Tag Archives: Michigan

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

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!

Oktoberfeast

Our next SoupGrant is already upon us! It snuck up just as fast as this beautiful, cool fall weather – and you know what goes well with cool fall weather? You guessed it! Soup!

As usual, Soup Master Terry is hard at work making delicious soup for us. This week’s menu includes:

  • Black bean soup (vegan)
  • Carrot coriander
  • Cauliflower chowder
  • Kale orzo soup
  • Mystery soup

Thursday night is also going to be jam-packed with some great presentations.

First, we’re thrilled to have past winner Mid-Mitten Homemade back with us! Danielle, the founder of the group, has been a tremendous friend to us at SoupGrant and is always up to something new and exciting. MMH won our February SoupGrant and we’ve been trying hard to get them back ever since!

Danielle explains Mid-Mitten Homemade at our February SoupGrant.
Danielle explains Mid-Mitten Homemade at our February SoupGrant.

Then we’ve got a great pair of presenters who will be competing for this month’s SoupGrant: the Lansing Area AIDS Network and second year students from an Agricultural Food and Natural Resources program just north of Lansing in Clinton County.

Here’s a quick word about LAAN:

LAAN was established in 1985 by a group of dedicated volunteers, to meet community needs arising from HIV/AIDS. LAAN dedicated itself to the delivery of services and programs to meet the needs of those living with HIV and AIDS. This included programs to help prevent the further spread of HIV. LAAN also established its purpose: to respond effectively, knowledgeably and compassionately to the challenges brought about by the AIDS pandemic. Since its inception, LAAN has focused on the provision of services to people living with HIV/AIDS and those at greatest risk of infection. The Food Pantry program has been part of the services provided by LAAN since its origins and a program for which the agency is quite proud.

If LAAN wins, how will they use the money?

Any funds secured through the SoupGrant program will be used to assist in providing critically needed personal care items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, and soaps in the Food Pantry. The items can not be purchased with other funding.

And here’s some more info about our second presenter, the Agricultural Food and Natural Resources program:

We are the second year students in a Agriculture Food and Natural Resources Program in Clinton County. We joined the second year of the program so that we could learn about Agribusiness and Leadership and participate in an internship experience. We are excited to learn about entrepreneurship through a real experience and we are all striving to strike it rich in this business so that our college is paid for!

If the Agricultural Food and Natural Resources program wins, how will they use the money?

We need some money for start-up costs. Specifically we need money to purchase supplies to add value to the products we already have to sell. We want to make pesto and gourmet cooking oils. We grew our own basil and herbs, but we need money to buy other ingredients (such as olive oil and parmesan cheese) and some equipment such as a food processor.

We are so thrilled to have these two great contestants joining us Thursday night. Come by and hear more from them while you enjoy a delicious bowl of homemade soup! Your $5 donation secures a vote for the project of your choice. At the end of the night, the project with the most votes will take home the money we collect as our SoupGrant!

Where? 528 N. MLK (Grace Lutheran ELCA)
How much?
Dinner is free; 1 vote = (suggested) donation of $5
When? Thursday, October 16

6.30 – Doors
7.15 – Presentations begin
7.30 – Voting opens
7.45 – Winner announced

Don’t forget. SoupGrant is BYOB – bring your own bowl! 

To RSVP and for all the latest info, join our Facebook event page!

Birthday Soup Contenders: Kids’ Farm Stand Fund

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. This week, we’re taking a closer look at the Kids’ Farm Stand Fund. Next week, we’ll highlight D.A.N.C.E.

Kids Farm Stand Fund

Describe your project. 

Aliza: We are a grant-funded garden based nutrition education program that partners with Lansing area schools to provide quality, effective nutrition education programming for elementary aged students (5-12 years old).  We work with over 1,000 students each year to promote healthy habits and food choices by facilitating hands-on gardening and cooking lessons. In keeping with our hands-on philosophy, we also maintain four educational gardens on the properties of our four partner schools. These gardens are a source of pride and beauty for our students and also allow them to see firsthand how their food is grown.

Much of the produce grown in our gardens is used in our cooking lessons with the kids,  but all surplus produce is sold at the West Side Farmers’ Market and the profits generated are put back into the program. This year we have begun inviting some of our oldest and most invested garden club students to help run our farm stand. This provides many wonderful opportunities for them to learn about their local food system as well as to  gain entrepreneurial insight and effective communication skills. The kids are very enthusiastic and eager to contribute. In the past season we have helped them to brainstorm ideas for new products to sell, including hand-crafted bracelets and healthful baked goods.

