A Message from Joe Micon, LUM Executive Director
April is National Volunteer Month, when we celebrate the work that volunteers do year-round. During National Volunteer Week (April 15-21), across the country organizations like LUM recognize their volunteers for helping them achieve their mission.
By now, you probably know that the Lafayette Urban Ministry provides more volunteer opportunities than almost any other organization in our community. Throughout the course of the year, more than 3,000 individuals volunteer in one or another of the LUM programs. Whether it is preparing a meal for the homeless, stocking shelves at the St. John’s/LUM Food Pantry, serving as a LUM Camp Counselor, helping to govern LUM on the board of directors, teaching children in the LUM After School Program, working the food line at the LUM Community Thanksgiving Meal, hosting a family at Jubilee Christmas, or one of the many other front line or professional volunteer jobs at LUM, volunteers are the heart and soul of all the good that is accomplished here.
Volunteering may not be a uniquely American activity, but it is certainly a major part of our national culture and identity. Writing about his travels through the United States in the 1830s, the French political scientist Alexis de Tocqueville frequently commented on Americans’ tendency to form voluntary associations. He was impressed by our desire to come together with friends and neighbors to accomplish community goals. This was, he felt, an important foundation for the democratic society that he studied. Volunteering helps you to learn new skills and develop the ones you already have. It helps you to be part of your community, meet new people and make new friends. Volunteering gives you a sense of purpose and helps you stay physically healthy. Volunteers actually have lower mortality rates than those who don’t volunteer and are less likely to develop chronic pain and heart disease!
So on behalf of the entire staff at LUM please accept my deepest thanks for all you do for the children and families we serve. It is our great joy and privilege to work side by side with you each day. How grateful we are at LUM for you, and for all the others, who have joined us on our journey to make our community a better place for everyone.
To explore ways to VOLUNTEER with LUM, click HERE.