Creating a Climate of Kindness

What would the world look like if instead of meanness, inconsideration and violence there was only kindness, compassion and thoughtfulness? We’re far from that place right now, but there are people all over the world looking to make a change. One such group created a competition, or as they like to say a “coopetition” (a cooperative competition). It’s called the Compassion Games: Survival of the Kindest, and The Brandon Foundation is jumping in during the month of October.



Here’s how it works:

1. Individuals or teams sign up here.
2. Participants organize service projects, inspire and perform acts of kindness and focus on giving back to their community.
3. After completing acts of kindness, participants report on their activities, and the Compassion Report Map tracks all of the details.
4. Share and celebrate to start a chain reaction of kindness in the community!

The goal of the compassion games is to unify communities, amplify kind works that are already happening, catalyze community engagement, quantify experiences and impact, and actualize to grow the movement!

For now, our scholars will be observing their local community and how they might make a change with acts of kindness. After fall break, the game is on! I can’t wait to hear how it goes!

Check out how the Compassion Games have started to make a difference in other communities! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZLGHZ1lSjU

By the way, we're in the early stages of planning for the 2018 Dinner & Auction, and we're looking for sponsors. If you'd like to contribute or have any questions, please contact Rebecca Bormann at rebeccab262@gmail.com.

Thank you for reading!
Abby Bormann & The Brandon Foundation

A “Summery” of the Sunshine Season

The Brandon Foundation’s 5th school year will be starting in just a few short weeks. Where does the time go?! Scholars, mentors and our board members have all been busy this summer. Read on for a peak at what we’ve been up to!

Some of our scholars went to summer camps. Medina, Aaliyah, and Edyn attended a new camp this year, Camp Jameson in Indianapolis. They swam, went on adventures and had a fun-filled week meeting new friends. DJ and Deaundre developed their hoop skills at McCracken Basketball Camp. The 55 year old organization emphasizes fun and helps each player to become the best athlete that he or she can possibly be! While DJ and Deaundre were out on the courts, Josh played football with Midwest Swagger Football Camp.

Our scholars are quickly maturing and becoming community leaders! Dejiah, who will be starting her junior year of high school in the coming weeks, had a job this summer at a local daycare. There, she was able to put into practice the skills that she developed as a junior mentor to one of our younger scholars during the 2016-17 school year. She also had a wonderful opportunity to shadow in the Fort Wayne prosecutor’s office and has been invited to return next summer for a full internship!

We also walked in the Three Rivers Festival Parade, for the fifth consecutive year. Every year, our group in the parade gets a little bigger. This year, 40 people walked with The Brandon Foundation float! There were scholars, mentors, board members and lots of family out supporting us. The theme for the parade was SUPERHEROES! Miss Caty designed our t-shirts this year and reminded us all that “not all superheroes wear capes.”  Ordinary people, following in Jesus’ ways, can save the world one kind, loving action at a time.


We can’t wait to see what’s in store for the 2017-2018 school year!

Thank you for reading!

Abby Bormann & The Brandon Foundation

We're Almost There!

It’s mid-May; summer is on the horizon! This time of year, two big things are happening for The Brandon Foundation. The school year (and weekly TBF sessions) is wrapping up, and our fundraising campaign is drawing to a close. In case you were wondering what’s up on these fronts, here’s a little update:

Last week at the foundation, our scholars created scrapbooks to remember their favorite and proudest moments of the year and to remember what they’ve learned. Here are few pages from their year.


In other news, we have just over a week until the end of our fundraising campaign. We’re off to a great start with over $20,000 dollars raised. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for all of your support from individual donors to corporate sponsors! Your contributions are helping our scholars’ dreams come true. That’s why at The Brandon Foundation you’re known as a Dream Maker. We know that there are many incredible organizations to donate money and time to and appreciate each and every contribution! Below are our corporate sponsors and some of our top donors that we want to say an extra special thank you to!

AIS Consulting
BKD – CPAs & Advisors
The Kuzmic Family
Lawrence Building
RMSM Foundation
Sweeney Law Firm
Three Rivers Federal Credit Union

Please prayerfully consider making a contribution, if you have not already done so, to help us reach our goal of $30,000 in support of our scholars for the next school year!


