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Wishing You ‘Amazing Peace’ This Christmas

A Letter from Joe Micon, LUM Executive Director

In our joy, we think we hear a whisper. At first it is too soft. Then only half heard. We listen carefully as it gathers strength. We hear a sweetness.
The word is Peace.
It is loud now. It is louder. Louder than the explosion of bombs.


Dear Friend, 

It was during the lighting of the National Christmas Tree in 2005 that Dr. Maya Angelou first shared her poem Amazing Peace. 

As one of the most renowned and influential voices of our time, Angelou’s words beckon us to contemplate a world of peace during a season of peace. She wrote that, “there is no better time than Christmas to come away from rancor; no better time to look beyond complexion to see community; no better time to mend that which is broken into that which is whole. “

They are powerful words that speak directly to the mission of the Lafayette Urban Ministry. An organization of 47 Greater Lafayette churches, LUM nurtures children and strengthens families who are experiencing difficult times.

During the past year, the Lafayette Urban Ministry served 4,723 families through one or another of our 22 programs. 

  • The LUM overnight Emergency Shelter continues to serve compassionately the chronically homeless in our community. The LUM shelter and Winter Warming Station will provide shelter and addiction services to more than 900 homeless individuals during 2019.
  • Two-hundred and thirty-nine at-risk youth learned and grew because of the LUM 5th Quarter Summer Learning ProgramLUM Camp and enhanced After School Program.
  • The LUM Good Samaritan Program serves up to twelve families each day – families that are in the throes of eviction, utility disconnects, health care or transportation emergencies. LUM has aided 1,780 families this year.
  • The LUM Tax Preparation Program served 522 low-income workers, returning to them $906,000 in tax credits and refunds.
  • The LUM Community Thanksgiving Celebration served 900 meals, the LUM ID Clinic served 217 clients, our Immigration Clinic served 173 individuals, and of course Jubilee Christmas – 1,831 children!
  •  In addition, the Lafayette Urban Ministry started the LUM Protein Food Pantry in 2019. This new and innovative response to persistent food insecurity in our community provides meat, eggs, fresh vegetables, infant formula and baby food to children and families in need. More than 50 families are served each week.

In her poem, Maya Angelou interprets peace as a harmony of spirit and a comfort of courtesies. She defines it as security for our beloveds and their beloveds. She calls Christmas the halting of hate time. 

In the spirit of peace this Christmas season, I hope that you will support the important work of LUM with a gift of cash. Your contribution of $50, $100, $250, $500, or $1,000 will be used to support needy children and their families, right here in our own community. 

I share below Dr. Maya Angelou’s Christmas poem, Amazing Peace, in appreciation of the kindness you have always shown toward those LUM serves. On behalf of each child and family, please accept my heartfelt thanks and my wish for a joyous Christmas.


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Amazing Peace by Dr. Maya Angelou

Thunder rumbles in the mountain passes
And lightning rattles the eaves of our houses.
Flood waters await in our avenues.

Snow falls upon snow, falls upon snow to avalanche
Over unprotected villages.
The sky slips low and grey and threatening.

We question ourselves.
What have we done to so affront nature?
We interrogate and worry God.
Are you there? Are you there really?
Does the covenant you made with us still hold?

Into this climate of fear and apprehension, Christmas enters,
Streaming lights of joy, ringing bells of hope
And singing carols of forgiveness high up in the bright air.
The world is encouraged to come away from rancor,
Come the way of friendship.

It is the Glad Season.
Thunder ebbs to silence and lightning sleeps quietly
in the corner.
Flood waters recede into memory.
Snow becomes a yielding cushion to aid us
As we make our way to higher ground.

Hope is born again in the faces of children
It rides on the shoulders of our aged as they walk into their sunsets.
Hope spreads around the earth. Brightening all things,
Even hate which crouches breeding in dark corridors.

In our joy, we think we hear a whisper.
At first it is too soft. Then only half heard.
We listen carefully as it gathers strength.
We hear a sweetness.
The word is Peace.
It is loud now. It is louder.
Louder than the explosion of bombs.

We tremble at the sound. We are thrilled by its presence.
It is what we have hungered for.
Not just the absence of war. But, true Peace.
A harmony of spirit, a comfort of courtesies.
Security for our beloveds and their beloveds.

