Category Archives: Sunday Soup

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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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.
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Joel from the SoupGrant team with our November winner, Reach Studio Art Center, represented by Alice.



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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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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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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.

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Adam explaining Teens LOL TV to the crowd.
Adam explaining Teens LOL TV to the crowd.

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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?


  • 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.




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. 

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.
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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.
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Delicious soups from Soup Master Terry.
Terra presentation
Terra explains the Food Systems Project.

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Happy Bday SoupGrant 2

Happy Bday SoupGrant

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Birthday Soup Contenders: D.A.N.C.E.

Our 1st Annual Birthday Soup is fast approaching! SoupGrant Lansing will be celebrating turning a year old before you know it!

As we talked about marking our birthday, we decided that we would like to bring back some past winners. We regularly try to bring back past winners to talk about what they have been able to accomplish since winning SoupGrant, but we wanted to take it a step further by giving them the chance to compete for a second SoupGrant. Back in June, we sent out e-mails, and Tweets and Facebook posts letting past winners know that they could re-apply. We had decided to limit the number of contestants to three and we received word from three past winners letting us know that they were interested!

As we approach August 21, we want to take a look at our returning contestants. Last week we put the spotlight on The Food Systems Project and earlier this week, we took a closer look at the Kids’ Farm Stand Fund. Now we turn to our third and final contestant, D.A.N.C.E.!

D.A.N.C.E. – Developing And Nurturing Community Empowerment

Describe your project. 

D.A.N.C.E. is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization dedicated to impacting the lives of youth, their families, and their communities through the performing arts. Our goal is to provide affordable high quality arts training to youth ages 3-18 from all socioeconomic groups. At D.A.N.C.E., we believe in training the whole individual; all of our participants, who are referred to as S.T.A.R.S. (Students Taking Active Roles in Society) are held to a high standard in a fun, family like environment. Our Dance Training Programs provide our S.T.A.R.S. with rigorous, quality training in multiple styles of dance. In 2009, after recognizing the need to provide pre-professional performance opportunities and training to our advanced participants, we started S.T.A.R.S. Dance Company (SDC), a national award winning dance team comprised of dancers ages 5-18. Members of the SDC have been able to travel across the country to train and compete without financial barriers. Besides just training in dance, our S.T.A.R.S. are provided with free academic coaching to help them maximize their academic potential and are encouraged to become active within their community through community service opportunities. Since being founded in 2007, we have never turned a child down due to the financial status of the family. 


How will you use the money from your SoupGrant? 

SOUP grant funding will allow us to continue to make the program accessible to all of the youth in the community who are interested. The funding will assist with making sure that all of our participants have the proper dance wear and equipment that they need to participate in the program.

Why is this project important?

95% of our Lansing Program Participants require financial assistance in order to participate, many of which come from homes where the family income is below the Federal Poverty Level. This project is important for the Lansing Community because it provides the youth with opportunities that they would not otherwise have access to. The benefits of arts programs for youth are widely known and we seek to ensure that the youth of Lansing have access to these benefits. According to a report by the National Endowment for the Arts, “The Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth: Findings from Four Longitudinal Studies”, at-risk students who have access to the arts in or out of school also tend to have better academic results, better workforce opportunities, and more civic engagement. We hope to provide the youth of the Lansing Community with the opportunity to engage in a supportive arts training environment that will not only help them to grow artistically, but will prepare them for the future through an engaging curriculum which is infused with educational enrichment and character development.

What is the time frame for your project? Who/how will you be accountable? 

Our program runs from September through June. We will hold a final performance that is open to the public in June. We would be happy to provide pictures and videos of the participants highlighting their progress over the season and/or give an oral presentation. We would also be happy to have our participants perform at one of the SOUP events if space will allow.

Tell us about yourself!

My name is ChaDorea Robinson and I am the Founder of the D.A.N.C.E., Inc. Program established in 2007. D.A.N.C.E. stands for Developing And Nurturing Community Empowerment. While attending Michigan State University and working with many youth throughout Lansing, (i.e. Parks and Recreation, Day Care Centers, Juvenile Homes). I realized that there were a lot of youth that were very talent and had an interest in performing arts. They always mentioned how they wish they could train in something they loved to do but never had the family or financial support. My passion for performing arts, youth, and my desire to invest in the Lansing community has led me to create D.A.N.C.E., Inc.