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.

Coming Together Hunger Conference

Conference-Save-the-Date-2015

The Food Bank of Delaware, Brae’s Brown Bags and the Food Research and Action Center are proud to present Delaware’s third annual hunger conference. This year’s regional conference is entitled Coming Together: A Community Response to Hunger to reflect that it takes all of us – children, adults, nonprofits, government entities, businesses, faith-based organizations, educational institutions and others – working together to end hunger in our communities.

Our conference is scheduled for Monday, May 4, 2015 from 7:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. (time may change slightly depending on speaker needs) at the Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington, Delaware.

Coming Together will feature both an adult track and kids’ track, with opportunities for both groups to come together to identify solutions to issues related to hunger. Planning is currently underway for the conference. A complete conference agenda will be released at a later date.

Braeden has developed a Multimedia Design Challenge for students 1st through 12th grade to participate in across Delaware to have an opportunity to attend the conference. Every public, private and charter school in Delaware has also received an application to be part of this conference in addition to receiving the design challenge to hand out to their students. The cost to the students who attend will be covered by the event hosts.

The cost for an adult to attend the full-day conference (price includes breakfast, lunch and sessions) is $40 (must register by April 3). After April 3, the price increases to $50. Click here to purchase tickets. (Sorry, but we cannot issue refunds)

For more information, please contact Kim Turner at kturner@fbd.org or (302) 444-8074.

Food recovery, hunger conferences and summits

Conference-Save-the-Date-2015My Mom and me met with people from the Food Bank on Thursday to talk a little bit more about the conference we’re all planning together. We have some more ideas on how to move forward and who to to invite. I would really like to invite Mario Batali and Gabby Douglas. I’m also going to work on creating a video invitation to send to the Kid President. I’ll let you know when I get it put together.

Then on Friday we met with Richard Rind, Director of Auxiliary Services at the University of Delaware and Sue Bogan who is the Director of Dining Services. My friend Jessica Stump joined us and so did Senator Bethany Hall-Long. We were meeting again to talk about how the University of Delaware should try and recover some food around campus to give to people in need. It isn’t really the dining halls, it’s the other food locations like Einstein Bagels or Starbucks who might have leftover food at the end of the day which, if not recovered, would be wasted. I’m hoping we can get the food to places who will be able to use it. It sounds like UD will be willing to work with me and my Mom, but we need a place to accept the food on a regular basis, and that seems to be the problem right now.

My Mom and me are flying to Atlanta, Georgia on Friday. I just know I will have a lot to share about the Kids Are Heroes Young Leaders’ Summit I’m attending. I am happy I’ll get to meet new people and share with them what I am doing with Brae’s Brown Bags and learn what they are doing in their communities. I can’t wait to meet the other “kid heroes.”

Fusion_LOGOOoooo and Fusion Fitness in Newark, DE is doing a fundraiser for Brae’s Brown Bags. I’m so happy they want to help out and also encourage people to not only be change makers in life but also to live healthy! They have held fundraisers for several different community organizations. Thank you Fusion Fitness!

And it has been SO COLD here in Delaware. I think it was 18 degrees this morning when we woke up for school and that wasn’t with the wind chill. There have been 15 or 16 code purples which means the nights are below 20 degrees. Really nice people volunteer to host sanctuary at their churches to allow people to come in out of the cold. I have been trying to get my 3B bags to these hosting sites as often as I can. It’s hard though sometimes I don’t have bags packed in time. I hope people like them when they get them and that they are helpful. Which reminds me, I need to tell my Mom we’re out of hand warmers. Again.

Polar vortex doesn’t scare us, we’re here to help

codepurpleWilmington, DE and Newark, DE have had code purple systems in place for years thanks to the Friendship House. Churches and a bunch of volunteers open sanctuary to the homeless to get off the street when temperatures drop below 20 degrees which has been happening all week in Delaware. Kent County began establishing this system for the season this year and I’m happy to hear that people in need have a place to go. For Code Purple Sanctuary locations in Kent County call 1-800-733-6816.

