Flint SOUP is dishing up more bowls than ever before – which translates to even greater support each year for local community projects. Started in 2012 by Adrian Montague, Flint SOUP is a monthly dinner that raises startup money for creative projects in the Greater Flint.
According to Adrian, it has grown from 40 to over 1,700 followers in just two short years, has held at least 15 events and has raised more than $5,000 in startup funding. “We are really humbled by all of the support we’ve received from people within our state, out of state, and overseas,” says Adrian.
In fact, Flint SOUP has been so successful that she decided to expand the effort to serve all of Genesee County. The first countywide SOUP was held on March 22, and resulted in awarding of funds to Next Step Scholarship, created by Reality Edwards. Next Step is a scholarship program that concentrates on high school students who have experienced the loss of a parent or loved one and helps them move forward.
Flint SOUP is a creative way for people to get involved in the community and support local entrepreneurs. It provides a platform for connecting and sharing ideas, which in turn builds trust within the community. Here’s how it works: A minimum donation of $5 is required from anyone attending, for which they get a delicious dinner consisting of soup, salad and bread, served by volunteers.
During dinner, those seeking fund present their different business/ community project ideas. Projects can range from a number of things including house renovations, art funding, scholarship funding and local gardening projects. Presenters are also encouraged to socialize with attendees between presentations and answer any questions they might have. After all of the presentations, attendees vote on the project idea they like the best. The winner then receives all of the money raised at the dinner to put toward their project.
However, through all of the success, Adrian stays humble. “I wouldn’t say that we’ve realized our vision simply because our vision continues to get bigger and bigger,” she says. “We are all world-changers in our own way!” The vision for SOUP remains the same: to see the ideas of the community come to life.
“When you are a part of the SOUP community, you are no longer able to sit on the sidelines – you’re in on the liveliness and action of rebuilding a city, community and region,” says Adrian. “We love to support the dreams of our community.”