Category Archives: LUM Staff

Meet Kieron — New LUM Custodian


Kieron O. Denson — Newest Member of LUM Staff

Kieron O. Denson is the new LUM custodian. He graduated from Benton Central High School this past December and still lives in Oxford, Indiana.

Kieron has volunteered with LUM for more than a year and was a LUM Camp counselor last summer.

Kieron enjoys working at LUM because the environment is friendly and the staff are helpful. He shared that,

I will be the best that I can be by working hard and remaining positive and humble. Knowing that my work will help others have a better day, and life, makes me proud.

Kieron also said that,

Knowledge inspires me, and you can never stop learning.

The ability to learn is one of his favorite things in life. In his free time, Kieron enjoys being outdoors, hiking and playing basketball. He plans on enrolling in college soon. LUM is lucky to have Kieron join the team in such an important role, especially during this difficult time.

Custom Made Masks for Teachers


In an effort to create the best environment for the LUM students, customized face masks were created for the LUM teachers. Nina Morgan (pictured) who has provided dozens of face masks for LUM already, made face masks with a clear window displaying the teachers’ mouths (see picture below).

The main reasons for using these customized face masks are:

  • They’re essential for communicating with students with hearing impairments
  • 55% of communication is visual
  • Miscommunication increases when you can’t see someone’s mouth
  • A smile helps a lot

LUM is very grateful for Nina Morgan and all of our mask-makers, including Connie Decker, Linda Lou Prokopy and Jada Haughey.


If you wish to support the LUM 5th Quarter Summer Learning Program — you may make a monetary donation, sponsor a field/study trip and/or donate snacks and supplies. For more information, click HERE or email Kristi Hogue at khogue@lumserve.org.


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5th Quarter Summer Learning Program

Meet the 5th Quarter Summer Teachers


LUM is excited to introduce the teachers for the 5thQuarter Summer Learning Program. Pictured (from L to R) with Kristi Hogue, LUM youth programs director, the teachers are as follows:

  • Ann Mobley – Ann is from Chicago and now lives in Lafayette with her four year old son. She graduated from Thornton High School, earned an associates degree in the Early Childhood Education program at Ivy Tech Community College, and hopes to pursue a bachelor’s degree soon. Ann hopes to open a daycare of her own called Tiny Hands
  • Kristi Hogue – Kristi grew up in Logansport and currently lives in Lafayette with Jeff, her husband of 25 years, and their three children, Taelynn (20), Jaedren (13) and Maekenna (8). Jaedren & Maekenna have been enrolled in the LUM after school & summer programs for the past few years. Kristi graduated from Logansport High School, earned a BS in Child Development & Family Studies from Purdue University, and is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children.  
  • Mady Kirts – Mady grew up and still lives in Lafayette with her husband. She graduated from Jefferson High School, earned her associates degree in Human Services at Ivy Tech Community College, and is pursuing a bachelor’s in social work at IUPUI.
  • Tabatha Volpi – Tabby grew up and still lives in Lafayette with her husband, Matthew, and their two children, ages 6 & 8. She graduated from Jefferson High School and earned her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Purdue University in 2013. During the school year, Tabby works for the Lafayette School Corporation.
  • Shavonn Kimbrough – Shavonn grew up in Chicago and currently lives in Lafayette with her two children — Gregory & Zariyah (both 7). She graduated from Carver Military Academy and is now enrolled at Indiana Tech pursuing a degree in accounting.

What a dynamic and talented team of teachers! Please consider joining the 5th Quarter team as a volunteer Teacher’s Aide. Volunteers are needed each weekday (7 a.m.-6 p.m.) to assist in teaching & tutoring, reading, recreational activities, meals & snacks and more. Due to COVID-19, LUM needs more teachers & volunteers to create a healthy and safe environment. If you’re interested or need more information, click HERE— or email or call Kristi Hogue (khogue@lumserve.org| 765-423-2691).


