Category Archives: After School Program

The Rev. Wes Tillett – LUM Executive Director


His Vision, His Passion & His Inspiration

Restoring human dignity…which all God’s people need and deserve” is the part of the LUM Mission Statement that speaks to Wes Tillett the most. He stated that,

Each of us is made in God’s image — ‘Imago Dei.’ Everyone has value and meaning and is worthy of love and respect. The word, ‘dignity,’ perfectly encapsulates that sentiment. I pledge to continue the long history of LUM to meet people right where they are — and offer help and hope.” 

Wes attempts to “Live a Life of Love” each and every day (Ephesians 5:2). He commented that,

Love is the most important thing to me. A love that’s full of action, full of grace and truth, full of justicepeace, and joy, full of the life-giving nature of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” Wes is inspired by faithfulness. He stated that, “It is so easy to be distracted, to be motivated by FOMO (fear of missing out), to take the convenient way out when things get tough. When people have grit, when they keep their word, when they have integrity in public and private, when they make sacrifices to help others, I get inspired.” He is inspired by “all those unknown saints who are faithful to God in their own quiet way, day after day.

Wes is also inspired by the three executive directors who have preceded him. These three leaders, Joe Micon, the Rev. Jud Dolphin, and the late Rev. Ron Elly, have left a legacy of serving “the least” and thereby serving God (Matthew 25:40). They have, over the decades, built a strong agency that has a solid infrastructure, vital services, talented staff, dedicated volunteers including board members, supportive community and government partners and a great reputation. Wes is honored and humbled to serve as the next leader of Lafayette Urban Ministry.

Recently, Rita, Wes’s wife, met a former LUM Camper of his from 15 years ago, who is now 23 years old. Wes was amazed to hear how much his attention and affection meant to this camper. He added,

As I come to serve at LUM again, I hope to enrich the lives of thousands of people — those who are served and those who serve. Hope, help, healing, hospitality — all done in love and wisdom — I hope to uplift many in the community through these.


His Experience & His Education

Wes Tillett earned a BA in Biblical Education and graduated summa cum laude from Cedarville University (Ohio). He was elected by the student body to serve on a student pastoral leadership team — preaching and leading worship on campus. He earned a Master in Divinity from Western Theological Seminary (Michigan), where he received two awards as an outstanding graduating candidate and a third for outstanding work in Christian education and formation for ministry assignments.

From 2003-2010, the Tillett family lived in downtown Lafayette and were engaged with LUM. In 2005, Wes was the assistant to the program director of the LUM After School Program, who at the time was his wife, Rita. He assisted in program logistics, tutored, mentored and in the process became a self-proclaimed basketball champion & kickball legend. During this time he also served as a volunteer LUM Camp counselor. Wes was the youth minister at First Christian Church (2003-2005) and then the director of Family & Youth Ministries at Central Presbyterian Church (2005-2010). He was the Mission Co-Worker in Zahle, Lebanon (2010-2012) and served in various churches in Indiana, Michigan, and Virginia. 

For the past seven years, the Rev. Wesley Tillett has been the founding, lead pastor at Voyage Church in Oshtemo, Michigan. He also founded the Oshtemo Area Churches, a coalition of five churches from different denominations, which addresses food insecurity, mentoring, tutoring, and clothing needs, by partnering with food banks and elementary schools. OAC received the Champ Award in 2016 by the Communities in Schools.


His Family, His Background, His Favorites

Wes Tillett is originally from Rensselaer, Indiana, and graduated from Rensselaer Central High School. He currently lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan, with his family and their goldendoodle, Hunter.

Wes and his wife, Rita HurleyTillett, grew up together and were middle school sweethearts. One Christmas day, when they weren’t even dating, Wes showed up at Rita’s doorstep to ask if she’d marry him. Today they are the proud and grateful parents of four children — Tobias (13), Kidest (11), Avalyn (6), and Noah (5). Wes and Rita feel blessed to have received their children through birth and adoption — internationally from Ethiopia and domestically through foster care.

Growing up on the prairies of northwest Indiana, Wes developed a love for the outdoors and Chicago sports teams (Bears, Bulls and Cubs); and Wes & Rita grew up cheering for the Purdue Boilermakers. (Boiler Up!) Wes enjoys swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, sailing, water skiing and stand-up paddle boarding, also known as “SUP-ing.” He also loves playing board games with his children, date nights with Rita, hiking with his dog (Hunter), traveling to new places, playing guitar & hand drums, painting, and spending time alone with God. He has a passion for holistic health (body, mind, soul) and staying in shape by participating in 5K runs and sprint triathlons. In addition to his work, Wes has been active in the community with agencies focused on children, mentoring, and education.

