Category Archives: Grace Lutheran ELCA

Come see us tomorrow!

Join us tomorrow night for our scary-good October event! We’ll be hearing from two fabulous presenters: DreamWorld Studios and Young Entrepreneurs Academy. Here’s a little more about them:

DreamWorld Studios

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DreamWorld Studios is a Lansing-based nonprofit that aims to provide underserved youth with professional instruction in fine and performing arts. They reach out to the community with fine arts college prep, open mic night fundraisers, and even morning dance parties! Tomorrow, they’re joining us to celebrate National Arts and Humanities month and teach us more about the positive impact of arts education. To learn more about DreamWorld Studios, visit their Facebook.

Young Entrepreneurs Academy

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Young Entrepreneurs Academy is joining us for a second month. This after-school program teaches local high school students about entrepreneurship. YEA! students conduct research and pitch ideas to investors to launch their own companies. This month’s grant would help YEA! cover student registration fees and turn more students into successful entrepreneurs. For more info on Young Entrepreneurs Academy, check out their website!

We hope you’ll come out and support these two fantastic causes. No matter the outcome, it’s sure to be a good time – with lots of delicious soup! See you soon!

Come meet our September presenters!

Fall is here, and we’re getting ready to kick off our fourth season here at SoupGrant! We can’t wait to meet our presenters on Thursday, but before we hear from them, here’s a brief intro to their work in the Lansing community.

Young Entrepreneurs Academy

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Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is an after-school program whose aim is to transform local high school students into real, confident entrepreneurs. Students generate ideas, conduct research, write plans, and pitch to investors to launch their own companies. If YEA! wins this month’s grant, they’ll put the funds toward student registration fees. For more info on YEA!, check out their website.

Lettuce Live Well

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We heard from Lettuce Live Well in June, and they’re back to compete again. Lettuce believes that nutrition education should be free and accessible for all people. They run guided supermarket tours and one-on-on nutrition coaching to make Lansing a healthier city. This month’s grant would help Lettuce fund their grocery store tours and give resources directly back to the community. To learn more about Lettuce Live Well, visit their site here.

We look forward to seeing you this Thursday at 6:30! Don’t forget your bowl and spoon!

Meet Our August Presenters!

This month, we’ll be hearing presentations from three of our past favorites: Lansing Track Club, Gateway’s TRUE Project, and Helping Women Period. Here’s a little more information about each of them.

Lansing Track Club

Lansing Track Club

Lansing Area Track Club is a nonprofit that offers sports to families in south Lansing. They aim to reach families with single parents, multiple children, or low incomes, and offer their kids an inexpensive extracurricular that gets them up and moving. If Lansing Track Club wins this month’s grant, they will put the money toward new uniforms, track equipment, and transportation assistance for working parents. For more information, visit the Track Club’s Facebook page.

TRUE

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TRUE is an LGBTQ teen support group that meets weekly in Lansing. They provide positive social connections for youth who may feel alienated at school or home. Some current group activities include therapeutic art projects, education about sexual health and other LGBTQ issues, and trips to community events. This month’s grant would help TRUE coordinate group events and continue serving Lansing’s youth. For more information on TRUE, check out their Facebook page here.

Helping Women Period

helping women period

Helping Women Period is a nonprofit that partners with charities to provide pads and tampons for low income and homeless women. WIC, SNAP, and other government assistance programs do not provide feminine products. Helping Women Period’s mission is to fulfill that basic need for every woman, regardless of income. If they won the August grant, they would use the funds to purchase products for distribution. For more info, visit their website.

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!

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!

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:

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Soup 1

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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.

Crowd 3

Crowd 2

Crowd 1

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.

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?

LOLTV:

  • Branding materials 
  • Broadcasting equipment 
  • Survey Game technology on polleverywhere.com
  • 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 SoupGrantLansing@gmail.com – we’d love to hear from you! Applications due September 12.