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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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


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.


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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


Yvonne 3

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.

Crowd 3

Crowd 2

Crowd 1

Adam explaining Teens LOL TV to the crowd.

Adam explaining Teens LOL TV to the crowd.

Adam 3

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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SoupGrant Thursday Night at 6.30!

We’re excited to welcome you back to SoupGrant Lansing this Thursday night (Sep 18)!

We have two phenomenal presentations coming up, one from past presenter Go Green Trikes and the other from Teens LOL TV.

Never been to SoupGrant before? Here’s how it works.

When you arrive at Grace Lutheran, head to the basement. (Just head down the hall from the entrance with the SoupGrant sign, hang a right, go down the stairway, and you’ll see us!)

When you get there, we’ll have someone at the door to say hello! If you want to vote, you’ll pay a $5 donation/person. We also offer a reduced rate for kids under 12 of $2/vote. By the way, if you’re feeling generous, you can always throw a little extra into the pot as well!

Sometime between 7-7.15, we’ll start our presentations. Our presenters will get up and talk about the work that they are doing here in Lansing. We don’t set any strict rules on who can present just as long as their work is going to make a positive impact in the community!

While you’re hearing from our community presenters, you’ll get to enjoy some delicious, homemade soup from our Soup Master Terry. Our soup is healthy and usually vegan or vegetarian. By the way, if you want to bring a soup, salad, dessert or other contribution to the meal, e-mail us at!

After the presentations are over, you’ll get a chance to ask questions of our presenters and vote on your favorite! Once we tally up the votes, we announce the night’s winner (usually a little before 8.00) and present them with their SoupGrant winnings!

Be sure to invite a friend to ‪#‎SoupGrant‬!

20 people x $5/vote = $100
30 people x $5/vote = $150
50 people x $5/vote = $250

You get the idea!

SoupGrant is immediate, democratic, and grassroots. Our SoupGrant Team provides the forum, YOU and our wonderful Lansing community, provide the grant. Come take part in this event and love your community!

Questions? Want to present in the future but need more info? Interested in getting involved? E-mail us!

RSVP on Facebook

What? SoupGrant Lansing
When? Thursday, September 18; doors at 6.30, presentations begin after 7
Where? Grace Lutheran ELCA’s basement, 528 N. Martin Luther King
How much? The meal is free and open to everyone; a vote for the project of your choice is $5.

Grace Lutheran

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Second September Contender: TeensLOLTV

We’re very pleased to welcome our second contender to this month’s SoupGrant! Our second application this month comes to us from TeensLOLTV, “a network of inspiring talk shows for and by teens, where teens mentor peers through various social studies and topics in order to help each other live healthy & out loud as a community.”

Adam from TeensLOLTV got in touch with us recently and shared a little about what they do.

Tell us about TeensLOLTV. What do you promote as an organization?

LOLTV: We are promoting helping the homeless, serving underprivileged youth, anti-bullying campaigns, youth jobs and incentives, showcasing youth talent, and much more; all the while promoting chances for other teens to do the same through our mini-TV network called TeensLOLTV – live out loud! Our production includes teenager missions group leaders from Michigan, South Africa, and Japan. We are reaching out to other teens for a global media impact! The teens are leaders of their own groups who host talk show series to mentor their peers with social studies education. 

Our newest project is called POL – Project Out Loud. With POL we are partnering with Teen Centers to use our shows as additional engagement activities in youth centers. We will give DVD copies to the programs and allow youth to use their phone to Survey, do Trivia, and film Challenges during the show in order to receive broadcast-incentives.

Where can people watch your shows?

LOLTV: Broadcasts are available online, and on Ch. 16 on Lansing Public Access TV. 

How will you use the money from your SoupGrant?


  • Branding materials 
  • Broadcasting equipment 
  • Survey Game technology on
  • We are also planning a motivational tour to reach schools in the Lansing area

Why is this project important?

LOLTV: Students mentor their peers using social studies education. Students develop public speaking and journalism skills. Students also do motivational speaking engagements with their peers.

Tell us a little about yourself.

