Tag Archives: Joe Micon

SIA Foundation Supports LUM Shelter

SIA Foundation Awards $13,976 to LUM

At a recent celebration at Subaru of Indiana Automotive, the SIA Foundation awarded more than $173,000 to Indiana nonprofits, including LUM. For the spring cycle, 20 organizations from 14 counties received capital grants — including a $13,986 award to Lafayette Urban Ministry.

{Pictured receiving the big check is Pablo Malavenda, LUM executive program director (center), and SIA Foundation board members (L to R): Tom Easterday, David Rausch, Julie Cole & Ed Wulbrecht.}

At the LUM Emergency Shelter, there is a focus on health, cleanliness, accessibility, and safety each and every evening. Last fall, the LUM Healthy Shelter Initiative was launched and a comprehensive plan was put in place to make specific improvements. This $13,986 gift from the SIA Foundation will support this Initiative and will be used to purchase new bunk beds and mattresses. A few of the highlights of this Initiative are listed below.


To best prevent insects, most of the wooden bunk beds have been replaced with metal ones; and new seam-sealed mattresses and pillows were purchased. These are also easier to disinfect.


LUM plans on installing outdoor lockers for the guests to store their personal belongings. With everything being securely left outside of the facility, there will be a positive impact on the health and safety of the shelter.


In addition to strict food service protocols, LUM has made a “no food waste” pledge. LUM directors make sure that all food is served at the shelter or youth program, distributed at the two food pantries, or donated to another agency. So far, there has been zero food waste and the kitchens are cleaner and more organized.


A new elevator was installed, ensuring that individuals with disabilities may use the shelter.


All are now sturdy, made from plastic and metal, ensuring that they are able to be disinfected regularly.


In addition to the daily cleaning, volunteers now deep clean the entire shelter building and grounds each month.


Heat is the best way to kill insects. LUM now has heating units that will eliminate all insects when used regularly along with professional extermination.

Thanks to the associates of SIA and the board members of the SIA Foundation for supporting LUM.

50th Anniversary Reflection from Joe Micon

LUM Executive Director Emeritus | 1990 – 2020

Happy 50th Anniversary to all in our LUM family! As a community of difference makers, it is important to take at least a short time out to reflect upon this remarkable milestone. It is important to celebrate because for 50 years we have lifted up the needy in our community. We have helped low-income families to be economically stable and at-risk children to attain brighter futures. We have welcomed the immigrant stranger and enabled those who are hungry and homeless to know compassion and self worth.  

But for LUM, it has always been about more than charity. It has also been about justice. We have always believed that the two are inextricably linked and that our charity is only a waystation on the road to justice for those we serve. So along with celebrating our Good Samaritan work, food pantries and Emergency Shelter, LUM celebrates the accomplishment of fairer public assistance guidelines, a more progressive state tax code, and tireless progress toward racial equality. Along with Jubilee Christmas, LUM Camp and our After School Program, we celebrate public policy victories for textbook assistance for Indiana public school children, free breakfasts for hungry children in our state’s public schools, and the implementation of the WIC nutrition program for low-income mothers and their infant children.

LUM has always believed that while charity provides crumbs from the table, it is justice that offers a place at the table. We work toward a society that has more justice, because it becomes a society that needs less charity. In the mid 1800s the Rev. Theodore Parker asked us to: Look at the facts of the world. You see a continual and progressive triumph of that which is right. I do not pretend to understand the moral universe, the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways. I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience. But from what I see, I am sure it bends towards justice.

Congratulations LUM on 50 years of bending the arc. Here’s to another 50 years of loving neighbors, seeking justice, empowering the least among us and renewing the church’s social ministry!

From 1980 to 1989, Joe Micon directed the LUM Advocate, Jubilee Christmas, Repairs on Wheels and Social Justice Programs. He was the LUM Camp director for 40 years (1980-2020) and the LUM executive director from 1990 to 2020. Under his leadership, the annual budget grew from $278,790 to $1,174,49518 more churches joined the board, staff increased from eight to 28, the LUM Ray Ewry Center opened, the LUM capital campaign raised close to $2.8 million, and 12 new programs began, including the After School Program5th Quarter Summer Learning Program, Immigration Clinic, Tax Assistance Program and Winter Warming Station. Joe was the first social worker elected to the Indiana General Assembly, serving two terms from 2004 to 2008. Since retiring from LUM, he serves as one of four Commissioners appointed to the Indiana State Lobbyist Commission and is a member of the Ascension St. Vincent’s Hospital Williamsport Board of Directors. Along with his wife Jo, Joe operates a small cow/calf farm in Warren County. He cherishes time together with family and friends, enjoys honing his newfound drone piloting skills and hitting the open road in the RV! To read more about Joe Micon, click HERE.