  • Wes’s favorite Bible passage is, “I am the vine; you are the branches” (John 15:5)
  • His favorite quote is “When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years,” attributed to Mark Twain
  • His favorite poem is The Peace of Wild Things by poet, novelist, essayist, farmer, and environmentalist, Wendell Berry, from Kentucky 

The Peace of Wild Things


When despair for the world grows in me and

I wake in the night at the least sound

in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,

I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water,

and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things

who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief.

I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light.

For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

~ Wendell Berry (1968)

THIS TUESDAY (2/25) – Chipotle Fundraising Night


33% Donated to the LUM After School Program

Join us at Chipotle (Purdue, West Lafayette) on THIS Tuesday, February 25 from 5 – 9 p.m. — and the LUM After School Program gets 33% of all orders, if you present this COUPON (pictured).

It’s easy! Print the coupon or show it on your phone, order your favorite Chipotle meal (burritos, burrito bowls, tacos, salads or kids meals), don’t forget to get chips, guac’, and a drink — and LUM gets 33%. So — plan to eat out on Tuesday, February 25 — all for a GREAT CAUSE — the students enrolled in the LUM After School Program.

If you can’t make it and wish to support the LUM students, click the button below to make a donation.

Boiler ESTEEM Student Leaders Serve LUM

St. Thomas Aquinas Center’s Student Leaders

Last week, the student leaders from the Thomas Aquinas Center’s Boiler ESTEEM program prepared and served a meal to the guests at the LUM Emergency Shelter. The Boiler ESTEEM students chose LUM for their project. ESTEEM is a nationwide program to develop the leadership skills of young Catholics — and part of their experience includes a major service project. To view more PHOTOS , click HERE.

LUM is grateful to St. Tom’s and the Boiler ESTEEM program student leaders for their continued support. If you or your group wants to VOLUNTEER or prepare a meal for the guests at the LUM Emergency Shelter, click  HERE.


Make a Donation Button
Emergency Shelter

Meet the After School Program Team

55 Students | K – 8th Grade | 3 Hours Per Day

The LUM After School Program  provides safe, fun and enriching childcare for up to 60 children in Kindergarten to 8th grade in Tippecanoe County. The children are transported by bus from school to the LUM Ray Ewry Youth Center. For up to three hours each school day, the students work on homework, have a nutritious snack, and participate in craft projects, music, and other fun recreational and educational activities — enabling their parents to finish their workday. The program is staffed by a professionally trained teacher’s aides, interns and volunteers, whose training exceeds State of Indiana requirements.

LUM is thrilled to introduce the  After School Program  team. What a talented and caring team! They are assisted each afternoon by volunteers. Pictured (L to R) are Ann Mobley, Ivy Tech intern; Shavonn Kimbrough, teacher; Mady Kirts, teacher; Kristi Hogue program director; and Michael Welk, Ivy Tech intern (not pictured: Tabatha Volpi, teacher). Please consider volunteering with the After School Program – LUM needs you. For more information on how to VOLUNTEER , click  HERE.


Make a Donation Button
After School Program

Meet the LUM Interns – Spring 2020


Ann Mobley

Ann is from Chicago and now lives in Lafayette. She is currently enrolled in the Early Childhood Education program at Ivy Tech Community College.

After Ann graduates (May 2020), she plans on pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Education or Social Work.

At LUM, Ann is doing her practicum working with the After School Program.


Michael Welk

Michael is from Rossville and now lives in Lafayette. He is currently enrolled in the Human Services program at Ivy Tech Community College.

After Michael graduates (May 2021), he plans on working at Valley Oaks Health in Lafayette.

At LUM, Michael is an intern and working with the After School Program.


Make a Donation Button
After School Program

For the LUM Kids – Dine at Chipotle – Feb. 25


33% Donated to the LUM After School Program

Join us at Chipotle (Purdue, West Lafayette) on Tuesday, February 25 from 5 – 9 p.m. — and the LUM After School Program gets 33% of all orders, if you present this COUPON (pictured).

It’s easy! Print the coupon or show it on your phone, order your favorite Chipotle meal (burritos, burrito bowls, tacos, salads or kids meals), don’t forget to get chips, guac’, and a drink — and LUM gets 33%. So — plan to eat out on Tuesday, February 25 — all for a GREAT CAUSE — the students enrolled in the LUM After School Program.

If you can’t make it and wish to support the LUM students, click the button below to make a donation.