Thank you for reading!
Abby Bormann & The Brandon Foundation

Springtime at The Brandon Foundation

Spring is in the air, and exciting things are happening for The Brandon Foundation! This week, we kicked off the 2017 fundraising campaign AND launched a website. While all of this was going on behind the scenes, our scholars volunteered at Lutheran Life Village for our monthly service project and have been writing letters to students going through similar life situations.

Our goal for fundraising this year is $30,000 by June 1st. These funds will be used in three areas: operational costs, resource improvement and the college scholarship fund. In total, nearly 75% of the funds raised will go directly to our scholars. In addition to covering the costs of day to day programming and operating for the 2017-2018 school year, these funds will ensure that every Brandon Foundation scholar has: school supplies, school shoes, a winter coat and boots, the ability to attend extracurricular activities and a summer camp, as well as other essentials as the needs arise. Currently, The Brandon Foundation has 2 computers available for use by students for research and school projects. As part of our resource improvement plan, we will purchase a laptop for each scholar for our classroom. In the current digital age, it is imperative that students are exposed to the many aspects of technology and begin to learn the skills that will be necessary in the workplaces of the future. Lastly, a portion of the funds raised will contribute to our college scholarship fund. This year, we have four scholars in high school, and we want to empower them each to continue their education and provide financial aid.

After months of working closely with Brittany King, a local web developer and digital content specialist, we have unveiled a brand new website, https://thebrandonfoundation.org! Here, you can find information about the history of The Brandon Foundation, how you can become involved or make a donation, or read about what’s happening recently with the organization.

Meanwhile, our scholars have been serving the older and the younger of their communities. For our March service project, we went to Lutheran Life Village to visit elderly residents. We played games, made root beer floats, and brought cheer to all involved. As a more personal project, our scholars have been writing letters to anonymous students who are going through a tough time in their lives. We are learning how the pain we go through in life can be turned into power to reach and change others’ live. Scholars write encouraging notes which are handed out weekly by teachers. Sometimes hearing (or reading) “you’re not alone” in what you’re going through is exactly what’s needed. Our students are realizing that by showing vulnerability in their struggles, they can help to heal others.



To make a contribution to the 2017 fundraising campaign, follow this link and select “Donate Now”: https://thebrandonfoundation.org/donate/.

Thank you for reading!
Abby Bormann & The Brandon Foundation


What It Means to Be a Mentor

Last month we shared what some of our scholars had to say about how being a part of The Brandon Foundation has affected them. This month, we bring you a few words from 4 of our mentors about what it means to them to be involved with The Brandon Foundation.

Miss Caty, Founder and Executive Director
Mentee: Isaiah

How/why did you become a mentor with TBF?
I became a mentor because I wanted to help kids realize their potential and achieve their goals.

What makes TBF a special organization?
Every single student! I love my time with Isaiah and how he listens when I give him advice. I REALLY love to serve on Saturdays, too. Watching them become leaders has been an incredible part of this journey.

What is your favorite thing about being involved with TBF or your favorite activity?
Getting to know each student’s dream and helping them get to figure out how to make it happen.
DeAundre: 1st play
Dejiah: Visit Indiana tech
Darrell and Khi: play soccer



Miss Tara, Board of Directors Treasurer
Mentee: De’Aundre

How/why did you become a mentor with TBF?
Miss Caty told me about her goals and dreams for the foundation in the beginning stages and asked if I would be interested in being a mentor.

What makes TBF a special organization?
The mentors and students build strong relationships. TBF finds each student’s strengths and interests and nurtures individuality and leadership.

What is your favorite thing about being involved with TBF or your favorite activity?
My favorite thing is seeing the kids each week, and I love listening to what students write during journaling.



Mr. Abdul
Mentee: Dejiah

How/why did you become a mentor with TBF?
I wanted to give back to the community. Miss Caty came to my college and talked about TBF, and I’ve wanted to help with the progress ever since.

What makes TBF a special organization?
I feel that the students make this place special. Their different personalities make this place unique.

What is your favorite thing about being involved with TBF or your favorite activity?
I like being able to meet up with my student on a weekly basis. This place helps me feel that I am needed and loved.

Miss Kelly
Mentee: Shawnn Michael

How/why did you become a mentor with TBF?
I became a mentor because I knew some other mentors, and they loved it. So, I decided to see what it was about. I immediately loved it, and it means the world to me to help the kids. I recently got a tattoo of The Brandon Foundation’s logo as a lifetime reminder of how the organization has impacted my life.

