Tag Archives: East Lansing

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


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!

Get Your Application in for May 21!

Got an idea for the Lansing region? Want a platform to share it? How about the chance to win over $100 to fund it?

SoupGrant Lansing is a monthly crowd-funding event that takes place every 3rd Thursday at Grace Lutheran ELCA near the corner of MLK and Saginaw in the heart of Lansing. We fund diverse projects including start-ups, mom & pop ventures, neighborhood initiatives, school projects, and more. Our only requirement is that your project must, in some way, benefit the Lansing region (generally considered Eaton, Ingham, and Clinton counties).

We are currently looking for folks interested in presenting their project at our May 21 SoupGrant. Want to apply? Applications are due May 1 and our contestants will be announced May 4.

How much money can you raise at SoupGrant? Well, part of that’s up to you! The more people you invite, the more donations we’ll pool together for our “SoupGrant.”

Got more questions? Take a look at our FAQs page. If you still can’t find the answer you’re looking for, e-mail us at SoupGrantLansing@gmail.com!

We look forward to seeing you May 21 and sharing soup with you!

Soup: best shared with friends.
Soup: best shared with friends.

Woman Behind the Mask Wins SoupGrant

Congrats to Woman Behind the Mask on winning $130 at SoupGrant!
Our Soup Family – powering change in #LoveLansing one bowl of soup at a time.

Congrats to Woman Behind the Mask on winning $130 at SoupGrant!

Woman Behind the Mask meets every week at NorthWest Initiative to provide women a safe and secure place to gather for mutual support. WBM would like to use the money towards purchasing a van and getting a logo designed for their group. Know someone with a van or graphic design skills who might be able to donate their time or give a reduced rate? Let us know and we’ll pass on the word to WBM!

Who’s next? Apply by May 1 to present your locally-rooted, Lansing-minded idea on May 21!

Kirk and Patti from HerBlends of Plenty came back again to talk about their new venture – Abundance at the Avenue Cafe. Join us April 27 at the Avenue for a preview pop-up dinner at 6:30.
Woman Behind the Mask
Elizabeth Collins-Jones and Danyele Evans from Woman Behind the Mask talk about their work to provide a safe and supportive place for women in Lansing to meet weekly.

A Quick Look Back at February

In February, we took the month off from our usual format to focus on some of the work that our partners do in the Lansing community and to thank them for their continued support. Chief among them have been Grace Lutheran ELCA and the NorthWest Initiative. We invited Aliza to come talk to us about NWI’s continued work around town – more specifically, the Food Systems Project – and we also asked Pastor Dan to come talk to us as well.

NWI has been with us every step of the way since we set out in the summer of 2013 and they have provided us with a wealth of great projects like the Little Free Libraries and the Food Systems Project. Aliza in particular has been an enormous asset to SoupGrant, not only by competing for a SoupGrant on several occasions, but also making delicious food to share! (Any time you want to make that kale salad again, we won’t say no!)

Grace Lutheran ELCA has been exemplary in seeking to participate in and love the community around them. When we held our first fundraiser in the winter of 2013-2014, one of our goals was to get enough money to give a little back to them for all of their generosity towards us in allowing us to use their kitchen and basement facilities. They refused, insisting that they saw supporting us as a part of their way of giving back to the community. In January, we were upset to hear that one of the refugees housed on their campus had her car damaged during SoupGrant, so we decided it was time to do something to help them out. We raised $130 to go towards the repairs on the vehicle in question; in the event that the money is not needed, we have asked Grace Lutheran to keep it and put it to another good use.

This month we also took some time to talk about our new Lansing Soup on the Move Meetup Group! We are hoping to use this new meetup group as a way to give you more ways to participate in the community, make new friends, and solidify our partnerships with folks around town. Check it out and let us know if you have any ideas for events that you would like to see happen in the future!

Special thanks to Mark from the Lansing Photo Meetup Group/ImageForte for these great photos! All photos are property of Mark Chamberlain. To see the full gallery, click here.


Soup: best shared with friends.
Soup: best shared with friends.
Getting set up.
Setting up.


We raised $130 for our friends and gracious hosts at Grace Lutheran ELCA.
We raised $130 for our friends and gracious hosts at Grace Lutheran ELCA.


Joel talking about the new Lansing Soup on the Move Meetup Group.
Joel talking about the new Lansing Soup on the Move Meetup Group.
Aliza talks about NorthWest Initiative's Food Systems Project.
Aliza talks about NorthWest Initiative’s Food Systems Project.


Pastor Dan from Grace Lutheran ELCA.
Pastor Dan from Grace Lutheran ELCA.

Cuts and Convos Wins January SoupGrant

We’re a little late in the game on this one, but we don’t want to miss out entirely on letting you know that Cuts and Convos won our January SoupGrant!

Having barely missed out on taking home our December SoupGrant (by a mere three votes!), we invited Jonathan back to compete a second time around in January.

Jonathan’s project really embodied the spirit of SoupGrant and resonated with folks both in December and January as a creative way to help the homeless population in Lansing on multiple levels: physical, spiritual, and legal. As a member of the community, Jonathan wanted to empower folks to go out and seek a better life and have the confidence to do so. (As Jonathan says, “When you look good, you feel good.”) As a law student, Jonathan wanted to be able to provide legal advice. And, last but not least, as a Christian, Jonathan wanted to find a way to encourage and uplift folks with spiritual counsel.

We are excited to see Cuts and Convos take off and become another component of our vibrant city and we want to thank YOU for helping us raise $189 to get them on their way.

