Directly affect your community on a budget that won’t break the bank: $5 gets you in the door and will give you a vote determining who will win the collected entry fees.

Ditching soup for ice cream in the sweltering heat, Soup Grant Lansing is hosting its next event, July 19, 6:30 p.m. at EagleMonk Pub and Brewery, 4906 W. Mt. Hope Hwy, with St. Vincent Catholic Charities competing against the Indivisible Group of Michigan’s 8th Congressional District.


St. Vincent Catholic Charities is looking to fund a library that supplies parents of foster children with books and videos that teach lessons about childhood trauma. It also plans to purchase children’s books that can explain the system of foster care, adoption, therapy and trauma.


Alternatively, the Indivisible Group is looking to fund a “Common Good” BBQ and potluck. The event would invite 97 local community organizations with the purpose of strengthening relationships among people that serve the Lansing community. They plan to have a soap box where each organization can explain their mission for a few minutes and let people know how to get involved.


It is not always a competition with winners and losers, said Soup Grant Lansing’s social media coordinator, Dilla Muthukuda.


“One month we had the Ingham County Animal Shelter along with a Habitat for Humanity project. The Habitat for Humanity project worked with kids to build birdhouses, so kids could get used to using tools and building things,” said Muthukuda.


“I don't even remember who won, but they got the kids to build things for the dogs in the shelter because they needed dog beds. They were talking about already building these things and the other group said, ‘We can just do it for you.’”


This kind of collaboration doesn't happen at more modern fundraising platforms like GoFundMe and Kickstarter, Muthukuda said. “It’s that collaboration — building community with each other and gathering to share a meal. That’s something you can't duplicate,” said Muthukuda.


In its mission to help transform the Lansing community, Muthukuda said that Soup Grant Lansing can cater to those that don’t have a nonprofit status, but want to make a difference.


Seeing what past presenters have done with the money is inspiring, said Muthukuda. “We had a refugee development center that won the soup grant. They came back and shared with us that they raised the money to buy bathing suits for refugee children,” said Muthukuda.


As a completely volunteer lead organization, Muthukuda said that Soup Grant Lansing is always looking for volunteers.


“We all have full time jobs outside of soup grant,” said Muthukuda. “This is 100 percent volunteer driven, so there is a time commitment on our part and we are always looking for help.”


Along with the presentations, there will be a raffle for gift cards as well.


“We are never at a shortage of food or enthusiasm.”


$5 at the door. Free ice cream (bring your own toppings). Donations accepted. For more info, visit https://soupgrantlansing.com/.