Cuts and Convos

At long last, we are happy to unveil our second contestant in this month’s SoupGrant, Cuts and Convos. While you’ll get to hear a lot more from Jonathan next week about this project, here’s a little sneak preview.

Tell us a little about Cuts and Convos.

We go to the homeless shelter and provide hair cutting services. While we are there, we leverage the fact that cutting hair creates a captive audience that will allow us to disseminate health, spiritual, and legal information and advice. The vision is to not only do this for homeless people but for all types of indigent Lansing residents.

If you win SoupGrant, how will you use the money?

We need $400 to pay for the 501(c)3 application

Cuts and Convos

How is this going to benefit Lansing?

Cuts and Convos does three things:

1. When you look good, you feel good. Everyone knows that is true. There are very few populations that need to feel good more than our city’s homeless population. We make them feel God.

2. Our goal is to help transition people out of homelessness. A crucial component in doing that is helping homeless people become gainfully employed. Being clean cut and clean shaven is a key requisite to the interview process in order to become gainfully employed, we help with that

3. We leverage the time in which the person getting a haircut, and those waiting for a haircut are a captive audience to speak to the homeless men about important health, spiritual, and legal information that will be essential to them.

To hear more about Cuts and Convos and our other presentation on Lansing Soccer Club, join us December 18 at 6.30 for SoupGrant! A $5 donation gets you a vote to support the project of your choice. Whichever one is the runner-up will automatically be offered a place in our January SoupGrant.

While you hear about these great community projects, enjoy homemade soup and bread! Chef Terry and friends always serve up a delicious buffet for us full of healthy options – including many vegetarian and vegan options.

When? Dec 18. Doors – 6.30. Presentations – 7.15. Winner announced – 7.45.
Where? Grace Lutheran ELCA. 528 N MLK Blvd. (Near Sparrow’s St. Lawrence campus.)
How much? $5 for a vote. Soup is free.
Why? To support #LoveLansing. Don’t forget to bring a bowl, a spoon, and a friend!

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Lansing Soccer Club

Our Dec. SoupGrant is fast approaching and we hope that you’re making plans to attend. If so, please RSVP on the Facebook page! It helps us know how many people to count on and it’s the fastest way we have of sharing the latest event info with you.

This month’s first presentation comes to us from the Lansing Soccer Club. Here’s a sneak preview of what’s to come Dec. 18 at SoupGrant!

Lansing Soccer Club

Tell us a little about the Lansing Soccer Club.

The Lansing Soccer Club is seeking funding to improve our soccer fields and also to replace outdated and damaged equipment. In the past year, our fields have experienced multiple acts of vandalism that have damaged our fields and equipment and also created a dangerous environment for our teams to practice and play on. The mission of the Lansing Soccer Club is to provide high quality soccer for Lansing’s under-served youth at the lowest cost possible, for this reason the organization cannot afford these repairs without raising our fees or seeking outside funding.

 If you win SoupGrant, how will you use the money? 

Funding will be used to purchase supplies to repair the field surfaces and purchase new equipment. Items we need to purchase include soil, sand, grass seed, paint, and the tools necessary to plant and repair grass. Labor to complete these projects will be provided by volunteers from the club’s membership. Any money provided by SoupGrant will be used along side private donations to complete this project. In the event that the project runs under budget, any leftover funds will be used to provide more scholarships to club members with financial constraints.

Check back on Dec. 12 when we will be announcing our second contestant for this month’s SoupGrant. Want to apply? You have until Dec. 10!

Join us Dec. 18 to hear more from Lansing Soccer Club and our second project that we will be featuring.

When? Dec. 18
Time? Doors at 6.30. Presentations at 7.15. Winner announced at 7.45.
How much? Soup is free; a vote to fund the project of your choice is $5
Where? Grace Lutheran ELCA (528 N MLK near Sparrow’s St Lawrence campus)
What do you need to bring? $5 for a vote; a bowl; spoon; friends

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REACH Wins November SoupGrant

Congratulations to Reach Studio Art Center on winning $169 at Soup Grant Lansing last night! We’re looking forward to coming by and seeing the finished place down in REO Town! (And some great art!)

