Category Archives: Lafayette Urban Ministry

LUM Tax Assistance – Strengthens Families

Celebrating Another Successful Tax Year

Each year, LUM offers FREE Income Tax Preparation Assistance for eligible, low-income households and individuals who reside in Tippecanoe County. Some interesting statistics about this year’s LUM Tax Assistance Program are as follows:

  • $633,267 – Total Refunds
  • $568,183 – Total Federal Refunds
  • $65,084 – Total State Refunds
  • 407 – Income Tax Returns filed
  • $153,912 – Total in Earned Income Credit
  • $20,750 – Average Adjusted Gross Income

Why is the LUM Tax Assistance Program so important?

  • Lower wage workers wouldn’t be able to afford having their tax returns prepared professionally
  • Federal & state support for working families is often offered through tax code
  • If workers don’t file, significant tax credits will be left unclaimed
  • Refunds boost our local economy by increasing sales and creating jobs in retail

This year’s LUM Tax Assistance Program volunteers and staff met for dinner at the program director’s home to reflect & celebrate another successful year. Attending the celebration, pictured above L to R, were (back row) Rob Patrick, Karen Marty, Patti O’Callaghan, Andrea Schmidt, Josh Prokopy, LUM Tax Assistance Program director, & Ron Smith; and (front row) Cheryl Nettleman & Ann Pellegrino.


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Tax Assistance Program

April is National Volunteer Month

All of the LUM programs & events rely on volunteers each and every day of the year. If you are a volunteer with Lafayette Urban Ministry — THANK YOU! We love you!

If you haven’t volunteered with LUM in a while, please remember that there are many different opportunities for you, from working one-on-one with a child to helping run the homeless shelter. Also, there are opportunities to fit every schedule, from regular long-term commitments to one time work with an event. Some volunteer positions require training while others require only a willing heart and a helping hand. As summer approaches, volunteers are harder to find — so, please take a peak at some of our current HOT needs and help if you are able — and please share with others.


LUM Follies – Volunteer

Volunteers are needed for the LUM Follies fundraising event at St. Andrew United Methodist Church, West Lafayette. Days & times that volunteers are needed is as follows:

  • Set-up — Thursday, May 2, 3:30 – 6:30 p.m.
  • Staff the LUM Follies event — Friday, May 3, 4:30 – 7 p.m.; 4:30 – 8 p.m.; 8 – 9:30 p.m.
  • Break-down — Saturday, May 4, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Perfect for groups. Check out the LUM Follies volunteer online sign up sheets HERE.


Food Pantry – Volunteer

The LUM Protein Food Pantry needs a few volunteers each Thursday morning from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Volunteers are needed to set up, load in food, enter client data, assist clients with shopping, and break down. Good customer service skills needed and the ability to lift boxes of food is desired. A weekly commitment is requested. For more information, click HERE — or please call or email Mary Anderson (765-423-2691 | foodpantry@lumserve.org).


After School Program – Volunteer

The LUM After School Program has over six weeks left, and volunteers are needed from 2 to 6 p.m.every weekday. Volunteers are needed to tutor, read to students, give spelling tests and supervise the children. Volunteer and make a difference in the lives of our students. The program follows the Lafayette School Corporation’s regular calendar. For applications, training video, and time slots to sign up, click HERE.


Emergency Shelter – Volunteer

The LUM Emergency Shelter needs Overnight Shelter volunteers 365 nights a year from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. or 8 p.m. to midnight. Duties include checking in guests, serving dinner, distributing toiletries and maintaining a welcoming, safe & clean environment. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old and must attend a Shelter Training Session. Sessions are held every Monday night at 6:30 p.m. If you wish to volunteer, click HERE.MEALS Are Needed Too — If you or your group wishes to prepare a meal, click HERE.


Immigration Clinic – Volunteer

The LUM Immigration Clinic has several volunteer opportunities — and is especially grateful for volunteers who speak Spanish. If you’re interested or need more information, click HERE. LUM Citizenship Classes also need volunteers to assist with the classes or bring snacks. Classes began this week and meet Tuesday & Thursday, 6-7:30 p.m. for five weeks. To sign up to volunteer with these classes, click HERE. If you need further information, please call or email Susan Brouillette (765-423-2691 | sbrouillette@lumserve.org).


LUM Camp (7/29 – 8/2) – Volunteer

Would you, or someone you know, love being a volunteer LUM Camp Counselor?LUM Camp is a week-long, over-night camp program for low-income children from 8 to 10 years old. Volunteer camp counselors must be 18 years old, enjoy working with children and be able to spend the entire week at camp (11 a.m. Monday, July 29 to 4 p.m. Friday, August 2). For additional information, click HERE.