Today is a high of 20 degrees even in the daytime, right now as I’m typing this is is 9 degrees. The windchill is negative!

packing bagsThis week my family and me have packed up about 100 bags already to give out to the sanctuary locations. Last night my neighbors Barb and Sammy Lawson came over to help. Today my Mom will be bringing 25 bags and warm clothing to Calvary Baptist Church in Newark, DE on East Main Street because they are the code purple location today. My Mom has been bringing bags to locations this week during her lunch break since I’m in school.

The Newark Empowerment Center opens from 1pm to 4pm also to serve lunch to those in need.

I also have a flier of emergency shelters for Delaware and you can download it here.

If you are able to help people in need please take the time. Offer a hand to them, offer a smile, offer a 3B bag or pack up your very own. If you have extra winter weather clothing, put it in the car with you and if you see someone on the street you can give them the clothing and also let them know where they can go to seek sanctuary.

Thank you!

Happy New Year and some big plans for 2015

coming-in-2015You’ve already heard I want to create a National Kids Hunger Conference. (Knowing my Mom, and knowing me, it’s going to happen eventually) What you might not know is that I have been working on a conference for my home state of Delaware and it will be happening in 2015! Thanks to the Food Bank of Delaware and the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) there will be a “Coming Together” hunger conference on May 4, 2015 and it will be the first ever hunger conference to include a track just for kids. I really could not be more happy about this, I really am so excited.

Schools in Delaware will get getting information this month to ask them if they would like to participate in this pilot conference. We are sending out invitations to hopefully get Vice President Joe Biden to be our keynote speaker. He is from Delaware after all. I also really want to get some celebrities involved but so far they haven’t responded to my tweets. And then my friend, Tanya Steel, who created the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, has already agreed to attend and help in anyway. I’m thinking she’d be perfect for a cooking demo for the kids.

Spring will be busy for me, but Winter isn’t over. I have talks planned, one tomorrow night with a boy scout group, 64th Brandywine in West Grove and one on the 14th with a 4-H group. I’m happy about getting back into the swing of things. But I won’t pretend it was nice to have a break in December.

My Mom and me are flying to Atlanta, Georgia the first week of February so I can attend and speak at the Kids Business Expo. I’m actually a speaker for their Kids Are Heroes Youth Leadership Summit which is happening during the expo at a conference center there. It should be fun.

Oh and I have been asked to speak at the Delaware FFA Convention this Spring in Dover. I think that is going to be great especially because usually when I go to Dover it is to visit Legislative Hall and talk with the Senate and the House so this will be super cool to talk to younger people and maybe even get some 3B bags down to Kent County.

Before I go, I just want to remind everyone in Delaware, when temperatures drop below 20 degrees here there are code purple sanctuaries which open up so homeless individuals have a safe haven for the night. I will update Facebook or my Mom will update Facebook when we hear the locations.

Ending the year with a bang

3b-thank-youHi everyone, Braeden’s Mom here. I just wanted to write a quick post on behalf of Braeden and myself to thank all of our supporters! 2014 has been an incredible year and we could not have done it without your encouragement, kindness, help and dedication to 3B and our mission.

I’ve let Braeden know that he can have the rest of December off. We’re moving some speaking engagements around and into the new year so he can catch up on his studies and, well, you know, be 11.

Stepping in for him I have gained some new helpful volunteers. Sarah Vito and Helena Bush have helped enormously by making deliveries to new locations for us.

We have also received many donations from people all over! We wrote 21 thank you notes over the weekend! We still have more to write so if you haven’t received a thank you yet please be on the look out for one.

Over the last two weeks we have given out 200 scarves and hats to three different locations: Hope Dining Room, Sunday Breakfast Mission and Friendship House. We hope the items will help to keep people warm as the temperatures drop this winter. We also have sent out more bags and our new total is nearing 2,300 bags!