If you wish to support the LUM 5th Quarter Summer Learning Program — you may make a monetary donation, sponsor a field/study trip and/or donate snacks and supplies. For more information, click HERE or email Kristi Hogue at khogue@lumserve.org.


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5th Quarter Summer Learning Program

Meet Marlena – 2020 LUM Camp Program Director

Marlena Edmondson is the program director of LUM Camp 2020. She earned a BSW in Political Science & Social Work from IUPUI, and an MSW with a concentration in Child Welfare from Indiana University.

Marlena was a LUM Camper as a child for three years and LUM Camp volunteer camp counselor for 13 years. During the school year, she is the Student Services Coordinator at Mayflower Mill Elementary School in Tippecanoe County. Marlena grew up in Lafayette, graduated from Harrison High School, and currently lives on the north side of Lafayette with her sister, Aly (who is also a former LUM Camper & camp counselor) and her two cats, Dudley & Rawry.


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LUM Camp

Please note: LUM is working closely with the professional staff at Hanging Rock Assembly Camp, the long-time host site of LUM CampLUM Camp is being planned in compliance with and exceeding the guidelines developed by the American Camp Association and the YMCA of the USA. All donations to LUM Camp will be used entirely on the campers’ experience, hopefully this year, but if not, next.

Social Distancing – LUM Staff Meeting


Volunteers & Staff – Adapting to COVID-19

LUM is determined to remain open to support local families in need and individuals experiencing homelessness. To maintain a safe & healthy space, LUM staff members communicate regularly, adapt to the ever-changing situation, support each other and practice self-care. LUM Staff members have been meeting more frequently — using video conferencing (pictured).

Please remember LUM during this difficult time. Your gifts of cash donations ($5, $10, $50, $100 or $500), needed items (cleaning supplies, food pantry items & shelter meals), and time (volunteer at the shelter or food pantry) are GREATLY appreciated and needed.

Donate $$ | Donate Needed Items | Volunteer | Prepare a Shelter Meal

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Social ‘Distance Learning’


LUM Immigration Clinic Participates in Webinars

During the Indiana Stay-At-Home Order, the LUM Immigration Clinic staff members and volunteers are spending this time to take advantage of advanced training on immigration and naturalization issues, ethics, legal issues and best practices.

They have been participating as a group in a series of webinars sponsored by the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (pictured). These online training programs are part of the resources available to LUM as an affiliate member of CLINIC. The Immigration Clinic staff and volunteers found the webinar timely and informative.


The LUM Protein Food Pantry remains open with strict protocols to keep everyone safe. The LUM Good Samaritan Program (emergency financial assistance) and Immigration Clinic are serving clients using online forms, email and the phone.

Please remember LUM during this difficult time. Your gifts of cash donations ($5, $10, $50, $100 or $500), needed items (cleaning supplies, food pantry items & shelter meals), and time (volunteer at the shelter or food pantry) are GREATLY appreciated and needed.

Donate $$ | Donate Needed Items | Volunteer | Prepare a Shelter Meal

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Social Distancing – LUM Staff Meeting

Zoom Staff Meeting Led By Wes Tillett

During this crisis, the LUM Staff members have been meeting more frequently — using video conferencing (pictured).

LUM is determined to remain open to support local families in need and individuals experiencing homelessness. To do this and maintain a safe & healthy environment, LUM staff members communicate regularly, adapt to the ever-changing situation, support each other and practice self-care — physically, spiritually and emotionally.


The LUM Emergency Shelter and Protein Food Pantry remain open with strict protocols to keep everyone safe. The LUM Good Samaritan Program (emergency financial assistance) and Immigration Clinic are serving clients using online forms, email and the phone.

Please remember LUM during this difficult time. Your gifts of cash donations ($5, $10, $50, $100 or $500), needed items (cleaning supplies, food pantry items & shelter meals), and time (volunteer at the shelter or food pantry) are GREATLY appreciated and needed.

