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Linnie Mae's New Friends

Our lives are busy, work, school, kids, you name it. But one local family has stopped making excuses and made a commitment to give back to our community. Now, they are trying to spread the message to others.
"It's shown what the power of one can do. That one person can step forward, be it a child, be it an adult, and make an incredible difference in this city." -Sally Segerson, Street Reach for the Homeless
The Brown family of Fort Wayne has volunteered with over 100 local organizations and charities over the years. Now, in an attempt to reach even more people, the family decided to write a book.


"We had that moment where we said, 'we need to be doing more to help people.'"

Aaron and Erica Brown wanted to give back. They set out on a mission to volunteer with a different charity or organization each week, for one year.


"We thought we could make an impact, that's where the name came from, for one year, 52 weeks. Well, it's been much greater than that, we're now in the middle of our third year."

Aaron, Erica, and their two daughters, MaKenna and Kelsi, put in countless hours volunteering wherever there was a need. In the summer of 2012, Aaron decided he wanted to step it up a notch.


"We talked about, how can we take the lessons that we've learned as individuals, as a family, and how can we reach people?"


At the end of 2013, the Brown's new book was published. 'Linnie Mae's New Friends' is a children's book that aims to share the message of volunteerism, while battling stereotypes. In the book, Linnie Mae (a character based on both of the Brown's daughters) goes out with her parents to volunteer, helping the homeless.


"She goes from, how could someone who is homeless be your friend, to looking forward to the next time she can go out and help her friends on the street."


Sally Segerson, Founder of Street Reach for the Homeless, works with the homeless community on a weekly basis providing food and clothing to help those without the means to help themselves. She says she appreciates all the hard work the Browns have done to help our community.


"It's shown what the power of one can do. That one person can step forward, be it a child, be it an adult, and make an incredible difference in this city."


The Browns hope the book will inspire a dialogue that breaks down barriers and opens minds and hearts.


"Hopefully teach children not to judge other children or adults, and to really learn more about people."


The thinking in the end is that Linnie Mae's story will become a reality.


"If each of us did one thing, just one thing, what an incredible difference we could make in Fort Wayne."


To purchase a copy of Linnie Mae's New Friends, head to The Book Mark in Fort Wayne, or visit Impact52.org, where copies can be purchased online.
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