We have been keeping very busy. On Tuesday, March 4th I had a chance to meet the Delaware Collegiate 4-H group at the University of Delaware. I was able to talk to them for a little bit about Brae’s Brown Bags and how I came up with the idea. I showed them my presentation and they were the first to hear the new song I placed in it. One of my favorite songs, if you want to hear it you will have to have me be a speaker for you.
The Vice President of the club is Sara Somers. She invited me to talk and she gave me a very cool tie-dyed t-shirt that says Delaware Collegiate 4-H on it which I thought was very nice.
The club helped me pack over 85 bags! I will be delivering them to the Emmanuel Dining Room this coming Sunday. Maybe some will go to a code purple emergency shelter in Newark on Thursday but it hasn’t been called yet so I don’t know.
It was fun to present and I like that people want to hear about 3B.
Today my Mom brought 21 bags to the Newark Empowerment Center because there will be three code purple days coming up here in Delaware and possibly even another foot of snow! We will try to get out for more supplies as soon as we can but we do what we can.
Last week, on Thursday, I dropped off 20 bags to the St. Thomas Episcopal Church. When we got there some other people were there to help out. A lady brought in extra toiletry items and I added them to my bags. They said they would hand out the bags in the morning before everyone left the shelter.
These two deliveries have brought the tally to 798 bags since July 2013. Not bad! I really want to be able to keep up this pace.
I also just got off the phone with Nicole Sullivan. She is a student at the University of Delaware and she is writing an article about Brae’s Brown bags for a class she is taking. We tried to Skype and I learned I need a better web cam! Thank you Nicole for talking with me it was nice to “meet” you!
On Sunday, February 23, 2014 I went to the Emmanuel Dining Room again. There was a lot of people and I ran out of 60 bags that I made in 15 minutes. Of the 60 bags I had packed 10 child bags, the other 50 bags were the regular 3B bag. This time the child bags had books AND some activity pads, pencils and small toys (like teddy bears and little race cars) thanks to donations we had received.
There is also some very exciting news I would like to share.
Today I found out my application was accepted and considered to be “one of the best” for a grant from the YSA (Youth Service America) and Sodexo Foundation. Late last year my Mom helped me apply for this grant. Today in an email I was told I will be one of the winners receiving a grant.
The Sodexo Foundation Youth Grants, offered funding of up to $500 for youth to lead projects focused on ending childhood hunger in their communities. It is very excited to find out that 3B Brae’s Brown Bags Foundation made the cut!
Stay tuned for even more very cool news coming soon!
Lilianna, Sweet Frog, Me and Senator Townsend
We had a FULL HOUSE last night at Sweet Frog. There were people in every seat and standing. The Sweet Frog mascot came out for awhile and people from all over came to the store to buy frozen yogurt and support Brae’s Brown Bags even though it was super cold outside and we were expecting MORE SNOW! Yes, I have another two-hour delay this morning, so I can write to you!
Last night I really got to see how many people want to help the homeless and be part of a big change. It was so clear to me because so many people asked me questions and told me there were proud of me. Out of all the people who visited I have to say I most enjoyed talking with Senator Bryan Townsend and his fiance Lilianna. They were both really nice and said they are proud of me. They also think I’m really funny. Hahaha.
Senator Townsend asked if I would like to come talk to other officials in Dover, DE sometime soon and I think that would be a lot of fun. I don’t want to tell them what to do or anything I just think sometimes kids have really good ideas. I’m a kid and I made 3B Brae’s Brown Bags and it is helping a lot of people.
It’s like I say, kids don’t really need to find super heroes in comic books, even though that is fun. Kids can be their own super hero!
** 12:18 pm – Brae’s Mom here adding a screenshot of Senator Townsend’s Facebook page **
Senator Townsend posted some photos and wrote really nice things on Facebook.
Yesterday the temperatures were well below freezing here in Delaware again. Newark, DE opened up a Church as a sanctuary to the homeless so they could come inside out of the cold.
