The student-run service organization The Detroit Partnership will send more than 1,100 students to the Motor City tomorrow for the group’s ninth-annual Detroit Partnership Day, in which volunteers take part in service projects at schools and neighborhood centers throughout the city.

For Detroit Partnership Day, better known as “DP Day,” volunteers are sent to more than 50 different sites in Northwest Detroit, where they tutor students, plant trees, refurbish public parks and paint murals at different locations. The daylong event is the organization’s biggest event of the year.

LSA senior Michael O’Brien, the group’s spokesman, said he has high expectations for Saturday’s event.

“I anticipate a very good turnout,” O’Brien said. “I think it is going to be one of the best and biggest DP days.”

O’Brien emphasized that The Detroit Partnership, with its community service projects in Detroit, is not a charity.

“We build relationships,” O’Brien said. “We’re not here pretending we can change Detroit all by ourselves. We like to believe that we get something out of it, and at the same time, build relationships and engage in service.”

To distinguish itself from charitable organizations, the group changed its name last month from The Detroit Project to The Detroit Partnership.

O’Brien said the name change would be officially announced tomorrow.

LSA senior Michael Adler, who has participated in DP Day for the last three years, said he felt strongly about the work that the group does.

“I have gained a better understanding on some of the things that are being done by community members to make the community better, which I don’t think a lot of people realize.” Adler said. “It is fascinating, all the amazing things that go on.”

LSA freshman Rebecca Egler said she’s excited to participate in the program for the first time.

“Being so close to Detroit has made me more and more interested in it,” Egler said. “It gives people a taste of what service in an urban area would be and gives people an incentive to volunteer more often.”

Egler said The Detroit Partnership encourages University students to branch out with their community service to places beyond campus.

“It’s important for people to realize there are communities besides the magical world of Ann Arbor,” she said.

John J. George, president and co-founder of the Motor City Blight Busters, a non-profit neighborhood revitalization organization in Detroit, said it’s been a pleasure working with The Detroit Partnership for the past nine years.

“I know the importance of working together,” said George, whose group’s members plan to work at five different sites with DP Day volunteers. “I know it’s in everyone’s best interest to have a strong, safe city. And when we learn to put our petty differences aside and focus on things like this, everyone can benefit.”

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