Sunday, November 7, 2010

Messiah Lutheran Church VBS sends a check

Brett recieved a letter in the mail today formt he director of the VBS at Messiah Lutheran church in Lewiston, NY. They heard about Brett's project from my mother and chose it for this year's beneficiary of their VBS collection.

NMCC kids voted Lifestraw!!

The children's collection has grown over the last 4 years to just over $2000. Last week the choices were presented to the children that the money could be sent to from each class ($400 per class). They were Lifestraw, the cove, and an orphanage in Mexico. Today each class voted, the 3/4th grade group voted 13/1 for Lifestraw. 3 other classes also chose Lifestraw and one class did not vote yet.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Essex Rotary Club

After several rescheduled dates, Brett made it to a dinner meeting at the Essex Yacht Club to present his project to the Essex Rotary Club. Our whole family joined him and it was a great night. He amazed me with the amount of information he was able to share during each slide. As we sat at the table before he went on, I overheard him tell Judy that he had a message for them from the Devon Rotary Club. it was that they had given him a check for $300 and that they should try to beat that. She stood up and announced the message to the whole group and one woman responded that if each person gave $20, they would have $400, well over the goal. And, they did, one at a time, they stood up and gave $20 and many kind words of praise for Brett and his efforts. I appreciated that someone mentioned how nice it was to see our whole family there to support him.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Devon Rotary Club

Brett presented to te Devon Rotary Club at a breakfast meeeting morning at the Stonebridge restaurant in Milford. At the end, they presented him with check for $300.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Home Water Consumption Calculator

I was shocked by the amount of water we use on a daily basis in our home!! And, we were on the low side compared to national averages.

Friday, July 16, 2010


Jen Matteis came to our house to interview for The Source today. He was a little nervous, but as usual, handled it very well. She said it will run in the next week or two.

Lemonade Stand

Skylar had a lemonade stand today and decided to pass out information and sell crazy straws for donations. She raised $10 and gave out many of his business cards with his website information and is hopeful people will check it out and donate.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Brett won an itunes card

Brett got a letter in the mail today telling him that his cause raised the most money a few weeks ago on, so they sent him an itunes card for a prize!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Lost emails

From the very beginning correspondence with Brett's prinicpal, I saved every email that I sent and received regarding Lifestraw. Today I found out that they all disappeared when my hard drive failed. I am so upset that Brett will never read all of the wonderful notes that so many people wrote about how proud they were of him and inspired by his actions. His grandparents, his teachers and principals, his aunts and uncles, our friends, some of the Rotarians from CT and FL, the manufacturers of the Lifestraw at Vestergaard Frandsen, people from St. Andrews church. Too many to recreate, but all with the same messages of praise. Even though you will not hear their own words Brett, you really touched people with what you have done. No one is more proud of you than your mom and dad.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Friday, June 25, 2010

St. Andrew's VBS

Brett spoke to St. Andrew's Church filled with children and their parents about his project and how he got started. They used him as their role model for VBS 2010 and raised $200. Many adults took Brett's card to get more information an came up to me with appreciation for what he is doing.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Stomach Bug

We all were sick this week with a nasty stomach bug that had us dehydrated and thirsty. I was never so aware of how lucky I was as a mother to have such easy access to clean cold water to give to my children. The thought of watching them die a slow and agonizing death in front of my eyes from dirty or lack of clean water was unbearable.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


sent a letter to oprah today, we'll see...

Friday, May 14, 2010

Brett won a custom badge

Brett won a custom designed badge for being the top fundraiser this week. It has his picture and says causeshare superstar. Very cool!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Ryan's Well the kids and Aiden to the Guildford Library to see the short film about Ryan's Well. We were the only people there to see it. The foundation was started by a 7 year old trying to earn $70 to over a million dollars and countless lives changed. It was so touching and inspiring. I felt like it was about Brett and saw what an impact he is making already. Made a connection with Salisha who offered to help spread the word about Brett's project. And the woman from the library told us to hang a poster there.

Monday, May 10, 2010


Just submitted Brett's story to the Ellen show. They are taking stories from kids under 11 with any kind of talent. I had been thinking about it, but my cousin Rene suggested I do it this morning, so I did.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Night of Songs

What an amazing night! They raised over $850 in donations for Lifestraw! Brett went up on stage before intermission and spoke. He was up there on crutches because he twisted his ankle an hour before we weer supposed to leave for the show, so he looked extra pathetic. Matt, Johnny and Hannah were great with him and let him sit back stage for the first half of the show. We set up a table with his poster, straws, almanac, and powerpoint on Bill's laptop and he had cards to hand out with his info on them.
When they gave him the mike he stood there for a minute with it, said "HI", everyone answered him with Hi's and applause, then he stands there for a second and says "make some noise" so everyone screams and claps for him. He said very slowly and clearly, "Thank you all for coming tonight, you helped us a lot and by us I mean, children in Africa and Haiti" You could hear girls saying he's so cute, and some said it right behind Skylar. She turned around quickly with a big proud smile and said "That's my brother"

