Tag Archives: lafayette urban ministry

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

Josh’s Reflections On COVID-19 from the Frontlines

“After a great deal of planning to develop a safe and effective model, we enabled low income taxpayers to get their returns done for free. Many lack the technology or confidence to do their own taxes, and without the LUM tax program they might have been paying hundreds of dollars for this service. It’s taken extra work, but our 12 volunteers have been up to the challenge, and are working very hard under difficult conditions. It is clear that despite COVID-19 our program has been a success, on track to surpass 200 returns this season.”

Josh Prokopy, Director, LUM Tax Assistance Program

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Tax Assistance Program

Linda’s Reflections On COVID-19 from the Frontlines

Good Samaritan Program

“Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote, ‘Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope.’ The ability to help others through the Good Samaritan Program has felt hopeful during a year filled with many challenges far beyond any that I have experienced in my lifetime. So many of our clients have been overwhelmed, feeling they will never catch up with their rent and bills. Our ability to help financially, along with offering a listening ear, referrals and information on where else to turn, has helped to provide a stone of hope.

Linda Hicks, Director, LUM Good Samarian Programs

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Good Samaritan Fund

Financial Assistance – First Quarter 2021

Financial Assistance – Since January 2021

As LUM closes out the first quarter of 2021, it is worthy to note that although families are receiving their tax refunds and stimulus checks, the crisis continues.

Families are still needing financial support. Since January 1, 2021, here are the stats:

  • 382 local families have been helped
  • 138 of these families (36%) were asking for assistance for the first time
  • $43,032.57 has been distributed so far

LUM hopes you agree that investing in the LUM Good Samaritan Program is a wonderful way to support your community and those in need of emergency assistance. If you are able, please consider a donation. One hundred percent of what you give will be passed along to struggling households, perhaps one in your own neighborhood.

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Good Samaritan Fund

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

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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WINCO Construction Co. Food Drive Delivers

Truckload of Much Needed Items Delivered

Last week, the team at WINCO Construction Company of West Lafayette delivered a truckload of “needed items” to LUM.

Using the LUM wishlist, the crew at WINCO was able to collect food items and paper products that will be immediately used in our After School ProgramEmergency Shelter and Food Pantries.

If you, your work-mates, church or family would like to sponsor a Food Drive for LUM, please check out the LUM list of needed items. LUM relies on monetary donation as well as gift-in-kind to allow the LUM programs to serve your neighbors in need.

Join us in THANKING everyone at WINCO Construction Company for thinking of LUM and this generous donation.

Meet Christian – New Immigration Clinic Director

Christian Gallo, JD – LUM Immigration Clinic Director

Christian Gallo is the new director of the LUM Immigration Clinic. He grew up in Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina and now lives in Lafayette with his three children. Christian earned his baccalaureate degree from Colegio Champagnat, Master in Laws degree from Indiana University, and JD from Universidad Católica Argentina (Buenos Aires). He has been a member of the Ciudad de Buenos Aires Bar since 1995 and Indiana Commission on Hispanic and Latino Affairs for more than 10 years. Christian is fluent in four languages (English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian) as well as speaking basic French.

Christian was drawn to LUM because he enjoys helping and advocating for others. He shared that, “Helping people in need is true love to others and God; thus, it becomes goodness for them. We are instruments of God in his salvation plan.” This Bible passage from the Book of 2 Chronicles also guides him in his work, “But as for you, be strong and do not slack off, for there shall be a reward for what you do.

Christian considers himself an advocate for those in need and is inspired by two quotes. The first is a quote by Socrates, published by Plato, “It is better to suffer an injustice than to commit one.” And the second is from a soliloquy by Cyrano de Bergerac written by Edmond Rostand, “But one cannot fight hoping only for success! No! No: it’s still more sweet if it’s all in vain!” Both remind him that we must act against injustice, strive to be just to others, and know that the work of social justice is never done.

Christian enjoys being with his family and coaching soccer and rugby. In 2007, he was the coach of the Purdue Women’s Rugby team. He is passionate about his work and looks forward to joining the LUM team. He is genuinely impressed with the work being done at LUM, especially with the LUM Immigration Clinic, and plans on building on that success. Please join us in welcoming Christian Gallo to LUM as the new LUM Immigration Clinic director.

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Immigration Clinic