Unfortunately, however we are limited in what we can do as our grant does not allow us to purchase materials for these projects. If awarded this SoupGrant we hope to create a Youth Entrepreneur Farmer’s Market Fund. This fund would allow us to purchase materials so that we  are able to continue facilitating these educationally valuable projects with our students.

How will you use the money from your SoupGrant? 

Aliza: Money will be spent directly on supplies so that we can make value added products with our students to sell at market. For our students to truly be invested in this project, it is important that these experiences be kid-directed. For this reason, we will brainstorm with them what they are the most interested in learning how to make and sell. So for instance, if we decide that we are most interested in learning more about jam-making, this money will go to buy berries, sugar, cans and other supplies needed. Money made on sales of these products will go back into the Youth Entrepreneur Farm Market Fund for future projects.

Why is this project important?

Aliza: This project is important because it benefits our community on many levels. It will give our students the opportunity to learn and hone important life skills, such as jam making, baking, money management, product promotion, business etiquette, etc. Moreover, it will expand their perspective of our food system and allow them to observe and contribute to it at a wide range of stages–from seed to table. It will also help to provide more affordable, healthful and ethically produced products to market shoppers and area residents.

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

Aliza: The Farmer’s Market runs through October, so we would use some of these funds to produce products to sell during the current season. We program year round and will continue to build and strengthen relationships with students so that when next year’s season rolls in we will have a core group of committed students to continue these projects  at next years market.

Tell us about yourself!

Aliza: I am a Nutrition Educator at the North West Initiative, and boy do I love my job!! I have been passionate about food access and education since I was a high school student. I am committed to helping to create a positive learning environment for young people, where mistakes are just opportunities for growth and classrooms aren’t always inside! I have a big goofy dog named Arlo.

 

Birthday Soup Contenders: Food Systems Project

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. This week, the spotlight will be on The Food Systems Project, our June ’14 winner. Next week we will take a closer look at D.A.N.C.E. and Aliza’s garden project.

The SGL team (Heather, Joel, and Terry) with June winner, Terra
The SGL team (Heather, Joel, and Terry) with June winner, Terra

The Food Systems Project – Terra

Describe your project.

FSP: The Food Systems Project is a school-garden based nutrition education program that provides classroom lessons, an after-school program, and a summer garden camp for youth ages 5-12.

How will you use the money from your SoupGrant?

FSP: The funds will be used to help pay for an Americorps member for our program to help build capacity and create a more sustainable program that can grow and thrive.

Food Systems Project

Why is this project important?

FSP: This program provides nutrition education classes and school-garden based education to over 1,000 students and over 50 classrooms in Lansing each year.

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

FSP: We are fundraising in order to have an Americorps member at our program, which would be infinitely beneficial to the program. All funds raised will go towards this expense. We will update you via e-mail on how things are growing!

Tell us about yourself!

FSP: Our program was started in 2005 and continues to grow. We are a small team with a big vision, big mission, and big hearts!

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STARS wins our July SoupGrant

July SoupGrant winner Angie took home $98 on behalf of STARS.
July SoupGrant winner Angie took home $98 on behalf of STARS.

We had a great SoupGrant last Thursday! We featured two awesome projects – Go Green Trikes and STARS – who competed for our SoupGrant. In addition to hearing from Yvonne from GGT and Angie, one of the STARS parents, we had some great soups: potato chowder, crushed lentil, and an amazing carrot soup. Aliza made a delicious kale salad – we’ve had a few requests for the recipe! Watch out, Aliza! You may have more than one SoupGrant attendee asking you to make it again sometime!

Both ideas were very popular – we had lots of questions for Yvonne in particular! In the end, though, STARS pulled through with the majority of the vote. The $98 we awarded will be going to help them send the team to a national dance competition in New Jersey this August!

If you want to hear more about STARS, we encourage you to check them out and consider giving a donation to help them realize this awesome, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for their dancers!

We are hopeful that Yvonne will make it back to talk to us again in September. Go Green Trikes is a unique, innovative project and something we feel privileged to get the chance to hear about firsthand at SoupGrant!

Yvonne from Go Green Trikes, LLC gave a great presentation - we hope you come back in September!
Yvonne from Go Green Trikes, LLC gave a great presentation – we hope you come back in September!

July SoupGrant Angie

See you in August for our 1st Annual Birthday Soup!

Next SoupGrant July 17!

Our next SoupGrant is July 17!

Terry and Heather will be away on a much-deserved vacation, so Joel will be flying solo for the night.

We want to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has stepped forward so far to help out by preparing food for us. (See below for the night’s menu!)

This month, SoupGrant is featuring two fantastic local, #LoveLansing projects that you won’t want to miss! 

Presenters:

  1. Go Green Trikes
  2. S.T.A.R.S. Dance Company
  3. Got an idea? Start filling out an application for our September SoupGrant!

