Category Archives: Good Samaritan Program

Wishing You ‘Amazing Peace’ This Christmas

A Letter from Joe Micon, LUM Executive Director

In our joy, we think we hear a whisper. At first it is too soft. Then only half heard. We listen carefully as it gathers strength. We hear a sweetness.
The word is Peace.
It is loud now. It is louder. Louder than the explosion of bombs.


Dear Friend, 

It was during the lighting of the National Christmas Tree in 2005 that Dr. Maya Angelou first shared her poem Amazing Peace. 

As one of the most renowned and influential voices of our time, Angelou’s words beckon us to contemplate a world of peace during a season of peace. She wrote that, “there is no better time than Christmas to come away from rancor; no better time to look beyond complexion to see community; no better time to mend that which is broken into that which is whole. “

They are powerful words that speak directly to the mission of the Lafayette Urban Ministry. An organization of 47 Greater Lafayette churches, LUM nurtures children and strengthens families who are experiencing difficult times.

During the past year, the Lafayette Urban Ministry served 4,723 families through one or another of our 22 programs. 

  • The LUM overnight Emergency Shelter continues to serve compassionately the chronically homeless in our community. The LUM shelter and Winter Warming Station will provide shelter and addiction services to more than 900 homeless individuals during 2019.
  • Two-hundred and thirty-nine at-risk youth learned and grew because of the LUM 5th Quarter Summer Learning ProgramLUM Camp and enhanced After School Program.
  • The LUM 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 1,780 families this year.
  • The LUM Tax Preparation Program served 522 low-income workers, returning to them $906,000 in tax credits and refunds.
  • The LUM Community Thanksgiving Celebration served 900 meals, the LUM ID Clinic served 217 clients, our Immigration Clinic served 173 individuals, and of course Jubilee Christmas – 1,831 children!
  •  In addition, the Lafayette Urban Ministry started the LUM Protein Food Pantry in 2019. This new and innovative response to persistent food insecurity in our community provides meat, eggs, fresh vegetables, infant formula and baby food to children and families in need. More than 50 families are served each week.

In her poem, Maya Angelou interprets peace as a harmony of spirit and a comfort of courtesies. She defines it as security for our beloveds and their beloveds. She calls Christmas the halting of hate time. 

In the spirit of peace this Christmas season, I hope that you will support the important work of LUM with a gift of cash. Your contribution of $50, $100, $250, $500, or $1,000 will be used to support needy children and their families, right here in our own community. 

I share below Dr. Maya Angelou’s Christmas poem, Amazing Peace, in appreciation of the kindness you have always shown toward those LUM serves. On behalf of each child and family, please accept my heartfelt thanks and my wish for a joyous Christmas.


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Amazing Peace by Dr. Maya Angelou

Thunder rumbles in the mountain passes
And lightning rattles the eaves of our houses.
Flood waters await in our avenues.

Snow falls upon snow, falls upon snow to avalanche
Over unprotected villages.
The sky slips low and grey and threatening.

We question ourselves.
What have we done to so affront nature?
We interrogate and worry God.
Are you there? Are you there really?
Does the covenant you made with us still hold?

Into this climate of fear and apprehension, Christmas enters,
Streaming lights of joy, ringing bells of hope
And singing carols of forgiveness high up in the bright air.
The world is encouraged to come away from rancor,
Come the way of friendship.

It is the Glad Season.
Thunder ebbs to silence and lightning sleeps quietly
in the corner.
Flood waters recede into memory.
Snow becomes a yielding cushion to aid us
As we make our way to higher ground.

Hope is born again in the faces of children
It rides on the shoulders of our aged as they walk into their sunsets.
Hope spreads around the earth. Brightening all things,
Even hate which crouches breeding in dark corridors.

In our joy, we think we hear a whisper.
At first it is too soft. Then only half heard.
We listen carefully as it gathers strength.
We hear a sweetness.
The word is Peace.
It is loud now. It is louder.
Louder than the explosion of bombs.

We tremble at the sound. We are thrilled by its presence.
It is what we have hungered for.
Not just the absence of war. But, true Peace.
A harmony of spirit, a comfort of courtesies.
Security for our beloveds and their beloveds.

We clap hands and welcome the Peace of Christmas.
We beckon this good season to wait a while with us.
We, Baptist and Buddhist, Methodist and Muslim, say come.
Peace.
Come and fill us and our world with your majesty.
We, the Jew and the Jainist, the Catholic and the Confucian,
Implore you, to stay a while with us.
So we may learn by your shimmering light
How to look beyond complexion and see community.

It is Christmas time, a halting of hate time.