LOLTV: My name is Adam Williams, Founder of Teens LOL, LLC. Our mission is to identify and bring teen-youth leaders together to work towards collective impact in their communities. As a community organizer, I have a passion to bring powerful people together for a common cause, and passion to direct powerful youth along with their parental guidance. The talk show is a platform to package these gifts and skills to positively support our youth today. I’ve concluded that these youth I work with are not only the leaders of the future, but of today’s generation!

Join us September 18 to hear from TeensLOLTV and Go Green Trikes! We still have third spot open, so if you have an idea that you would like to share with us at this month’s dinner, fill out an application! You can click here for more info about SoupGrant and click here to apply. If you have any questions, please e-mail us at – we’d love to hear from you! Applications due September 12.




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Back for More: Go Green Trikes

SoupGrant is excited to welcome Go Green Trikes back this month! We wanted to share a couple photos from Yvonne with you to give you a better idea of what this green, bike-powered delivery service looks like in action!


From GGT’s Facebook: “This is a 6-foot long by 2-foot wide crate holding the makings of a 10x10x6 kennel with 12-gauge fencing. It took two men at the Tractor Supply on W Grand River to lift it off the trike!”

What is Go Green Trikes?

GGT: We’re a “green” delivery service that uses heavy duty electric-assist tricycles and bikes that are capable of hauling up to 600 pound payloads.


From GGT’s Facebook: “Neat idea! Someone hired me today to help them with a store return since the item wouldn’t easily fit in/on their vehicle.”

Why are you applying for a SoupGrant?

We want to establish a fund whereby non-profits and other local community groups can better afford our services so we can help them help others.


Go Green Trikes delivers anywhere in the shaded area and operates from April – November.

How will you use the money you raise from your SoupGrant?

The funds will be used to wholly or partially offset delivery costs so non-profits can take advantage of our services. So far, the Homeless Angels and Mid-Michigan Environmental Action Council have both expressed interest. Others that we plan to invite once a fund is established are the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing, the Allen Neighborhood Center, and the Greater Lansing Food Bank.


Why is this project important?

Go Green Trikes, LLC operates under a “triple bottom line”. While we’re in business to make a profit, people and the planet are important to us as well. We’ve noticed that several local non-profits LOVE the idea of utilizing greener transport alternatives, it may be an undue hardship for them to do so.


Yvonne will be back with us for SoupGrant on September 18! For more info and to RSVP, check out our Facebook event page.


*All photos courtesy of Go Green Trikes’s Facebook. 


Filed under #LoveLansing, #PureMichigan, #SOUP, community, Go Green Trikes, Grace Lutheran ELCA, Lansing, Michigan, Mid-Michigan, SoupGrant, SoupGrant Lansing, Sunday Soup

SoupGrant Lansing Turns One!

Thank you to everyone who came out Thursday night to help us celebrate our first year in Lansing!

Three past winners joined us for the event to compete for a second SoupGrant. Aliza came back to present the Kids’ Farm Stand Fund, Terra returned to represent the Food Systems Project, and ChaDorea was back to talk about D.A.N.C.E.

D.A.N.C.E. won the competition and took home $108 to help furbish their new facilities. 

Thank you to all of our competitors last night and throughout the past year. It’s been a great first year for us at SoupGrant and it happens every month because of you. You inspire us constantly with your work and your passion for this community. You are why we Love Lansing.

See you in September, everyone! 

Aliza Presentation

Aliza talks about the Kids’ Farm Stand Fund.

Bday cake 2

Whipped in Old Town graciously donated this delicious cake to help us celebrate our first year in Lansing!

Bday cake

Thanks for helping us celebrate, Whipped!

ChaDorea Presentation 2

Hangin’ out while ChaDorea talks about D.A.N.C.E.

ChaDorea Presentation

ChaDorea talks about D.A.N.C.E. They won our August SoupGrant and took home $108 to help furbish their new facilities.

Soups 1

Delicious soups from Soup Master Terry.

Terra presentation

Terra explains the Food Systems Project.

Crowd 1

Crowd 2

Happy Bday SoupGrant 2

Happy Bday SoupGrant

Soups 2

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Filed under #LoveLansing, #PureMichigan, #SOUP, community, D.A.N.C.E., Grace Lutheran ELCA, Lansing, Michigan, Mid-Michigan, S.T.A.R.S., SoupGrant, SoupGrant Lansing, Sunday Soup