Donate $$ | Donate Needed Items | Volunteer | Prepare a Shelter Meal

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Social Distancing – LUM Board Meeting

First Ever – LUM Board “Video” Meeting

Last night, the LUM Board of Directors held their monthly meeting using video conferencing. The agenda was distributed along with a code to “Join the Meeting” online. The remote meeting was productive, albeit unorthodox, and successfully connected and engaged everyone involved. Joan Low, LUM board president, led the meeting; and Wes Tillett attended and contributed for the first time as the LUM executive director.

Pictured are the LUM board & staff members who participated. This is yet another example of how LUM is adapting to the COVID-19 crisis because LUM is determined to continue serving local families and children in need.


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Social Distancing – LUM Staff Meeting

Zoom Staff Meeting Led By Wes Tillett

This week, Wes Tillett presided over his first staff meeting as the LUM executive director. Of course it was a remote, video staff meeting. Because many LUM staff members have not “seen” each other in more than two weeks, the energy was high. The mood was collaborative, focused and compassionate. The meeting ended with each staff member even more determined to find a way to support local children and families by continuing to keep LUM open for business.


The LUM Emergency Shelter and Protein Food Pantry remain open with strict protocols to keep everyone safe. The LUM Good Samaritan Program (emergency financial assistance) and Immigration Clinic are serving clients using online forms, email and the phone.

Please remember LUM during this difficult time. Your gifts of cash donations ($5, $10, $50, $100 or $500), needed items (cleaning supplies, food pantry items & shelter meals), and time (volunteer at the shelter or food pantry) are GREATLY appreciated and needed.

Donate $$ | Donate Needed Items | Volunteer | Prepare a Shelter Meal

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A Letter from Wes Tillett – LUM Executive Director


Hello! It is a joyful honor to re-enter the Lafayette Urban Ministry orbit. My wife and I have fondness in our hearts for LUM (15 years ago, when I had hair) and are excited to jump back in, rekindle old connections, nurture new connections, and introduce our children to this amazing ministry.

If you are reading this, it tells me that you are an active part of the LUM family. Thank you! Every person matters. Every act of generosity of time, talent, and treasure counts. I am grateful for how you have helped make LUM such a helpful and healthy agency that serves others.

As I enter into the Executive Director position, I am humbled by and appreciative of the fabulous and faithful leadership of Joe Micon. His record of 495 consecutive board meetings is in no danger of being broken by me (I’d have to serve until I was 83). I know Joe built on the foundation of Executive Directors, Rev. Jud Dolphin and Rev. Ron Elly. I am asking God for the grace to continue a legacy of courageous servant-leadership with LUM.

No doubt there is some anxiety as a new person takes a place of leadership.
Can we trust Wes? Is he capable? Will he change everything? Will we like him? Will he like us? Can he faithfully maximize the good that is already present in LUM and effectively navigate future realities? All those questions are honest and good — and normal.

In response to those types of questions, I reassure you that I come into this role with both a sense of humility and confidence — and a “dependence on God” to give me the wisdom to respond to the ever-evolving needs of the Lafayette / West Lafayette community and to show up strong in the midst of my weakness (“My grace is enough for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness,” 2 Corinthians 12:9). As a recovering perfectionist, I am keenly aware of my weaknesses, more than my strengths; and it is a comfort to know that God fills in my gaps.

As for my confidence, it is built upon the reality that “God cares more about this than I do and will work it out better than I can.” This faith has guided me over the past 10 years – moving to the Middle East (Lebanon) and moving back to the Midwest (Michigan) to start a new congregation (Voyage Church).

I have seen the faithfulness of God at every turn—honing my strengths and granting me success. All of this goodness gives me confidence to experience that goodness in the present and the future.

I am excited to move back to Tippecanoe County, learn the ropes of LUM, appreciate what is, and dream about what could be. What would it look like to more and more effectively meet the needs of children and families, of immigrants, of individuals without homes, and the most vulnerable among us? What would it look like to do what together we do at LUM so well that other communities seek to follow our model? With God all things are possible.

Let’s continue to lean in and serve those around us. I am eager to learn and grow, to lead and serve.

Wes Tillett, LUM Executive Director