In the New Year we have some big plans! Braeden will be co-hosting the first ever hunger conference to include kids. He has been working with the Food Bank of Delaware on developing a kid track for the conference scheduled to happen on May 4th. We’re looking for possible speakers, panelists and demonstrators.

One of the coolest things about working with 3B and watching it evolve is that we have learned that all people, no matter their age, should be given the opportunity to speak up and share their ideas on how they can help better their community. This conference will bring the community of Delaware together, and perhaps further extend into neighboring states. Kids and adults will be able to mingle and learn from each other and I think the outcome will be incredible.

Can you imagine a world without hunger? Thanks to my son, Braeden, I CAN imagine this and it makes me smile so big!

As we get more information and continue to work out logistics of the conference we will keep all of your posted.

Thank you!

Brae’s Mom, Christy

A Holiday Greeting from the White House

It’s pretty cool to get a Christmas card from the White House.

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I got one last year and it popped up and the windows were shiny.

This year it was doors and you opened the door to see inside the White House. And I have been in that area of the White House before, but not at Christmas time.

I think it’s cool that it’s signed by everyone and even has paw prints for the dogs.

And at the White House website they have cool holiday things you can print out including recipes, wrapping paper and crafts. Click the image to the right to check them out.white-house-holiday

We will send the President and the First Lady a Christmas card from our family, too.

This time next week it will be Christmas Eve and I’m excited, especially to have a break from school!

And also Happy Hanukkah to all of you celebrating, I know it started last night!

Were you watching NBC last week?

Braeden Mannering and Minnie Driver

Me and Minnie Driver

Before I even start, thank you to NBC Universal and thank you to Mazda USA for creating the #MazdaDrive4Good contest to bring attention to people in the nation who are doing good things in their communities. Thank you to actress/singer Minnie Driver for being part of the excitement. I have not been allowed to talk about this but now I can. I won the Drive 4 Good contest and my family got to attend and be featured on the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting last week and then I also got to be on the Today Show. Mazda is going to give $30,000 worth of goods and services to 3B Brae’s Brown Bags!

It all started the week before Thanksgiving when my Mom got the phone call from Ms. Rayna and Mr. Adam who work for NBC.

Me and Director Adam Reid

Me and Director Adam Reid

They came out to our house with like 40 people! There were lots of lights and cameras and they even had a motor home for actors and they had food for everyone.

Minnie Driver came to my house. I knew her because I watch her new show About A Boy but my Mom says she is in a lot of great movies, too. She’s really pretty and she’s really very nice. Did you know her real name is Amelia? That is my sister’s name, too.

My family and I with Al Roker and Jim O'Sullivan CEO of Mazda at the tree lighting

My family and I with Al Roker and Jim O’Sullivan CEO of Mazda at the tree lighting

The people from NBC brought Christmas decorations and we have two Christmas trees in our house now. People from Mazda were there and they were all really nice. It was a long day and it was a lot of work.

They filmed for a long time and then it got turned into a 90-second commercial which they showed on TV after introducing us in the tree lighting show on TV!

The tree lighting in New York was really cool. It was a long day but really nice people hung out with us. Ms. Meghan and Ms. Jessie and T. Cooper did our makeup and hair. The tree is HUGE! It’s 85-feet tall and the star on the top is bigger than me!

Al Roker interviewed me and my Mom on the Today Show. That also happened very fast and it was early in the morning so we were tired. I think I did good, my Mom said I could not have answered the questions better than I did which makes me feel good.

My Mom, me and Al Roker on the Today Show

My Mom, me and Al Roker on the Today Show

I can’t believe it!

Since all this happened I have had so many nice emails and Facebook messages and Tweets to my Twitter account. People are all wanting to help me and to help expand 3B to other places. We’re really going to be able to help more people! Isn’t it great! I just know that this means that 2015 is going to be an even better year and more people will get access to the healthy food they need and deserve!