What makes TBF a special organization?
TBF is special because not only do we help the children with their homework, but we also try to teach them about being upstanding Christians and that even though they are young, they can give back to the community and make a difference in the world.

What is your favorite thing about being involved with TBF or your favorite activity?

My favorite thing about being involved with the foundation is helping the kids.


Thank you for reading!
Abby Bormann & The Brandon Foundation

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And Now…A Word from Our Scholars

In the fall, you heard a lot about what The Brandon Foundation does and is. To start out 2017, I wanted to offer some perspective about what The Brandon Foundation means to our scholars and mentors. With that, I leave you to read a few words from our scholars.

An Interview with Aaliyah and Edyn

What is your favorite activity at The Brandon Foundation?
Aaliyah: Inspirational videos at the end of The Brandon Foundation

Edyn: Service projects because I feel like I’m doing something good. My favorite service project was the first one I did, with Kids Against Hunger.


What is the most important thing you’ve learned at The Brandon Foundation?
A: Learning about God.

E: Don’t let anyone stop you from achieving your goals and dreams. I dream of becoming an actress and traveling the world before I leave this world.

Aaliyah, what are your goals?
A: My dream is to become a vet. My short-term goal is to continue to achieve Honor Roll and to exceed the expectations for Honor Roll.

Who was your favorite speaker and why?
A & E: The Christian rapper Mickey Young was their favorite guest speaker because people doubted him and told him he couldn’t become a successful Christian rapper, but he kept going and grew his career how he wanted to.

What is a new experience that you’ve been able to have because of The Brandon Foundation?
E: I got to try karate at The Brandon Foundation, and afterwards I joined a karate class. I liked the self-defense aspect of it.

A: I enjoyed trying sculpting and step dancing for the first time.


Survey responses from De’Aundre and Isaiah

De’Aundre
What is the most important thing you’ve learned at TBF?
I learned about hard work and dedication.

What is your favorite thing to do at TBF?
Bonding with my mentor

Who was your favorite speaker?
Christian rapper Mickey Young aka Deven Bridges

Isaiah
What is the most important thing you’ve learned at TBF?
I learned to dream big and keep working hard. This is important to me so that I won’t end up like my father.

What is your favorite thing to do at TBF?
My favorite thing is talking to my mentor because she gives me wisdom.

Who was your favorite speaker?
I don’t know; I guess all of them.




Come back in March to read about our mentors!

Thank you for reading!
Abby Bormann & The Brandon Foundation

30 Things The Brandon Foundation Is Thankful for

November is the month of Thanksgiving. The holiday was originally celebrated to give thanks for the harvest and preceding year. At The Brandon Foundation, we have so much to be thankful for, and we wanted to share a few of those things with you! Here are 30 things we’re thankful for, one thing for each day in the month of November.

  • Jesus, our Lord and Savior through whom all things are possible
  • That we are an organization guided by God through our purpose
  • Miss Caty, our Founder and Executive Director
  • Our Scholars
    • Aaliyah, Auntral, Darrell, DeAundre, Deijah, DJ, Edyn, Elijah, Ethann, Isaiah, Josh, Malakhi, Medina, Noel, Saphia and Shawnn Michael
  •  Our Mentors
    • Mr. Abdul, Mr. Albert, Miss Aly, Miss Brittany, Mr. Chuck, Miss Dawn, Mr. Drew, Miss Jasmine, Miss Kelly, Mr. Nik, Miss Sara
  • Our Board of Directors
    • Miss Cadie, Mr. Chris, Miss Melissa, Miss Rebecca and Miss Tara
  • Miss Khiala, our Assistant Director
  • The parents of our scholars who support us all every step of the way
  • Our Fundraising Committee
    • Miss Brie and Miss Jen
  • Our Volunteer Marketing Expert
    • Miss Abby
  • Our Corporate Sponsors
    • Big City Cars, Calico Precision Molding, Holm Reporting & Video, Northside Plumbing and Sweeney Law Firm
  • Our Donors & Supporters
  • Our families
  • Our Guest Speakers
  • Opportunities to volunteer and give back to our community
  • Prayer Circle
  • Friendships, old and new
  • Snack Time
  • The opportunity and ability to learn
  • The schools that our scholars attend and their teachers
  • Activities like art, sports, and mindful movement
  • The Fort Wayne Community
  • The many local churches that families of The Brandon Foundation attend
  • St. Henry’s Community Center
  • Group Outings, like the Pacers' game we got to see last Friday
  • Kava the therapy dog and his master Miss Angela
  • The Three Rivers Parade
  • Local Universities, especially IPFW and St. Francis
  • Indiana Youth Institute who helped in our strategic planning as well as with training for mentors and board members
  • Giving Tuesday and all those helped us raise $1,600, exceeding our goal!

