Programs and Partners
The Rev. Joseph L. Levesque, C.M., Institute for Civic Engagement works with numerous organizations on and off campus to enhance the lives of community members.
The Sustainable Sandals Project is a local operation coordinated through Niagara University that collects sandals that are gently worn by tourists who visit the Cave of the Winds attraction in Niagara Falls. The sandals are stylish, sturdy, comfortable, and waterproof. Instead of throwing approximately 300,000 of these sandals away, the Cave of the Winds donates them to the Sustainable Sandals Project.
Volunteers and supporters of the project sort, sanitize and box the sandals, which are then distributed to individuals in need of footwear worldwide. Locally, the Sustainable Sandals Project gives the sandals to churches, missions, soup kitchens, community centers and street outreaches. The sandals are also sent to organizations nationally to be distributed to their missions. Internationally, the sandals are sent to areas in need of shoes such as Cuba, Haiti, India, Kenya and Malaysia.
At NU, faculty and staff have taken sandals on mission trips to Malawi, Guatemala, and El Salvador. This project is, at its heart, Vincentian, through providing people with secure, sturdy and comfortable footwear. It also provides a high quality service learning opportunity for students in the College of Business and throughout the university.
The Education Award Program encourages civic engagement among college students, promotes the National Service movement, and encourages positive relationships between campuses and communities. The program meets critical community needs by engaging college students in service as part-time AmeriCorps members, fostering within them an ethic of civic responsibility.
Once students complete 300 hours of service in a calendar year, they are eligible to receive a $1,175 Education Award to be applied toward federal student loans or the cost of attendance at a college.
For more information about NYCC’s Education Award Program, check out http://www.nycampuscompact.org/education-award-program.html.