The first is Go Green Trikes, a very unique start-up here in Lansing that offers a green alternative for local deliveries.

If GGT wins the July SoupGrant, they will use the money “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.

The second is the S.T.A.R.S. Dance Company, a group of insanely talented girls who will be traveling to NY/NJ in August for a national dance competition.

Money raised at SoupGrant will be used to help offset travel costs for the dance team. The cost to send these 25 girls is $25,000 – you can check out more info on the team and their trip on their fundraising page!

Why is this project important?

We created our S.T.A.R.S. Dance Company (SDC) to allow our students the chance to compete, travel, take master classes and become accustomed to the professional dance world. Many of our dancers come from at risk neighborhoods and from homes where they would not be able to afford competitive dance training (almost 75% of our students receive financial assistance to participate).

Join us Thursday night to rally support around these two remarkable organizations that are making Lansing great.

Never been to a SoupGrant before? We raise money for community organizations one soup dinner at a time. The soup is free, homemade, and usually vegetarian or vegan. As we gather together to share a meal, we hear from members of the community who share projects and ideas that they are working on. Attendees donate $5 at the door for a vote. After hearing the presentations and having the opportunity to ask questions, you get to vote for the project of your choice. The winner takes home the SoupGrant to kickstart their work.

In the past, winners have taken home anywhere from $65 to $259. The more people you help bring out, the more money we can give to these great causes!

So come hungry – and don’t forget a bowl, spoon, and $5 to support the project of your choice.

On the menu:

  • Vegan sweet potato
  • Crushed lentil (vegetarian)
  • Salad from Aliza’s garden
  • Corn chowder (vegetarian)
  • And one more vegan soup!

RSVP on Facebook for July SoupGrant

Updated 7/16/14

Next #SoupGrant June 19

Join us Thursday, June 19 for our next SoupGrant!

As always, we meet at Grace Lutheran ELCA at 6.30 to share a delicious, home-made soup meal, hear ideas from around the Lansing community in our SoupGrant contest, make new friends, and catch up with old ones.

Our soups this week:

  • Crushed lentil (Made with chicken stock)
  • Veggie minestrone (Vegetarian)
  • Sweet parsnip (Vegetarian)
  • Shilton (Vegetarian)

Don’t forget to bring along a bowl, a spoon, and your appetite! Presentations begin shortly after 7 and voting takes place around 7.30.

We’ll be featuring Terra and the Food Systems Project which has been helping educate Lansing youth (grades 5-12) since 2005 on raising gardens. The program provides nutrition classes to over 1000 students a year!

We’ll also be hearing an update from past winner, Aliza, and her little free libraries project!

We collect a $5 donation at the door. This money goes to fund our SoupGrant that will be awarded at the end of the night to the community-based project with the most votes. Your donation gets you a vote!

We’re excited to see you! Please let us know if you’ll be coming on our Facebook pageIf you would like more info, check out some of the essential info on what we do and what we’re about. If you are interested in presenting a community-based project in our SoupGrant competition, check out past winners who have competed and the application page. We still have room for presenters, but hurry! It’s less than a week away!

This month’s winner will also be eligible to compete in our Birthday Soup in August when SoupGrant celebrates turning 1!

UPDATED 6/19/14

1st Annual Birthday Soup

Announcing our 1st Annual Birthday Soup!

It’s hard to believe, but it’s already been a year since our very first Soup! Grace Lutheran has been a gracious host this past year and we continue to meet there every 3rd Thursday from 6.30 to 8.30 pm.

Here are just a few highlights from SGL’s first year:

  • We’ve raised over $1,000 for a diverse range of community-based projects in the Greater Lansing area.
  • We raised $300 to support our ongoing efforts and sponsor a logo redesign contest.
  • Heather and Joel spoke with Mark Bashore on WKAR’s Current State back in February, sharing our vision and hopes for SGL and the Lansing community.
  • SGL partnered with Advent House to help distribute backpacks to homeless folks in Lansing thanks to our attendees’ donations.

In August, we’re going to celebrate the past year’s success with our 1st Annual Birthday Soup! As we do every month, we’ll feature three community projects to be voted on by our attendees. This dinner will be special in that we’re inviting past winners to participate a second time around, expediting the process for them and allowing them a chance to win more money to further their work!

We had three past winners respond expressing their interest in competing:

  1. Aliza and the Little Free Libraries
  2. D.A.N.C.E.
  3. Terra and the Food Systems Project

 

While winners are not obligated to present the exact same project, their presentations will be related to their past work and this second SoupGrant will help them as they continue striving to make a difference in the community!

Check back on our website, Twitter, or Facebook for the latest and see you August 21!

RSVP