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Causeshare Blog on Brett


When Matt Gregory called to ask Brett if he could come to the Hand High School Night of Songs, he didn't hestitate to choose it over going to the circus for the first time.
The Hartmanns bought our tickets from us so we got tickets for Saturday's show.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


When I told Brett that he got an invitation from the Essex Rotary Club to present at a dinner meeting at the Essex Yacht Club, he said "Why did I even start this?" I asked him what he meant, and he said he was feeling "pressure". I told him I understood how he was feeling and that it was OK to feel that way. I asked if he was feeling pressure about tomorrow night at the High School and he quickly said, "No". So I said then don't worry about anything because we have nothing planned for after that. The dinner could be sometime in the future, if he wants to do it. I need to keep the pace at one thing at a time, so he does not feel overwhelmed. Thinking the High School will give him confidence and momentum.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Phone Interview with Cause Share

Dave Adams called Brett after school today to talk to him and ask him some questions about his project. He will be featuring Brett on their blog. We thought it was going to be a Skype interview so Brett changed into a nice shirt and got ready to sit down at the table. But, when dave called he wanted to stay on the phone which ended up being much better for Brett so he could walk around while he talked. He did a great job answering all of the questions, some he has given before, some were new. I video taped it, am anxious to see how it came out.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Call from Matt

Matt Gregory called today, he got my number from Sue, and told me that each year the high school has a Night Of Song which they use to donate ticket sales to a charity. This year they decided to pick Brett's Project after Matt shared Brett's website with his group and their teacher. His mother had heard about him at Global Awareness Day and passed his info to Matt.
He asked if Brett could be there Thursday night, and I said of course. But, when I got off the phone I realized it was the night we had our tickets to the circus. When I told Brett everything, he didn't hesitate to say he would rather go to the high school.
The girls weren't so quick to agree, they would rather go to the circus. Abby even said "I wish you never started this thing Brett". But we will try to get tickets for another day.
When I spoke to Matt's mother later, she said they were so impressed with hm at church and that they are still talking about him.

Brett won a dozen roses

Today we got an email from saying that Brett's cause received the most donations this week, so he won a dozen roses that he could send to anyone he wanted.
When I told him the good news, he said he would send some to Grandma, some to Poppy, some to Uncle Chris...and then I told him they all have to go to one person. Not sure who yet...

Friday, April 30, 2010

Does anyone know Dick Benson?

This morning Brett asked if I would bring his presentation and our projector to his class to share. He set it all up in the living room to make sure it worked first and then put it all together for me to bring. I sent his teacher an email asking if she wanted me to come in and then I checked my email frequently because I knew they had snack at 10:30am and I knew he would be persistent with her. Abby and I went in and Brett shared his presentation. He sat on my lap and answered their questions. One girl said she would have been too scared to talk in front of the Rotary Club, and Brett said, "Yes, you've shared that with me before." I told them that Brett was scared before his talk, but he just did it and that I was really afraid to talk to Mrs. Goodman, but you can't be afraid to help people. Then he asked, "Does anyone know Dick Benson?" One of the girls had a father in the Rotary Club and another boy knew him too.
I took the opportunity in the classroom to tell them that you don't need to have website or raise money to help the world. I said if you are just nice to the people in your classroom you can make the world more peaceful. I enjoyed being in the classroom in that way and thought brett and could possibly inspire other kids in other classrooms.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

North Branford Rotary Club meeting

Brett gave his first PowerPoint presentation at the North Branford Rotary Club's dinner meeting at Nataz. He stood at the end of the table, under the screen, in front of about 10 adults. He started out by saying "If anyone has any questions, you can interrupt me." One of the women asked if we are traveling aroun to all Rotary meetings and suggested that we do. Another man suggested getting ahold of the New Haven Register. They were all very kind and supportive of Brett and his project. Thought he may be a future Rotarian.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Skylar's reaction

While I sat with Brett at the computer doing the PowerPoint, Skylar sat at the table saying things like "no one even knows I'm here, and no one cares about me" Eventually it turned into a full meltdown, so I had to really dig deep and figure out how to help her come to terms with the situation. I told her that Bill and I and everyone else know that she is a good and caring person and that she makes good choices and always tries to do the right thing. Brett, on the other hand, has been on the edge of good and bad behavior and this seems to have pulled him over to make better choices especially in school. I thought maybe if she were doing this project and getting all of this attention that he might have decided that she was the "good" one and not even tried anymore.
I also reminded her that after she won the NE wrestling tournament he was so proud of her that he told everyone, including people he just met. She said she tells everyone about Brett's project too. But, I reminded her that he was also very jealous and decided to go to MAWA's and then pouted all day when he didn't win. She is so emotionally mature that she got all of that and was able to relax and get to bed.
Also, she got so much attention throughout wrestling season, no one cared that Brett was there, it was all about her.
From then on, she has handled it very well, she got dressed up to come to dinner without any complaints and seems at peace with it. I suggested maybe she become the treasurer and learn to do an Excel spreadsheet.


