Category Archives: Giving

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

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.

City of 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 Lafayette (IN). LUM has been recommended to receive $11,250 to support the work of the LUM Emergency Shelter.

Thanks to David Heckert, LUM Emergency Shelter director, for his work on this grant. 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.

The Stories of Lakesha, Erica & Shavonn

Dear Friend,

Lakesha Porter is a mail clerk for the US Postal Service in Lafayette. Erica Davis is a special education instructor at a local elementary school. By day, Shavonn Williams is a production worker at Kirby Risk. By night, she is a nurse’s aide at Sycamore Springs Hospital.

So what do Lakesha, Erica and Shavonn each have in common? They each come to the Lafayette Urban Ministry for services and support for their families and children. Despite an unemployment rate of only 3.20% (essentially full employment), Lafayette’s poverty rate remains at a very stubborn 18.94%. For a family of three, that means a breadwinner working 40 hours per week is earning less than $10.25/hr. Comprised of mothers, fathers, children and grandparents, these households work hard, but still struggle to make ends meet.

For 47 years, the Lafayette Urban Ministry has been sharing help and giving hope to local families striving to build brighter futures for themselves. Poverty robs families and their children of so many of the opportunities they need to grow and succeed. The Lafayette Urban Ministry responds by providing those families with the practical help, educational resources and emotional support needed to overcome difficult times. Whether it is through after school learning or summer youth programs, direct financial assistance, free income tax preparation, immigration services, emergency shelter, addiction help or any combination of 20 additional services, LUM is a crucial asset for those in our community working to escape the grasp of poverty.

Last year, 4,723 households were served by the Lafayette Urban

Lakesha Porter doesn’t know what she would do without the support of LUM: LUM is a Godsend to us. The staff and volunteers always show respect and offer encouragement. Whenever I run out of food, or need a little extra cash to pay my rent, I can always count on LUM. The kids love going to LUM’s After School Program – and I love that LUM practices spelling words with them and helps with math. I don’t know how we would make it through the holidays if it weren’t for Jubilee Christmas. And LUM even helped when I lost my photo ID.

As a valued partner in all that goes on at LUM, your past support of the Lafayette Urban Ministry has made a world of difference. Together, we have strengthened families, nurtured children and made our community a better place for everyone. I hope you will continue your support of the Lafayette Urban Ministry by making a generous gift of $50, $100, $250, $500, $1,000, or more, today.

I can think of nowhere else that your charitable contribution will have greater impact. I can think of no better way to practice our Lenten discipline than to share with those less fortunate. Scripture is so very clear. Jesus tells us we are to shelter the homeless, feed the hungry, love our neighbor, welcome the stranger and treat others as we ourselves would like to be treated. The Lafayette Urban Ministry takes that call seriously and provides each of us a place to put our faith into action. LUM affords us the opportunity to hear Jesus’s words anew – to understand our responsibility and to respond in kind.

I wish that Lakesha, Erica and Shavonn — along with everyone else who works hard and plays by the rules — were paid a wage high enough to provide the basics for their children. Working full-time and still not being able to escape poverty is unjust. But until that reality shifts, I am thankful that the Lafayette Urban Ministry is here to offer friendship and practical support to working families and their children.

Won’t you please give generously so that our efforts can continue? You may contribute online and find out more about all the things your gift to the Lafayette Urban Ministry will accomplish, by visiting our website at www.lumserve.org/donate.


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We’re Almost Out! (Of Simple Green, that is.)



Currently there is an urgent need for Simple Green (concentrate, original scent) all purpose cleaner at LUM. The LUM Emergency Shelter and Youth Programs rely on gifts from the community and our LUM friends.

Please help by making a monetary donation to LUM or purchasing Simple Green for LUM. You may ship or drop them off to the LUM Office (420 N 4th Street, Lafayette, IN 47901), Monday-Friday, 8:15 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Cash donations are preferred because they allow LUM to purchase what is needed, when it’s needed, but donations of “needed items” are also appreciated. Items on the wish list are listed by “need” and also by program (Emergency Shelter, Youth Programs, Food Pantry, etc.). Thank you.

To view our entire WISH LIST, click HERE.


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Use Where Needed Most


UU Church Clothes Drive Benefits LUM Clients

Saturday, May 25 – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Tippecanoe County (333 Meridian St., West Lafayette) will hold their annual Goodwill Clothing Drive on Saturday, May 25, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. It’s as easy as 1-2-3.

  1. Clean out your closets
  2. Bring your clothes to the Unitarian Universalist Church
  3. Support Local Families through LUM

UU Church will receive a $5 voucher from Goodwill for each bag of clothing donated. These vouchers will be passed along to LUM to assist our neediest families. Let your spring cleaning be a Win-Win and help local children & families.

For more information, click HERE.