Camp is Life-Giving & Life-Changing

Consider for a moment these amazing realities of almost all camp experiences. 


The benefits of camp to those children who attend are well-documented and rather staggering: 

  • positive identity
  • social skills
  • physical and thinking skills
  • positive values and spirituality


Not only is there immediate, measurable growth in each of those four developmental areas for nearly every camper, that growth persists and expands for months and years afterwards.

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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.

LUM Camp is Life-Giving, Life-Changing & a Blast!

Dear Friend,

Consider for a moment these amazing realities of almost all camp experiences. 

Camp is LIFE-GIVING.  The benefits of camp to those children who attend are well-documented and rather staggering: 

  • positive identity
  • social skills
  • physical and thinking skills
  • positive values and spirituality

Camp is LIFE-CHANGING.  Not only is there immediate, measurable growth in each of those four developmental areas for nearly every camper, that growth persists and expands for months and years afterwards.

Camp is A BLAST!  All these positive changes are happening while children are having the time of their lives.  Many children describe camp as “the best week of my summer,” sometimes even “the best week of my life!”

LUM has always known that camp is extraordinarily beneficial.  That’s why LUM has hosted a camp every summer since the 1960’s.  And in spite of all the uncertainties caused by Covid-19, LUM is committed to hosting camp once again this summer at Hanging Rock Camp, where staff continues to work with local, state and CDC guidelines.  Camp might have to look a little different due to Coronavirus, but the fun and friendship and life-enhancing benefits will remain the same.

LUM Camp is a weeklong overnight camp for boys and girls, ages 8, 9, and 10.  The children come from families served by Lafayette Urban Ministry.  A typical week of LUM Camp involves nature hikes, arts and crafts, boating, swimming, morning chapel, climbing, zip-lining, delicious meals, and a top-of-the-line array of staff and counselors.  

LUM Camp 2020’s theme is “Join the Green Side” (“May the forest be with you…”) and will take place the last week of July.  LUM will focus on teaching children to care for their neighbors by caring for the environment (the planet) in which their neighbors must live.  

LUM Camp is a scholarship-based camp, meaning we only invite children whose parents are not able to pay for the $150/child cost of camp.  We ask the campers parents to pay $5/child, and ask our generous donors to cover the rest.    

I would like to ask you to consider a gift of $150 or more to send a child to LUM Camp.  Your “campership” (camp scholarship) will pay for a child’s transportation, room and board, camp activities, educational programs and supplies – literally everything she or he will need to attend LUM Camp 2020.  

  • Sending $300 will allow 2 children to attend LUM Camp
  • Sending $450 will provide 3 camperships
  • $75 will provide ½ of a campership

Only God knows exactly what LUM Camp 2020 will look like.  But I feel quite confident that every child who attends LUM Camp 2020 and “Joins the Green Side” will enjoy the life-giving benefits and lively fun of camp.  

LUM Camp is one the finest overnight summer camp programs available to children anywhere.  There are so many children who are eagerly awaiting their chance to attend.  Would you please invest in both their long-term life skills and their short-term fun by offering them the gift of LUM Camp? 

With gratitude,

Wes Tillett
Executive Director

P.S.  It costs $150 to send a child to LUM Camp.  Contribute online (click button below) or place your campership in the mail (420 N 4th Street, Lafayette, IN 47901).  

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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.

Row-A-Thon 2020 Raises $27,693 for LUM

Annual Row-A-Thon Benefits LUM Families

Each February, the Purdue Crew Team hosts the Row-a-Thon fundraising event and donates half of the proceeds to the LUM Good Samaritan Fund. After Row-A-Thon this year, their competition year was cut short due to COVID-19, and the team decided to donate ALL of the proceeds to LUM, totaling $27,693 — $10,850 more than last year.

The check was presented in a video conference by Purdue Crew President Henri Laliberte & Head Coach David Kucik to Wes Tillett, LUM executive director, and Linda Hicks, LUM Good Samaritan Program director — who were surprised and genuinely overwhelmed by their generosity. Please take a minute to watch the presentation video.

The LUM Good Samaritan Program provides our community’s neediest families and children with a strong & reliable safety net. Emergency financial assistance is available for utility bills, rent, prescription medications, work clothes, and food. No operating expenses are taken out of the Good Samaritan Fund — 100% of all donations go to help those in need. In 2019, assistance was provided through the LUM Good Samaritan Program 1,783 times, totaling $103,616.73.

