2020 has definitely been a year that we will always remember. For our youth, it has presented many new challenges and changes. Everything that was “normal” and familiar has been exchanged with the strange and unknown. This is particularly true for those children who already exist in a place of trial and hardship. Our community’s unswerving support of Brayden’s Berry Stand has allowed Brayden, and his family, to continue to step into the gap by supporting children in foster care in our county. The My NeighbOR program is an emergency response system through everychildoregon.org, which provides a way for Brayden to use some of the funds he raised to address immediate needs of children and their foster families. This immediate response to needs is a new addition to Brayden’s project, which has had a meaningful impact. Brayden has also continued to make Welcome boxes and Boxes of Love throughout the year. Welcome Boxes are for children awaiting placement with a foster family. Boxes of Love are for newborn babies that are going home from the hospital directly into foster care. Both of these types of support boxes are distributed by Embrace Oregon. You can learn more about these at embraceoregon.org. Brayden continues to have a heart for this mission and is grateful for the continued support of those who share his vision.
The summer of 2017 is off to a berry good start! Brayden’s Berry Stand has been flush with delicious berries and opportunities to spread joy and share about the mission.
Brayden’s Berry Stand is successful, in large part, due to the love and support of our community. We now have two more families donating their home-grown raspberries! This means our family spends many hours hand picking berries at our own property, and now two other properties as well. To our donating families: We owe you much gratitude! For your time, helping us pick, and for your generosity in supporting Brayden’s mission with your bounty.
We began this summer with a wonderful opportunity for Brayden to share about his mission in an interview with KATU’s Debora Knapp. This provided an amazing platform to give voice to the why behind what Brayden does, and to shed light on the wonderful work that Embrace Oregon does supporting foster families.
For the Christmas season, Brayden’s Berry Stand released some of our reserve stock of homemade jams to raise funds for filling Welcome Boxes. We were generously given 24 empty boxes by a staff member at our church, and we felt that Christmas presented us with the perfect opportunity to raise enough money to fill some of those boxes.
We released 70 jars of delicious homemade jams. All jam was made from local berries grown in Canby, OR and generously donated to Brayden’s Berry Stand by Brayden’s grandparents. Once the jam sale was posted, we sold out within hours! The support of Brayden’s mission continues to grow and astound us. The jam sale raised over $375. This meant that we could fill all 24 boxes to bursting!
We were able to deliver the boxes before Christmas in hopes that they would be able to provide comfort to children being placed in to the foster care system in our community.
The growth of Brayden’s Berry Stand this summer was greatly in part to the overwhelming outpouring of support from our community. We are so grateful to our generous community. Our hope is that Brayden’s Berry Stand will not only be the mission of one caring 8 year old boy, but of many more children who have a heart for others. Please enjoy this short video about Brayden’s Berry Stand and his kindness project.
Brayden’s story was featured not only on several cub scout sites, (https://voiceofscouting.org/service-through-lemonade-and-berries), but in our local paper as well (http://portlandtribune.com/wsp/138-schools/312079-190196-cub-scouts-lemonade-stand-proves-fruitful), and again here, (http://portlandtribune.com/wsp/138-schools/318989-197760-brayden-arsenault-makes-good-on-goal-and-then-some?tmpl=component&print=1). Brayden also had the privilege of speaking to our city council about his work in our community.
Brayden’s Berry Stand sells berries only during the summer harvest season. However, Brayden’s Berry Stand Homemade Jam is available while supplies last. This year we have several varieties of jam: Red Raspberry, Golden Raspberry, Marionberry and a Low-Sugar Red Raspberry Jam. All berries are locally grown using good practices to be as organic as possible and then hand picked by our family. The jam sells for $5 per jar and 100% of the profits go towards supporting children in need in our community. Look for gift sets this holiday season!