Yesterday the host was the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. They offered me and my brother some hot chocolate after we delivered the bags. They asked me about how I started 3B and I told them about my trip over the summer. How I went to the White House and met Michelle Obama and shook hands with the President, Barack Obama.
They took my picture to put on their website and also said I am welcome back anytime.
Tonight is another sanctuary night due to the cold and the host will be First Presbyterian (292 W. Main Street, Newark, DE). The door will open at 6 p.m. People in need should be encouraged to pre-register at the Empowerment Center open from 1 – 4 p.m. both days.
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.
This is where you need to be on Monday, February 17, 2014 between 5 and 8 pm. Sweet Frog – Bear is hosting a fundraiser event for Brae’s Brown Bags! Yum! Please share this flyer with everyone you know and we look forward to seeing you there! We have a limited supply of brand new, very special 3B magnets to share!
Last night I went to Big Fish Grill in Glenn Mills, PA. They had a four course meal and the best part of the meals was the grilled fish and the dessert which was apple layers with gelato. It was also a good flavor idea that they added clementine slices to the salad.
I talked to two groups of people who attended the dinner. One of the ladies asked me if she could give me a high five and I thought that was pretty cool. Some of the people actually gave me donations after I talked to them about Brae’s Brown Bags (3B). And it was really nice because part of their meal was going towards 3B also so this was extra.
The people who work at Big Fish Grill brought me donations. We have extra bags, water bottles and snacks now which will come in handy. Plus $5 from every meal for the Women & Wine Event went to 3B and I am very thankful, I think that was very generous.
Amanda, Me and Hudson
I got to meet Amanda Ferguson, she is the lady who helped set up the dinner and reached out because she was impressed with 3B. She was very nice and I gave her a 3B t-shirt and then she gave me a Big Fish Grill t-shirt which I didn’t expect and I thought that was very nice. I also met the chef and the kitchen staff. The chef, was really, his name is Tim, he was so nice to me and he showed me everything in the kitchen. I hope it was okay when I turned down the raw oyster. Another person I met was Husdon Austin. He paired the wine to each course and talked to us about the wine. My Mom let me smell and sip the wines. They all smelled like wine to me.
It meant a lot to me that my Mom and Brian, Gram and Pop Pop and Great Grandmom and Grandpop Willey were all there, too. I think they had a good time. And my Grandmom and Grandpop Stephan watched Finn and Amelia which is why my Mom and Brian were able to be there so that was nice also.
There are some more photos on my Mom’s Flickr page.
My Mom took me and my brother Finn to the Emmanuel Dining Room yesterday. The weather has been really cold, yesterday I don’t think it even got above 30 degrees. Tomorrow there is a high of only 17 degrees and with the wind chill it will feel much colder than even that!
We ran out bags really quickly yesterday at the soup kitchen. It made me sad. We ran out of bags for the kids in about five minutes. That is the fastest ever that we have ran out of bags, 52 bags in under 15 minutes. Everyone was happy to see me there and I feel good that they remember me and they like when I come to hand out bags.
We put hand warmers in all of the bags. I have been told that the hand warmers are a nice addition so we will be doing that for the rest of the winter.
Tomorrow my Mom and Brian are taking me to the Big Fish Grill in Glenn Mills, PA. My great grandparents, Grandpop and Grandmom Willey are coming, too and so are my Gram and Pop Pop. I will be giving a little talk about Brae’s Brown Bags. I’m excited because the manager said I could go back into the kitchen and meet the chef.
They are going to be donating $5 from each meal purchased for a special event they are hosting to help fundraise for 3B. How cool is that?
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
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.
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
- 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.
- 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.
Anne Arundel County
- Arundel House of Hope – Winter Relief Emergency Shelter – Phone: (410) 863-4888
- 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
- Columbia, MD Homeless Shelters and homeless services. We provide homeless … Winter Relief for the Homeless Arundel House of Hope 410-863-4888
- Atlantic County Homeless Hotline (609) 345-5517
- Egg Harbor Township Community Center, 5045 English Creek Ave., Egg Harbor Township, NJ – (609) 272-8179
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
- 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