Tag Archives: Mid-Michigan

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!

It’s Our Birthday!

Three years ago, SoupGrant Lansing opened its doors for the first time. Over the years, we’ve connected countless community members and helped over thirty Lansing organizations reach their goals. This Thursday, we’re celebrating our birthday with a special reunion Soup!

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Come out and join us as we welcome back Lansing Track Club, Gateway’s TRUE Project and Helping Women Period. As usual, there will be tons of soup for all tastes – and birthday cake! Bring your friends and family for a great meal and great ideas.

To learn about this month’s presenters, click here.

Meet Our August Presenters!

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 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

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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

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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.

Congratulations to the Ingham County Animal Control Outreach Center!

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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!

Now Hiring! (Well, Sort Of…)

Soup 1SoupGrant Lansing is hiring! (Sort of…) We are currently in need of a volunteer/intern who can take over our social media presence on Facebook and Twitter.

We are looking for someone who meets the following qualifications:

  • First and foremost, a passion for the city of Lansing and surrounding region including (but not limited to) its entrepreneurs, neighborhoods, art, food and agriculture, non-profits, and socially conscious local business.
  • Demonstrated experience and knowledge with social media.
  • Ability to dedicate up to an hour a day to promoting SoupGrant Lansing, future events, past presenters and partners, and other relevant info on community happenings.
  • Ability to identify and make contact with people whose projects may be good candidates for a SoupGrant.
  • Ability to leverage existing media (including articles, videos, photos, etc.) and to brainstorm ideas for future media.
  • Strong creative impulse and ability to work in a self-directed capacity.
  • Ability to keep SoupGrant Lansing front-of-mind with our followers without overwhelming them.
  • Ability to work well with a small, dedicated team of volunteers on shoe-string budget.

If you are interested in filling this role or know someone else who may be interested, please e-mail SoupGrantLansing@gmail.com!

While we are unable to offer any financial compensation and this position is being offered strictly on a volunteer basis, this is a great opportunity for someone to make connections around the city of Lansing and the tri-county region and beef up social media credentials with a growing organization.

RDC Summer Camps Wins May 21 SoupGrant

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Congratulations to the Refugee Development Center’s summer camp program on winning $200 at SoupGrant on May 21!

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.

Bruce from past SoupGrant winner Lansing Soccer Club talks about their progress repairing fields this spring.
Bruce, from past SoupGrant winner Lansing Soccer Club, talks about their progress repairing fields this spring.

Compost Katie, a curb-side recycling program, came in a very close second and we’re pleased to let you know that Woody will be back on June 18 to share this new project with us again.

So, if you missed out last month, make plans to join us June 18!

If you have a project that you would like to present, get an application in today!

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.

Recap of March 19 SoupGrant

On March 19, about 30 Lansingites gathered in the basement of Grace Lutheran ELCA to share a hearty, healthy, and delicious meal – and, at the same time, to support a great cause. Two very different groups came to present their ideas, both hoping to make the Lansing area a healthier and happier place to live – and eat!

The first, HerBlends of Plenty, has been joining us faithfully month after month since late 2014, every month treating us to delicious, locally-sourced tea. We look forward to having them with us every third Thursday, especially this month where they joined us to present their idea for an accessible and affordable farm-to-table community kitchen and tea house on Lansing’s Eastside. The night of SoupGrant, they also announced the location for their new brick-and-mortar establishment: Avenue Cafe at 2021 Michigan Ave.

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Kirk from HerBlends of Plenty.

Our second contender was Team Playmakers from St. Vincent Catholic Charities. This group of volunteers works with foster children in need of support and stability in their lives as well as a healthy, physical outlet. As Ann shared with us, what the kids at St. Vincent need more than anything is the constancy of a reliable adult presence in their lives. Everyone, I think, was deeply impressed by the stories of kids who have gone from exhibiting indifference or resistance to the running program to enthusiastic participation as they see their mentors return faithfully week after week.

