My name’s Joel and I recently moved to Lansing. As I was looking for ways to get involved in the community and meet people, I came across a poster for SoupGrant Lansing one night while I was out to dinner. I had heard of the popular Detroit SOUP and decided to go check it out.
SoupGrant Lansing, and its Detroit equivalent, are based on a really cool, simple concept:
Once a month people gather for a delicious & healthy soup and bread dinner; we donate $5 at the door, have a meal together, meet new people, and then we get to hear people present two or three projects that will make the city a better place. After we hear the proposals, we get to decide which one sounds the best to us and we vote. The night’s winner takes home the donations in the form of a micro-grant.
So far, we’ve funded everything from “Little Free Libraries” – a campaign to help make books more accessible to school kids in West Lansing – to gas money for volunteers who bring groceries to folks’ homes to vitamins and health supplements for low-income Lansing residents.
What’s great about SoupGrant is that it’s democratic and accessible to everyone.
We hold people accountable for the money we award by having them update us regularly on their projects. This way, we get to see the fruit of their labor and share in the accomplishments we’ve helped local organizers achieve.
As we get our feet, we are creating a fundraising campaign that will help SGL grow and give back to those who have been supporting us along the way. We are hoping to raise $500 by March 9 to help us do a number of important things:
- Pay back Grace Lutheran ELCA for allowing us to use their basement once a month
- Offer compensation to Terry, our soup chef, who has been graciously making us delicious food since the summer of 2013
- Offer gas money to volunteers who help us by putting up posters around Lansing
- We would also like to expand by hiring a local graphic designer to create a new logo for SoupGrant. We’re planning a contest that will run through the beginning of March where we will invite Michigan-based graphic designers to submit their logo designs. At the March SoupGrant, we will have our guests vote on the winning design.
Any extra money we raise beyond $500 will be set aside to support us through the upcoming year.
Whether it be $5 or $50, we appreciate your support. We would love for you to follow us in this New Year to see how we grow and how we are able to put this money to use. This is an exciting journey for us, and so we would love it even more if you could join us on the 3rd Thursday of the month for SoupGrant, to share in this experience of mutual support and empowerment.
Thank you for your support!
Joel, Heather, Terry
The SoupGrant Lansing Team