In early March I left Silas at home with Hubs for the first time and headed to New Orleans. I think any new mom is nervous to leave their baby home for the first time but I’ll be honest, I was a wreck! It’s not that I didn’t trust Hubs to care for our son, it just felt weird and wrong to not have him within arms reach for more than a couple hours.
So why did I leave him home? It wasn’t to party on Bourbon Street without him. I headed to New Orleans to attend the AgVocacy Forum put on by Bayer.
I’ll be honest, going into this forum I wasn’t sure I would pick much up. AgVocacy is my thing. While I always want to learn, now that Silas is here, time is even harder to come by and I wasn’t sure how much value I would get from a conference that focused on something that I have already spent loads of time working on. Would it be just another rehashing of the same old themes? Would I leave with my spark for sharing what I do reignited? Or would I look back and say that at least I had finally visited New Orleans?
Long story short, I left New Orleans with my brain swirling with thoughts and a big idea! I am so glad I went!
Everyone, I’d like you to meet Braeden Quinn Mannering.
Braeden is the founder of 3B- Brae’s Brown Bags and as he puts it on his website, this is how something really great got started.
“I won the 2013 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge and got to go to The White House for the Kids’ State Dinner. The First Lady Michelle Obama asked me how I would pay the experience forward. I came up with the idea for Brae’s Brown Bags.”
You know, just lunch with the First Lady, no big deal.
So what exactly is Brae’s Brown Bags all about? It boils down to feeding people, whether they are homeless or low-income, Braeden wants them to have not just food, but healthy and nutritious food.
I sat in a room full of people who have most likely never know true hunger and listened to a 12 year old tell us the story of how seeing a homeless woman at a red light and giving her a bottle of water made him realize that he could do something to help people. I sat in that room wearing pants that were a little too tight after indulging in too much food for too long and I heard about a kid that started handing out brown bags with water, healthy snacks and contact information for resources that can help further and has now not only fed thousands of people in his own area but has started working with school groups across the country to do the same in their area.
When Braeden finished his talk, he got a standing ovation. Clearly deserved.
I knew I needed to figure out a way to help Braeden before he was even done speaking. My gears started to spin. After he was done talking I got a chance to ask him a few questions. I asked him if farmers went to the companies that we sell our products to and asked them for food and cash donations for 3B and 3B Ripple Student Chapters, if that might help. His answer was a big smile and an enthusiastic yes.
We are busy. We are tired. We have so much on our plates.
We are not hungry. We can help.
Please take a moment to visit Braeden’s Website, see what this kid has started and then ask yourself how you can help his mission. Can you give a little cash? Can you connect Braeden with a food supplier? Can you share his story so others learn about what he is doing?
Let’s help Braeden out because helping him, helps us all.
My travel expenses to attend the Bayer AgVocacy Forum were covered by Bayer. As always, my words and opinions are my own.