Soup Of Success Expands Programming, Social Enterprise and Opportunities

Church Community Services’ Soup Of Success Program is kicking off 2013 in a huge way – with expansion of all types.

  • New Product Line

  • New Ways You Can Help

  • New Graduate Hired

  • New Investment Opportunities

The Soup Of Success Job & Life Skills Training Program serves women in Elkhart County.  It is a holistic program that encompasses multiple facets including:  educational classes, support groups, mentoring, career counseling and hands-on job and life skills.    Our mission is to empower women, through education and resources, to build self-esteem, develop independence and improve quality of life – and we have been doing just that since 1997.

New Product Line

In November of 2012, we were approached by local artist and CCS volunteer, Carla Chester, who offered an amazing opportunity to take over her company, The Mitten Factory.

photo (26)

After lots of staff discussion on logistics and analyzing costs, the project was proposed to the CCS Board of Directors and received a thumbs up on 2/18/13.

photo (23)

Production on the upcycled wool mittens begins this March.  Carla Chester has given us her supplies and the pattern for her highly popular products and will spend time training and mentoring women in the Soup Of Success program in order to assure that quality is maintained and the transition is smooth.

” I have been making mittens in my studio for four years now.  I am getting weary of trying to keep up with the demand and look forward to moving on to other artistic endeavors,” says Carla.  “I love this product and am so happy to be passing this opportunity on to Soup Of Success, so that they may use it to continue to  empower women.”

Proceeds from all product sales are used to pay training wages for program participants.


“We are thrilled to be recycling old wool sweaters into fabulous mittens!  Happy earth, happy customers, empowered & happy program participants – It’s a win any way you look at it.”  – Betsy Ayrea, Director, Soup Of Success

New Items to Donate

We can use the help of our friends acquiring the wool to make our mittens.  We are asking the public to look in their closets, thrift stores, garage sales, etc.  for lambswool sweaters and give them to Soup Of Success.

  • Wool sweaters with a 50% or higher lambswool content are best (acrylic blends will not work)
  • Heavy Merino wool sweaters will work as well
  • Patterned sweaters and bright colors are especially needed, but any color will do
  • Unusual or vintage buttons in any color (no metal buttons please)
  • If you are unsure of the sweater and it’s wool content, please donate it anyway.  Sweaters that we are unable to use, we will donate to a local clothing pantry.

If your church or company would like a sweater collection box, Soup Of Success would be happy to deliver it and pick up any collected sweaters.

photo (24)

New SOS Graduate Hired

We have hired recent Soup Of Success graduate, Mechiel Dues, to head up production on the Textile line.  She will be the lead trainer for the women and will also be instrumental in helping us build capacity as the demand for our other product lines (soups, cookies, dips, gift baskets & greeting cards) continues to increase.

photo (27)

“Being a part of the Soup Of Success staff is just amazing to me.  Being a participant in the program changed my life, and I feel privileged to be able to pay it forward to my community. ” – Mechiel

New Investment Opportunity

With this expansion comes the opportunity for the women to be more intensively trained in additional aspects of running a small business.  They will learn about product costs, time management, return on investment, and also celebrate as individual investments are repaid.

Investors are needed to help fund the startup of this new project.  We are looking for companies and individuals who would be willing to:

  • Donate funds designated for the new SOS textile line – OR –
  • Invest in this project by granting Soup Of Success a no interest loan to be paid back within a 48 month period
  • Send us needed items off of our wish list

We are very excited about this new chapter in the Soup Of Success story!

For more information on investing or acquiring a sweater donation box, contact Betsy Ayrea, Director of Soup Of Success (574) 523-1551 x105.


2 responses to “Soup Of Success Expands Programming, Social Enterprise and Opportunities

  1. Soup of Success is a wonderful program. I was a graduate in 2007 and enjoyed learning the different things that they offered. I am now a graduate of Ivy Tech community College and thanks to SOS, they helped me get to where I am now. Successful, Independent and Empowered.

  2. Bets, In the spring my company does Global Service Events–read that community service (504C) events. As long as we continue these in 2014 I think I could use several sweater boxes. I think we can fill em!!! So, once I find out that I can do this, are they shippable, or do I need to plan a road trip? Lerta

Join the Conversation

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s