Summer Childcare – Volunteer

Volunteer Teacher’s Aides for the LUM 5th Quarter Summer Learning Program are needed this summer. The program is offered Monday – Friday, May 28 through August 2, from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The children are supervised by the LUM Youth Program Director and trained teachers. LUM relies on the several volunteers each day to assist in teaching & tutoring, recreational activities, reading, meals & snacks and more. Volunteers must enjoy working with children and have experience helping children (pre-Kindergarten – 6th grade) achieve academically and socially. If you’re interested or need more information, click HERE—or email or call Kristi Hogue (khogue@lumserve.org | 765-423-2691). 


Volunteer at LUM Events or As a Group

LUM Events – Sign up online to volunteer at LUM Events like LUM FolliesHunger HikePort of HopeThanksgiving CelebrationTurkey Trot 5K Run & Jubilee Christmas. To view the LUM Online Volunteer Sign Up Sheets, click HERE.

Group Opportunities – If your group would like to volunteer with LUM, sign up for a LUM Event online — or please email or call for more information (lum@lumserve.org | 765-423-2691).


More Information on Volunteering with LUM
  • To view all LUM Volunteer Opportunities, click HERE.
  • Sign Up ONLINE — Sign up to volunteer with LUM online. It’s quick & easy and you’ll get email reminders. Click HERE
  • ¿Habla Español? Love Helping Others? LUM needs you.

Sign up to Volunteer with LUM! PLEASE SHARE with others.

Stuart & Branigin Service Day Supports LUM

Commitment to Local Food Programs

This year’s Day of Service at Stuart & Branigin LLP, Lafayette, focused on supporting local food programs including the new LUM Protein Food Pantry. Coordinated by Virginia del Real Marquez, marketing coordinator & led by Thomas B. Parent, managing partner, the Stuart & Branigin team and their families volunteered at the local food bank and are also collecting food & monetary donations for the LUM Protein Food Pantry.

Their donation of food, paper products and monetary gifts will give the new LUM food pantry a needed boost. Thank you, Thomas Parent, Virginia del Real Marquez and the entire Stuart & Branigin Team!

If you, your business or your group would like to support the LUM Protein Food Pantry with monetary donations or needed items, for more information go to lumserve.org/food-pantry.


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Food Pantry – LUM Protein Food Pantry

West Lafayette Recommends Grant for LUM

LUM Emergency Shelter to Benefit from Grant

Lafayette Urban Ministry has recently been recommended for a Community Development Block Grant from the City of West Lafayette (IN). LUM has been recommended to receive $7,217 to support the work of the LUM Emergency Shelter.

CDBG is an important resource for local governments in their efforts to provide both transitional and permanent housing, as well as supportive services, to families and individuals experiencing homelessness. This grant money will be used to support the LUM homeless guests. Thanks to David Heckert, LUM Emergency Shelter director, for his work on this grant.


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Emergency Shelter

LUM Students Enjoy the Warm Weather

After School Program – Recreation Activities

The LUM After School Program teachers took advantage of the warmer weather this week.

After the LUM students ate their healthy snack and finished their homework, the teachers and volunteers took them to the local park and also let them play in the playground at the LUM Youth Center. The LUM students loved playing outside, and the fresh air and physical activity was great for them too. During the next eight weeks the program will include as much outdoor activities as possible.

If you or your group would like to support the LUM students with a donation or volunteer with the LUM After School Program, go to VOLUNTEER or DONATE.


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After School Program

Remembering LUM This Lenten Season

Give | Fast | Pray

There are only a few more days until the end of the Lenten Season. Many of us have been “preparing” through prayer (justice towards God), fasting (justice toward self), and almsgiving (justice toward your neighbors). As you reflect on giving — perhaps you would consider a legacy gift to LUM — an organization pledged to fighting for justice for you and your neighbors.

Whether you use cash, appreciated securities/stock, real estate, artwork, partnership interests, personal property, life insurance or a retirement plan, the benefits of Estate 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, let us know. Joe Micon, LUM executive director, is eager to meet with you to help you leave a legacy and fulfill your giving goals of supporting LUM. Simply email or call Joe Micon to begin the process (jmicon@lumserve.org | 765-423-2691). More information on Giving to LUM may be found at lumserve.org/donate.

Whatever you decide — we sincerely hope you have a fruitful Lenten journey and a blessed Easter.

LUM Reflection – Always More Left Over

A Message from Joe Micon, LUM Executive Director

LUM has focused a lot in recent weeks on issues of food distribution to those in our community who don’t have enough good, nutritious food for themselves or their children. During this process I have paid special attention to the miracle story Jesus Feeds the 5,000. Found in all four Gospels, it remains one of scripture’s most powerful teachings of faith, compassion and service. And it is a teaching that touches, in real and practical ways, virtually everything that goes on at LUM.

