Showing the Love and Shaping the Future

This month we have a special SoupGrant planned to (roughly) coincide with Valentine’s Day!

We love Lansing and we know a lot of folks who love Lansing, too! What better Valentine could we give Lansing than offering our friends and partners in the community a chance to speak out about their work in the region?

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First, we will have a representative from our great friends at Grace Lutheran share a little about some of their programs, including their refugee program!

Second, we are also inviting our long-time friend Aliza from The Food Systems Project to talk about her ongoing work promoting healthy living and eating in Lansing.

Speaking of healthy eating, we will feature our regular assortment of delicious soup from Chef Terry! And, good news, we already have the menu for this month!

  • Kale (vegan)
  • Tuscan bean
  • Potato
  • Onion (gluten free)
  • Venison chile

As always, if you want to bring a pot of soup, a loaf of bread, dessert, or anything else to share, let us know by sending us an e-mail at SoupGrantLansing@gmail.com!

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While we show some friends a little love, we are also going to start talking about shaping our future together! As some of you may have noticed, we started a Meetup group recently.

Let us clarify: Nothing about SoupGrant will be changing as a result of the Meetup group! Rest assured that our monthly dinners will remain the same.

Over the last year we have been privileged to have a phenomenal range of presenters join us at SoupGrant and we have had a lot of our friends go on to get involved with various volunteer opportunities after hearing some of these presentations. We are creating this group in part to help our Soup Family connect with the ongoing work of our friends and partners in the community, but not only that! We are also about bringing people together and so we would like to provide more opportunities for our Soup Family to get together, make friends, share ideas, and grow together in community.

We are going to be asking for your input regarding future events and plans for the Meetup group on February 19, so don’t miss out!

What? Show the Love and Shape the Future SoupGrant
When? Feb 19. Doors at 6.30. Presentations after 7.
How much? Suggested $5 donation for Grace Lutheran
Where? Grace Lutheran ELCA’s basement (528 N MLK blvd near Sparrow Hospital)
Don’t forget a bowl, a spoon, and a friend!

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Cuts and Convos Wins January SoupGrant

We’re a little late in the game on this one, but we don’t want to miss out entirely on letting you know that Cuts and Convos won our January SoupGrant!

Having barely missed out on taking home our December SoupGrant (by a mere three votes!), we invited Jonathan back to compete a second time around in January.

Jonathan’s project really embodied the spirit of SoupGrant and resonated with folks both in December and January as a creative way to help the homeless population in Lansing on multiple levels: physical, spiritual, and legal. As a member of the community, Jonathan wanted to empower folks to go out and seek a better life and have the confidence to do so. (As Jonathan says, “When you look good, you feel good.”) As a law student, Jonathan wanted to be able to provide legal advice. And, last but not least, as a Christian, Jonathan wanted to find a way to encourage and uplift folks with spiritual counsel.

We are excited to see Cuts and Convos take off and become another component of our vibrant city and we want to thank YOU for helping us raise $189 to get them on their way.

One side note: You know, we talk a lot about how SoupGrant just provides a forum for people to get together and do amazing things; this can manifest itself in a lot of different ways. In the past we’ve had people become inspired to do things like hold their own collection drives for the Lansing Area AIDS Network’s pantry. Sometimes people share contacts and knowledge to help others. Sometimes people chip in financially. Well, after awarding Jonathan the $189 you helped raise, we had someone step forward and offer the remaining money needed for Cuts and Convos to get their 501(c)(3) status. Check out more from Jonathan on their website!

We hope that you will join us for a very special Show the Love and Shape the Future SoupGrant in February! Instead of our normal format, we’re going to take a month off to spotlight some of the work that Grace Lutheran does with their refugee program. In addition, we’ll be giving the microphone to some of our friends who have been partnering with us over the past year-and-a-half to put on these events every month! Finally, we’ll be giving you the chance to tell us how you would like to see SoupGrant grow in the months and years to come. We’re a community venture and we can’t do it without you! Wherever we’re going, we’ll get there together!