Malavenda’s New Role at LUM


Pablo Malavenda, Executive Program Director

Not to be confused with the “executive director,” Pablo Malavenda is the new Executive Program Director (reporting to the Executive Director).

In addition to his duties directing Jubilee Christmas, LUM communications & social media, IT support, database management and website development, Pablo will now also supervise the directors of the following LUM programs: Community Thanksgiving, Emergency Shelter/Winter Warming Station, Good Samaritan ProgramID ClinicYouth Programs, Food Pantry & Tax Assistance Program.

Originally from Meriden, Connecticut, Pablo now lives in West Lafayette with Kristin, his wife of 23 years, and their children, Maximilian (21) and Zoe (19), both of whom are attending Purdue. They are members of St. Thomas Aquinas, West Lafayette. Pablo graduated from Platt High School, earned a bachelor’s degree in Organizational/ Industrial Psychology and a Master’s in Higher Education Administration, both from the University of Connecticut, and has more than 15 years of supervisory experience.

With LUM, Pablo directed Hunger Hike from 2014-2019 and LUM Follies from 2015-2019. Pablo shared that,

I am excited to work with the talented team of LUM program directors. Over the years I have witnessed many great things but also know that together we can always do better and achieve more.

In his free time, Pablo enjoys sharing books with Kristin, going to concerts with Max, being the best Dance Dad to Zoe, as well as cooking for and traveling with all three. LUM is fortunate to have someone with Pablo’s experience to join the management team at LUM.

Purdue Women’s Basketball Hosts “Teddy Toss”

LUM Received All Stuffed Animals Collected

On December 23, the Purdue Women’s Basketball team hosted their annual Holiday Bash. Fans were invited to wear their ugly Christmas sweaters, meet Santa Claus, and participate in “Teddy Toss.”

During halftime of the game, Boilermaker fans threw hundreds of new stuffed animals onto the court. It was a fun holiday frenzy for a few minutes. All of the stuffed animals were then donated to LUM. Since then, the stuffed animals have either been distributed to the children of clients or incorporated into the LUM After School Program.

To view more Teddy Toss photos, click HERE.

Thanks to the Purdue Women’s Basketball team and Athletic Marketing & Fan Experience crew for their kind donation.

Current Volunteer Needs – Food Pantry


LUM Protein Food Pantry


The LUM Protein Food Pantry Data Entry volunteer welcomes clients to the LUM Protein Food Pantry, verifies their household information on LUM’s client database, and determines if they qualify for assistance.

Volunteers are needed when the pantry is open — every Thursday morning, 9 a.m. to Noon.

The Data Entry volunteer must have knowledge of basic computer operation and database concepts. As special training is required, a long term commitment is desired.

For more information, click HEREor email or call Nina Morgan (foodpantry@lumserve.org | 765-423-2691).


CALL to ACTION – New Year, Renewed Commitment

¿Habla Español? Love Helping Others?
Sign up to Volunteer with LUM!

volunteer opportunities

LUM Needs You! Here are the CURRENT LUM Volunteer Needs:

There are many different opportunities for volunteering, 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. READ BELOW for more detailed information on current volunteer opportunities. To view all LUM Volunteer Opportunities, click HERE.


LUM Events

Sign up online to volunteer at LUM Events like LUM Follies, Hunger Hike, Port of Hope, Thanksgiving Celebration, Turkey Trot 5K & Jubilee Christmas. 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).


Volunteer Opportunities

  • 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.

Many more Volunteer Opportunities may be found HERE.


¿Habla Español? Love Helping Others?
Sign up to Volunteer with LUM!

Please share with others

Current Volunteer Needs – Camp Counselors


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 (11 a.m. Monday, July 27 to 4 p.m. Friday, July 31).

For additional information, click HERE.


CALL to ACTION – New Year, Renewed Commitment

¿Habla Español? Love Helping Others?
Sign up to Volunteer with LUM!

volunteer opportunities

LUM Needs You! Here are the CURRENT LUM Volunteer Needs:

There are many different opportunities for volunteering, 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. READ BELOW for more detailed information on current volunteer opportunities. To view all LUM Volunteer Opportunities, click HERE.


LUM Events

Sign up online to volunteer at LUM Events like LUM Follies, Hunger Hike, Port of Hope, Thanksgiving Celebration, Turkey Trot 5K & Jubilee Christmas. 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).


Volunteer Opportunities

  • 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.

Many more Volunteer Opportunities may be found HERE.


¿Habla Español? Love Helping Others?
Sign up to Volunteer with LUM!

Please share with others