On behalf of each child and family served by the Lafayette Urban Ministry, please accept our heartfelt thanks and our wish for a joyous Christmas season.
Consider a Gift to LUM This Christmas Season
Little Mandy and her Ma, ‘S porest folks you ever saw! —
Lived in porest house in town, Where the fence ‘uz all tore down.
The 1899 Christmas classic Little Mandy’s Christmas Tree, by Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley, is as much a social commentary as a holiday poem.
Written from the perspective of a child who accompanies her mother on a charity visit to a family in need, Riley, in his typical Midwestern cadence, shares the story of little Mandy, the terminally ill child who resides in the house.
Each stanza is filled with startling and vivid imagery about the family’s predicament and the community’s response. The images speak to Riley’s vision of how church and community members ought to relate to and be respectful toward the least among us.
It is a vision we work hard to make real each and every day at the Lafayette Urban Ministry. An organization of 47 local churches, LUM serves as a social safety net for children and families in our community who are experiencing difficult times.
During the past year, the Lafayette Urban Ministry served more than 5,200 families through one or another of our 20 programs.
- Two-hundred and fifteen at-risk youth learned and grew because of LUM’s 5th Quarter, LUM Camp and Enhanced Afterschool Programs.
- LUM’s Overnight Shelter continues to compassionately serve the chronically homeless in our community. LUM’s shelter and overnight winter warming station will serve more than 800 homeless individuals during 2017.
- LUM’s Tax Preparation Program served 929 low-income workers, returning to them more than $1.4 million in tax credits and refunds.
- LUM’s Good Samaritan Program serves up to twelve families each day – families that are in the throes of eviction, utility disconnects, health care or transportation emergencies. LUM has aided more than 2,200 such families so far this year.
- More than, 2,900 individuals received emergency food from our St. John’s/LUM Food Pantry.
- The Community Thanksgiving Meal served 900 individuals, LUM’s ID Clinic served more than 200 clients, our Legal Immigration Program served 39 individuals, and of course Jubilee Christmas – 1,909 children!
Perhaps Riley’s most powerful stanza in Little Mandy depicts the sharing of cash:
Nen my Ma she gived her Ma
Somepin’ ‘at I never saw,
And say ‘at she must take it, and,
She ist maked her keep it in her hand.
In the spirit of this Christmas season I hope that you will share a gift of cash with the children and families served by the Lafayette Urban Ministry. Your gift of $50, $100, $250, $500, or $1,000 will be used right here in our community to support LUM’s important work.
Place a copy of James Whitcomb Riley’s poem Little Mandy’s Christmas Tree on your own Christmas tree as a reminder of the kindness and generosity you’ve shown toward those in our community who are suffering through a difficult time.
On behalf of each child and family served by the Lafayette Urban Ministry, please accept my heartfelt thanks and my wish for a joyous Christmas season.