Although Lansing Area AIDS Network didn’t win, we believe in their work and want to support them. LAAN provides comprehensive services throughout the Greater Lansing area, including social outlets and safe forums where folks living with AIDS/HIV can find mutually beneficial support. To that end, we’ll be asking our December SoupGrant attendees to bring in items for their pantry. The most needed items are personal hygiene items – everything from toilet paper to hair care items (for all hair types!), toothbrushes and toothpaste, detergent, etc. We’re hoping to have someone from LAAN back in December so that we can present your donations to them in person! We’re excited to combine our donations with last month’s winner, the FFA Agribusiness Students from Clinton County, who also pledged to hold a drive for personal hygiene and food items this holiday season! There’s some serious power in community, and Lansing is a great one!

Mark your calendars for December 18! We already have the Lansing Soccer Club scheduled to join us. If you would like to be our second presenter, fill out an application! It’s easy and only takes a few minutes! Deadline for application is Dec. 10. We’ll notify our second contender by Dec. 12 and announce it at the same time.

Check out Facebook and Twitter for all the latest on SoupGrant. See you next month! (And don’t forget to bring along a donation for LAAN!)

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Always plenty of delicious food to go around at SoupGrant! (Did we mention that it’s free, homemade, and healthy, too?)

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Winner

Heather with our November winner, Alice from Reach Studio Art Center in REO Town! The $169 that our attendees raised will go to help with art installations at their newly renovated facility on Washington Ave.

Winner 2

Joel from the SoupGrant team with our November winner, Reach Studio Art Center, represented by Alice.

Tea

LAAN

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Audrey from Lansing Area AIDS Network talking about their work in the region.

LAAN provides comprehensive services throughout the Greater Lansing area, including social outlets and safe forums where folks living with AIDS/HIV can find mutually beneficial support. While LAAN didn’t win our November SoupGrant, we are asking all of our supporters to please bring in items for their food pantry at our December SoupGrant! The most urgently needed items are personal care items: hair products (for all hair types), toilet paper, toothpaste, toothbrushes, laundry detergent, etc. Please bring in your items on Dec 18 where we will present them to LAAN!

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Next SoupGrant Nov 20!

Our next SoupGrant is coming up fast! We have two phenomenal presentations headed your way. First, though, here are a couple ways you can help us out as we get ready for our Nov 20 dinner!

  • RSVP - join our Facebook event page! 
  • Want to make soup or another dish to pass? E-mail us at SoupGrantLansing@gmail.com!
  • Have any extra canned goods in your pantry? Bring them in! Our dinners are 100% donation-based. Our Soup Chef Terry makes delicious soup out of some pretty unexpected ingredients!

Now on to the important stuff – this month’s presenters.

First up, the Lansing Area AIDS Network will be joining us again after losing a very close contest in October. 

Here’s a quick word about LAAN:

LAAN was established in 1985 by a group of dedicated volunteers, to meet community needs arising from HIV/AIDS. LAAN dedicated itself to the delivery of services and programs to meet the needs of those living with HIV and AIDS. This included programs to help prevent the further spread of HIV. LAAN also established its purpose: to respond effectively, knowledgeably and compassionately to the challenges brought about by the AIDS pandemic. Since its inception, LAAN has focused on the provision of services to people living with HIV/AIDS and those at greatest risk of infection. The Food Pantry program has been part of the services provided by LAAN since its origins and a program for which the agency is quite proud.

If LAAN wins, how will they use the money?

Any funds secured through the SoupGrant program will be used to assist in providing critically needed personal care items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, and soaps in the Food Pantry. The items can not be purchased with other funding.

Shawn from Lansing Area AIDS Network (LAAN) - she'll be back in November to present again

Shawn from Lansing Area AIDS Network (LAAN) – she’ll be back in November to present again

Our second project is REACH Studio Art Center from REO Town. We’re very excited to welcome them for the first time!