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Origami

On January 15, we will be welcoming back Jonathan from Cuts and Convos, a close runner-up at our December SoupGrant.

Our second presenter will be Karenia from Origami, a unique group of “providers and caregivers devoted to clients in the rehabilitation process.” Karenia describes herself and her organization in one word: Passionate!

“We are proud to tailor our therapy processes to each individual client.”

Origami makes their clients feel right at home, creating a warm and friendly environment.

“Sometimes its hard for both staff and clients to leave because they really do consider us to be home.”

origamiHere’s a little more info about Origami and what they hope to do with their SoupGrant should they win on January 15.

Tell us a little about Origami.

Origami is working to create a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) Educational Guide for survivors and their support systems. We want to educate the community on traumatic brain injuries and how they can prevent them. In addition, Origami is passionate about bringing this issue to the forefront. With the rise of injuries due to sports or those in the war/combat, in recent years, we want the community to know there is help. The guide will hold brain injury symptoms, strategies, services, resources, etc. Our goal is to provide such organizations as hospitals, nursing homes, and primary care physician offices with the educational guides so they can share them with those in need.

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

The money will be used for the printing and design process of this guide. We will work with a print production group to accomplish this particular project.

Want to know more about Origami before January 15? Check out their Facebook page and website.

Join us on January 15 to hear more from Karenia about Origami!

Time? Doors at 6.30. Presentations at 7.15. Winner announced at 7.45.
Where? Grace Lutheran ELCA – in the basement (528 N MLK Blvd, near Sparrow Hospital)
How much? Dinner is free; a vote is $5.
Why? To support #LoveLansing. Don’t forget to bring a bowl, a spoon, and a friend!

For more info on our January 15 SoupGrant, visit our Facebook event page.

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Lansing Soccer Club Wins December SoupGrant

Nothing says “it’s the holiday season” like a room full of friends gathered together to share a meal!

We would like to send a big thank you to our Soup Family across Lansing who joined us for a great SoupGrant on December 18. The basement was packed! Normally people start trickling in when the doors open around 6.30. This month we had a line at the door at 6.30 to hear from our two presenters: Cuts and Convos and Lansing Soccer Club.

Bruce from Lansing Soccer Club

Bruce from Lansing Soccer Club

Bruce shared a little about Lansing Soccer Club and their work in the city of Lansing providing “high quality soccer for Lansing’s under-served youth at the lowest cost possible.” LSC endeavors to make soccer accessible to kids through providing scholarships. Working with limited resources, LSC came to us seeking money to repair fields in need of maintenance work.

We also had Jonathan from Cuts and Convos present this brand new, truly unique organization. Cuts and Convos serves some of the most vulnerable and most in-need in the Lansing community by providing haircuts to homeless folks. As Jonathan says, “When you look good, you feel good.” But it’s more than just a haircut. As a law student, Jonathan also looks to disseminate legal advice on topics such as interacting with the police and housing.

Jonathan talking about Cuts and Convos

Jonathan talking about Cuts and Convos

SoupGrant looks to foster relationships throughout the community and we can’t tell you how excited we were to have an up-and-coming organization like Cuts and Convos join us. We had two or three folks raise their hand during Jonathan’s presentation to let him know about different resources and organizations in Lansing that might be interested in partnering with him.

This is really the heart of SoupGrant. Even though Jonathan and Cuts and Convos didn’t win the final vote (by a mere three votes!), you, our Soup Family, helped connect him with other great folks in Lansing.

We are excited to have Cuts and Convos join us again in January where they will face off with Origami, another great group out of Mason that we’ll be featuring on here next week!

Finally, hats off to Lansing Soccer Club on taking home our second largest SoupGrant ever! You helped us raise $220 to purchase equipment and supplies to repair their fields such as grass seed, soil, sand, paint, and tools. The work will all be done by volunteers. We love LSC’s work bringing together folks from across the city in the name of sport. We’re very excited about what you’ll be able to do with this money and hope to continue supporting this fine work in the future!

See you January 15 for our next SoupGrant!

Stay awesome, Lansing.

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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 ConvosHow 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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