Category Archives: Good Samaritan Program

Purdue Crew Team Raises $20,029 for LUM


Row-A-Thon 2021 Succeeds Despite COVID-19


At a recent private ceremony, Purdue Crew athletes, leadership & coaches presented LUM with a check for $20,028.78 (half of what was raised through their annual Row-A-Thon) for the LUM Good Samaritan Program, the emergency financial assistance program. This year, everything changed except for the Purdue Crew team’s determination to persist. Due to COVID-19, the team could not compete or travel but still recruited a stellar team of student athletes and trained harder than ever, on & off the river. This year the annual Row-A-Thon could only be approved if it was a members-only event and moved to a campus facility instead of the local mall. Despite all of these challenges, Row-A-Thon happened, exceeding fundraising expectations. It is important to note that the Purdue student athletes on the Crew Team solicited these donations from individuals outside of this community; and this donation each year is the single greatest gift to the LUM Good Samaritan Program from any group or individual. Words cannot adequately express how grateful LUM is — and how heartwarming it is to know that with all that today’s students are managing, these students continue to serve and support their community. Boiler Up!


The LUM Good Samaritan Program 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 foodNo operating expenses are taken out of the Good Samaritan Fund — 100% of all donations go to help those in need. In 2020, assistance was provided to 2,017 families through the LUM Good Samaritan Program 1,393 times, totaling $229,833.82.


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Good Samaritan Fund

Best Friends & Superstar LUM Volunteers


Suz & Theresa – A Friendship Built on Service

Suz Branson & Theresa Landis have been friends for more than 15 years. They became friends through their church and have found that engaging in the community together has been fulfilling and has strengthened their bond as friends.

Suz grew up in Sidney, Ohio, and moved to Lafayette with her husband, Pete. After retiring from Purdue HR, she became an active volunteer. Theresa is originally from Demotte, Indiana, earned a bachelor’s and Master’s degree from Purdue, and was the 4th & 5th grade teacher for high achieving students in Kankakee Valley. After retirement, Theresa and her husband, Jeff, moved to Tennessee. When they returned to Lafayette in 2018, Theresa & Suz found community engagement opportunities that were meaningful to them and started serving.

Suz shared that,

For me, it’s a ‘heart thing.’ We have an obligation to give back and a duty to make our community better.

Theresa added that,

It is a reminder of how blessed we are, how fragile life is, and how difficult it is for many to ask for help.

Suz & Theresa agree the best part about volunteering is interacting with and getting to know the clients. Suz stated,

We are all people; so, we try to remember people’s names, greet them with a smile and try to make their day.

To which Theresa added,

We get so much out of this experience too.

Suz & Theresa love volunteering with LUM because, “LUM serves so many different people and offers so many ways to support them.” They also like that, “LUM helps people get back on their feet — and become more self sufficient.

LUM is grateful to Suz & Theresa for choosing to volunteer weekly with the LUM Protein Food Pantry. As you can imagine they soon became superstar volunteers. Suz & Theresa also volunteer each year with Jubilee Christmas and several other one-time opportunities at LUM. They encourage anyone who is thinking about helping out to “find a friend” and get started together. They shared that,

It will only make your friendship stronger and your bond everlasting.


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LUM Food Pantries

Career Opportunity at LUM — OFFICE MANAGER Position Open

Immediate Opening | Full-Time | Benefits

LUM has an opening for Office Manager overseeing the day-to-day operation of the LUM Office as well as the coordination and appreciation of volunteers. 

Office management experience, volunteer recruitment & training experience, strong communication skills, proficiency with computer software and office equipment, and task-orientation are a must. Qualified candidate should have a bachelor’s degree as well as an engaging personality and positive outlook.

Please SHARE with qualified candidate. If interested, please Email, Mail or Drop-off a resume with cover letter to Wes Tillett, LUM Executive Director (careers@lumserve.org | 420 N 4th Street, Lafayette, IN 47901).

Mission Moment – The Story of a Single Father

Shirley Advocates For & Reunites Family

LUM Good Samaritan Program advocate, Shirley Robertson, spoke with Steven, a single father of three children, who had his gas & electric service disconnected. In the meantime, he was heating his apartment with the oven, and temporarily moved his children in with their grandmother.

This father had many difficulties pile on in quick succession beginning with a cancer diagnosis in early January. Steven’s work hours were then reduced due COVID-19 because he was consider high risk, but the cancer treatments continued.

Steven was having a hard time getting the help needed to restore his service. Shirley made a phone call to his utility provider to determine the amount he needed to get his service restored. She created a plan, which drew from a few different funds, to come up with the total amount this local family needed.

