Tag Archives: lafayette urban ministry

LUM Outreach – Lafayette Volunteer Expo


Promoting the LUM “Summer of Service”

Recently, LUM participated in the Lafayette Volunteer Expo. It was a great opportunity to recruit new volunteers and invite individuals to become more engage with LUM.

L to R: Jeffrey Auguste, LUM shelter director; Marlena Edmondson, LUM Camp director; Wes Tillett, LUM executive director, Yanina Gomez Szyszko, LUM Immigration Clinic assistant director; and Terri Anderson, LUM volunteer coordinator & office manager

LUM staff were excited to share the LUM Summer of Service. LUM Summer of Service focuses on the variety of LUM volunteer opportunities offered this summer from being a LUM Camp counselor — to serving meals at the Emergency Shelter — to being a teacher’s aide in the 5th Quarter Summer Learning Program — to assisting clients at one of the two LUM food pantries — or working as an advocate with the Immigration Clinic and Financial Assistance Program.

If you missed the Lafayette Volunteer Expo and want to be a part of the LUM Summer of Service, go to LUMserve.org/volunteer or email or call the LUM volunteer coordinator, Terri Anderson (volunteer@LUMserve.org | 765-423-2691).


Outreach is an important part of the mission of Lafayette Urban Ministry. Members of the LUM professional staff actively seek opportunities to promote LUM services, recruit volunteers, and educate people on issues relating to poverty, hunger and homelessness. Directors of the various LUM programs are eager to raise awareness of LUM services, are well-informed on social and economic issues, and would like to help raise awareness in the local community on critical issues affecting low-income families.

Staff members are available to speak or set up an information table for churches, civic organization, agencies, community events, and educational groups. To make arrangements for a presentation or event, call or email LUM (765-423-2691 | lum@LUMserve.org).

LUM Supports Mental Health Legislation


Do More for Mental Health & Suicide Prevention

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and this is a great opportunity to call on Congress to do more for mental health and suicide prevention in schools.
Join the Campaign for Hoosier Families by emailing your U.S. Senators to urge their support for two important federal bills that will help improve youth mental health and prevent suicide in schools: The Youth Mental Health & Suicide Prevention Act(S.3628) and The Mental Health Services for Students Act (S.1841). 

The US Senators representing Indiana are Mike Braun & Todd C. Young; and House members representing Indiana are as follows (click on their names for contact information):


Reach out to Senators Braun & Young and your House representative by email, letter and/or through social media. Demand #MoreForMentalHealth and urge them to support and vote “YES” for The Youth Mental Health & Suicide Prevention Act (S.3628) and The Mental Health Services for Students Act (S.1841). 


Campaign for Hoosier Families is an alliance of faith-based organizations that engages local, state and federal officials on behalf of low-income Hoosier families and children. To find out more information about the Campaign for Hoosier Families, please click HERE. Thank you for helping to support Hoosier Families! If you wish to make a donation to the LUM Social Justice Ministry, click HERE.

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LUM Camp Needs YOU! Counselors Needed!


Make a Difference This Summer at LUM Camp

Make a difference in the lives of local children this summer and receive a $200 stipend. LUM Camp is a week-long, overnight camp program for low-income children from 8 to 10 years old. Counselors are needed from 11 a.m. Monday, July 25 to 4 p.m. Friday, July 29. LUM Camp counselors must be:

  • 18 years old
  • prepared to hike, have fun, be outdoors
  • a good team player
  • flexible, fun & fair
  • willing to work with at-risk children from low income families
  • able to spend the entire week at camp (July 25-29)

To learn more about becoming a LUM Camp Counselor, click HERE.

Please share with others

If you are not able to volunteer, you may support LUM Camp by making a donation or sponsoring a camper ($200 per child).



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Northview Church Donates Books to LUM

New Books for the LUM Youth Center Library

Recently, the members of the Greater Lafayette Campus of Northview Church gave a special gift to the LUM students — BOOKS!

All of the LUM youth programs are enhanced learning experiences for our students that include a time to read. Whether it is after school, during the summer months or at LUM Camp, reading time is a fun and engaging part of the LUM youth curriculum. That is why this gift from the members of Northview Church is so special.

If you or your group wishes to support LUM Youth Programs you may donate “needed items,” like books, make a cash donation, or volunteer. Cash donations are preferred because they allow LUM to purchase what is needed, when it’s needed. Donations of “needed items” are also welcome and appreciated. If you wish to donate items to LUM, here is our Wish List. Please either ship or drop off items to the LUM Office (420 N 4th Street, Lafayette, IN 47901).

Thanks again to the Northview Church members for their thoughtful gift and support of LUM and the students we teach.

Row-A-Thon 2022 Raises $8,732 for LUM


The Purdue Crew Team raised $8,732 for the LUM Good Samaritan Fund through the annual Row-A-Thon event which took place on February 12 at the local shopping mall. At the Purdue Crew Spring Banquet, Jack DeFuria, president, and Layne Harbourt, treasurer, presented a “big” check to Pablo Malavenda, LUM executive program director (pictured).