I found out that we did have PowerPoint on Bill's laptop, so we sat down to see if we could figure it out. I was intimidated by the idea, but it was very easy to do. Before we went to the computer, though, I had Brett tell me the questions he wanted to answer in his presentation, then we grouped them together and he decided what order they would come in. I tried to keep it in his words and not change too much. We spent about a half hour for 2 nights to get it done and we were both happy with it. I had nothing to compare it to, so that helped.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Global Awareness Day

St. Andrew's Church held a Global Awareness Day so I asked Rachel Salvo if she thought Brett could get a table there. She forwarded his website to Rich Fisler and he said yes. I asked Brett and he wanted to do it, so we set up a table with his poster, almanac and curly straws and he stood there for 2 hours talking to people about his project. It was pretty impressive considering he had a baseball game at 8am, Opening day parade, and had to leave Jack's house to go there. Jack came with him and we let everyone know that he had donated $50 of his 11th birthday money to Lifestraw.
Everyone was very impressed by Brett and very interested in Lifestraw.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Deep River Toy Company

We brought some curly straws and Brett's poster to Janet and she put them up in the store. It was so nice of her to offer to have them in her store.

Email Brett's website

Within minutes of sending out a mass email, donations started coming in. We were going crazy checking it and seeing it add up.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

How Cute

Christine offered to have Brett's straws in How Cute, so we gave her pink and green to match her store. She was so supportive of Brett.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Heard about

Faye sent me an email that was featured in the e-list this week. I am not sure if I would have read about and decided to look at it, if she hadn't suggested it.

Monday, March 29, 2010

CELC Water Workshop

CELCscience of Water Benefit for LifeStraw

In recognition of World Water Week, CELC will host a CELCscience of Water event to benefit LifeStraw®, an affordable water purifier that helps people around the globe to obtain safe drinking water.

Students will explore, through concrete examples and hands-on lab activities, the amount of water available for human use on our planet, chemical properties of water, and more.

This special event will take place on Monday, 29 March from 12:30 p.m. – 2 p.m. at 58 Huckleberry Court in Guilford, CT.

Cost: Monetary donations of any amount will be accepted – all proceeds to benefit LifeStraw®
To RSVP and for more information, contact us by email at or by calling 203-215-2317.


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Call from Mike DeMazza

I got a call this morning from Mike Demazza from the Houstatonic Valley Regional High School, who said he heard about Brtt's project through sandy and wanted to know more about it. When I told him about it, he told me that his high school group raises money for water related issues and that they were going to send Brett a check for $365, a dollar for each day of the year.
He told me that he started the group at the high school about 5 years ago, after reading an article in Time magazine about Lifestraw.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Luau

Brett stayed at the table selling straws and telling people about Lifestraws for four hours with a few breaks here and there to check things out at the Luau. When he stepped away, Skylar would take his place. People were impressed by his presentation and his "salesmanship" qualities. By the end, he was walking around peddling them to anyone who would listen to him.

Monday, March 1, 2010

She said "yes"

On Monday, Mrs. Goodman told him that he could set up a table at the school Luau to sell crazy straws, which the school ordered. And, that he could make a poster to hang up in school.
We had an extra poster board from Skylar's project, so he chose pictures and information from the internet and glued them all on to make a poster.

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Principal's office

Mrs. Goodman emailed me back and said we could come in to talk to her about Brett's idea. When I got to school, she called him down, and he told her about his idea. She said she really liked his idea, it tied in to their upcoming fundraiser for the Clean Water Initiative and that she would talk to the VP about it and let him know on Monday. She told him that he is the kind of student they want at Jeffrey School and said that we should be very proud of him for thinking of people and wanting to help.
After school, Brett told Skylar and Bill that she said he was the best kid in the school, that's how she made him feel.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Just Hit Send

I was terrified to ask brett's principal if he could sell the straws in school. I wrote her email saying that Brett had an idea that he wanted to ask her about and said I would be in school tomorrow afternoon. It took all of my courage to hit send.


I went to and found a ton of information. Who invented it and when, how it works, press on it, and how to donate. I was very impressed by everything I saw. It looks like it is a legitimate product and the donations are being accepted by The Rotary Club, who has credibility behind it.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

How it got started

Driving back to CT, Brett is reading 2009 Kid's alamanac he got as a favor from John Hartmann's birthday party. He says, "Mom, did you know that 6,000 people die every day from water related diseases, most of them children? There's this thing called a Lifestraw that only cost $2, maybe we could raise money at my school for them."