a fun time and I am happy I got to visit Legislative Hall again!

3B is now on Amazon Smile

Well it took some time and a lot of emails from my Mom, but we finally got 3B Brae’s Brown Bags Foundation registered with Amazon Smile.

3B Braes Brown Bag Foundation

AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon that lets customers enjoy the same wide selection of products, low prices, and convenient shopping features as on Amazon.com. The difference is that when customers shop on AmazonSmile (smile.amazon.com), the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to the charitable organizations selected by customers.

So if you shop on Amazon and the product you purchase qualifies please be sure to buy it through Amazon Smile and a donation will be sent to 3B Brae’s Brown Bag Foundation!

It’s been a long month in this last week

You might be thinking I haven’t been too busy since my last post was over a week ago. Also, I haven’t written to say that 3B Brae’s Brown Bags did not make the top 5 for the LEAD 360 Challenge Jefferson Awards. But like my Mom said, all 27 finalists deserved to win the trip to Washington, DC for the national ceremony. So it’s not a bad thing and it’s still really cool that 3B was in the top 27 across the whole country.

Last Monday I participated in the University of Delaware’s Day of Service. It was on the part of campus called the South Green. I talked to people about Brae’s Brown Bags and what the bags do and why I am involved in the project. But I also got to learn about other projects. One of the things I did was to paint a tote bag for a placed called Supporting KIDDS. It’s a center for grieving children and families. So to cheer up the kids we made tote bags to give to them. People drew smiley faces and used bright colors to make the kids happy.

14244102712_15ed590954_zI also wrote my name on a petition to stop the use of the “R” word. The poster said “R-word | Spread the Word to End the Word.” My Mom explained to me what it means and why it should not be used anymore. It makes sense. If a word hurts people then why would you say it? I don’t know why we even need to sign a petition. She also told me what LGBTQ means, because I made keychains with a group called Haven. Haven is a student organization that is geared towards members of the LGBTQ community which stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer. I didn’t know what that meant. I mean, I know what it means to be gay, but I didn’t know why you would need an organization to raise awareness and my Mom said it is because a lot of them time people treat you different if they think you are not normal. And she said sometimes people think you are not normal if you are gay or that people might think you are weird. I said that was really silly. I mean, you are what you are. It would be like if someone treated me different for having brown hair. Well, maybe that is not the same, but still, I liked making key chains with those students. They talked to me and asked me questions and it was fun. We also made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches which were to be delivered to the Newark Empowerment Center. My table was in between the PB&J table and the Haven table.

14079561710_81a50b0911_zA lot of people really liked my project and they were all very nice. I think the University of Delaware must be a good place to go to school.

So then on Tuesday I went to the Christina School District Board Meeting. I was given an Honor Roll award for my service and for having gotten the Governor’s Award. It was nice. Senator Bryan Townsend was there and he got an award, too. He even sat next to me AND he let me have his cheesecake. They gave him a slice because it was his birthday the day before. There were a lot of people at the board meeting. More than the last one I went to earlier in the school year. The woman who talked about me before I got my award, she said a lot of nice things, I felt really proud of myself.

And then on Thursday, Girl Scout Troop #34 donated a bunch of items and snacks and bags for Brae’s Brown Bags. In fact, I should be able to make a delivery to Family Promise, because they have taken work force bags from me before and thanks to Troop #34 I now have over 50 bags I can deliver that all have toiletry items in them. Thank you Troop #34 you girls are so nice and I really appreciate all you did.