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Deb Parent — Cornerstone of LUM

Dear Friend,

Deb Parent is a cornerstone of the Lafayette Urban Ministry.

She was appointed by her pastor to fill St. Mary Cathedral’s seat on the 44 member LUM Board of Directors in 2006 and quickly became involved in many board leadership and volunteer responsibilities.

Deb was elected board president in 2012 and continues to serve on the LUM board’s Executive Council. She supports LUM’s excellent staff through her work as the board’s personnel liaison. She helped lead the implementation of LUM’s Good Samaritan Fund Follies and Port of Hope fundraising events. She was instrumental in the creation of LUM’s endowment for programs and has regularly helped with Hunger Hike, LUM Camp, and Jubilee Christmas.

More than anything else, Deb’s involvement at LUM has been defined by her heartfelt concern and compassion for those who are homeless. She spent several years volunteering as case manager helping our homeless guests move off the streets, out of our shelter, and into more self-sufficient living in a home of their own. She even served in an interim position on LUM’s staff as Shelter Program Director.

It was her passion in this area that recently helped LUM re-vision its work with the homeless, allowing us to help many individuals off the streets even more quickly than before. Honestly, I don’t know what LUM would do without Deb and her enthusiasm for our mission.

The Lafayette Urban Ministry is an organization of 44 Greater Lafayette area churches. We serve as a social safety net for at-risk children and low-income working families. Last year, LUM served 5,175 households.

We help narrow the academic achievement gap separating low-income children from their more affluent peers. Through LUM’s Enhanced After School Program, 5th Quarter Summer Learning Retention Program, and through countless educational enrichment activities at LUM Camp, our students excel – they become better readers, more critical thinkers, and are better prepared to learn in school. More than 200 children are served each year.

We help to ease the income inequality gap for working families by providing free tax preparation services; emergency financial assistance for housing, utility and transportation services; supplemental food and nutrition aid; and significant family support during the holidays through Jubilee Christmas and LUM’s Community Thanksgiving Celebration. More than 5,000 households were served by these programs last year.

We provided overnight shelter to 611 homeless individuals, a winter warming station for 154 more, and helped each of them with the support and direction they needed to leave the streets for a home of their own.

During 2016, LUM’s ID Clinic helped 196 individuals regain their lost or stolen photo identification cards. Our Immigration Clinic helped 39 individuals to navigate the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service bureaucracy enabling them to retain legal status and to remain with their families. And LUM’s Social Justice Ministry was active in communicating with elected officials about issues affecting those we serve.

While Deb Parent’s involvement in LUM is indeed significant, she will be the first to tell you that it pales in comparison to the combined efforts of all the others, like you, who help lead, volunteer, and contribute financially to our shared ministry here at LUM.

Your past support of the Lafayette Urban Ministry has been so important to all that has been accomplished here. Together, we have strengthened families, nurtured children and made our community a better place for everyone.

I hope you will continue your support of LUM by making a generous Lenten season gift of $50, $100, $250, $500, $1,000, or more, today.

I can think of nowhere else that your charitable dollars will have greater impact. I can think of no better way to practice our Lenten discipline than to share with those less fortunate.

Deb Parent shares that her prayers are always with the people LUM serves – and with those who serve others at LUM through their gifts of time, talent and treasure. She always keeps her eyes and heart open to new ways to be of help to those in our community who are struggling.

In a discussion group that Deb attends, the question was recently posed… “How do we answer those who ask us what we do?” Her response:

“I am at peace sharing that my work is whatever God shows or calls me to do today, this week, or this year.”

For Deb, that work has frequently meant active involvement at LUM.

I am so very grateful for Deb Parent and for all those whose hard work and dedication to LUM’s mission helps to make our community a more healthy and welcoming place for all of its citizens.

Please give generously so that our important work can continue. Place your check in the mail today or give online by clicking the button below.


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PS — You may also contribute online and find out more about the service offered by Lafayette Urban Ministry our website at www.lumserve.org

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Meet the New LUM Board Officers

LUM is governed by a Board of Directors — made up of one representative from each member church plus a few appointed individuals from specific community groups. The LUM board meets each month, overseeing and directing policy decisions, fiscal matters, and programming issues, ensuring that LUM continues to fulfill its vital mission to the community. It is led by an eight member executive council.

Best wishes and congratulations to the 2017 LUM Board of Directors. A special thank you to the 2017 Executive Council members (pictured L to R above), who are as follows:

  • Mark Thomas, President, Chapel of the Good Shepherd
  • Ashley Bonnes, Vice President, Lafayette Christian Reformed Church
  • Joan Low, Secretary, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • Susie Riley, Treasurer, Trinity United Methodist Church
  • Jeremiah Dole, Facilities, At Large
  • Deb Parent, Personnel, At Large
  • Patty Useem, Program, Planning & Evaluation, Federated Church
  • Joe Micon, Executive Director, Lafayette Urban Ministry

The individuals leading the Lafayette Urban Ministry are passionate, hard working and talented — it’s going to be another successful year!