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Good Samaritan Fund

Room Dedicated to LUM Executive Directors

LUM Conference Room Dedication Ceremony

At a special reception last Thursday evening, the conference room in the LUM Office was dedicated to the Executive Directors of Lafayette Urban Ministry. The emcee for the event was the Rev. Don Nead.

Those honored at this event were as follows:

  • Executive Directors: Joe Micon, the Rev. Jud Dolphin & the Rev. Ron Elly
  • Acting Executive Director: Mary Anderson
  • Interim Executive Directors: the Rev. Kurt Kremlich & Jo Johannsen

Joan Low, LUM Board president, also bestowed the title of Executive Director Emeritus to Joe Micon, Rev. Jud Dolphin & Rev. Ron Elly; and Acting Executive Director Emerita to Mary Anderson. Accepting for the Rev. Ron Elly was his wife, Ellen. After the “ribbon cutting,” the guests attended a reception in the newly dedicated conference room, which now displays plaques in tribute to the above mentioned honorees.

It was a wonderful program and the beginning of a new LUM tradition.

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Salute to Joe Micon

{Pictured above L to R are the Rev. Don Nead, the Rev. Jud Dolphin, Ellen Elly, Joan Low, Mary Anderson, Cheryl Fowler & Joe Micon.}
To view more PHOTOS, click HERE.

Joe Micon Receives Distinguished Alumnus Award

At an alumni awards luncheon last Friday at the Indiana University campus in Indianapolis, Joe Micon received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the IU School of Social Work Alumni Association. Joe was nominated by Mark Thomas, former LUM Board president and Eileen Weiss, LUM business manager. Mark and Joe’s family were able to attend the luncheon as well.

The IU School of Social Work Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumnus Award is given annually to alumni who demonstrate outstanding service and leadership to the profession, state and school.

Congratulations Joe for this special IU School of Social Work alumni award.

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Salute to Joe Micon

{Pictured above with Joe Micon is Mark Thomas, former LUM Board President.}
To view more PHOTOS from the event, click HERE.
To view Joe Micon’s Remarks, click HERE.

Joe Micon Receives the Sagamore of the Wabash

One of the surprises for Joe Micon at the LUM Retirement Follies was receiving the Sagamore of the Wabash award from Governor Eric Holcomb, presented by State Senator Ron Alting.

The highest distinction in Indiana is the designation of “Sagamore of the Wabash” by the state governor. It is a personal tribute usually given to those who have rendered a distinguished service to the state or to the governor. Among those who have received Sagamores have been astronauts, presidents, politicians, ambassadors, artists, musicians, and ordinary citizens who have contributed greatly to our Hoosier heritage.

Congratulation to Joe Micon for becoming one of the select few to received this honorary award.

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Salute to Joe Micon

The Sagamore of the Wabash award reads:
WHEREAS, the greatness of the Sons of Indiana derives, in part, from qualities possessed by the noble Chieftains of the Indiana Tribes which once roamed its domain; and
WHEREAS, it has been the immemorial custom of the State of Indiana to attract to its support those who have exhibited such qualities; and
WHEREAS, there has endeared himself to the Citizens of Indiana one Joe Micon distinguished by his Humanity in Living, his Loyalty in Friendship, his Wisdom in Council, and his Inspiration in Leadership:
NOW, THEREFORE, recognizing his greatness and desiring to avail myself of his counsel, I do hereby appoint him a chieftain upon my staff with the rank and title of SAGAMORE of the WABASH
WITNESS my hand and the Seal of the Council of the Sagamores at Indianapolis, Indiana this 6th day of March in the year of Our Lord, Two Thousand and Twenty.
Signed: Eric J. Holcomb, Governor of the State of Indiana.

Farewell Event for Joe Micon – NEXT Friday

A Message from LUM Board President

As you know, Joe Micon, LUM’s Executive Director, will be retiring on March 31, after 41 years of dedicated service. I can think of no one else who has been such a major change agent for good in our community and state.

In true Joe Micon fashion, he has asked that LUM not provide him with any gift of value upon his departure. He shares that having had the opportunity to serve so long at LUM is gift enough.

Joe has agreed to allow me to ask you to share a monetary gift to LUM’s programs in his honor. I am hoping you will consider such a gift in the amount of $50, $100, $250, $500, $1,000, or more. Your gift will be used to support LUM’s important programs for at-risk children and working families.

I know Joe would also be truly honored if you could join us on Friday, March 6, at 7:00 p.m. at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Center at Purdue for his special LUM Retirement Follies tribute. Details below.

