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We won 189 big ones. Or 400 big ones, depending on how you look at it.

We went to Soup Grant Lansing last Thursday on 1/15/15. This was our second attempt pitching Cuts and Convos at Soup Grant Lansing. Last month we lost by a meager three votes so they were so gracious in inviting us back this month, and we won! Thank you to everyone who supported us that night.

When they announced that we won, they announced that the prize money was $188. The next morning, when I opened the sealed envelope and counted the money I was hoping that the Soup Grant Lansing staff miscounted and that there would be more money in the envelope than they counted. There was! One extra dollar! #winning! So the grant was actually $189.

For those of you who do not know, we were looking to raise funds to pay for our 501(c)(3) application. It costs $400! So far, my wife and I have paid for all the expenses for Cuts and Convos out of our own pockets, but we could not personally swing another $400. Becoming a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt is going to allow us to go further faster because we will be eligible to apply for grants that are only open to organizations that are tax-exempt. Furthermore, there are many private donors that are unwilling or at least less likely to donate to organizations that are not tax-exempt.

We would have been more than content with the $189 soup grant. However, after my presentation, a guy walked up to me. I don’t think he was wealthy. He didn’t appear to be wealthy. He was dressed like a regular guy, he was wearing jeans and a navy blue hoodie. During my presentation, he was sitting in the front row and seemed to really be into my pitch so I was more than happy to shake his hand and talk to him. I thought that he would say something such as, “I like what you are doing, that was a good presentation.” Instead what he said was “How much money do you need to pay for your 501(c)(3) application?” I replied, “We were given $3o at Soup Grant Lansing last month… so $370.” At that point I smiled an unconfident smile. What he said next, I had no response for, and my smile turned to stunned look. He said, “Whatever you don’t raise tonight, I want to give to you as a donation.” What????? Blown away! I didn’t know how to respond. Like I said, I don’t think he is wealthy. He just has a heart to help and he feels that we are doing good things in the community. So he is personally paying the remaining $181 for us to pay for the 501(c)(3) application. That means that we are done raising funds for our 501(c)(3) application! I sent him an email the next day to tell him the amount we would need and he is making good on his promise. I still don’t know what to say. Except, wow. Thank you so much. More Amazing to come!

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-Jonathan Arias

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