SUNY VINES Places 2nd in Newman’s Own Foundation Campus Community Service Challenge

The Center for Civic Engagement is extremely proud to announce that SUNY VINES took second place in the Newman’s Own Foundation Campus Community Service Challenge, winning a grant for $15,000 that was announced at the America East Men's Basketball Semifinal on Sunday, March 4th.   
Newman’s Own Foundation teamed up with the America East Conference to support community service among college students in the third annual Newman's Own Foundation Challenge. The Challenge provides grants to non-profit finalists who partner with student groups from each of the America East Conference's nine universities. Student groups and local non-profits worked together to write grant proposals to fund community service projects. The Center for Civic Engagement facilitated the on-campus grant selection process and provided guidance and support to student groups and nonprofits in the development of their grant proposals. The non-profits had a chance to win a minimum grant of $5,000 and up to $25,000.

SUNY VINES, Volunteers Improving Neighborhood Environments, partnered with the local nonprofit organization of the same name, VINES, a program of Earth Day Southern Tier. Placing as a finalist in the Newman's Own Foundation Challenge recognized SUNY VINES for the impact of the combined efforts of Binghamton students with the community members of VINES. With over 200 student volunteers, the student group works to build and maintain community gardens and parks, contributes to workshops on planting and composting, promotes environmental health and coordinates litter cleanups. The community organization leads urban farming projects, promotes community gardening, organizes a summer youth program and educational gardening workshop series.

“It was a real honor to be a recipient of the grant from Newman's Own Foundation,” reflected Sarah Lourdes Lister, President of SUNY VINES and a senior Biology and Environmental Studies double-major. “They were really sincere in their shows of appreciation for the work we do, and I left the conference with a strong sense of pride for the volunteerism and enthusiasm I see in SUNY VINES members.”

SUNY VINES and VINES put in a lot of hard work preparing their grant proposal, and we’re happy to have worked beside them through the process. We’re also very excited to see the projects they develop with the money they were awarded!

Look out for next year’s Newman's Own Foundation Campus Community Service Challenge—your student group could be next year's finalist!

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