One side note: You know, we talk a lot about how SoupGrant just provides a forum for people to get together and do amazing things; this can manifest itself in a lot of different ways. In the past we’ve had people become inspired to do things like hold their own collection drives for the Lansing Area AIDS Network’s pantry. Sometimes people share contacts and knowledge to help others. Sometimes people chip in financially. Well, after awarding Jonathan the $189 you helped raise, we had someone step forward and offer the remaining money needed for Cuts and Convos to get their 501(c)(3) status. Check out more from Jonathan on their website!

We hope that you will join us for a very special Show the Love and Shape the Future SoupGrant in February! Instead of our normal format, we’re going to take a month off to spotlight some of the work that Grace Lutheran does with their refugee program. In addition, we’ll be giving the microphone to some of our friends who have been partnering with us over the past year-and-a-half to put on these events every month! Finally, we’ll be giving you the chance to tell us how you would like to see SoupGrant grow in the months and years to come. We’re a community venture and we can’t do it without you! Wherever we’re going, we’ll get there together!

Lansing Soccer Club Wins December SoupGrant

Nothing says “it’s the holiday season” like a room full of friends gathered together to share a meal!

We would like to send a big thank you to our Soup Family across Lansing who joined us for a great SoupGrant on December 18. The basement was packed! Normally people start trickling in when the doors open around 6.30. This month we had a line at the door at 6.30 to hear from our two presenters: Cuts and Convos and Lansing Soccer Club.

Bruce from Lansing Soccer Club
Bruce from Lansing Soccer Club

Bruce shared a little about Lansing Soccer Club and their work in the city of Lansing providing “high quality soccer for Lansing’s under-served youth at the lowest cost possible.” LSC endeavors to make soccer accessible to kids through providing scholarships. Working with limited resources, LSC came to us seeking money to repair fields in need of maintenance work.

We also had Jonathan from Cuts and Convos present this brand new, truly unique organization. Cuts and Convos serves some of the most vulnerable and most in-need in the Lansing community by providing haircuts to homeless folks. As Jonathan says, “When you look good, you feel good.” But it’s more than just a haircut. As a law student, Jonathan also looks to disseminate legal advice on topics such as interacting with the police and housing.

Jonathan talking about Cuts and Convos
Jonathan talking about Cuts and Convos

SoupGrant looks to foster relationships throughout the community and we can’t tell you how excited we were to have an up-and-coming organization like Cuts and Convos join us. We had two or three folks raise their hand during Jonathan’s presentation to let him know about different resources and organizations in Lansing that might be interested in partnering with him.

This is really the heart of SoupGrant. Even though Jonathan and Cuts and Convos didn’t win the final vote (by a mere three votes!), you, our Soup Family, helped connect him with other great folks in Lansing.

We are excited to have Cuts and Convos join us again in January where they will face off with Origami, another great group out of Mason that we’ll be featuring on here next week!

Finally, hats off to Lansing Soccer Club on taking home our second largest SoupGrant ever! You helped us raise $220 to purchase equipment and supplies to repair their fields such as grass seed, soil, sand, paint, and tools. The work will all be done by volunteers. We love LSC’s work bringing together folks from across the city in the name of sport. We’re very excited about what you’ll be able to do with this money and hope to continue supporting this fine work in the future!

See you January 15 for our next SoupGrant!

Stay awesome, Lansing.

SoupGrant 2 SoupGrant 3 SoupGrant 4 SoupGrant 5

Lansing Soccer Club

Our Dec. SoupGrant is fast approaching and we hope that you’re making plans to attend. If so, please RSVP on the Facebook page! It helps us know how many people to count on and it’s the fastest way we have of sharing the latest event info with you.

This month’s first presentation comes to us from the Lansing Soccer Club. Here’s a sneak preview of what’s to come Dec. 18 at SoupGrant!

Lansing Soccer Club

Tell us a little about the Lansing Soccer Club.

The Lansing Soccer Club is seeking funding to improve our soccer fields and also to replace outdated and damaged equipment. In the past year, our fields have experienced multiple acts of vandalism that have damaged our fields and equipment and also created a dangerous environment for our teams to practice and play on. The mission of the Lansing Soccer Club is to provide high quality soccer for Lansing’s under-served youth at the lowest cost possible, for this reason the organization cannot afford these repairs without raising our fees or seeking outside funding.

 If you win SoupGrant, how will you use the money? 

Funding will be used to purchase supplies to repair the field surfaces and purchase new equipment. Items we need to purchase include soil, sand, grass seed, paint, and the tools necessary to plant and repair grass. Labor to complete these projects will be provided by volunteers from the club’s membership. Any money provided by SoupGrant will be used along side private donations to complete this project. In the event that the project runs under budget, any leftover funds will be used to provide more scholarships to club members with financial constraints.

Check back on Dec. 12 when we will be announcing our second contestant for this month’s SoupGrant. Want to apply? You have until Dec. 10!

Join us Dec. 18 to hear more from Lansing Soccer Club and our second project that we will be featuring.

When? Dec. 18
Time? Doors at 6.30. Presentations at 7.15. Winner announced at 7.45.
How much? Soup is free; a vote to fund the project of your choice is $5
Where? Grace Lutheran ELCA (528 N MLK near Sparrow’s St Lawrence campus)
What do you need to bring? $5 for a vote; a bowl; spoon; friends

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.


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!

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 SoupGrantLansing@gmail.com!

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! SoupGrantLansing@gmail.com

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