Mission Moment: The Story of the Brown Family and the Good Samaritan Fund

November 2012

Dear Friends,

Trisha and James Brown are typical of many people assisted by the Lafayette Urban Ministry’s Good Samaritan Fund (formerly the Centralized Emergency Fund). They are happily married.  They both have long work histories with local retail stores.  They lovingly devote every moment outside of work to their three teenaged children: 12-year-old Emma, 14-year-old Eli and 16-year-old Katie.

When Trisha had to quit her job because of debilitating back pain, the family’s income fell by half.  And while James’ job is secure for now, his monthly income isn’t near enough to pay for all of the family’s basic bills. Their pastor referred Trisha and James to the Lafayette Urban Ministry.

LUM’s staff helped them to apply for Foodstamps and Medicaid.  And thanks to LUM’s Good Samaritan Fund, we were able to help pay their October and September electric bills and prevent their service from being disconnected. Trisha shares that coming to LUM was both physically and emotionally difficult for her.

“But once inside, everyone was so helpful and non-judgmental.  We left LUM feeling more positive about our situation.  It wasn’t just the financial help.  It was the support and feeling that we weren’t in this alone anymore.”

Each day as many as 15 families come to the Lafayette Urban Ministry in need of financial help.  Some are the victims of theft.  Some have lost everything due to flood or fire.  Others have had their public benefits mistakenly reduced or discontinued.  Some, like the Brown family, are struggling to cope with the illness or injury of a breadwinner.

Last year, the Good Samaritan Fund provided $100,000 in direct financial assistance.  LUM was able to resolve 2,187 separate food, shelter, utility and transportation emergencies. Food was shared and vital prescription medicines were provided.  We helped when there was nowhere else for people to go.

I hope you see the value of what is accomplished by LUM’s Good Samaritan Fund.  And I hope you will agree to share a generous gift so that its work can continue. The Good Samaritan Fund is special.  Not a single dollar of what you give is spent for overhead.  In other words, everything you contribute goes directly to help a local family facing financial hardship. By sharing a gift of $50, $100, $250, $500, $1,000, or more, you will assure that neighbors will find both personal support and practical help when they reach out to the Lafayette Urban Ministry. 

Despite her chronic back pain, Trisha is hopeful for the future.  She is confident that through vocational rehabilitation she may be able to work again – at least part time.  Her three busy teens help out at home where they can and enjoy having mom around more often than before. James remains employed and works extra hours almost every weekend. And if things become difficult, they know that LUM’s Good Samaritan Fund is here. 

Please consider making a contribution to the Good Samaritan Fund online by clicking HERE.

P.S. Hundreds of our neighbors come to the Lafayette Urban Ministry when there is nowhere else to turn.  Won’t you send a generous gift to the Good Samaritan Fund today?

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