On this platform of peace, we can create a language
To translate ourselves to ourselves and to each other.

At this Holy Instant, we celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ
Into the great religions of the world.
We jubilate the precious advent of trust.
We shout with glorious tongues the coming of hope.
All the earth’s tribes loosen their voices
To celebrate the promise of Peace.

We, Angels and Mortal’s, Believers and Non-Believers,
Look heavenward and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at our world and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at each other, then into ourselves
And we say without shyness or apology or hesitation.

Peace, My Brother. Peace, My Sister. Peace, My Soul.


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Meet Linda Hicks | Grace In Action | 15+ Years

A Letter from Joe Micon, LUM Executive Director


As I look at my life, I would prefer: to err on the side of GRACE rather than judgment, to love too much rather than too little, to believe in my sisters and brothers too much rather than not enough, to believe the best and be wrong rather than believe the worst and be right. ~Author unknown


Each time I read these words, I can’t help but smile and think of Linda Hicks, the LUM Good Samaritan Program director. 

Linda has been on staff since 2004, but it has been just 2 ½ years since she assumed the responsibility of directing the LUM Good Samaritan ProgramDuring that time, more than 5,000 cases have crossed Linda’s desk. She has provided more than $300,000 in direct Good Samaritan Fund aid. 

Whether it is a family threatened with eviction because of mom’s job loss, a senior facing a utility disconnect, or a woman trying to escape domestic violence in need of a bus ticket to safety, Linda has worked directly with each case. And while every situation is unique, Linda’s response is always the same – the generous sharing of both grace and concrete action.


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I remember Linda working with JULIE. Julie’s back injury was so severe that it prevented her from hugging her two little children. Julie’s husband has a job that includes health insurance, but coverage wasn’t enough to pay all the costs of Julie’s doctor bills and physical therapy costs. A check to their landlord from the LUM Good Samaritan Fund is the only thing that kept a roof over her family’s heads during their time of greatest need.

I remember Linda working patiently over the phone with TAMMY, who was at home recovering from brain surgery. Tammy will work again someday, but for now, she has no income. An online payment to Tammy’s utility company from the Good Samaritan Fund was the only thing keeping her air conditioner running during the heat of last summer. 

I think of Linda working on Jeff’s behalf. A single dad caring for two special needs children, JEFF couldn’t return to work for several weeks until his children were approved to begin receiving supportive services. Checks from the LUM Good Samaritan Fund paid for Jeff’s back rent and overdue heating bill.

Your contribution of $50, $100, $250, $500 or $1,000 will allow the LUM Good Samaritan Fund to be here for all the families, many with children, who call upon us for help. And remember, not a single dollar of what you give is ever used for administrative overhead or staff costs. Gifts to the Good Samaritan Fund are spent exclusively for food, shelter, health care or transportation assistance for someone in need. 


Jesus said, “Come & inherit the kingdomfor I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink,I was a stranger and you welcomed me….


Linda Hicks and her staff of volunteer caseworkers, follow Jesus’s call every day. Their work is made possible because people like you give generously to the Good Samaritan Fund. I hope you will continue to give, so that our community’s most important financial safety net can continue. 

Linda Hicks always does her job with grace rather than judgment. She believes in those she helps too much, rather than not enough – and she provides the care and encouragement they need to overcome difficulties. She is a blessing to each person she meets. Please, won’t you be a blessing too? Share a generous gift today with the LUM Good Samaritan Fund.


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UU Church Gift Benefits LUM Families

Saturday, May 25 – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Joe Micon, LUM executive director, and
Susanne McConville representing the Social Responsibility Committee at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tippecanoe County

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Tippecanoe County donated clothes vouchers worth $540, redeemable at Goodwill Stores. The church received a $5 voucher for each bag of clothing donated to Goodwill from their annual Clothing Drive this past May.

These vouchers will be passed along to the neediest families in our community through the LUM Good Samaritan Program.

If you or your church or group would like to support the LUM Good Samaritan Program, please email or call Linda Hicks (lhicks@lumserve.org | 765-423-2691).


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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.

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.

LUM Follies 2019 – Save the Date


Support Local Families in Crisis – Attend Follies

Save the Date for the 8th annual LUM Good Samaritan Fund Follies. The event is a lighthearted evening of fine dining, entertainment, fun & good company — filled with delightful surprises. The best part is that 100% of the proceeds from this event go to the LUM Good Samaritan Fund, an emergency financial assistance program that supports local families. LUM Follies’ Details and Schedule are as follows:
  • Friday, May 3, 2019
  • St. Andrew United Methodist Church, 4703 N 50 W, West Lafayette, Indiana
  • Price: $50 per person; $400 per table (max. 8)
  • 5:30 p.m. — Reception & Silent Auction; 6:30 p.m. — Dinner; 7:30 p.m. — Follies Entertainment
Make your reservations ($50 per person; $400 per table) online HERE or by calling 765-423-2691. If you wish to be an Event Sponsor, email or call us.