What are you thankful for this holiday season?


Thank you for reading!
Abby Bormann & The Brandon Foundation

The mission, should you choose to accept it: Kindness

Last week as our scholars reflected on the results of our recent presidential election, the discussion turned inward. The President of the United States, together with the other branches of the federal government, holds an enormous amount of power with potential to change the world on a grand scale. But if you’re not POTUS, how can an individual, even a very young one, change the world? The answer The Brandon Foundation discussed was one random act of kindness at a time. From this, came the scholars’ mission to be carried out over the next two weeks. Use $10 to make an impact on their world and spread kindness!

Here are some of the ideas our scholars came up with:

Darrell: Put $10 in a blessing bag that will be handed out to Fort Wayne’s homeless as part of The 
Brandon Foundation’s annual Blessing Bags Project, which will be our December service event.

Malakhi, Ethan & Shawn Michael: Give $2 each to 5 people.

Josh: Buy 5 Bibles to give to 5 people.

Saphia: Buy 24 cupcakes to pass out to people.

Isaiah, Auntral, Medina & DJ: Give $10 to 1 person in need.

Elijah: Give $10 to someone when he next goes out to eat.

DeAundre: Purchase 3 cases of water and write affirmations on each battle. Then pass out the bottles of water to 72 people.




We hope you’ll join Mission: Kindness this week and throughout the holidays!

Don't forget that next Tuesday, November 29th is Giving Tuesday! If you'd like to make a donation to The Brandon Foundation, you can click the "Donate Now" link at the top of our blog page. Our goal for this year's campaign is $1,500.

Also, we are delighted to be one of the many charitable organizations that shoppers can support through AmazonSmile. In case you haven't heard, "AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you." If you go to smile.amazon.com, you can select a charity to support. Then each time you shop, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to the organization. Just make sure that you always shop on smile.amazon.com!

Happy Thanksgiving!
Abby Bormann & The Brandon Foundation

Scholars and World Citizens

Among the qualities that make up a great leader is good citizenship. At The Brandon Foundation, one way that we practice this trait is through monthly community service activities. In fact, we already have almost the whole school year’s volunteer days planned.

For the month of September, thirty scholars, mentors, board and family members volunteered with Kids Against Hunger. Together with thirty-five other teams, more than 100,000 meals were packed to send to families in the Philippines! It was exciting to be part of such an effort, seeing members of the Fort Wayne community come together to aid global citizens half way around the world.

Rebecca Bormann, President of the Board of Directors, said of her experience at the event, “I was very fortunate to have a father who instilled in me the importance of giving back. One of his favorite quotes by Martin Luther King, Jr. is ‘Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, “What are you doing for others?”’ I feel so grateful to be able to help pass this lesson along to our scholars. I love to watch our students generosity out-poured and eagerness to help others!”


Kids Against Hunger is a food-aid organization based in Omaha, Nebraska, with more than 75 satellite locations across the U.S. and Canada. KAH’s goal is to eradicate world hunger, which they do through packaging highly nutritious, fortified soy-rice casserole meals. They partner with other organizations to distribute meals in over 60 countries. Last year, Kids Against Hunger’s packaging centers put together over forty million meals!

Our plans for the upcoming months are:

October  - Lutheran Children’s Hospital – painting pumpkins with patients

November – Community Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Indiana

December – Make and distribute care packages for Fort Wayne’s homeless

January – OPEN

February –Lutheran Children’s Hospital – making Valentine’s cards with patients

March – Lutheran Life Village – visit the elderly

April – St. Mary’s Soup Kitchen

May – OPEN

If you know of any organizations that need a helping hand from our good citizens let us know! We’re still looking for a couple of opportunities yet this year. You can email us at brandonfoundation@hotmail.com. 


We are BLESSED to be a BLESSING!


Thank you for reading!
Abby Bormann & The Brandon Foundation

Planning for the Future: The Brandon Foundation’s Strategic Plan

As The Brandon Foundation’s 4th academic year begins next Tuesday, the Board of Directors has been planning for the many years to come. This summer, The Brandon Foundation Board met with Michael Burns Consulting, LLC to put together a three year strategic plan.