Meet the New LUM Board Officers

LUM is controlled by a Board of Directors — made up of one representative from each member church plus a few appointed individuals from specific community groups. The LUM board meets once a month, overseeing and directing policy decisions, fiscal matters, and programming issues, ensuring that LUM continues to fulfill its vital mission to the community. It is led by an eight member executive council.

2016 Executive Board

Best wishes and congratulations to the 2016 LUM Board of Directors. A special thank you to the 2016 Executive Council members (pictured L to R above), who are as follows:

  • Robert Hall, President, Saint Lawrence Catholic Church
  • Jeremiah Dole, Vice President, At Large
  • Mark Thomas, Secretary, Chapel of the Good Shepherd
  • Susie Riley, Treasurer, Trinity United Methodist Church
  • Cliff Mitchell, Facilities, Elston Presbyterian Church
  • Deb Parent, Personnel, At Large
  • Patty Useem, Program, Planning & Evaluation, Federated Church
  • Joe Micon, Executive Director, Lafayette Urban Ministry

The Lafayette Urban Ministry leadership is passionate, hard working and talented — it’s going to be a great 2016!

LUM Distributes 2012 Hunger Hike Proceeds, Thanks Community for Their Generosity


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Thursday, December 13, 2012

(Lafayette, IN) On Sunday, September 16, 2012, over 900 participants helped raise $83,232.10 to meet the needs of hungry families in the Lafayette-West Lafayette area and overseas. Hunger Hike supports the Lafayette Urban Ministry’s food programs, Food Finders Food Bank and St. Thomas Aquinas’ Haiti Ministry.


2012-12-13 Hunger Hike Check Distribution 004 (2)


This morning, LUM Executive Director, Joe Micon, and Board President, Deb Parent, distributed the checks to the benefactors. On hand to accept for Food Finder Food Bank was Katie Bunder, Executive Director, and Cheryl Precious, Development Director. Also in attendance were Ron Smith, Hunger Hike director, and Eileen Weiss, LUM business manager. Hunger Hike 2012 had over 1000 organizations, businesses and individuals involved in fundraising and making donations; over 900 hikers, walkers, and runners; and over 200 volunteers engaged before, during and after the event.

Food Finders Food Bank, St. Thomas Aquinas’ Haiti Ministry and the food programs at LUM each were presented with a check for $26,095.72.

Joe Micon stated that LUM will use the money to support the St. John’s/LUM Food Pantry which provides emergency food for over 2200 individuals each and every month; meals to feed the homeless in the LUM emergency shelter; and snacks for the LUM After School Program, Achieve! Program and the 5th Quarter Summer Learning Program.

Katie Bunder stated that Food Finder Food Bank will use the money to fund the maintenance costs for storing and delivering food that are not currently covered by other organizations. It currently costs 25 cents per pound to store and distribute food and other organizations pay 19 cents. This money will cover the rest. Hunger Hike money also pays for the distribution for ripe produce which is distributed without collecting any maintenance fees. Produce supplies have increased by 400% which is positive but it costs more to distribute before it spoils. On behalf of Food Finders, Bunder stated that “we hope we can help all of greater Lafayette eat healthier because we have all of these dollars to spend on healthy, fresh food.”


2012-12-13 Hunger Hike Check Distribution 016 (2)


St. Thomas Aquinas will use the money to support their mission work in Haiti. Several times a year St. Thomas Aquinas provides opportunities for individuals including Purdue students to travel to Haiti and to provide needed work especially efforts to purify water for drinking. Joe Micon acknowledged and thanked St. Thomas Aquinas for their work in Haiti as well as the support of Hunger Hike. St. Thomas had the largest group of Hikers and raised the most from donations to Hikers.

Joe Micon gave special recognition to the Hunger Hike Honorary Chair, Sharon Versyp, coach of the Purdue Women’s Basketball and the team for role in promoting and for their support the day of Hunger Hike. Micon also thanked David Kucik, coach of the Purdue Crew and the teams for their support and for leading Hunger Hike each year. Micon acknowledged the behind the scenes work of the LUM business manager, Eileen Weiss; and the LUM Director of the Hunger Hike Program, Ron Smith.

Hunger Hike was a great success and will have a tremendous positive impact on our community and the world. LUM announced that the tradition will continue in 2013 with the next Hunger Hike on Sunday, September 15, 2013.

The Lafayette Urban Ministry (LUM) is an organization of 42 Christian churches that serves as a social safety net for Lafayette’s needy children and families. For over 40 years, LUM has worked to give back the hope, the future, and the self-respect to low-income people in the Greater Lafayette area. We take an active role in trying to change social injustices and improve the quality of life for the poor of Indiana.