After the amount was pledged, his service was restored and his family was reunited, Steven called Shirley at LUM. Speaking with her, he became emotional. He was holding back tears of gratitude, not only for the help that was offered, but also for the opportunity to personally thank Shirley for her kindness and compassion in listening to his story and offering guidance through a new and scary experience.


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Good Samaritan Fund

{To protect the privacy of the family featured above, their names have been changed.}

Meet Shirley – Superstar LUM Volunteer


Shirley Robertson – LUM Good Samaritan Program Volunteer

Shirley Robertson grew up on a farm in Kentland, Indiana. Growing up in Newton County along the creek, her life was her family and their cattle, sheep & chickens. Her family instilled in her this motto: “Save, Give & Spend.” And this is how she aspires to live even today.

After earning a bachelor’s in Music Education from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale and a Master’s in Music from Butler University, Shirley became the music teacher and marching band director for the Benton Central School Corporation and stayed for more than 19 years. Just as she was thinking about a change, a position opened up at Sunnyside Elementary School and Shirley became their music educator for the final 12 years of her career.

Being true to her family’s motto, Shirley “gives” to her community. At LUM, she has been a volunteer in the Good Samaritan Program since 2009, when she was recruited by then director, Mary Anderson. She stated that,

“What I enjoy about LUM is that we ask, ‘What can we do TODAY to help this individual or family?’ LUM is caring, action oriented, positive, uplifting and nonjudgmental.”

Shirley identifies with the Servant Leader model and shared that,

“My day is so much better when I help someone else, especially my neighbors in need.”

This is evident in the story below about a recent time she assisted a client at LUM.

Shirley is one of our favorite volunteers for the joy she brings to LUM each morning she volunteers. At LUM, Shirley is also involved with the LUM Jubilee Christmas program through her church, Elston Presbyterian Church, and with Hunger Hike. In her free time, Shirley still enjoys playing the piano, walking and playing golf. She lives with her cat, Noodle (named for the golf ball brand), in east Lafayette.

LUM appreciates Shirley for allowing us to tell her story — which was not easy. Shirley avoids the limelight because she is serving in honor of her family’s motto. She agreed because she also hopes that sharing her experiences will encourage others to invest in Lafayette Urban Ministry and/or commit to getting engaged as a volunteer. LUM is truly blessed to have Shirley as a part of our team.


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Good Samaritan Fund

Important Events, Needs and Opportunities


Ways You Can Get Engaged with LUM

Row-A-Thon – Saturday, February 13 – Fundraiser sponsored by the Purdue Crew Team to raise money for the LUM Good Samaritan Program. More.

Chipotle Night – Tuesday, February 23, 5-9 p.m. – Dine at Chipotle (Lafayette) and the LUM Youth Program receives 30% of your purchase. More.


Meals Need – LUM Emergency Shelter – URGENT need for February meals. Dates available include: February 6, 9, 10, 14, 15, 17-23, 26 & 27. Sign up HERE.


Hiring – Shelter Security Staff – $15/hour – Part-time, 11-20 hours/week. Send resume with cover letter to Briton Weise, Emergency Shelter Director (bweise@lumserve.org). More.

Search – Immigration Clinic Director – Full time, Salaried, Benefits, Reporting to Executive Director. Resumes will be reviewed starting February 7. Start date as early as March 15. Send resume with cover letter to Wes Tillett, LUM Executive Director (careers@lumserve.org). More.

Briefly Noted! Announcing! Save the Date!


Ways You Can Get Engaged with LUM

Meals Need – LUM Emergency Shelter – URGENT need for February meals. Dates available include: February 6, 9, 10, 14, 15, 17-23, 26 & 27. Sign up HERE.

Hiring – Shelter Security Staff – $15/hour – Part-time, 11-20 hours/week. Send resume with cover letter to Briton Weise, Emergency Shelter Director (bweise@lumserve.org). More.

Search – Immigration Clinic Director – Full time, Salaried, Benefits, Reporting to Executive Director. Resumes will be reviewed starting February 7. Start date as early as March 15. Send resume with cover letter to Wes Tillett, LUM Executive Director (careers@lumserve.org). More.

Row-A-Thon – Saturday, February 13 – Fundraiser sponsored by the Purdue Crew Team to raise money for the LUM Good Samaritan Program. More.

Chipotle Night – Tuesday, February 23, 5-9 p.m. – Dine at Chipotle (Lafayette) and the LUM Youth Program receives 30% of your purchase. More.