Here’s a little info on REACH:

For the past 10 years, REACH Studio Art Center has been providing free and low-cost after school programs for Lansing youth in the arts. Since its beginnings, enrollment has grown 333%, leaving the 1,100 sq ft building bursting at the seams with supplies, projects, staff and students. With community support, REACH purchased five empty store fronts along S Washington Ave and is in the process of redeveloping the block into an expanded community arts center. Right now, REACH is in a crowd-funding campaign with the potential, if our $48,000 goal is met, to receive a 1:1 match grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

If REACH wins, here are their plans:

The money will be used to complete construction of the Youth Gallery and Courtyard phase of our expansion.

Come by and hear more from them while you enjoy a delicious bowl of homemade soup! Your $5 donation secures a vote for the project of your choice. At the end of the night, the project with the most votes will take home the money we collect as our SoupGrant!

This week’s soups (updated 11/17):

  • Cabbage soup
  • Pumpkin soup

Where? 528 N. MLK (Grace Lutheran ELCA)
How much?
Dinner is free; 1 vote = (suggested) donation of $5
When? Thursday, Nov 20

6.30 – Doors
7.15 – Presentations begin
7.30 – Voting opens
7.45 – Winner announced

Don’t forget. SoupGrant is BYOB – bring your own bowl! 

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Clinton County FFA Wins October SoupGrant

A huge thank you to everyone who came out to SoupGrant Thursday night! We had a great crowd with us and lots of good discussion.

First, congratulations to the Clinton County FFA Student Agribusiness on taking home $149 to get their business launched! They will be using the money to purchase supplies to set up a business that will give them the opportunity to sell locally-sourced products and gain experience in agribusiness.

Second year students from the Clinton County FFA Agribusiness group

Second year students from the Clinton County FFA Agribusiness group

The FFA (Future Farmers of America) students are about more than just business, though!

Our FFA Chapter is focused on service learning and we believe in the idea of “paying it forward.” There are 20 of us, and for every dollar that is donated to our project start-up fund, we will donate one man-hour of community service time in the community as a way to “pay it forward.”

Even though the Lansing Area AIDS Network (LAAN) came in a very close second place, as often happens at SoupGrant, we really had two winners tonight. The Clinton Co. FFA students offered to dedicate their holiday food drive to the LAAN food pantry and also collect in-demand items such as toiletries. On top of that, someone left a $20 donation anonymously for LAAN. We’re pleased to announce that LAAN will be joining us again on November 20 for our next SoupGrant competition!

Shawn from Lansing Area AIDS Network (LAAN) - she'll be back in November to present again

Shawn from Lansing Area AIDS Network (LAAN) – she’ll be back in November to present again

If that weren’t enough, Danielle from Mid-Mitten Homemade updated us on the incredible work that’s going on working with immigrant and refugee communities in the Lansing area. We’ll be sure to keep you posted on upcoming events in the year ahead – we are so thrilled at Danielle’s commitment to bringing folks together from across all cultures and backgrounds here in Lansing!

Good friend of SoupGrant and past winner Danielle from Mid-Mitten Homemade

Good friend of SoupGrant and past winner Danielle from Mid-Mitten Homemade

To top everything off, we were humbled tonight to receive an outpouring of support for Joel on his run this Sunday at the Detroit Marathon! Attendees made $136 in donations to our Indiegogo campaign, bringing our total to $456 so far! You have until Monday to chip in. Once more, thank you! We couldn’t do this without our awesome Soup Family.

We’ll be posting photos from Thursday night over the weekend – ChaDorea, the organizer of D.A.N.C.E., was kind enough to take photos for us! Thank you, ChaDorea!

Soup Master Terry

Soup Master Terry

The SoupGrant Team

The SoupGrant Team

Eating healthy - and working out!

Eating healthy – and working out!

