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LUM Tax Volunteers Celebrate 2021 Success


Volunteers Gather for Celebratory Picnic Lunch


The volunteers and staff who have been working with this year’s LUM Tax Assistance Program met for a picnic lunch in Happy Hallow Park (West Lafayette) to celebrate another successful year. Some interesting statistics about this year’s LUM Tax Assistance Program are as follows:

  • 242 – Income Tax Returns filed
  • $338,856 – Federal Refunds
  • $34,320 – State Refunds
  • $373,176 – Total Refunds
  • $21,176 – Average Adjusted Gross Income
  • $68,016 – Federal – Earned Income Credit
  • $5,048 – State – Earned Income Credit
  • $73,064 – Total in Earned Income Credit

Join us in thanking the LUM Tax Assistance Program volunteers picture above as follows — Standing L to R: Joan Marshall, KG & Bharathi Raghothama, Barb Sharkey, Kathy Hicks, Carol Robicheaux, Rob Patrick, Josh Prokopy (director); Seated: Tricia Sembroski, Ann Pellegrino & Andrea Schmidt; Not pictured: James Brinkley, Connie Decker, Ai Ai Lau, Karen Marty, Nina Morgan, Patti O’Callaghan & Ron Smith.

If you wish to make a donation to the LUM Tax Assistance Program, click HERE.


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LUM Tax Assistance Program Prevails in 2021


A Journey of Determination & Success

“It is clear that despite COVID-19 our program has been a success,”

Josh Prokopy, the LUM Tax Assistance director

Each year, LUM offers FREE Income Tax Preparation Assistance for eligible, low-income households and individuals who reside in Tippecanoe County. LUM is proud of the Tax Assistance team for making it possible to continue offering this service during the pandemic.

Some interesting statistics about this year’s LUM Tax Assistance Program are as follows:

  • 242 – Income Tax Returns filed
  • $338,856 – Federal Refunds
  • $34,320 – State Refunds
  • $373,176 – Total Refunds
  • $21,176 – Average Adjusted Gross Income
  • $68,016 – Federal – Earned Income Credit
  • $5,048 – State – Earned Income Credit
  • $73,064 – Total in Earned Income Credit

Why is the LUM Tax Assistance Program so important?

  • Lower wage workers can’t afford to have their tax returns prepared professionally – or have limited access to technology to prepare their own
  • Federal & state support for working families is often offered through tax code
  • If individuals don’t file, significant tax credits and the Economic Impact Payments (AKA stimulus money) will be left unclaimed
  • Refunds & stimulus money boost our local economy by increasing sales and creating jobs in retail

Josh also shared,

It’s taken extra work, but our 16 volunteers were up to the challenge, and worked very hard under difficult conditions.

This year the volunteers were James Binkley, Connie Decker, Kathy Hicks, Ai Ai Lau, Joan Marshall, Karen Marty, Nina Morgan, Patti O’Callaghan, Rob Patrick, Margaret Prokopy, Bharathi Raghothama, Carol Robicheaux, Andrea Schmidt, Tricia Sembroski, Barbara Sharkey, and Ron Smith. 

Join us in THANKING these volunteers.


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Persisting & Thriving During COVID-19

One Year Later – Still Open – Still Serving


One year ago, Lafayette Urban Ministry began a journey that was filled with uncertainty and anxiety. By April 1, 2020, staff members were working from home, board meetings were happening online, and each program had to be modified. Additionally, Wes Tillett began his tenure as the LUM executive director.

First, staff members did not waver in the commitment to “stay open.” Second, LUM developed protocols. Finally, individuals, businesses & agencies responded by providing financial support.

Civic leaders, churches, agencies and families trusted LUM to distribute emergency funds, provide shelter, offer childcare, provide food assistance, and provide summer camp as well as assist with tax preparation and immigration issues — to our neighbors in need. LUM was able to host successful fundraising events like Hunger Hike, Port of Hope, and Turkey Trot 5K Run, surpassing the fundraising goals.

LUM remained open, but “how” LUM serves the families in our community changed to keep everyone as safe as possible. The leadership has been continually monitoring the recommendations and adjusting as needed. Staff members reimagined every aspect of each of the programs offered. Using technology and modifying the physical layout of our entrances, LUM was able to offer services online, through email and by phone.

The LUM Emergency Shelter, Food Pantry and Youth Programs used hand-washing, face masks, temperature checks and social distancing in common areas including the dining and sleeping rooms. The need for LUM services increased significantly but the support from donors, foundations and businesses increased as well.

There were also “silver linings.” The Board is more focused and supportive of the staff members and programs. Staff members have become a close and effective team. In the community, LUM has been a faithful partner with other agencies, collaborating to better serve the community. Families are more aware of our programs and more individuals were impacted, many for the first time.

One year later, LUM survives and continues to serve those in need while remaining financially sound. Reflecting on how much was accomplished in the past 12 months reaffirms that a gift to LUM is a sound investment, even during a global pandemic and the transition of a new executive director.


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