Category Archives: LUM Camp

The Story of Doris Miner Hanstra

A Story of the Beginning of LUM in 1957


On a fall afternoon, Doris Miner Hanstra looked out of her window and saw three girls sitting on the curb trying to light cigarette butts. She invited them into her home that day and several days after. Soon Doris was hosting scores of children in the basement of her church regularly.


This legendary story has been told and retold by each LUM executive director through the years to demonstrate how one person can have an impact that lasts for generations. If you want to learn more about the individuals who had a part in what eventually became this phenomenon known today as Lafayette Urban Ministry, Doris Miner Hanstra (1910-2003) must be at the top of the list.

Her husband, the Rev. Peter Hanstra became the pastor of Hope Chapel Presbyterian Church in 1957. Hope Chapel was founded in 1844 as a Presbyterian “mission” to the relatively low-income people living on the southside of downtown Lafayette. Doris noticed immediately that there was a need to support the families and children in their new church neighborhood in downtown Lafayette. Doris and her team of volunteers planned a series of programs & events which included arts & crafts projects in the afternoons and movie nights with popcorn. These programs were successful, had a positive impact, and grew quickly, drawing the attention of Purdue University and other churches. She accomplished all of this while supporting her husband as pastor, playing organ at services, and raising her five children, one of whom was adopted.

Partnering with a student from Purdue, Doris and a small group of volunteers from a variety of churches started the Neighborhood Development Project in 1962. Doris inspired a movement that led to the formation of the NDP advisory board in 1966 by Hope Chapel. The board approved a budget of $5,000 for three programs: afternoon “craft programs” for children in Kindergarten through 3rd grade, evening craft programs for 4th through 6th grade children, and a summer camp.

The programs including singing, birthday acknowledgements and guest speakers like local police & fire departments talking about safety tips. Their handicrafts included a service component. The children would make “useful” crafts for “someone at home or for the sick.” One of their projects was to beautify the neighborhood by planting flowers along the church building. They created crafts for every holiday including Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. They planned study & recreation trip for the children too — including picnics, children’s plays, trips to Happy Hallow Park, events at Purdue, service projects, a Christmas pageant & caroling, a puppet show and a trip to the Indianapolis Children’s Museum.

The Hanstras retired in 1966 but not before presenting a plan to hire a new pastor who would continue to be active with the Neighborhood Development Project. The search resulted in the hiring of the Rev. Ron Elly. The Rev. Elly built on this simple idea, and Lafayette Urban Ministry was incorporated in 1972.


Doris Miner (1910 – 2003) was born in Cass County, Indiana, and attended Lucerne Schools. She married Peter Hanstra in 1933.

Their children are Miner Hanstra of Lafayette, Marta Flaherty of Peoria, Jeanne Van Horn of Lafayette, Gretchen Paprocki of Lafayette & Rachel Bahrenburg of Bismark, ND.

Doris played the piano & organ and was music director in several Indiana & Illinois churches. She painted porcelain and sold pieces through her business, The Nook & Granny. In 1983, she won 1st prize in a state competition. 

The Story of Doris Miner Hanstra

Doris Miner Hanstra’s Vision for LUM in 1962

In the Celebration of the Women of LUM, Doris Miner Hanstra (1910-2003) must be at the top of the list. Her husband, the Rev. Peter Hanstra became the pastor of Hope Chapel Presbyterian Church in 1957. Doris noticed immediately that there was a need to support the families and children in their new church neighborhood on the southside of downtown Lafayette. She took the lead, recruited church members and launched several after school and evening youth programs. These programs were successful, had a positive impact, and grew quickly, drawing the attention of Purdue University.

Partnering with a student from Purdue, Doris started the Neighborhood Development Project in 1962, enhancing each youth program and adding a summer camp. She accomplished all of this while supporting her husband as pastor, playing organ at services, and raising her son & four daughters, one of whom was adopted. What started with a few small acts of kindness developed into a vision for supporting children and building stronger families in Lafayette. Doris created a movement that led to the formation of the NDP advisory board in 1966 and the incorporation of Lafayette Urban Ministry in 1972.

Stay tuned for the more about Doris, one of the most influential Women of LUM. A more detailed Story of Doris Miner Hanstra will be published in the April edition of the LUM Seed Newsletter.

TAX Assistance – Volunteers Needed


This year due to strict COVID-19 protocols, the LUM Tax Assistance Program needs more volunteers than usual.