Finally, I encourage you to read Joe Micon’s recent farewell address to the LUM board of directors. It is affirmation of all the good that all of us working together have achieved during Joe’s years at LUM. I believe your spirits will be lifted as you read his heartfelt message. {To READ – Joe Micon’s Farewell Address – click HERE.}

Thank you for your kind consideration. Place your gift in the mail or give online at lumserve.org/donate.

Joan Foord Low
President, LUM Board of Directors

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Salute to Joe Micon

Join us for the ninth annual  LUM Follies  and help us celebrate Joe Micon, LUM Executive Director , who is retiring on March 31. The event is on Friday,  March 6  at 7 p.m. and includes a program to honor Joe Micon for his  41 years of service  to our community through his work at  Lafayette Urban Ministry . The celebration will include performances by the Purdue  Black Voices of Inspiration , Purdue  Glee Club , and  Michael Kelsey  as well as a large  Ecumenical Choir  representing the many churches that make up the membership of the LUM Board of Directors. There will be tributes, presentations, videos and much lighthearted fun. After the program, there will be a reception with refreshments, sponsored by Lafayette Brewing Co.  LUM Follies is FREE & open to all. To learn more, click HERE.

In lieu of gifts the Micon Family requests that you  make a donation to Lafayette Urban Ministry  in honor of Joe Micon. 

For more details, click HERE.

Joe Micon


Joe Micon served as the Executive Director of the Lafayette Urban Ministry.  LUM is an organization of 47 Greater Lafayette area churches that serves as a social safety net for at-risk children and low-income families.  He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Sociology from Purdue University (1980) and a Master of Social Work Degree from Indiana University (1983).

Joe is our retired Indiana State Representative from West Lafayette – serving two terms from 2004 to 2008.  While at the Statehouse, Joe served as Vice Chair of the Indiana House Education Committee. He is also a past President of the Warren County Council, serving from 1998 to 2002.

He currently serves as Commissioner of the Indiana Lobbyist Registration Commission, is a member of the Purdue University Public Health Program Advisory Board, the Association of Retired Members of the Indiana General Assembly, the St. Vincent Williamsport Hospital Board of Directors and the Creasy Springs Retirement Community Board.

Micon has been a member of St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic Church Parish Council, the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce’s Third House, the West Lafayette Rotary Club, the National Association of Social Workers, the Board of Directors of the Purdue University Warren County Cooperative Extension Agency, the Indiana University School of Medicine Lafayette Advisory Board and the Advisory Board for St. Vincent’s Hospital in Williamsport.  He was a Junior Achievement volunteer in his children’s school, and a youth baseball coach. Micon served on the Benton Community School Corporation’s Textbook Adoption Committee, the Vision 2020 Education Round-table, and the Warren County Child Protection Team. He has served on the Editorial Board of the Lafayette Journal and Courier, the Indiana Native American Commission and on the Indiana Family and Social Service Administration’s Select Welfare Reform Advisory Council.  

His spouse, Jo Micon, is the Dean of the School of Public Affairs, Social Services and Education  at IVY Tech’s Lafayette Campus. They have two adult children; Katie, a Physician Assistant at PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham, Washington and Jonathan, a Ph.D candidate in Archaeology at the University of Georgia in Athens GA.

Hoosier Social Change Agent

Joseph “Joe” Micon

From 1980 to 1989, Joe Micon directed the LUM Advocate, Jubilee Christmas, Repairs on Wheels and Social Justice Programs. In 1990, the LUM Board of Directors appointed Joe Micon as the third Executive Director, where he quickly established LUM as a 21st century model for church engagement.  

During his tenure at Lafayette Urban Ministry:

  • LUM Camp grew, and After School and 5th Quarter Summer Learning Programs were created for at-risk youth. 
  • LUM Tax Assistance Program, Immigration Clinic, ID Clinic, Winter Warming Station and Protein Food Pantry were established.  
  • Four “Isaiah 32” houses were purchased. 
  • Three major capital campaigns were successfully completed, buildings were built and solar energy was brought to LUM.  

Joe Micon significantly expanded LUM’s fundraising, established LUM’s social media presence and grew LUM’s membership to 47 churches. LUM was recognized by MSW Online Magazine as One of the 99 Most Effective Non-profit Organizations in America. 

The first social worker ever elected to the Indiana General Assembly, Joe served two terms, from 2004 to 2008.  His legislative accomplishments include increasing Indiana’s minimum wage, authoring full day kindergarten, making state taxes more progressive, greater funding for K-12 remediation and expanding Indiana’s 21st Century Scholars Program. Consumer protections were strengthened, death rates for teen drivers decreased and our community found in Joe Micon a tireless advocate for Purdue University.