More ways to get involved in LUM Follies :

  • Corporate Sponsors — If you wish to be an event sponsor, please email us
  • Silent Auction Donations — If you or your company wishes to donate items to our silent auction, please email us

(765-423-2691 | pmalavenda@lumserve.org | www.lumserve.org/follies )


If you aren’t able to attend the “Follies” but still wish to make a donation to the LUM Good Samaritan Fund — click:

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Good Samaritan Fund


Make your Reservations TODAY!
Start the Follies Reservation process NOW, click HERE.

Meet the New LUM Summer Interns


Meron Tamene — LUM Summer Intern

Originally from Fort Wayne, Indiana, Meron now lives in West Lafayette. She is matriculating toward a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science with minors in Arabic, Spanish, Human Rights & Global Studies from Purdue University, College of Liberal Arts. She will graduate in May 2020 and plans to attend law school. Meron hopes to work in immigration law and international human rights.

As an intern at LUM, Meron is working with the Campaign for Hoosier Families.


Morgan Torres  —LUM Summer Intern

Morgan grew up and lives in Monticello, Indiana. She is matriculating toward a Bachelor’s Degree in Law & Society and Political Science with a minor in Forensic Science from Purdue University, College of Liberal Arts. She will graduate in May 2020 and plans to attend law school. Morgan hopes to work in international law & policy specializing in immigration policy.

As an intern at LUM, Morgan is working with the Campaign for Hoosier Families.

Meet Pat G. – LUM Superstar Volunteer


Spotlight on Volunteers – A Vital Part of LUM

Patricia S. Garrott and her husband, Floyd, were childhood sweethearts growing up in Battle Ground, Indiana, where they raised their family and eventually moved to West Lafayette. Pat earned a BS in sociology and an MS in Counseling & Personnel Services, both from Purdue University. She and Floyd are members of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church and have three grown children (all who have earned at least one degree from Purdue) and four grandchildren. She has increased her service to the community since retiring as the Senior Executive Associate Director for the Center for Career Opportunities at Purdue.

At LUM, Pat has been volunteering with the Good Samaritan Program for over six years — and was one of the founding volunteers of the Immigration Clinic when it was established in 2014. She still occasionally teaches Citizenship Classes but regularly volunteers, one morning a week, meeting clients who need emergency financial assistance. Pat shared that,

“LUM is a wonderful thing in our community. My role is so rewarding. LUM only pays a portion of what the family needs but more importantly we share other community resources, give them the tools they need to begin to develop skills to be more self-sufficient, which in turn gives them hope and dignity.”

Pat & Floyd are also LUM donors.

“We’re comfortable giving to LUM because we know that all of the money is going to help local children and families,”

Pat stated.

In the community, Pat also volunteers working with fifth grade students in Battle Ground with a reading initiative and serves on a local library board of directors. For fun, she travels, spends lots of time with her grandchildren, attends Purdue sports (women’s basketball, men’s basketball and football) as well as Purdue stage shows and Butler basketball games (her husband’s alma mater). Pat also enjoys spending time with her mother who is 94 years old.

Pat encourages others to volunteer regularly with LUM, especially the recently retired, sharing that,

“It will give YOU back so much more than you can ever give.”


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Row-A-Thon 2018 Raises $16,231 for LUM


Purdue Crew Supports LUM Good Samaritan Fund


The Purdue Crew Team raised $16,231 for the LUM Good Samaritan Fundthrough the 9th annual Purdue Row-a-Thon event which took place on February 17 at the local shopping mall. This is the single largest gift to the LUM Good Samaritan Program again this year.

The “big” check was presented to Joe Micon, LUM executive director, last Sunday at their end of the year banquet.

{Pictured L to R: Mitch Nettesheim, Purdue Recreation senior associate director; Hannah Stefanik, Purdue Crew president; Apoorva Setlur, Purdue Crew officer; and Joe Micon.} To view PHOTOS from Row-A-Thon 2018, click HERE.


The LUM Good Samaritan Fund provides our community’s neediest families and children with a strong & reliable safety net. Emergency financial assistance is available for utility bills, rent, prescription medications, work clothes, and food. No operating expenses are taken out of this fund. In 2017, assistance was provided through the LUM Good Samaritan Program 2,032 times, totaling $115, 314.