LUM has developed a “no contact” plan to get taxes done, and volunteers are needed. Many of our clients will be getting their tax information to us online. However, there will be plenty of clients who lack either the technology or the confidence to do that. LUM is offering “no contact” sessions every weekend from February through April where clients can drop off their materials and get them scanned. All interactions with clients will happen through a glass door using a drop slot to collect materials.

 The LUM Tax Assistance Program needs volunteers to help:

  • Verify client IDs and collect their documents
  • Scan their documents and get them uploaded to a secure site

 Tax time can be scary, and without the normal in-person tax clinics that our clients are so used to, this year is likely to be scarier than most. YOU can make things a little easier, and provide a valuable service to the struggling families who rely on LUM to get their taxes done. If you would like to find out more, please email the Tax Assistance program manager, Josh Prokopy, at jprokopy@lumserve.org.


Empathy | Engagement | Energy | Experience


Did you know?

There are many benefits to volunteering with LUM. Serving your community not only helps others but also has benefits YOU!

  • You gain EXPERIENCE
  • You become more EMPATHETIC
  • You  are HAPPIER
  • You reduce your STRESS

There are many different opportunities for volunteering at LUM, from working one-on-one with a child to helping run the homeless shelter. Check out the current volunteer needs listed below.


Immediate Openings — LUM Volunteer Needs

To view all LUM Volunteer Opportunities, click HERE.

¿Habla Español? Love Helping Others? Volunteer with LUM!

Please SHARE with others.

HOMELESSNESS Services – Volunteers Needed


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. (Shelter volunteers must be at least 18 years old.)
Four Ways YOU can help the LUM Emergency Shelterare as follows:


Empathy | Engagement | Energy | Experience


Did you know?

There are many benefits to volunteering with LUM. Serving your community not only helps others but also has benefits YOU!

  • You gain EXPERIENCE
  • You become more EMPATHETIC
  • You  are HAPPIER
  • You reduce your STRESS

There are many different opportunities for volunteering at LUM, from working one-on-one with a child to helping run the homeless shelter. Check out the current volunteer needs listed below.


Immediate Openings — LUM Volunteer Needs

To view all LUM Volunteer Opportunities, click HERE.

¿Habla Español? Love Helping Others? Volunteer with LUM!

Please SHARE with others.

FOOD Assistance – Volunteers Needed


The LUM Protein Food Pantry relies on donations from individuals, churches, companies and groups; and needs volunteers each Thursday morning from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

FOUR ways YOU can help the LUM Protein Food Pantry are as follows:


Empathy | Engagement | Energy | Experience


Did you know?

There are many benefits to volunteering with LUM. Serving your community not only helps others but also has benefits YOU!

  • You gain EXPERIENCE
  • You become more EMPATHETIC
  • You  are HAPPIER
  • You reduce your STRESS

There are many different opportunities for volunteering at LUM, from working one-on-one with a child to helping run the homeless shelter. Check out the current volunteer needs listed below.


Immediate Openings — LUM Volunteer Needs

To view all LUM Volunteer Opportunities, click HERE.

¿Habla Español? Love Helping Others? Volunteer with LUM!

Please SHARE with others.

YOUTH Programs – Volunteers Needed


The LUM After School Program needs volunteers from 2 to 6 p.m., every weekday.

Volunteers are needed to tutor, read to students, give spelling tests and supervise the children. Please consider signing up NOW to volunteer for this important ministry and make a difference in the lives of children.

For more information, click HERE or call or email the LUM Youth Programs director, Kristi Hogue (765-423-2691 | khogue@lumserve.org).


DINE to DONATE | Tuesday, January 19

Another tasty way to support the LUM After School Program is to participate in the Dine to Donate event ALL DAY on Tuesday, January 19 at Mad Mushroom in Lafayette. For more information, click HERE.


Empathy | Engagement | Energy | Experience


Did you know?

There are many benefits to volunteering with LUM. Serving your community not only helps others but also has benefits YOU!

  • You gain EXPERIENCE
  • You become more EMPATHETIC
  • You  are HAPPIER
  • You reduce your STRESS

There are many different opportunities for volunteering at LUM, from working one-on-one with a child to helping run the homeless shelter. Check out the current volunteer needs listed below.


Immediate Openings — LUM Volunteer Needs

To view all LUM Volunteer Opportunities, click HERE.

¿Habla Español? Love Helping Others? Volunteer with LUM!

Please SHARE with others.

Benefits of Volunteering with LUM in 2021


Empathy | Engagement | Energy | Experience


Did you know?

There are many benefits to volunteering with LUM. Serving your community not only helps others but also has benefits YOU!