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Oktoberfeast

Our next SoupGrant is already upon us! It snuck up just as fast as this beautiful, cool fall weather – and you know what goes well with cool fall weather? You guessed it! Soup!

As usual, Soup Master Terry is hard at work making delicious soup for us. This week’s menu includes:

  • Black bean soup (vegan)
  • Carrot coriander
  • Cauliflower chowder
  • Kale orzo soup
  • Mystery soup

Thursday night is also going to be jam-packed with some great presentations.

First, we’re thrilled to have past winner Mid-Mitten Homemade back with us! Danielle, the founder of the group, has been a tremendous friend to us at SoupGrant and is always up to something new and exciting. MMH won our February SoupGrant and we’ve been trying hard to get them back ever since!

Danielle explains Mid-Mitten Homemade at our February SoupGrant.

Danielle explains Mid-Mitten Homemade at our February SoupGrant.

Then we’ve got a great pair of presenters who will be competing for this month’s SoupGrant: the Lansing Area AIDS Network and second year students from an Agricultural Food and Natural Resources program just north of Lansing in Clinton County.

Here’s a quick word about LAAN:

LAAN was established in 1985 by a group of dedicated volunteers, to meet community needs arising from HIV/AIDS. LAAN dedicated itself to the delivery of services and programs to meet the needs of those living with HIV and AIDS. This included programs to help prevent the further spread of HIV. LAAN also established its purpose: to respond effectively, knowledgeably and compassionately to the challenges brought about by the AIDS pandemic. Since its inception, LAAN has focused on the provision of services to people living with HIV/AIDS and those at greatest risk of infection. The Food Pantry program has been part of the services provided by LAAN since its origins and a program for which the agency is quite proud.

If LAAN wins, how will they use the money?

Any funds secured through the SoupGrant program will be used to assist in providing critically needed personal care items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, and soaps in the Food Pantry. The items can not be purchased with other funding.

And here’s some more info about our second presenter, the Agricultural Food and Natural Resources program:

We are the second year students in a Agriculture Food and Natural Resources Program in Clinton County. We joined the second year of the program so that we could learn about Agribusiness and Leadership and participate in an internship experience. We are excited to learn about entrepreneurship through a real experience and we are all striving to strike it rich in this business so that our college is paid for!

If the Agricultural Food and Natural Resources program wins, how will they use the money?

We need some money for start-up costs. Specifically we need money to purchase supplies to add value to the products we already have to sell. We want to make pesto and gourmet cooking oils. We grew our own basil and herbs, but we need money to buy other ingredients (such as olive oil and parmesan cheese) and some equipment such as a food processor.

We are so thrilled to have these two great contestants joining us Thursday night. Come by and hear more from them while you enjoy a delicious bowl of homemade soup! Your $5 donation secures a vote for the project of your choice. At the end of the night, the project with the most votes will take home the money we collect as our SoupGrant!

Where? 528 N. MLK (Grace Lutheran ELCA)
How much?
Dinner is free; 1 vote = (suggested) donation of $5
When? Thursday, October 16

6.30 – Doors
7.15 – Presentations begin
7.30 – Voting opens
7.45 – Winner announced

Don’t forget. SoupGrant is BYOB – bring your own bowl! 

To RSVP and for all the latest info, join our Facebook event page!

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Seven Reasons You Should Love Soup

Our next SoupGrant is approaching – fast.

We’ve noticed a lot of you liking us and following us online (thank you!), but we haven’t seen all of you at our SoupGrant dinners just yet!

While we realize that a lot of folks can’t make it for some very good reasons, we have the feeling that at least a couple of you just need a little incentive to come join us!

So we came up with seven reasons why you should show SoupGrant some love and join us October 16 for our next dinner!

7. We do the cooking for you. If we can be honest for a minute, by the time Thursday rolls around, we’re all tired and no one really wants to cook dinner. SoupGrant is a great – and cheap – alternative to eating out! (If you happen to love cooking dinner on Thursdays, call us.)