The Board first completed a thorough analysis of what The B Foundation has accomplished so far, where our strengths and weaknesses lie, and which resources are already available to us and which are lacking. After much consideration, they set goals, prioritized them, and considered what steps we need to take to accomplish them.

Here’s a peak into the Board’s assessment of the current Brandon Foundation and the potential future in store for us:

Our greatest strengths are the reputation that we’ve built in the Fort Wayne community and Christian principles that guide us. Our main weaknesses come from the increasing need for volunteers and the limitations of our current facility that we are beginning to outgrow.

SIDE NOTE: If you or someone you know is interested in getting involved, we have a variety of opportunities for YOU! We need mentors, board members, committee participants, grant writers, a mentor coordinator, and an educational consultant! If you don’t have a lot of time to spare for an official position, you can also support us at our events!

The biggest opportunity that we see on the horizon is to find a corporate or private sponsor, which would grow our financial resources. This would allow us to expand the program. However, it is extremely important that we maintain the one-on-one relationships between scholars and mentors, so it will be key to our success to grow only if it makes sense for the organization. We do not want to grow too quickly simply for growth’s sake. The pressure to expand is the biggest threat to The B Foundation as an increase in the number of scholars without an equal increase in mentors will pull us away from one of our core values.

A few of our future goals include: moving into our own facility, additional board members, paid staff members, and honing our governance practices. Our ultimate dream is for current scholars to return to The Brandon Foundation as future mentors!

With the continued encouragement and support of community members like you, we know that we can achieve all that we’ve dreamed and more!

Thank you for reading!
Abby Bormann & The Brandon Foundation


Summer Break for The Brandon Foundation Scholars

Summertime means no school, staying up later, catching lightening bugs in the evening, and SUMMER CAMPS!!! This summer, our students attended many different camps.

Deaundre and DJ picked up some new moves at the Plex Flag Football camp! Through the Plex’s program, Deaundre and DJ learned about being strong and active not only physically but also mentally through hard work, drive, and initiative. Deaundre also performed in the Civic Theatre’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat as a part of the children’s choir!

Isaiah and Auntral went to the Euell Wilson summer camp. The Christian-based organization focuses on helping youth to develop values and skills needed to become contributing citizens and productive leaders. The boys went to teen night and participated in dance team. Auntral got to play football at St. Francis. And to top it all off, they spent a week at Bear Lake! They canoed, slept in a cabin, and roasted marshmallows nightly!

Shawn Michael took gymnastics classes at Gymnastics in Motion. The gym believes in introducing children to healthy physical activity by providing a fun and safe learning environment! Gymnastics in Motion prides itself on keeping class sizes small both for safety and so that students can get the individual attention they need in a positive and helpful atmosphere.

Our girls – Edyn, Medina, and Aaliyah – spent a week in the great outdoors at Camp Michindoh in Hillsdale, Michigan. Michindoh is a Christian-centered camp and conference center on a beautiful 250 acres serving adults and youth of MICHigan, INDiana, and OHio. The girls swam, did lots of activities, and made new friends in a fun and caring environment! I got a chance to speak briefly with the Jackson sisters after they returned from camp, and here’s what they had to say about a few of their favorite things at Michindoh:

Medina loved swimming and going to the chapel every day! Campers went to chapel once in the morning and once in the evening daily. Medina found the chapel sessions to be fun and inspiring!


Aaliyah’s favorite activities at camp were going to chapel, volleyball, crafts, and archery!


Thank you for reading!
Abby Bormann & The Brandon Foundation

The B Foundation's July Community Event

Come out and join us for the Three Rivers Festival Parade!

parade


WHO & WHAT: The Brandon Foundation students, mentors, and supporters will be walking (or riding on our float) in the 48th Annual Three Rivers Festival Parade this weekend! The theme of this year's parade is Indiana's Bicentennial: Celebrate History - Ignite the Future
Be sure to wear your red, white, and blue!

WHEN: Saturday, July 9 starting at 10am

WHERE: Downtown Fort Wayne - from Calhoun St. to Berry St. to Fairfield Ave. to W. Wayne St.

Here's a link to the route map: Parade Route

Come out to support The Brandon Foundation, enjoy the beautiful summer weather, and have a great day of family fun!

Go to http://www.threeriversfestival.org/ for more information about the parade and other events going on downtown Saturday for the Three Rivers Festival!