“During the COVID19, the volunteers at the Protein Food Pantry set a goal of continuing to serve our clients with respect for the safety of all and maintaining personal interactions. They have worked hard to follow all of the precautions & protocol. I am proud to say that we have remained open each week and work to help relieve and reduce the stress our clients are experiencing by allowing them to have choices in the food selections when possible. The need is great, and our clients appreciate us staying open.”
“After a great deal of planning to develop a safe and effective model, we enabled low income taxpayers to get their returns done for free. Many lack the technology or confidence to do their own taxes, and without the LUM tax program they might have been paying hundreds of dollars for this service. It’s taken extra work, but our 12 volunteers have been up to the challenge, and are working very hard under difficult conditions. It is clear that despite COVID-19 our program has been a success, on track to surpass 200 returns this season.”
Josh Prokopy, Director, LUM Tax Assistance Program
“Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote, ‘Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope.’ The ability to help others through the Good Samaritan Program has felt hopeful during a year filled with many challenges far beyond any that I have experienced in my lifetime. So many of our clients have been overwhelmed, feeling they will never catch up with their rent and bills. Our ability to help financially, along with offering a listening ear, referrals and information on where else to turn, has helped to provide a stone of hope.”
As LUM closes out the first quarter of 2021, it is worthy to note that although families are receiving their tax refunds and stimulus checks, the crisis continues.
Families are still needing financial support. Since January 1, 2021, here are the stats:
382 local families have been helped
138 of these families (36%) were asking for assistance for the first time
$43,032.57 has been distributed so far
LUM hopes you agree that investing in the LUM Good Samaritan Program is a wonderful way to support your community and those in need of emergency assistance. If you are able, please consider a donation. One hundred percent of what you give will be passed along to struggling households, perhaps one in your own neighborhood.
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.
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
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 Pantryand 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.
PoH Scavenger Hunt is a family fun event with adventures and community discoveries around Greater Lafayette. To registration, click HERE. Stayed tuned. All proceeds will benefit the LUM Immigration Clinic.
If you, your work-mates, church or family would like to sponsor a Food Drive for LUM, please check out the LUM list of needed items. LUM relies on monetary donation as well as gift-in-kind to allow the LUM programs to serve your neighbors in need.
Join us in THANKING everyone at WINCO Construction Company for thinking of LUM and this generous donation.
In the Christian, Jewish & Islamic faiths, this is the most celebrated time of year. Many of us have been “preparing” through prayer (justice towards your faith), fasting (justice toward yourself), and giving & serving (justice toward your neighbors). As you reflect on giving & serving — perhaps you would consider a legacy gift to LUM — an organization pledged to fighting for justice for you and your community. During this pandemic, gathering together for the holiday will be difficult if even possible. Supporting LUM programs gives you an opportunity to focus on serving those less fortunate, especially those needing food, shelter, and assistance with rent, childcare, paying utilities, immigration issues, medical expenses or tax preparation.
Whether you use cash, appreciated securities/stock, real estate, artwork, partnership interests, personal property, life insurance, a retirement plan or your economic impact payment AKA stimulus check — the benefits of Planned Gifts can make this type of donation attractive to you as well as LUM. Meet with your professional advisor to learn how informed estate planning can increase the overall value of your estate with a gift of tax-burdened assets (like IRAs, 401(k), or savings bonds) to Lafayette Urban Ministry. We hope you will remember Lafayette Urban Ministry in your will.
Once you’re ready, Wes Tillett, LUM executive director, will meet with you to fulfill your giving goals with your support of LUM. To begin the process, email (email@example.com) or call (765-423-2691) Wes Tillett. More information on Giving to LUM may be found at LUMserve.org.
Whatever you decide — we sincerely hope you have a wonderful Spring — and if you’re celebrating, have a fruitful Lenten journey and a blessed Easter, a meaningful Ramadan and a joyful Eid al-Fitr, or a purposeful Passover and a memorable Seder.