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Ann from Team Playmakers at St. Vincent.

Those who have been to SoupGrant before know just how hard it is to have two great presentations on the same night and to be forced to choose which one to support. (I myself never vote because it’s just too hard to make up my mind!) Unfortunately, everyone gets only one vote, and only one can win. Maybe Kirk (from HerBlends) encouraging everyone to vote for Team Playmakers made the decision a little easier this month.

In the end, Team Playmakers won your votes and, in doing so, your generous donations totaling $152. Team Playmakers will be able to use this money to pay for registration fees, training clothes, and program incentives for the kids. You can find more info about them here.

If you would like to support HerBlends of Plenty, be sure to like them on Facebook and follow the developments as they launch their crowd-funding campaign. Having an affordable, farm-to-table option sounds like a great addition to Lansing’s Eastside and we can’t wait for them to open their doors!

Finally, we got to welcome the Clinton County FFA back this month. We were thrilled to not only hear about how business has been going for them since they won SoupGrant last October, we also got to see the fruit of their dedication as they followed through on their promise to collect donations for the Lansing Area AIDS Network pantry, a pledge they made after beating out LAAN to win that month’s SoupGrant.

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FFA of Clinton County donated a lot of great items to LAAN as well as over $140!
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Clinton County FFA joined us to update us about how business is going for them five months after winning SoupGrant – and also to drop off all those bags of donations for LAAN that you see on the stage!

Thank you again to everyone who joined us. Since 2013, you have helped raise $2153 – and that’s not including the numerous second-hand donations that have been made by those who have given additional time, funds, and resources to folks who presented at SoupGrant! We are working to partner with past SoupGrant presenters to create some volunteer events around Lansing in the coming months. If that interests you, be sure to join our Meetup page! It’s free and it’s a great way to see what our friends are up to around town.

See you April 16 for our next SoupGrant! We still have room for YOUR application, so head on over to the application page and fill one out! Got questions? Check out the FAQs or e-mail us (SoupGrantLansing@gmail.com) if you can’t find the answer to your question!

March 19 SoupGrant Contender: HerBlends of Plenty

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HerBlends of Plenty

Tell us a little bit about your project.

HerBlends of Plenty is looking to open up a brick & mortar, including a tea house, community supported kitchen, and a small fresh market.

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

Towards the down payment on the space.

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

Lansing currently has zero tea houses, and now the city proper has zero farm-to-table restaurants. This is a shame. We are looking to address this deficit, while supporting local farmers and creating healthy food that people can afford. We feel that Lansing needs motivated entrepreneurs to partner with local farmers and find creative ways to make food more accessible to those who need it the most.

For all the details on our March 19 SoupGrant and to RSVP, check out our Facebook event page!

March 19 SoupGrant Contender: Team Playmakers at St. Vincent’s

Team Playmakers

Team Playmakers at St. Vincent’s

Tell us a little bit about your project.

Team Playmakers at St. Vincent’s is a running and walking program at St. Vincent Children’s Home in Lansing. The home houses up to 40 abused and neglected kids at a time, ages 5 – 18. We train with the kids three days a week, and go to races once or twice a month.

If you win, how will you use the money?

We use donations to pay for race entry fees, training clothing (such as shorts in the summer, and gloves in the winter), and program incentives (the kids get a small toe token for every five miles they complete, and when they get to 50 miles they get to dig in the Treasure Box!). Playmakers donates gently used shoes for all the kids.

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

These kids have no one. They have no voice. They’ve been mistreated and have lived in many homes. Running and walking gives them a healthy outlet for their anger and frustration. But exercise isn’t what’s most important about our program, it’s that we show up consistently, and listen without judgement. When kids leave St. Vincent’s, they take new, healthy habits back into the community with them. We plant a seed, and in most cases, we’ll never have the opportunity to see if it grows, but we know some will.

For all the details on our March 19 SoupGrant and to RSVP, check out our Facebook event page!