Each year, the Purdue Crew student athletes solicit donations for Row-A-Thon from their family and friends mostly from outside of this community; and this donation each year is the single largest gift to the LUM Good Samaritan Fund from any group or individual. LUM is grateful for the continued support over the years from the leadership, athletes and coaches of the Purdue Crew TeamBoiler Up!


The LUM Good Samaritan Fund provides local individuals, families and children with a financial safety net when in crisis – and is not used for any administrative expenses. No operating expenses are taken out of the Good Samaritan Fund — 100% of all donations go to help those in need. In 2021, the Good Samaritan Fund helped 1,309 families; providing financial assistance in averting eviction, utility disconnects and other crises 2,018 times; and distributed $196,198.

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Good Samaritan Fund

Mark Your Calendars – Get Engaged

Save the Dates for LUM Fall Happenings


HUNGER HIKE | Sunday, September 18 at 1 p.m. | Riehle Plaza, Lafayette, IN |

– Join us in the Fight Against Hunger — locally, regionally & globally — by participating in Hunger Hike 2022. Hunger Hike offers many ways for individuals, churches, groups, organizations, teams, families and companies to raise funds to fight hunger. Walk and raise funds on your own or create a Team and raise funds as a group. Make a donation online, support a Team & become a Corporate Sponsor.

Hunger Hike benefits Lafayette Urban Ministry Food Programs, Food Finders Food Bank, Inc. and St. Thomas Aquinas Haiti Ministry. If an outdoor event is not feasible the committee is exploring a virtual event. Find everything you need to start fundraising on the Hunger Hike website — go to hungerhike.org.


PORT of HOPE – the Immigration Clinic Fundraiser | Thursday, November 3 at 5:30 p.m. | Lafayette Brewing Co., Lafayette, IN

– Port of Hope is an evening fundraising event in support of the LUM  Immigration Clinic . For many families in our community the LUM Immigration Clinic is their “Port of Hope.” Please support the work of the LUM Immigration Clinic by attending Port of Hope. Port of Hope is a festive event with lots of food from local restaurants, a Market Place featuring unique experiences and items from around the world and entertainment by musicians from around the world.


TTURKEY TROT 5K Run  | Thursday, November 24 at 8 a.m. | Celery Bog Nature Area, West Lafayette, IN

– Start off your Thanksgiving day with the Turkey Trot 5K Run at 8 a.m. on the Cattail Trail Loop, Celery Bog Nature Area, West Lafayette. Runners, walkers, dogs, strollers, wagons & turkey hats are welcome.

All Turkey Trot 5K Run proceeds benefit local families through the programs and services at Lafayette Urban Ministry.


Community THANKSGIVING Feast | Thursday, November 24 at Noon | Central Presbyterian Church, Lafayette, IN

– The LUM Greater Lafayette Interfaith Community Thanksgiving Celebration is on Thanksgiving Day from noon to 2 p.m. at Central Presbyterian Church (Lafayette). More than 800 people will be served dinner and dessert, and you may be a part of this special program by preparing food, volunteering or making a donation.


JUBILEE Christmas | Saturday, December 10 | All Day | Events at 27 Locations in Lafayette/West Lafayette, IN

– LUM Jubilee Christmas serves more than 600 families impacting more than 1,800 children. Parents visit one of dozens of churches and shop for their children. In addition to the toys and clothes, each family also receives a ham and homemade cookies to make Christmas dinner special too.


LUM Attends Taste of Ramadan


Local Islamic Society Donates $2,000 to LUM


Last Friday, Wes Tillett, LUM executive director, attended the Taste of Ramadan event sponsored by the community members of the Islamic Society of Greater Lafayette with the Purdue Muslim Student Association. Wes was honored to share with the members in the breaking of their daily fast with prayer and a wonderful meal, and learn more about the customs and traditions of Ramadan.

As a part of the celebration, Wes was presented with a $2,000 gift to LUM from Dr. Humaira Gowher, chairperson of the Islamic Society of Greater Lafayette Board of Trustees (pictured). LUM is grateful for the generosity and support from the local Islamic community especially from the Islamic Society of Greater Lafayette and Purdue Muslim Student Association — and sends warm wishes for Eid al-Fitr with peace and prosperity to all. Eid Mubarak!


Outreach is an important part of the mission of Lafayette Urban Ministry. Members of the LUM professional staff actively seek opportunities to promote LUM services, recruit volunteers, and educate people on issues relating to poverty, hunger and homelessness. Directors of the various LUM programs are eager to raise awareness of LUM services, are well-informed on social and economic issues, and would like to help raise awareness in the local community on critical issues affecting low-income families.

Staff members are available to speak or set up an information table for churches, civic organization, agencies, community events, and educational groups. To make arrangements for a presentation or event, call or email LUM (765-423-2691 | lum@LUMserve.org).

Join Marlena’s LUM Camp Leadership Team


Sign Up to Be a LUM Camp Volunteer Counselor

Would you, or someone you know, make a good LUM Camp Counselor?