I’m so happy! Thank you everyone! We really, really are going to change the world.

You know my Mom told Mr. Adam that one of the best things about all of 3B has been seeing it spread and help others. She says when you throw a pebble into the water the ripples can spread out all the way across a pond, she is humbled to see the ripple effect that 3B is causing and she’s so proud to know that I’m the pebble.

It’s getting to be that time of year

p1090694Holidays are fun. Thanksgiving is coming up and then Christmas. I am very excited because my family is going to Disney World for Thanksgiving. I have never been there. We are taking a plane. We will also stop into Universal Studios. It should be a lot of fun. I am excited to go on a plane again. My brother and sister have never been on a plane. I am wondering what we will do. I have seen pictures and heard things but I think it will be really cool.

There has been a lot going on in my world. Do you know what the word vague means? I did not. I do now. Vague means you can something a little bit about something, just enough, but then not everything. It’s mysterious! My step dad made up a word “Vague Book” on Facebook yesterday. Hahaha!

I was interviewed yesterday. It took a lot of work. I am VERY tired. I didn’t want to say anything wrong or mess up or anything, I get nervous. My little sister sat in a makeup chair. She picked pink blush. She didn’t need it though, but she smiled really big. My brother, Finn, had the makeup artist spike his hair up better.

I met some fun people. Really fun. AND I got a new laptop. It’s awesome! I played World of Warcraft and Minecraft on it and they weren’t slow or glitchy anymore. THANK YOU Mr. Adam!

Kernels of Kindness

University of Delaware 3B Lecture

University of Delaware lecture

Yesterday, I got to be a guest lecturer for an undergraduate course at the University of Delaware. The course is called HDFS 347 Program Development and Evaluation. I am not sure how many people were in the classroom but it was pretty full. Everyone was very nice and they clapped for me and I felt happy. They asked me a lot of questions and some of them I couldn’t answer but my Mom was there to help. I told them about how 3B got started and how we raise funds and where I would like to see 3B go which was fun to talk about. A lot of the students asked for our contact information and they want to help us and I am very happy about that.

Speaking at the College School

Talking at the College School

And then last week I was able to talk at the College School. These students were all younger, they ranged from 1st grade to 8th grade I think. They also were very nice. and asked a lot of questions. I think the best part of it was that a lot of them seemed to be inspired to do things to help the community also. I am happy when I can empower other kids. I think that is one of the best things about spreading awareness about not only 3B Brae’s Brown Bags but also about food insecurity and hunger relief.

For both of the times I talked I tried to really let everyone know that little acts of kindness can go a very long way. I hope they know that it is true!

Jolly Time Kernel of Kindness

Thank you Jolly Time

I also got a great big package in the mail from Jolly Time and they gave me lots of free popcorn coupons and a really cool popcorn bowl and some bags. Plus they gave me a $1,000 Kernels of Kindness Awards. I mean it was all very generous. Jolly Time was celebrating their 100 year anniversary and to celebrate they gave away 100 awards they called Kernels of Kindness for people who were doing good things in their communities. I read a lot of the other winners profiles and they were all pretty great.

Me and my brother at the voting place

Me and my crazy brother Finnegan

Then on Tuesday my Mom took me and my brother and sister to vote on Tuesday. This is the 3rd time I have gotten to go in a voting booth and help her push buttons for the people she wanted to vote for and I liked doing that. I have my sticker from the first time we voted for President Obama! I have it on the wall in my room. It’s super cool! I can’t wait until I can vote, I can’t believe you have to be 18 years old!

More things are coming up in the next few weeks. I’m meeting with Senator Bryan Townsend and the Food Bank of Delaware next week to discuss their 2015 Hunger Conference. And then I have the Top 10 Movers and Shakers award ceremony! It should be a fun week!