Joe Micon
Executive Director
Lafayette Urban Ministry

Katy Bunder
Executive Director
Food Finders Food Bank

Fr. Patrick Baikauskas, OP
Pastor, Director of Campus Ministry
St. Thomas Aquinas Center


To view the Video of the Hunger Hike Check Distribution Ceremony presentation, please click below:

Additional Hunger Hike 2012 Information:

For photos from the Hunger Hike Check Distribution Ceremony, click HERE.

For photos from Hunger Hike 2012, click HERE.


2012-12-13 Hunger Hike Check Distribution 019 (2)


Hunger Hike 2012 Acknowledgements:

Top Fundraisers:

  • Top Individual:Rob Pahl ($3480)
  • Top Online: Patti O’Callaghan ($3379)
  • Top Team: St. Thomas Aquinas ($11,033)

5K Winners:

  • Women’s: 1st Melissa Guissner (21:51); 2nd Anna Busenburg (22:41); 3rd Katelyn Jackson (28:45).
  • Men’s: 1st Michael Kuhn (21:08); 2nd Davis Kuykendall (21:26); 3rd Kenny McCleary (21:55).

Top Sponsors:
Wal-Mart #2339, Alcoa, American Health Network, Bar Barry Liquors, Endocyte Inc., Evonik, Degussa Corp., Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc., Subway, Tipmont REMC,

Other Sponsors:
Duke Energy, Greyhouse Coffee & Supply Co., I.B.E.W. Local 668, InnerVision Advanced Medical Imaging, Instant Copy, Journal & Courier, K105 (WKOA) Radio, Lafayette Savings Bank, LifeSmiles Dentistry, Link Management, NeoVision, Rat Pak Mobile, Sam’s Club, Franciscan St. Elizabeth Regional Health, Stuart & Branigin LLP, Sundance Shirts, Wabash National Corp, Wintek Corp, Dr. Stephen Cook, DDS MSD, F&S Williams, Lafayette Aviation, Inc., Puccini’s, RamZ’s Emporium, Soller-Baker Funeral Homes, Tecton Construction Management, Inc., The Tim Shriner Agency-Merit Realty, University Bookstore, Williamson Eye Institute, WLFI TV18.


LUM Gives Thanks to Central Presbyterian

A gift certificate to Bennett’s Greenhouse was presented to Central Presbyterian Church (Lafayette, IN) Pastor Bill Smutz at the November LUM Board meeting by LUM Executive Director Joe Micon and Board President Deb Parent.

LUM recognized Central Presbyterian Church for its many years of friendship, support and use of facilities for programs like Community Thanksgiving, Jubilee Christmas, LUM’s After School Program and 5th Quarter Summer Learning Program for at-risk children.

Special Thanks to Central Presbyterian Church!

Meet the LUM Board President

Faith, Humility, Service, Leadership. 

These are words that describe Lafayette Urban Ministry Board member, Debra Parent. Deb has been on the LUM Board since 2006 and is currently serving as the president. Deb is a parishioner of St. Mary’s Church in Lafayette, which is one of the 42 member churches of LUM.

Deb Parent, the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Jacob Scheeres, grew up in West Lafayette in a family intensely focused on faith and service. Her family members often traveled to impoverished nations to serve the less fortunate. This had a lasting impact on Deb and when she graduated from Purdue University she felt a calling to do mission work around the world. Deb married her childhood friend, Tom, started a family, and those travel plans were put on hold. Her need to serve and her faith did not diminish though.

Today, Deb feels that she was called to serve in her own backyard instead, and this is what was truly meant to be. Deb also states that her true vocation is first and foremost her family especially her four children: Andre, Marie, Monique and Luc.

Like many parents, Deb focused much of her service on her children’s school community which also happened to be affiliated with her church. Once her children were older, Deb began searching for new ways to engage in the community. It was serendipity when her pastor asked Deb to serve as St. Mary’s liaison to the LUM Board.

Deb quickly felt a deep connection with the mission of LUM. After a bit of time on the LUM Board, Deb also began serving as a case manager with the Emergency Shelter for the Homeless. As a case manager, Deb meets with clients of the LUM shelter once a week to help them deal with their challenges and develop the skills to get on track for a better life.

When asked to share her journey to the position of leadership with LUM, Deb is quick to give credit to the entire team and diminish her involvement. But Deb’s experiences with her family, with St. Mary’s, and as a case manager have made her an effective leader on the LUM Board.

As the president of the LUM Board, Deb has focused on empowering the entire team of Board members, has supported new initiatives defining LUM’s focus on serving immigrants, pioneered new marketing and fundraising initiatives using social media and initiated LUM Board representatives attending the Community Foundation of Greater Lafayette board education series workshops.

Deb shares that her work with LUM has been a blessing and has helped her grow spiritually. Her daily prayer is to be used effectively by God in anything she does for LUM or community, so He will say “well done, my good and faithful servant.” The community has truly been blessed by Deb Parent’s commitment to service especially through her leadership with LUM.