As the disciples gathered to figure out what to do about the hungry crowd, they could only pool 200 denari. A young boy had five loaves and two fish. It wasn’t enough, but Jesus was filled with compassion and miraculously, faithfully, moved quickly forward. The story is a lesson to us about beginnings. But it is also a powerful lesson about endings. Because miraculously, faithfully, there was more left over than Jesus started with — 12 baskets full of broken pieces! I love this story, because during my time at LUM, I have always found there to be more left over than when we start something.

There are more children doing better in school now than we ever imagined when LUM first started the After School and 5th Quarter Summer Learning Programs. There are more neighbors receiving paralegal help and support through the LUM Immigration Clinic. There are more chronically homeless individuals who have turned to addiction getting help because LUM found creative ways to offer information and support.

Service fosters deeper relationships with others. If you volunteer at LUM, you can’t help but develop a keener knowledge of poverty and income inequality. When you see the faces of those we serve, learn their names and hear their stories, you can’t help but grow in understanding. Your friendships are strengthened. Your perceptions are broadened. Your heart is expanded.

I believe so very firmly that our faith is enriched through service at a place like LUM. We are challenged to be more loving. We become more generous with our time and treasure. We respond more fully to the prophet’s call to justice. Thank you for joining with us; for your prayers of support; for the service you render; for the dollars you donate; for performing miracles at LUM each and every day!


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Use Where Needed Most

Be a Volunteer Camp Counselor – LUM Camp 2019

Make a Difference This Summer at LUM Camp

Would you, or someone you know, make a good LUM Camp Counselor?

LUM Camp is a week-long, over-night camp program for low-income children from 8 to 10 years old. Volunteer camp counselors must be 18 years old, enjoy working with children and be able to spend the entire week at camp. Counselors are needed from 11 a.m. Monday, July 29 to 4 p.m. Friday, August 2. Make this the year you make a difference in the lives of local children. Please share with others who may be interested.

To learn more about become a LUM Camp Volunteer Counselor, click HERE.

LUM Hosts Purdue Religious Leaders

Last week, LUM hosted the regular meeting of the University Religious Leaders of Purdue. URL is a consortium of religious leaders who serve Purdue students in West Lafayette. LUM provided the space, the LUM Ray Ewry Youth Center, and a simple lunch.

Joe Micon, LUM executive director, attended and welcomed the group, and the Rev. Susan Brouillette, the LUM Immigration Clinic director, was their featured speaker after lunch (pictured above). She presented an overview of the types of services that the LUM Immigration Clinic offers for legal immigrants as well as updates on immigration policy, statistics and common issues in our community.

LUM has enjoyed a good partnership with the URL — and this was a great opportunity to strengthen that relationship.

Meet Joan Low – LUM Board President

Women in Leadership at Lafayette Urban Ministry

As Women in History Month winds down, LUM would like to showcase one of our superstar volunteer leaders, Joan Low. She is the current president on the LUM Board of Directors. Joan has been a volunteer leader with LUM since 2005 when she was selected to represent her church on the LUM board. Since then, Joan has followed her passion and used her expertise to impact a variety of areas at LUM.

Joan was born in New Haven, Connecticut. Her mother passed away when she and her brother were young. When Joan was 10, her father married a widowed woman with four children, and they all moved to California. Joan attended college in New England until she found her church and transferred to Brigham Young University, where she double majored in English & German.

After her first year, Joan traveled to Germany for her mission work. It was here that she met her future husband and fellow BYU student, Phil. Once back on campus in Provo, Utah, Joan & Phil began dating and were married a year later. They both earned their degrees from BYU and while Phil continued his education, they started a family.

Joan found her way to West Lafayette when her husband Phil, who grew up in West Lafayette, accepted a position at Purdue University. As their children began leaving home, Joan became certified to teach and taught German for several years at Southmont Jr. & Sr. High School, Harrison High School, West Lafayette High School, and Delphi Community Schools. Joan & Phil have five grown children and 17 grandchildren. Within their church, they teach adult Sunday school.

With LUM, Joan has done it all. With the LUM Board she is the president this year, was the president in 2014 and has served as the secretary for five separate terms, including last year. For over 11 years, Joan has followed her passion for teaching and assisted with the LUM After School Program, first as a teacher’s aide and more recently as a bus driver. She is also the “meal planner & chef” for the annual LUM Follies fundraising event for the LUM Good Samaritan Fund.

Joan is driven yet humble — a true servant leader, who steps up and leads when needed but is also content doing the day-to-day work at LUM, “as long as the work is meaningful.”

Joan shares,

“I enjoy serving and will lead if needed or called upon. I appreciate the opportunity to work with the children and families in our community, especially through the After School Program.

It is as much of a gift to my soul as a gift to others.”  

She often cites her family and her church for inspiring her

“to find ways to help in moral and Christian ways balancing doctrine with common sense.”

LUM has a long history of women leading and serving through the Board of Directors. Joan is a shining example of the contribution individuals make in our community through the work of Lafayette Urban Ministry. LUM and the children and families in this county are blessed to have someone like Joan as their advocate, leader, and servant.