6. Meet some new friends. The Soup Family is a great group of people and we’d love to meet you!

New Logo for application

5. Eat healthy. Not only do we cook for you, you can be sure that you’ll be eating healthy! Our soups are usually vegetarian and we promise to always have at least one vegan option available after our little incident in September (sorry, Yvonne!).

4. You could win money! No, really. You could! Every SoupGrant we award a micro-grant to a project that’s working to make a positive impact on the Lansing community. We’re not a bank, so we won’t be reviewing your financial history. It’s up to our Soup Family to decide who will go home with the money we raise. Want to be one of our presenters? Here’s more info if you’re interested in applying.

The SGL team (Heather, Joel, and Terry) with June winner, Terra

The SGL team (Heather, Joel, and Terry) with June winner, Terra

3. Cooking lessons. The Soup Master may have a couple pointers for you to help you with your cooking. Chef Terry is a culinary genius and can make anything out of nothing. Seriously. Ask her for a couple pointers!

2. Networking. You never know just who might be listening in while you’re making your pitch! Our gatherings are intimate and truly conducive to networking. Over the past year, we’ve seen some great connections happen during our SoupGrant dinners. Even if your project doesn’t come out on top when the votes are tallied, you’re still gaining a room-full of fans from across greater Lansing. Check out this story from last month about Go Green Trikes. They didn’t win, but still made some very rewarding contacts that evening.

1. Giving back never tasted so good. When you donate $5 at the door, you can be sure that the money you’re giving is going right back into the Lansing community to power change in the local economy. We’re a diverse, talented, hardworking bunch here in Lansing! So while you’re enjoying a bowl of delicious soup, sit back, listen, and enjoy the deep satisfaction that comes from homemade food, new friends, and knowing that your $5 vote is doing great things in your city!

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Will Run for Soup

Hi.

I’m going to be running my first marathon this fall in Detroit. This has been a dream of mine since running the Riverbank Run 25k in Grand Rapids in 2011.

Running this marathon in Detroit has personal significance for me. Detroit is a city of resilience, creativity, and tremendous strength and I couldn’t be more proud to be running in this one-of-a-kind, unique place.

While a lot of people like the “branding” of Detroit and the toughness associated with it, I don’t make the reference for self-aggrandizement. Detroit has inspired me in a very specific, significant way through a local organization, Detroit SOUP, which has changed my thinking about what it means to participate in community.

SOUP is simple: It’s a monthly gathering where several members of the community get the opportunity to present a project that in some way will benefit the city. It could be anything. It could be a theatre company or a farmers’ market or a dance company for low-income kids or a project to teach kids about gardening and healthy eating. Attendees donate $5 the night of the event and in return receive a vote for the project of their choice as well as a bowl of soup, bread, and salad which are all available free-of-cost. At the end of the night, the project with the most votes wins and takes home the money raised.

The action is democratic, immediate, and community-rooted.

Having heard so much about Detroit SOUP and the amazing things that they do, I was ecstatic when I saw a poster for something called SoupGrant right here in Lansing! SoupGrant Lansing is based on the same model as Detroit SOUP. I joined the SoupGrant team, and I’m proud to say we are a small, passionate, hard-working team! None of us does this for a living. We are just volunteers who love our city and are committed to bringing people together from every corner of it.

As I prepare to run the Detroit Marathon, I’m running for more than myself.The SoupGrant team is focused on continuing to promote positive growth in Lansing through SoupGrant. Would you be willing to sponsor my run in support of SoupGrant Lansing? Your money would be well spent, as SoupGrant has made a great impact in just one year! Here is just a snapshot:

And that’s just scratching the surface. Much of what we do is difficult to quantify since SoupGrant Lansing is an organization grounded in building relationships. We have made some wonderful connections in our first year in Lansing and we’re slowly growing the “Soup Family.”

While our monthly SoupGrants have been relatively small in size (generally around $100, though we have raised as much as $260 in a single night), we believe that we are laying the groundwork for a long-term, sustainable project that will stimulate entrepreneurship, heighten awareness of issues facing different parts of our community, and encourage community engagement.

