Category Archives: Volunteer

LUM Tax Assistance – Strengthens Families

Celebrating Another Successful Tax Year – Despite COVID-19

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

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

Why is the LUM Tax Assistance Program so important?

  • Lower wage workers wouldn’t be able to afford having their tax returns prepared professionally
  • Federal & state support for working families is often offered through tax code
  • If workers don’t file, significant tax credits will be left unclaimed
  • Refunds boost our local economy by increasing sales and creating jobs in retail

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Tax Assistance Program

Nina’s Reflections On COVID-19 from the Frontlines


Food Pantries

“During the COVID19, the volunteers at the Protein Food Pantry set a goal of continuing to serve our clients with respect for the safety of all and maintaining personal interactions. They have worked hard to follow all of the precautions & protocol. I am proud to say that we have remained open each week and work to help relieve and reduce the stress our clients are experiencing by allowing them to have choices in the food selections when possible. The need is great, and our clients appreciate us staying open.”

Nina Morgan, Director, LUM Protein Food Pantry


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Food Pantry – LUM Protein Food Pantry

Thanks | 감사합니다 | Gracias | Toda | Arigato


One Year Later – Financial Assistance

During the entire pandemic the generosity of this community has been heartwarming. Some gave supplies, some gave money and some gave of their time & expertise. LUM is grateful for each and every individual, family, company, agency, group, and church who has supported LUM programs during this crisis. Thanks to our volunteers who risk their own health to keep serving others.

Pictured below are two LUM Good Samaritan Program volunteers (L to R, front row): Pat Garrott & Shirley Robertson; who are joined by LUM staff members (L to R, back row): Linda Hicks, director; Connie Decker, receptionist; & Nancy Emig, clerk.

Other notable donations to LUM for COVID-19 relief were from those listed as follows:

  • Tippecanoe COVID-19 Response Fund
  • United Way of Greater Lafayette
  • The Community Foundation of Greater Lafayette
  • Greater Lafayette Commerce
  • Fairfield Township Trustees
  • Purdue Crew Team – Row-A-Thon
  • McAllister Foundation
  • Glick Community Relief Fund
  • Regions Bank
  • Bob & Patti Truitt

If you wish to invest in the LUM Good Samaritan Program, please give a donation to the fund, which supports families and children in crisis with financial assistance.


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Good Samaritan Fund

One Year of Rapid Relief to Families in Crisis


One Year Later – Financial Assistance

In the past 12 months, a small but mighty team has kept LUM “open” and “serving” local families in financial crisis. In the beginning of the pandemic, everything had to change immediately. Despite all of the obstacles, LUM was able to continue providing emergency financial assistance using online forms, email and phone calls. The LUM Good Samaritan Program has not faced a challenge like this before but the staff members and volunteers were so passionate and focused that nothing, not even a global pandemic, could stop them.
As the news of LUM’s success spread, LUM became one of the few trusted agencies for assistance and referrals, and the donations followed. Since March 23, 2020:

  • 1,256 local families have received financial help
  • 728 of these families (58%) were asking for assistance for the FIRST time
  • An additional $213,025 of COVID-19 relief funds has been donated to LUM
  • $253,801.14 has been distributed by LUM

Pictured above are two LUM Good Samaritan Program volunteers (L to R, front row): Pat Garrott & Shirley Robertson; who are joined by LUM staff members (L to R, back row): Linda Hicks, director; Connie Decker, receptionist; & Nancy Emig, clerk.

If you wish to invest in the LUM Good Samaritan Program, please give a donation to the fund, which supports families and children in crisis with financial assistance.


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Good Samaritan Fund

New LUM Westside Food Pantry Opening


“Stock the Shelves” of New LUM Food Pantry

This spring, Lafayette Urban Ministry will be expanding its food assistance program by opening the LUM Westside Food Pantry in partnership with the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tippecanoe County and with the support of the Chapel of the Good Shepherd.


YOU can HELP the new LUM Westside Food Pantry by “stocking the shelves” with food items before it opens later this spring.


Here are FOUR ways you can help:

  1. Food Drive – Sponsor a food drive at your church, business or in your neighborhood. Extra Credit – Make it a MONTHLY food drive
  2. Donate – Make a monetary donation or Donate “needed items
  3. Volunteer – Sign up to volunteer at one of the LUM food pantries
  4. Promote – Tell your members and friends; Insert this article in your bulletins, emails, on social media and websites

Cheryl Fowler, LUM Board president shared that,

This is an exciting time for LUM.
After months of gathering data, it is clear that West Lafayette needs a food pantry.

The LUM Westside Food Pantry will complement the LUM Protein Food Pantry, which is located in downtown Lafayette. The Protein Food Pantry will be open on Thursday mornings, and Westside Food Pantry will be open on Friday mornings. Future plans include moving the Protein Food Pantry to a better location and expanding the hours of operation at both sites. 


Please help LUM help your neighbors who need basic food assistance.

If you have questions or need further information, go to lumserve.org/food-pantry, call 765-423-2691 or email foodpantry@lumserve.org.