Volunteer Afternoon Receptionists Needed – Weekdays, Noon to 4:30 p.m. Interested individuals should email or call Monica (mcasanova@lumserve.org | 765-423-2691). More.

“Starr” Gift Supports LUM Immigration Clinic


Carol & Nick Starr Donate $1,000 to LUM

In recognition of their church, First Baptist, and in honor of Joe Micon’s 41 years of service to LUM & the community, Carol & Nick Starr (pictured) donated $1,000 to support the work of the LUM Immigration Clinic. This “Starr” gift was used to purchase books for the LUM Immigration Clinic new law library. These books will provide a valuable online resource for the Immigration Clinic team allowing them to better serve individuals and families needing immigration assistance.

Carol is also a LUM volunteer working primarily with the LUM Good Samaritan Program. Lafayette Urban Ministry is grateful for the continued support from Carol & Nick Starr — especially during times like these. If you wish to make in an investment in the LUM Immigration Clinic, click the button below to make an online donation today.


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Immigration Clinic

Row-A-Thon 2020 Raises $27,693 for LUM


Annual Row-A-Thon Benefits LUM Families


Each February, the Purdue Crew Team hosts the Row-a-Thon fundraising event and donates half of the proceeds to the LUM Good Samaritan Fund. After Row-A-Thon this year, their competition year was cut short due to COVID-19, and the team decided to donate ALL of the proceeds to LUM, totaling $27,693 — $10,850 more than last year.

The check was presented in a video conference by Purdue Crew President Henri Laliberte & Head Coach David Kucik to Wes Tillett, LUM executive director, and Linda Hicks, LUM Good Samaritan Program director — who were surprised and genuinely overwhelmed by their generosity. Please take a minute to watch the presentation video.



The LUM Good Samaritan Program 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 the Good Samaritan Fund — 100% of all donations go to help those in need. In 2019, assistance was provided through the LUM Good Samaritan Program 1,783 times, totaling $103,616.73.


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Good Samaritan Fund


LUM Retirement Follies – Emotional Tribute


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Salute to Joe Micon

Joe Micon – Honored as True Community Leader

Last Friday, close to 500 individuals gathered to pay tribute to Joe Micon, a true community leader for more than 41 years. The event included amazing musical performances by Michael Kelsey, Purdue Varsity Glee Club, Black Voices of Inspiration, Zelaya, and the 65 member, LUM Ecumenical Choir.

Joe Micon and his family were joined by past executive director, Rev. Jud Dolphin; past acting director, Mary Anderson; Ellen Elly, the wife of the founding executive director, the late Rev. Ron Elly; Rev. Don Nead; and Professor Emeritus Jim Davidson. The event concluded with a reception sponsored by Lafayette Brewing Company.

Joe was overwhelmed with the love and support from the guests and speakers. He was presented with the following:

  • Sagamore of the Wabash – from Governor Holcomb presented by State Senator Ron Alting (click HERE for more information)
  • Marquis de Lafayette Award – from the City of Lafayette presented by Mayor Tony Roswarski – the highest award given for going above and beyond with volunteerism, citizenship, and overall dedication & commitment to the community
  • Quilt – made from squares created by the LUM After School Program students
  • Artwork Gift – from the City of West Lafayette presented by Mayor John Dennis
  • Proclamation & the Indiana State Seal – from the state legislature presented by State Rep. Sheila Klinker
  • Resolution – from the state legislature presented by State Rep. Chris Campbell
  • Distinguished Alumni Award – IU School of Social Work (click HERE for more information)
  • Executive Director Emeritus distinction – presented by the LUM Board of Directors (click HERE for more information)

LUM Follies was also a fundraising event for the LUM Good Samaritan Fund — an emergency financial assistance program. So far, the event has raised close to $33,000 for the LUM general fund and Good Samaritan Fund in honor of Joe Micon. If you were not able to attend the LUM Follies, you may send your well wishes to Joe Micon by email or US Mail (jmicon@lumserve.org | 420 N 4th Street, Lafayette, IN 47901). Donations to LUM in Joe’s honor are still being accepted as well. Simply click the button below to give online.

Thanks to YOU, Joe Micon was given the retirement send-off he deserves.


In lieu of gifts the Micon Family requests that you  make a donation to Lafayette Urban Ministry  in honor of Joe Micon. 


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Salute to Joe Micon

To view VIDEO, click HERE. To view more PHOTOS from the event, click HERE.
To view Joe Micon’s Remarks, click HERE.
{Photos courtesy of Bob Bauman. Video courtesy of Max Malavenda.}