This is why we need your help! Since SoupGrant isn’t our “job,” we can’t go out into the community all day to talk about it with folks. Moreover, much of what we do comes out of pocket. Besides giving of our time, we have paid out-of-pocket for printing, advertising, and soup supplies. By giving to SoupGrant, you are giving back to the Lansing community by broadening our scope and strengthening our ties as we provide and promote a forum for creative projects and partnerships in our community.

The SOUP model is truly unique and something we hope that you will come to experience for yourself – whether in Lansing, Detroit, or elsewhere. The movement is spreading one bowl of soup at a time.

To make a donation, visit our Indiegogo campaign.

Joel

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SoupGrant. In one awesome video.

A huge thank you to our friends at Narrative Machine for coming up with this video that helps us boil SoupGrant down to share with the community!

Want to help us say thank you? Chip in on our Indiegogo campaign page! Joel, one of our organizers, is running the Detroit Marathon in less than a month and raising $1,000 for SoupGrant in the process!

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Teens LOL TV Wins September SoupGrant

Teens LOL TV won tonight’s SoupGrant competition, taking home $165 help bolster funding for their TV show and teen mentoring program here in Lansing.

The grant is the second-largest we’ve awarded, and we’re very pleased to see it go to such a worthy cause!

We also have to say a huge thank you to Yvonne from Go Green Trikes for returning to present a second time and for her total commitment to the Lansing community.

Although she didn’t win tonight, we do want to share this message that Yvonne posted to her Facebook page this evening:

Well, Go Green Trikes, LLC didn’t win the Soup Grant Lansing pot tonight, but we got the word out about our RACK program to a whole new group of people, and that’s more important in my book.

One neat story from tonight: After the vote (up against a teen group, and many of their extended family and church friends were in the audience), someone from one of the teen’s families came over and made sure I knew why and her family had to vote the way they did. It turns out, though, that she got to see one of my trikes in action during the Fourth of July parade and she finished her chat with me by saying something like she knew I had a good heart and that my reward would be coming. The very next person to come talk to me said something like, “I just lost a cycling friend, and I want to make a donation to your RACK program in her honor.” Talk about fast-acting rewards!

So moved and touched by this. I’d already signed up to be part of a ride in her friend’s honor.

This is what SoupGrant Lansing is all about. We couldn’t be more pleased to hear that Yvonne’s RACK (Random Acts of Community Kindness) program received this donation and we can’t wait to hear more from Go Green Trikes in the future as Yvonne finishes a terrific first year of business here in Lansing.

We also made our HUGE announcement to our Soup Family last night that we will be partnering with Detroit SOUP, Flint SOUP, and GR’s Sunday SOUP to present at NASW’s LEAD (Legislative, Education, & Advocacy Day) in Lansing at the end of October! This is an incredible opportunity to share the SOUP model with hundreds of social work students from across Michigan. We’re honored to be presenting alongside some real experts who have been a part of the SOUP movement for years now, and we hope to learn a lot from them, too!

Finally, Joel talked about running the Detroit Marathon in a month and how he’s using this as a platform to raise money for SoupGrant! Thank you to last night’s attendees for chipping in $20! Want to help keep SoupGrant going? Check out our Indiegogo page!

Check out some photos from tonight:

Soup line 1

Soup 1

Pamphlets

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Yvonne telling the crowd about Go Green Trikes.

Heather talking to the crowd as we get ready to hear from our presenters.

Heather talking to the crowd as we get ready to hear from our presenters.

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Adam explaining Teens LOL TV to the crowd.

Adam explaining Teens LOL TV to the crowd.

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Adam 2

Heather presenting Teens LOL TV with the SoupGrant - and making a guest appearance on LOL TV!

Heather presenting Teens LOL TV with the SoupGrant – and making a guest appearance on LOL TV!

Again, congrats to Teens LOL TV! Could your idea be next? Our next dinner is October 16. Applications due October 10.

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