Help Us Promote – Marketing Resources

  • Flier – click HERE
  • Bulletin/Newsletter article – click HERE
  • Logo – click HERE
  • Facebook/Instagram (square) Post – click HERE
  • Twitter/LinkedIn Post – click HERE
  • Facebook (landscape) Post – click HERE
Twitter Post

Instagram – Facebook Post

Facebook Post

Hot Need – Shelter Meals Needed


MEALS NEEDED – Emergency Shelter


Each night of the year, a simple meal is provided at the LUM Emergency Shelter.
Planning and preparing a meal is a great activity for families, church groups, campus organizations and civic groups. You may stay and serve the meal or drop it off in advance. No contact drop off is an option as well. Monthly meals are greatly appreciated.

MEALS NEEDED on the following days:

  • April 11, 15, 17, 18, 21, 23, 25, 26, 27, 28 & 29

To SIGN UP, click the month you’d like to prepare & serve a meal: March | April | May |

Prepare enough sandwiches or soup, stew or chili for 25 people. No side dishes or desserts are needed. Drinks are optional. To sign up & for more information, click the button below.


¿Habla Español? Love Helping Others?
Sign up to Volunteer with LUM!

Please share with others.

Hot Need – Shelter Meals Needed


MEALS NEEDED – Emergency Shelter


Each night of the year, a simple meal is needed for the guests in the LUM Emergency Shelter. There is an URGENT need for meals in February. Dates available include:

  • Monday, March 15
  • Wednesday, March 17 (St. Patrick’s Day)
  • Thursday, March 18
  • March 21-25
  • March 27, 28 & 31

Sign up HERE. Prepare enough sandwiches or soup, stew or chili for 25 people. No side dishes or desserts are needed. Drinks are optional. To sign up & for more information, click the button below.


¿Habla Español? Love Helping Others?
Sign up to Volunteer with LUM!

Please share with others.

Meet Cheryl Fowler – LUM Board President

Celebrating the Women of LUM in March

LUM is excited to introduce you to the president of the LUM Board of Directors, Cheryl Fowler.

Cheryl has been an active LUM volunteer for more than eight years when she was selected to represent her church, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tippecanoe County, on the LUM Board of Directors. In addition to serving on the LUM Executive Council for the past four years, Cheryl has served on the Hunger Hike Fundraising Committee for seven years and was the program director for the LUM Community Thanksgiving Feast in 2015 & 2016.

Cheryl grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, graduated from Finneytown High School, and earned a BS in marketing from Miami University, Ohio. Cheryl lives in West Lafayette with her husband of 36 years, Gary, and they have an adult daughter, son-in-law and seven-month old granddaughter. In addition to her family, she draws inspiration from music, especially this Carrie Newcomer song lyric,

“The greatest revolution is a simple change of heart.”

Cheryl shared that,

“Central to my faith is the inherent worth and
dignity of each person and my commitment to
justice, equity and compassion for all.”

This is what drew her to get involved with Hunger Hike and the new LUM Westside Food Pantry, opening this April.

“Creating awareness of food insecurity, raising money to fight hunger and providing food assistance to local families,”

is important to Cheryl. She is most proud of her work with the LUM Executive Council, stating that,

“Serving as the liaison for my church, working with the governance of LUM and witnessing firsthand the LUM volunteers & staff making a difference in people’s lives, gives me such a positive feeling. LUM truly is in the business of helping to restore human dignity and hope.”

Cheryl Fowler and Wes Tillett, LUM executive director

Following a long history of women serving with LUM, Cheryl is a humble and hardworking leader and volunteer. Over the years, she has stepped up and led when needed but has also rolled up her sleeves and participated in the day-to-day work at LUM.

“LUM helps me live out my values,”

Cheryl shared with pride and gratitude.

Cheryl also serves on the social justice team with her church and a racial justice group in the community. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, outdoor activities including camping, traveling, music and supporting the arts, and tap dancing, which she has done since she was four years old.

LUM and the children and families served by LUM are blessed to have someone like Cheryl as their leader, advocate, and servant.

LUM Board – Day Preference Survey

4 Ways You Can Help the LUM Emergency Shelter

LUM Emergency Shelter Needs You!

Will you help us continue to serve those in our community who are experiencing homelessness? Your gift of $50, $100, $250, $500, or $1,000 to the LUM Emergency Shelter will help LUM continue to provide help and hope to those experiencing homelessness during this global health crisis.

Four Ways YOU can help the LUM Emergency Shelter are as follows:

  • Make a Monetary DONATION, click HERE
  • Sign up to VOLUNTEER, click HERE
  • Donate Needed ITEMS, click HERE
  • Prepare a MEAL for LUM Shelter Guests, click HERE

Your financial generosity is not only an act of hospitality toward those with no home of their own, it is also an investment in the health and safety of the greater community. If you’re interested or need more information, click HERE — or email or call Briton Weise (bweise@lumserve.org | 765-423-2691).


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Emergency Shelter