In-kind gifts come from the heart
Ask donors why they give an in-kind gift — a service, product or expertise — to the University of Detroit Mercy and you’ll come away with a heart-warming story. More often than not, it’s a personal relationship with a professor or student, or a great experience with a community outreach program.
Recent in-kind gifts to the UDM School of Law helped cut the costs of renovating a historic firehouse and converting it into a unique office setting for the George J. Asher Law Clinic Center. When it opens in December 2012, it will be the new home of 10 legal clinics that help approximately 1,500 clients annually.
Joe Daly, Law ’84, a former assistant dean at the School of Law, donated all architectural and engineering services for the project. These services were provided by four family-owned companies and are worth $80,000. Daly says he “fell in love with the architectural and historical details of the building” when he first saw it in 2010.
“It was important for me to support this project due to its adjacent location to the law school and our ability to preserve and incorporate the historic qualities of the firehouse.” Dean Lloyd Semple and Assistant Dean for Operations Amy Smith shared Daly’s vision of the structure’s potential to assist clinical clients for generations to come.
The opportunity to get involved in the renovation as a donor drew in Rob Molnar, Law ’10, co-owner of Molnar Roofing Co. “When I found out that UDM was purchasing the building and that it would be used for the law clinics, I knew that it was time to give back,” says Molnar.
In 2010, he was a law student helping clients obtain federal benefits and assisting in other matters at the veteran’s law clinic and Project Salute program. “There was never enough hours in the day to give 100 percent to attending classes, helping at the clinics and working,” Molnar says. “I made a commitment then that I would help out the clinics however I could in the future.”
The white PVC roofing system has a solar reflective roof, which meets LEED standards, and, with high insulation, will lower heating and cooling costs.
Dental School attracts many in-kind donors
Rick Kelley, executive director of Advancement, Alumni Relations and Continuing Education at the UDM School of Dentistry, often fields calls from donors and alumni who want to donate equipment or supplies to the School. Since UDM has state-of-theart equipment in its dental suites, Kelley often routes the equipment donations to community programs that offer free dental care, including St. Vincent de Paul, Covenant Community Care and St. Leo’s.
Donated supplies are put to use by UDM dental students during their mission trips to Honduras and Guatemala. Approximately 600 residents are treated annually by UDM dental students and faculty in the rural mountain region of La Reforma. The Christian Dental Association (CDA) sends 15 dental students and two to three dentists to Honduras twice a year. Their reward is seeing the gleaming smiles of gratitude from the people who receive dental care.
Many vendors provide free supplies for the Dental School’s annual “Give Kids a Smile” day in February, which draws about 150 children between 4 and 16 years of age. Fourth year dental students, supervised by dental professors, conduct a dental exam, do extractions and fill cavities while dental hygiene students clean teeth and educate these young patients about good oral hygiene. This event is supported by Benco Dental and Kerr Dental.