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February 05, 1998 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-02-05

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Mlternative WeekendsF
expand service opportunites
Rachel Groman where students help at a soup kitchen unteers stayed at a ministry center and
r the Daily maintained by the Detroit Rescue with a Proun from Aricors
y te etoi Rsce it a grupfrmAmri.rs

The Michigan Daily - Thursday, February 5, 1998 - 5A

Sweet dreams

vertisements for Alternative Spring
decorate the campus and flood stu-
nts' e-mail accounts. These communi-
service programs have become so pop-
athat a similar group, Alternative
'kends, has formed to provide an out-
for the increasing generousity of stu-
Alternative Weekends, organized by
-ject SERVE, began five years ago as
esult of volunteers who wanted to con-
au service throughout the year.
-munteers join a team which goes to
e seine site once a month for a semes-
," said SNRE junior Molly Eigen, the
up's education training coordinator.
The teams consist of seven to 10
dergraduates, graduate students and
mue faculty. There are currently 45
The locations for the program range
m Chicago, where volunteers shop
d deliver food for AIDS/HIV victims
gh Open Hand Chicago, to Detroit,
unds, tax
DETROIT (AP) - Charities nation-
ide already offer tax deductions for
>ated cars, boats or mobile homes. A
w program based in Oakland County
ters deductions to owners of contam-
ated or condemned property.
e Better Dreams Foundation
s its charitable purpose is to help
ing children and substance abusers.
But the Detroit Free Press said in a
port yesterday that the foundation
elf has done no work on behalf of
ose causes - while most of its
orts have been devoted to telling
operty owners how they can receive
x advantages and reduce their liabili-
for costly environmental cleanups.
chigan Attorney General Frank
y took a dim view of Better
"This environmental and tax scheme
one of the best I've seen in a long
e," Kelley told the newspaper. "We
ould not have charities giving tax
eaks to willful polluters"
Foundation Chair Steven DiMaggio
id it was premature to judge Better
reams' performance because it has
recognized as a charity only since
ber 1996.
"Before people start judging and
rt making such outrageous state-
ents ... they should look at what
're trying to do," foundation attorney
ran O'Keefe said during a Dec. 30
But since then the foundation has
jected Free Press requests for an
terview because the newspaper
sisted it be tape-recorded.
$documents filed with the Internal
evenue Service, the foundation stated
expected to spend more than
600,000 on charitable activities
rough the end of 1997. But Better
reams has done no direct charitable
ork with terminally ill children or
bstance abusers, the Free Press said.
"We essentially want to be check
riters to other organizations,"
i aggio said. The only cause with
t the foundation is involved is the
)eration of two homes for recovering
Idicts in Pontiac, he said.

DiMaggio would not say how
uch money the foundation con-
ibutes to those homes. But Ron
ixon, who runs several recovery
ames, told the Free Press that he
ays Better Dreams $2,000 a month
use the two houses owned by the
Axon also said he pays $1,000 in
,o thly rent for each of four other
ontiac-area houses directly to Ralph
laupin, the foundation's executive
ice president, and Maupin's business
ssociate, Charles Dill, Jr.
Both Maupin and Dill declined to
omment, the Free Press said.
According to a 49-page information
ackage distributed last fall to prospec-
ve donors, Better Dreams "views
f as a 'sophisticated nonprofit real
state organization' with expertise in
valuating, acquiring, managing and
isposing of problem properties."
The foundation says it will accept
ny type of property, including pollut-

Participants of Alternative Weekends
also organize community service events
for other groups on campus. Various fra-
ternities, as well as the 21st Century
Program, have sought the organizations
LSA sophomore Katrina Sliwka is a
site leader for Open Hand Chicago this
year. The group returned Sunday from a
weekend trip to Chicago where they
worked at a grocery pantry for AIDS vic-
"We accomodate those that are not
able to afford the proper diet needed,"'
Sliwka said.
Throughout the year, each site is vis-
ited about five times by the same group.
Sliwka's group plans to return to
Chicago two more times this semester.
Travel and housing expenses are cov-
ered through fundraisers, as well as
grants allocated to Project Serve,
Sliwka said. While in Chicago, the vol-

"My role (as a site leader) is to orga-
nize the trip, making sure the site knows
we're coming. However, I like to think of
it as a group project," Sliwka said.
Sliwka added she has gained insight
into another community.
"I don't think I'd have access to such
eye-opening events (on campus)" she
Site leader Greg Garza said he
learned a valuable lesson about the
increasing population of elderly peo-
ple through his community service
"People don't know how important
this is," said Garza, an Engineering first-
year student. "One out of eight people are
65 and over, and by the year 2010 it will
be one out of five. This is one of
America's most overlooked problems"
"Applications for our program are
avalable at the beginning of each
semester. There are also mass meet-
ings," Eigen said.

LSA senior Robyn Lebow dozes off while reading Death in Venice in the Michigan Union yesterday. As mid-terms
approach students can be found fitting in a little sleep in places all across campus.


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