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LUM Follies Raises $14K+ For Emergency Aid


FolliesAd-noTextThe 7th annual LUM Good Samaritan Fund Follies was lovely evening and all in support of emergency financial assistance for local families.

The LUM Follies stage show wowed the audience, and the meal was delectable. LUM Follies guests bid generously on an exciting variety of Silent Auction baskets and made specific donations using the Butterfly Tree (community needs with donations amounts). At LUM Follies 2018, over $14,000 was raised for emergency aid — making this year’s LUM Follies the one of the most successful.

The best part is that 100% of the proceeds from the LUM Good Samaritan Fund Follies go to the LUM Good Samaritan Fund. If you missed this year’s LUM Follies and still wish to make a difference by making a donation, click HERE.


To view more PHOTOS from the 2018 LUM Follies, click HERE.


LUM Follies—Acknowledgements & Thanks

The LUM Good Samaritan Fund FOLLIES was successful this year because of our sponsors and a hard-working & talented team of volunteers & staff who worked together in support of the families in crisis in our community. The LUM Staff and Board of Directors wish to extend sincere thanks to our donors and the many individuals who assisted in the planning of this year’s LUM Good Samaritan Fund Follies including:


LUM Follies Sponsors
Gold Level

  • Ron “Rock-Man” Jackson
  • Lafayette Brewing Co.

Silver Level

  • Andrea & David Schmidt

Bronze Level

  • Essential Touch Massage
  • Jo & Joe Micon

Silent Auction Basket Donors

  • Allegro Violin Shop
  • Bob Poynter
  • Chapel of the Good Shepherd, Episcopal Church at Purdue (2)
  • Congress St. United Methodist Church
  • Debra, Thomas & Monique Parent
  • Eileen Weiss
  • Federated Church
  • First Baptist Church
  • Gail & Charlie Davis
  • Heartland Church
  • Jo & Joe Micon
  • Linda Dolby & Cleve Shields
  • Marilyn & Mark Zerbes
  • St. Andrew United Methodist Church
  • St. Thomas Aquinas Center
  • Texas Roadhouse – Lafayette
  • Trinity United Methodist Church
  • Unitarian Universalist Church of Tippecanoe County

In Kind Gifts

  • Texas Roadhouse, Lafayette
    – 450 yeast rolls & cinnamon butter
  • Lafayette Brewing Company
    – Social Hour snacks – cocktail napkins, appetizers (hummus, veggies, dip, fruit, nuts, tortilla chips, salsa) and LBC root beer
  • St. Andrew UMC
    – candles, tablecloths, coffee, tea
  • St. Thomas Aquinas – ice

Special Acknowledgements

  • Rev. Chris Danielson, Rev. Joseph Seger & the staff & congregation of St. Andrew United Methodist Church—Our Hosts
  • Laurie Klenosky, Cindy Nycz, Dave Evans, Juan Valdez—St. Andrew Facilities Support
  • Wes White & Larry Theller—St. Andrew
    Sound, Lights, Video & Technology
  • Eileen Weiss—Entertainment Producer
  • Joan Low—Meal Coordinator
  • Bryn Seymour—Meal Preparation
  • Greater Lafayette Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Boiler Out, Beta Upsilon Chi (Fairway Cooperative), Purdue Immigrant Allies, Purdue Reamer Club, Harrison High School Keyettes & Central Catholic High SchoolVolunteers
    (Set up, Serving & Breakdown)
  • Joe Micon, Berdine Martin, Linda Hicks, David Heckert, Connie Decker, Afternoon Receptionists, Hannah Cox, Emilee McCrackenEvent Support & Hospitality
  • Gayle Koning & Tricia Sembroski—
    Financial Management

LUM Follies Talent

  • Zoe Malavenda, Fred Koning, Jennifer & Christopher Wright, H.I.S. (Jane Creswell, Gail Polles, and Ellen Wilson), Brendan’s Boat Irish Fiddle & Dance (Bridget Hickey, Evangeline Hickey, Elijah Hickey, Charlie Hickey, JJ Newcomb, and Jessica Hickey), Indiana State Representative Sheila Klinker, Mark Buche, Kelly Jacobs, Bob Poynter, The Rev. Charlie & Gail Davis, Eileen Weiss, and David Stith – Talent
  • Guy Haley—Piano accompanist
  • Gary Tyner—Pianist, Dinner
  • Member Church affiliation of LUM Follies Talent— Faith Presbyterian Church, First United Methodist Church, St. Boniface Church, St. Mary Cathedral, St. Thomas Aquinas Center, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Unitarian Universalist Church of Tippecanoe County