Service-Immersion Program: LOVE

The Lasallian Outreach Volunteer Experience (LOVE) provides service-immersion experiences and offers Jaspers the chance to live in solidarity with the poor, experience an unfamiliar culture, learn about issues of social justice, engage in direct service and reflect on the world in light of faith and spirituality.

Students spend a week or more during school breaks living and serving in marginalized communities domestically and abroad. This program is a defining part of the Jasper experience. So what makes LOVE special?

LOVE is founded on four pillars:

Students build a home in New OrleansService and social justice

Each LOVE trip offers a different unique experience. Some destinations offer immersion experiences: the opportunity to engage with local communities in Ecuador and Jamaica, or learn about immigration issues on both sides of the border in Mexico and Arizona. Others involve more hands-on service work, such as helping to rebuild homes in New Orleans post-Hurricane Katrina.

Many LOVE trips partner with Lasallian communities local to the area, as well as other religiously affiliated organizations that have roots in communities, such as Rostro de Cristo or Catholic Relief Services. 

Cultural immersion

LOVE gives you the opportunity to learn about a new culture by experiencing it firsthand. As a participant, you'll live and work in solidarity alongside members of the community, hearing the stories of local heroes who are selflessly working toward the same goals. You'll learn about problems your community faces, and gain new perspectives on issues that rarely make it to the mainstream media. You'll eat local cuisine, partake in traditional customs and be encouraged to step out of your comfort zone.

Community

Students hike through the Arizona desertMeeting Jaspers from different walks of life is one of the best parts of LOVE. Trips are offered during spring, summer and winter breaks when school is not in session. You apply to a specific program, and if accepted, spend the semester prior to your trip learning about the culture of your destination and the prevalent social justice issues, while getting to know a community of peers through fundraising and social activities. The friendships developed through LOVE are truly unique, and tend to last throughout college and beyond!

Spirituality

You don’t have to be religious to join LOVE, but going in with an open mind is certainly required. Throughout the trip, members practice simple living and forgo technology to spend time in quiet reflection and self-discovery. Most agree that LOVE is a transformative experience, and guaranteed to open your eyes to new ways of thinking, living and serving when you return home.

Destinations

While each LOVE destination offers something unique, all focus on faith, service, forming community and reflecting on issues of justice. These eye-opening experiences give you the chance to put your faith into action and serve others in a practical, safe and results-orientated way. Rather than just giving charity, you’ll be working toward leaving a lasting social impact. And by living within a community whose culture, language and resources may be different from your own, you’ll leave with new perspectives on life.

  • United States

    Arizona

    Offered during: Spring break

    In partnership with Borderlinks, this trip exposes students to the multifaceted immigration issue. Borderlinks helps to raise awareness about the impact of border and immigration policies, and inspires action for social transformation.

    Chicago

    Offered during: Summer break

    LOVE Chicago takes place at the Brother David Darst Center. As a participant, you are fully immersed in urban life, and address core issues such as homelessness and poverty. This trip is a great way to see the social injustices that are prevalent in American cities and reflect upon the root causes.

    Florida

    Offered during: Summer break

    On LOVE Florida, you have the unique opportunity to work with migrant families at the De La Salle Centre in Homestead, Florida, outside of Miami. As group members, you will serve as tutors, after-school caretakers and help with computer and English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, among many other projects.

    Montana

    Offered during: Spring break

    On this trip, you are immersed in Native American culture by living on the Blackfeet reservation in Browning, Montana. You will assist with classroom duties and after-school programs at De La Salle Blackfeet School, a middle school run by the De La Salle Christian Brothers. You also have the chance to discuss community issues such as poverty and alcoholism, and how education is a key factor in overcoming these struggles.

    New Orleans

    Offered during: Winter break

    As a participant in L.O.V.E. New Orleans, you will work with Project Homecoming, a community development organization committed to rebuilding homes destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Through service and fellowship you get to rebuild and reflect alongside community members. There are also opportunities to get a taste of authentic New Orleans culture.

    Texas

    Offered during: Summer break

    On this trip, you will work as a counselor for one week at Camp Reynal, a summer camp for children who have severe kidney disease. Through activities such as horseback riding, swimming, and arts and crafts, you ensure the children have a genuine camp experience. 

  • Caribbean

    Haiti

    Offered during: Winter break

    LOVE Haiti offers a perfect blend of service work and cultural immersion. As a volunteer, you will work alongside locals in Port-au-Prince, building personal and emotional connections with your neighbors. You also have the chance to see the Church’s work abroad by living with the De La Salle Christian Brothers and working at their school and orphanage, as well as visiting the Haitian branch of Catholic Relief Services.

    Jamaica

    Offered during: Winter break

    On LOVE Jamaica, you will live and work with Mustard Seed Communities, an organization serving over 500 children, young adults and families who belong to the most vulnerable groups in Jamaican society. The populations of their homes include children and young adults with disabilities, children affected by HIV/AIDS and teen mothers along with their babies. In addition to completing service projects for the community, you'll get to practice simple living and develop personal connections with the residents.

  • Central and South America

    Ecuador

    Offered during: Winter break​

    As a L.O.V.E. Ecuador volunteer, you will work with Rostro de Cristo, a Catholic retreat program based in the impoverished community of Duran, Ecuador. Through “being with, not doing for” volunteers are immersed in the community, giving them the opportunity to learn from their neighbors; hear their struggles, share their joys. 

    Guatemala

    Offered during: Spring break​

    LOVE Guatemala immerses you in Guatemalan culture, allowing for intimate interaction with the village in which you work. Partnering with Via International, you will focus on community development, usually improving a local school building or maintaining other communal spaces. You also get a chance to help inside the classroom, teaching a short lesson for children of all ages about a predetermined topic. This is all done with the belief that "When people thrive, community thrives."

How to Get Involved

Donate

LOVE trips are largely funded through the generosity of others. Help spread the LOVE by making a gift to support a trip.

Donate to LOVE

Apply

All Manhattan College students are encouraged to apply to a LOVE trip. Applicants are interviewed and required to commit to weekly meetings during the semester prior to their trip.

Currently enrolled Manhattan College students can apply for a LOVE trip on the Inside Manhattan website.

Inside Manhattan: LOVE Application