  • You gain EXPERIENCE
  • You become more EMPATHETIC
  • You  are HAPPIER
  • You reduce your STRESS

There are many different opportunities for volunteering at LUM, from working one-on-one with a child to helping run the homeless shelter. Check out the current volunteer needs listed below.


Immediate Openings — LUM Volunteer Needs

To view all LUM Volunteer Opportunities, click HERE.

¿Habla Español? Love Helping Others? Volunteer with LUM!

Please SHARE with others.

Central Presbyterian Donates $2,600 to LUM


Local Families & Children Will Benefit from CPC Gift



When Wes Tillett, the current LUM executive director, was the Director of Family & Youth Ministries at Central Presbyterian Church, Lafayette (2006-2010), they entered and won a video contest inspired by Micah 6:8,

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good and what the Lord requires of you: to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.

The leadership at Central Presbyterian Church invested the $25,000 prize money in an endowment to benefit local initiatives impacting local children.

Recently, Allen Bol, the current Director of Family & Youth Ministries, shared the great news; stating,

“For the first time in our history, the Central youth decided to give 100% of the revenue from the Micah 6:8 Fund to only one organization — Lafayette Urban Ministry!”

He shared that during the discussion,

“The pandemic was heavy on the youth’s minds. As they made a list of where the money should go (hunger, school needs, etc.), they kept turning back to LUM.”

Allen Bol also shared that the Central Presbyterian Church youth have been meeting with the youth of Bethany Presbyterian Church — and the combined youth groups discussed and agreed to give this gift entirely to Lafayette Urban Ministry. LUM is grateful for this generous gift and for inspiring a new generation to support the work of Lafayette Urban Ministry.


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Youth Programs


Offering Hospitality – EVERY Night Since 1984


LUM Emergency Shelter – the COVID-19 Response

Even before Indiana issued the Stay-At-Home order, LUM and other community agencies sprang into action to address the realities of the pandemic. Portable sinks were purchased, others were donated. Masks were hand-made and distributed free of charge. Extra protocols were put into effect, such as cleaning, sanitizing, taking nightly temperature checks, and practicing social distancing. And, as has been the case since it began in 1984, the LUM Emergency Shelter never missed a night of offering a safe, warm, secure place to those experiencing homelessness in our community.  

In the first eight months of 2020, LUM has provided over 5,500 overnight stays to 489 individuals, with four of those months in the midst of a global pandemic. All of the adaptation to COVID-19 realities has not been without cost. Additional cleaning supplies and equipment have been purchased and used. Volunteerism almost disappeared entirely during the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order. Additional paid staff hours have filled the volunteer gap. 

Nonetheless, LUM has continued to address the complex problems facing our guests who are chronically homeless. Addiction, mental illness, emotional and physical disabilities, and unwise choices — all exacerbated by the anxieties of the pandemic — have never been harder to overcome. But the LUM staff members, now led by the new LUM Emergency Shelter director, Briton Weise, have resiliently served our guests, helping the guests to see brighter future possibilities.


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Emergency Shelter

LUM Emergency Shelter – During a Crisis


A Letter from Wes Tillett, LUM Executive Director

Do you remember where you were on the night of Monday, March 23,when “Stay Home, Stay Safe” was ordered for the State of Indiana? 

I was home, safe and warm, playing board games with my wife and kids. Logan Smith (not his real name) was lining up in the frigid 37 degree temperatures to get inside the LUM Emergency Shelter. For Logan and many other people in Tippecanoe County who had no place to call home, “Stay Home, Stay Safe” was frighteningly unrealistic.   

  • How does one stay home and safe with no place to call home?
  • How does one regularly wash one’s hands without access to a sink?
  • How does one wear a mask when one doesn’t have one?  

LUM was there for Loganon March 23 — and every night since, providing a place to temporarily call home and stay safe. LUM understood that the risk of COVID-19 to the homeless population was not just a health concern for individuals experiencing homelessness themselves but, due to the highly contagious nature of coronavirus, a risk to broader public health as well.

I am grateful that Logan had somewhere to go on March 23 to stay safe from the cold, and stay safe from coronavirus. There are brighter days ahead for Logan and for all of us. We may have several more months of difficulty before we get there. God will give Logan and all of us strength to persevere.  

Please, will you make a generous financial gift to the Lafayette Urban Ministry Emergency Shelter, so that we can continue to offer people like Logan a warm, safe and caring place to shelter in these pandemic times?

With appreciation,

Wes Tillett, LUM Executive Director


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Emergency Shelter