One Year Later – Persisting & Thriving During COVID-19
One year ago, Lafayette Urban Ministry began a journey that was filled with uncertainty and anxiety. By April 1, 2020, staff members were working from home, board meetings were happening online, and each program had to be modified. Additionally, Wes Tillett began his tenure as the LUM executive director.
First, staff members did not waver in the commitment to “stay open.” Second, LUM developed protocols. Finally, individuals, businesses & agencies responded by providing financial support.
Civic leaders, churches, agencies and families trusted LUM to distribute emergency funds, provide shelter, offer childcare, provide food assistance, and provide summer camp as well as assist with tax preparation and immigration issues — to our neighbors in need. LUM was able to host successful fundraising events like Hunger Hike, Port of Hope, and Turkey Trot 5K Run, surpassing the fundraising goals.
LUM remained open, but “how” LUM serves the families in our community changed to keep everyone as safe as possible. The leadership has been continually monitoring the recommendations and adjusting as needed. Staff members reimagined every aspect of each of the programs offered. Using technology and modifying the physical layout of our entrances, LUM was able to offer services online, through email and by phone.
The LUM Emergency Shelter, Food Pantry and Youth Programs used hand-washing, face masks, temperature checks and social distancing in common areas including the dining and sleeping rooms. The need for LUM services increased significantly but the support from donors, foundations and businesses increased as well.
There were also “silver linings.” The Board is more focused and supportive of the staff members and programs. Staff members have become a close and effective team. In the community, LUM has been a faithful partner with other agencies, collaborating to better serve the community. Families are more aware of our programs and more individuals were impacted, many for the first time.
One year later, LUM survives and continues to serve those in need while remaining financially sound. Reflecting on how much was accomplished in the past 12 months reaffirms that a gift to LUM is a sound investment, even during a global pandemic and the transition of a new executive director.
One Year of Rapid Relief to
Families in Crisis
In the past 12 months, a small but mighty team has kept LUM “open” and “serving” local families in financial crisis. In the beginning of the pandemic, everything had to change immediately. Despite all of the obstacles, LUM was able to continue providing emergency financial assistance using online forms, email and phone calls. The LUM Good Samaritan Program has not faced a challenge like this before but the staff members and volunteers were so passionate and focused that nothing, not even a global pandemic, could stop them.
As the news of LUM’s success spread, LUM became one of the few trusted agencies for assistance and referrals, and the donations followed. Since March 23, 2020:
- 1,256 local families have received financial help
- 728 of these families (58%) were asking for assistance for the FIRST time
- An additional $213,025 of COVID-19 relief funds has been donated to LUM
- $253,801.14 has been distributed by LUM
Pictured above are two LUM Good Samaritan Program volunteers (L to R, front row): Pat Garrott & Shirley Robertson; who are joined by LUM staff members (L to R, back row): Linda Hicks, director; Connie Decker, receptionist; & Nancy Emig, clerk.
If you wish to invest in the LUM Good Samaritan Program, please give a donation to the fund, which supports families and children in crisis with financial assistance.
Thanks | 감사합니다 | Gracias
Toda | Arigato
During the entire pandemic the generosity of this community has been heartwarming. Some gave supplies, some gave money and some gave of their time & expertise. LUM is grateful for each and every individual, family, company, agency, group, and church who has supported LUM programs during this crisis. Thanks to our volunteers who risk their own health to keep serving others.
Other notable donations to LUM for COVID-19 relief were from those listed as follows:
- Tippecanoe COVID-19 Response Fund
- United Way of Greater Lafayette
- The Community Foundation of Greater Lafayette
- Greater Lafayette Commerce
- Fairfield Township Trustees
- Purdue Crew Team – Row-A-Thon
- McAllister Foundation
- Glick Community Relief Fund
- Regions Bank
- Bob & Patti Truitt