"Education is not the filing of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." -William Butler Yeats
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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Giving Tuesday: One Week Away!

Have you marked your calendar?

Set your alarm?

Added #GivingTuesday to your To-Do List?

December 1st is a day you won't want to miss! 

Since 2012, #GivingTuesday has inspired giving around the world after the infamous Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and this year, The Brandon Foundation is participating, too.

Our goal? Raise $1,000 on December 1st.
And, if we meet that goal? Miss Caty, our Founder, will be kissing a pig. 

Yes, a real pig.

Please, help us reach our goal by donating to The Brandon Foundation on December 1st. Save the date, and donate by clicking on the "Donate Now" button at the top of this webpage.

Can't donate on December 1st? Please share with friends, families, and businesses who may be interested. Any support, financial or otherwise, is appreciated.

There are many ways to get involved in #GivingTuesday. We encourage you to visit #GivingTuesday to learn more about how you can make a difference.

For our 30 days of thanks, today, Day 24, we are thankful for your giving. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

30 Days of Thanks: Day 9 & 10

Day 9: We are thankful for Delta Sigma Pi, the co-ed, professional, business fraternity at IPFW's Doermer School of Business.

Members of the Delta Sigma Pi have supported The Brandon Foundation by inviting us to some of their networking events. Through these events, we have met some amazing people who are as concerned with giving back to our community as we are! Delta Sigma Pi is always so positive and encouraging, and we are thankful to have a relationship with them.

Day 10: We are thankful for our guest speakers!

We have been so lucky to have so many wonderful people volunteer and make time to visit with our students. Sharing stories and experiences is a priceless gift we can give our children; knowing people have come from similar backgrounds and have overcome struggles to be successful is encouraging to our future leaders. Allowing our students to meet community leaders personally has been so beneficial to helping them set new, long-term goals We've had visitors from local businesses, lawyers, coaches, principals, non-profit organizations, and so many more. Each and every time, our students learn something new and meet another person who has inspired them to make good choices and become successful.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

30 Days of Thanks: Day 7 & 8

Day 7 & 8: We are so very thankful for the teachers and parents of our students!

We are so thankful for the adults in our students' lives. Having the support of our students' teachers has been so beneficial, as we've been able to get reports about their progress in their classrooms. Additionally, parents are committed to getting their children to and from our program each week and support us during our community service projects.

Thank you, teachers and parents, for believing in The Brandon Foundation and for sharing your children with us!

Monday, November 9, 2015

30 Days of Thanks: Day 6

Day 6: We are thankful, grateful, and blessed by St. Henry's Community Center. Being located inside their church and community center has been such a blessing. St. Henry's has provided us with great classroom space, and, with the assistance of one of their employees, Paul, The Brandon Foundation is safe and clean for our students. We are so lucky to have Paul and St. Henry's in our lives; we will be forever grateful for being able to establish and grow our program within theirs. 

30 Days of Thanks: Day 4 & 5

Day 4: We're so thankful for our game room donations! After our students work hard all day, it is so nice for them to have a place to go to relax. Although there have been some serious competitions that have taken place in the game room between mentors and students, the foundation really enjoys the game room and is so grateful to have all the fun items we've received!
Day 5: We are thankful for Miss Teresa! Every week, Miss Teresa visits for our art program. The students really have a great time with her and have learned so much. Having Miss Teresa be a part of the foundation has been such a blessing; the kids love the creative outlet.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

30 Days of Thanks: Day 3

Day 3: We are thankful for... Kava! 

Kava is our therapy dog and friend. Shortly after opening, he became a part of our program. Kava visits our students a few Mondays a month and loves listening to our kids read. Kava (and his owners!) is a huge supporter of The Brandon Foundation, and we are so lucky to have him in our lives. We celebrated his birthday this week, so the students sang to him:

Aaliyah reading to Kava.
Kava waiting patiently for a friend to read.
The birthday dog, Kava!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

30 Days of Thanks: Day 2

Day 2: We are thankful for our young ladies' group, Proverbs 31. 

In September, we formed a group for our girls who are in or approaching high school. The group meets twice a month to discuss the challenges young ladies are faced with, and the obstacles they have to overcome, while becoming women. Founded on the epilogue of the noble woman, these ladies have already discussed many of the virtues and traits found in good, honorable women. Together, they have also talked about the importance of having good role models and being good role models. During these meetings, the young ladies are given an opportunity to open up, be themselves, and share their triumphs and their struggles. Our hope is that these young ladies continue to develop their confidence and share their voices with the people in their lives.

Some of the many topics of discussion for the Proverbs 31 Group.

Founder and Leader of Proverbs 31, Caty, and some of our young ladies.

Monday, November 2, 2015

30 Days of Thanks: Day 1

Throughout November, in honor of Thanksgiving, we decided to participate in the "30 Days of Thanks" project. We often have discussions with the students at the foundation about giving back and becoming the leaders we know they are. So many times, our struggles surface, but, amazingly, our students are quick to remember that their situations could always be worse. Their gratitude and determination impress us, and we want to encourage you to participate in this project with us as we give thanks...

Day 1: We are thankful for our Founder, Caty Holm.

In August 2013, The Brandon Foundation opened its doors, but the idea had been developing for years prior. After graduating from Indiana University, Bloomington (Go Hoosiers!), Caty spent her first year teaching Kindergarten in Carmel, Indiana. For the next 9 years of her ten year teaching career, she taught 2nd and 3rd grade at an inner city school in Indianapolis; it was there that she would meet Brandon and her life would change...

Caty moved back to Fort Wayne after taking a job with Fort Wayne Community Schools as a Reading Interventionist, where she worked for 2 1/2 years. Today, Caty works full time during the day as a Court Reporter for Holm Reporting, a company she owns with her dad, who also plays a vital role in the foundation; she can be found most evenings at the foundation or working on projects or with kids from the foundation.

We asked Caty what motivates her to work so hard, and she was quick to answer:
"I believe that ALL children deserve the opportunity to achieve their dreams no matter what their situation may look like or what their past looks like. My passion as an educator and a leader comes from my own struggles as a child and how I was able to turn my pain into the passion that enables me to live out my purpose and help these kids towards their destiny."

Clearly, our foundation is being guided by a strong leader. Her passion is contagious. If you haven't spent time with her - whether at the foundation or not, you're missing out. Within minutes of meeting Caty, you can see, hear, and feel her passion and vision for her students and for the foundation.

In order to help you get to know her and show you why we are so thankful for her, we asked her some more questions:

What is your favorite song right now? Caty said, "I have two. Anything by Tori Kelly, and 'Good Good Father,' by Chris Tomlin." (Check it out, and let her know what you think!)

Caty is always smiling, which is another thing we love about her, so we asked her what makes her laugh. She gave us a list: "My dad's corny jokes, conversations with our kids are always entertaining, and dinner with good friends always leaves me with sore cheeks from laughing!" 

We're so blessed to have her. This month, you will learn we are thankful for many things, but without Caty's passion, vision, and leadership, The Brandon Foundation would not be the same. Thank you, Caty, for being so selfless and for giving us your everything everyday.