During the LUM Summer of Service, there is no better way to volunteer than being a LUM Camp counselor! Counselors are needed from 11 a.m. Monday, July 25 to 4 p.m. Friday, July 29

Marlena Edmondson, the LUM Camp director (pictured) wants YOU to join the leadership team as a volunteer camp counselor. LUM Camp is a week-long, over-night camp program for low-income children from 8 to 10 years old. Volunteer camp counselors must be at least 18 years old, enjoy working with children and be able to spend the entire week at camp. 

Make this the year that YOU make a difference in the lives of local children. To learn more about becoming a LUM Camp Volunteer Counselor, click HERE.


Please share with others


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LUM Camp – Living Proof of the Impact


Meet Marlena – Camper, Counselor & Director

Dear Friends:

Marlena Edmondson is living proof that LUM Camp is changing the trajectory of young lives. 

Marlena’s first experience with LUM Camp was as an 8-year-old girl. Camp was an entirely new experience for her. She had never ridden a horse, never sang silly songs before a meal, never spent time away from home in the nurturing care of fun-loving counselors. Marlena loved it all. LUM Camp was a transformative experience. 

The next two summers, Marlena eagerly came back to LUM Camp as a camper. Then, as a teenager, she became a junior counselor. As a young adult, Marlena saved up her vacation time throughout the year so she could spend a week serving as a LUM Camp counselor. Today Marlena serves as the LUM Camp director, creatively crafting each LUM Camp to be a life-giving, life-changing experience for every one of the 80 campers. 

Even more, Marlena credits LUM Camp as the catalyst that put her on a pathway toward helping children as a career. Marlena earned a Masters of Social Work degree and works in the Tippecanoe Schools Corporation as a school social worker. LUM Camp helped broaden the horizon of Marlena’s life, purpose, and impact.

(Check out the three-minute video of Marlena telling you her LUM Camp journey in her own words — below.)

Marlena knows what LUM has known since the 1960’s, when it started hosting a camp for children every summer: a week of camp has remarkable benefits in terms of intellectual curiosity, social skills, gross and fine motor skills, positive values, spirituality, and overall positive identity. Because of these scientifically verified benefits of camp, every summer LUM continues to put on a top-notch, weeklong overnight camp for boys and girls, ages 8, 9, and 10. 

This summer LUM Camp will take place July 26-29. The children come from families served throughout the year by Lafayette Urban Ministry. Hosted at the lovely Hanging Rock Christian Camp in Warren County, IN, LUM Camp involves swimming, horseback riding, arts and crafts, boating, morning chapel, wall climbing, zip-lining, snacks, delicious meals, and diverse and caring counselors.

A key component of the year-round LUM Youth Programs (which also include the After School Program and the 5th Quarter Summer Learning Program), LUM Camp is one of the premier summer camp programs available to children anywhere. 

LUM Camp is a scholarship-based camp, meaning we only invite children whose parents are not able to pay for the actual cost of camp. The actual cost is more than $200 per camper. We ask the campers’ parents to pay $5 per child and ask our generous donors to cover the rest.    

  • $200 = sponsor one LUM camper
  • $400 = sponsor two LUM campers
  • $100 = ½ LUM Camp sponsorship 
  • Any amount will support LUM Youth Programs

With so many children eagerly awaiting their chance to attend, would you like to give the gift of LUM Camp – investing in both their short-term fun and long-term life skills?  Who knows? There might be another little Marlena Edmondson attending LUM Camp this year.…

With gratitude,
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Wes Tillett
Executive Director

P.S.  Please support the LUM Youth Programs and invest in future generations. To contribute online, click the link below.


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Marlena’s Journey – In Her Own Words


Marlena Edmondson is the director of LUM Camp 2021. She earned a BSW in Political Science & Social Work from the University of Indianapolis, and an MSW with a concentration in Child Welfare from Indiana University.

Marlena was a LUM Camper as a child for three years and LUM Camp volunteer camp counselor for 14 years, before become the LUM Camp director in 2018. During the rest of the year, she is the Student Services Coordinator at Mayflower Mill Elementary School with the Tippecanoe School Corporation. Marlena grew up in Lafayette, graduated from Harrison High School, and currently lives on the north side of Lafayette with her two cats, Dudley & Zelly.

LUM is lucky to have someone with Marlena’s passion, talent and experience be a part of the LUM Camp program for the past 22 years.

Meet Marlena – LUM Camp Director

Camper, Counselor & Director – 22 Years So Far

Marlena Edmondson is the director of LUM Camp. She earned a BSW in Political Science & Social Work from the University of Indianapolis, and an MSW with a concentration in Child Welfare from Indiana University.

Marlena was a LUM Camper as a child for three years and LUM Camp volunteer camp counselor for 14 years, before become the LUM Camp director in 2018. During the rest of the year, she is the Student Services Coordinator at Mayflower Mill Elementary School with the Tippecanoe School Corporation. Marlena grew up in Lafayette, graduated from Harrison High School, and currently lives on the north side of Lafayette with her two cats, Dudley & Zelly.

LUM is lucky to have someone with Marlena’s passion, talent and experience be a part of the LUM Camp program for the past 22 years.


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