Tag Archives: entrepreneurs

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!

Refugee Development Center

Announcing our second contestant at SoupGrant on Thursday: the Refugee Development Center’s summer camp! Compost Katie–a weekly, curbside food waste pickup service in Lansing–will also be joining us, as well as past winner Lansing Soccer Club.

Refugee Development Center

Tell us about your project.

The Refugee Development Center (RDC) runs an annual summer camp for 4 weeks that serves 80 youth, middle and high school aged. The students are all new arrivals to the country (within 18 months), and the camp is designed to support core-curriculum standards for science as well as foster growth in English as a second language.

If you win, how will you use the money?

During our camp we go on many field trips, and some of the destinations involve swimming in pools or lakes. Many of our students come to this country with very little and often are not equipped with proper swim suits come summer, which results in them not being able to participate in the activities. We hope to use the money to buy some simple swim suits for our students and provide them the opportunity to enjoy a summer swim.

Why is the project important? How does it benefit Lansing?

The RDC works to welcome newcomers to Lansing, their new home. Our clients are members of the Lansing community, and the work we do has a direct impact on the city. Our summer camp helps acclimatize students to American life and their new home, simple things such as swimming in the summer in a swimming suit is all a part of that experience. And while a small piece, it will improve the summer for many children.

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.

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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

Showing the Love and Shaping the Future

This month we have a special SoupGrant planned to (roughly) coincide with Valentine’s Day!

We love Lansing and we know a lot of folks who love Lansing, too! What better Valentine could we give Lansing than offering our friends and partners in the community a chance to speak out about their work in the region?

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First, we will have a representative from our great friends at Grace Lutheran share a little about some of their programs, including their refugee program!

Second, we are also inviting our long-time friend Aliza from The Food Systems Project to talk about her ongoing work promoting healthy living and eating in Lansing.

Speaking of healthy eating, we will feature our regular assortment of delicious soup from Chef Terry! And, good news, we already have the menu for this month!

  • Kale (vegan)
  • Tuscan bean
  • Potato
  • Onion (gluten free)
  • Venison chile

As always, if you want to bring a pot of soup, a loaf of bread, dessert, or anything else to share, let us know by sending us an e-mail at SoupGrantLansing@gmail.com!

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While we show some friends a little love, we are also going to start talking about shaping our future together! As some of you may have noticed, we started a Meetup group recently.

Let us clarify: Nothing about SoupGrant will be changing as a result of the Meetup group! Rest assured that our monthly dinners will remain the same.

Over the last year we have been privileged to have a phenomenal range of presenters join us at SoupGrant and we have had a lot of our friends go on to get involved with various volunteer opportunities after hearing some of these presentations. We are creating this group in part to help our Soup Family connect with the ongoing work of our friends and partners in the community, but not only that! We are also about bringing people together and so we would like to provide more opportunities for our Soup Family to get together, make friends, share ideas, and grow together in community.

We are going to be asking for your input regarding future events and plans for the Meetup group on February 19, so don’t miss out!

What? Show the Love and Shape the Future SoupGrant
When? Feb 19. Doors at 6.30. Presentations after 7.
How much? Suggested $5 donation for Grace Lutheran
Where? Grace Lutheran ELCA’s basement (528 N MLK blvd near Sparrow Hospital)
Don’t forget a bowl, a spoon, and a friend!

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.

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