As fall turns to winter, there’s nothing like a great bowl of soup on a cold day. Soup of Success soup mixes can help speed up the homemade soup process and help marginalized women – a win win!
Soup of Success began in 1997 when Church Community Services started trying to help their clients by learning more about the root causes of poverty. Starting with one participant in a church basement, the idea of creating a soup mix to sell resulted in Ruth’s 5-Bean Soup mix. Today, this faith-based non-profit continues to impact lives, teaching life skills to women in Elkhart County, Indiana.
While working in a domestic violence shelter, Betsy Ayrea Delfine disliked the fact that her clients often had to choose between going on welfare or going back to an abusive relationship. Then Soup of Success was born, and her role of director gave her an opportunity to help empower women. “God definitely led me here,” Betsy says.
Currently, Betsy leads a staff of seven, four of whom are graduates of the program. The staff works with each class of 8 to 12 women in an intensive 20-week program. In the program the women learn how to run the soup business. But they’re also learning about themselves, taking stock of their strengths and weaknesses. They meet with counselors and research potential career paths. They have access to community resources including mental and physical health services, domestic violence awareness, and continuing education.
As a young woman, Betsy was in an unhealthy relationship and understands the impact a bad relationship can have on someone. She felt called to help other women. “It bothers me how many can’t see a future for themselves.”
Sales of the soup mixes and other products fund the program. Each class spends about half of their time in production, working together and building teamwork skills, and the women are paid for their work. The soup is available online at soupofsuccess.com and can be found in hundreds of stores across the country.
Production manager Rachel Johnson is a testament to the program. The mother of three graduated from Soups of Success in 2016 and today takes pride in helping other women learn to believe in themselves. “To see myself as a source of support and encouragement is amazing!” she says.
One of my favorite quotes is featured at the top of this week’s WealthNotes email: “The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” These words from Coretta Scott King reinforce the importance of a community identifying its needs and taking the steps to help. Soup of Success is an inspiring example of that ideal. What needs could you help in your community?
Written by Michelle O’Brien, Manager of Marketing & Communications