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 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
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!
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
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
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!
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 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 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 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.
Lettuce Live Well is a nonprofit established on the principle that nutrition education should be free for everyone. The organization offers free, 90-minute guided grocery store tours led by nutritional coaches, during which participants are given information on shopping for health and affordability. The founders of Lettuce Live Well hope to foster a healthier community by teaching Lansing residents that eating healthfully can be both easy and wallet-friendly. If they were to win this month’s SoupGrant, Lettuce Live Well would return the funds to their participants. The money would be used to purchase reusable grocery bags, recipe and information booklets, and $10 gift cards to the participating grocery store. To learn more about Lettuce Live Well, visit their website.
Lansing Track Club
The Lansing Area Track club is a nonprofit organization that offers sports to families in south Lansing. Their hope is to reach those who are single parents, have multiple children, or simply cannot afford to allow their children to participate in sports, and make those activities accessible to them. Through participation in the Lansing Track Club, kids learn the importance of team-building and physical activity in a safe, fun environment. If the Lansing Track Club is awarded the June grant, they will put the money toward team uniforms and transportation assistance for working parents. For more information on the Track Club, you can visit their Facebook page here.
After a close race, the Ingham County Animal Control Outreach Center received a $185 SoupGrant to help expand their pet food bank program! This month’s dollars will go toward new shelving for the nonprofit, allowing them to better care for their clients and broaden their outreach to new ones. The Outreach Center is always seeking volunteers and donations; if you would like to learn more or find ways to get involved, check out their website and Facebook page!
Break the Chain, our March and April runner-up, illuminated an underreported cause and answered numerous questions from our attendees. The nonprofit documentary team still needs to raise money for their upcoming premiere! If you would like to donate or learn more about the cause, you can visit their website at breakthechainfilm.com, or like them on Facebook for regular updates.
Both competitors gave moving and informative presentations, making the choice a difficult one, but we thrive on this kind of action and debate! If you have an idea that would spark discussion and change in greater Lansing, fill out our application for a chance at your own SoupGrant. We look forward to hearing two more great presenters at our next event on May 19th, and we hope to see you there!
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 Clubscheduled 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!)
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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:
Again, congrats to Teens LOL TV! Could your idea be next? Our next dinner is October 16. Applications due October 10.