We clap hands and welcome the Peace of Christmas.
We beckon this good season to wait a while with us.
We, Baptist and Buddhist, Methodist and Muslim, say come.
Peace.
Come and fill us and our world with your majesty.
We, the Jew and the Jainist, the Catholic and the Confucian,
Implore you, to stay a while with us.
So we may learn by your shimmering light
How to look beyond complexion and see community.

It is Christmas time, a halting of hate time.

On this platform of peace, we can create a language
To translate ourselves to ourselves and to each other.

At this Holy Instant, we celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ
Into the great religions of the world.
We jubilate the precious advent of trust.
We shout with glorious tongues the coming of hope.
All the earth’s tribes loosen their voices
To celebrate the promise of Peace.

We, Angels and Mortal’s, Believers and Non-Believers,
Look heavenward and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at our world and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at each other, then into ourselves
And we say without shyness or apology or hesitation.

Peace, My Brother. Peace, My Sister. Peace, My Soul.


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15 Days to Jubilee Christmas

VOLUNTEER

VOLUNTEER elves are needed for Jubilee Christmas part 2 & part 3 on Saturday, December 14. If you would like to host a family and assist them in shopping for their children, please sign up. Please also SHARE this with others.

DONATE

To be successful, Jubilee Christmas also relies on DONATIONS from churches, organizations and individuals. You can help by donating a cash gift of $50, $100, $250, $500, $1,000 or more to Jubilee Christmas. Your cash gift to Jubilee Christmas may be given in honor of a friend or family member — in lieu of a holiday gift. LUM will send a Holiday Card sharing that a donation has been made by you to Jubilee Christmas in their name.

Jubilee Christmas donations of new, unwrapped toys, clothing (newborn to 12-year-old), books, games, sports equipment, quilts/family blankets are welcome. Donations may be dropped off at the LUM Office, Greyhouse Coffee & Supply Co. & Brokerage Brewing Company. Click the “Donate” button make a monetary donation as well as a wishlist of our needs and JC donation center locations and times.


Donate Items — Jubilee Christmas Wishlist — new items only

  • Toys, Board Games, Dolls, Lego sets, Dress up & Pretend Play, Play kitchen items
    • Highest need — children aged 10 – 12 years old
    • No Guns, please
  • Sports & Recreation equipment — Balls & equipment (basketball, soccer, kick balls, baseball, etc.), Bikes, Outdoor games (Flying discs – Frisbee, Hula-hoops, Jump ropes, Family games)
  • Books (grade-level: Pre-K through teen)
  • Craft Kits & Art Supplies
  • Children’s clothing — outfits; winter coats, gloves, hats, scarves, boots;
  • Blankets & Quilts — each family gets at least one for the family
  • Wrapping Paper, Gift Bags, Tape
  • Batteries
  • Gift Cards — Food cards, Gift cards for teen siblings
  • Bottled water
  • Trash bags (30 gallon)

Donation Centers are as follows:

  • LUM Office
    420 N 4th Street, Lafayette
    — Monday, December 2 through Friday, December 6 — 1 to 5 p.m.
  • Oakland High School/LARA
    1100 Elizabeth Street, Lafayette (rear – cafeteria entrance)
    — Monday, December 9 & Tuesday, December 10 — 1 to 5 p.m.
  • Brokerage Brewing Company
    2516 Covington Street, West Lafayette
    — Through Monday, December 9; HOURS: Mon. – Thurs. 3-9 p.m., Fri. & Sat. noon-midnight, Sun. 1-8 p.m.
  • Greyhouse Coffee & Supply Co.
    100 Northwestern Avenue, West Lafayette
    — Through Monday, December 9; HOURS: Mon. – Fri. 7 a.m.-10:30 p.m., Sat. & Sun. 8 a.m.-10:30 p.m.

For more information on LUM Jubilee Christmas, click HERE.


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Jubilee Christmas

Consider a Donation to LUM This Holiday Season

This year, considering replacing your Office Holiday Party “gift exchange” with a collection of “needed items” for LUM.

Whether it’s after school snacks for our students or cleaning supplies for the Emergency Shelter or toys & books for Jubilee Christmas or paper products for the Protein Food Pantry — each donation is helpful and appreciated. Make your holiday celebrations, at work and at home, more meaningful for your family, your guests and your colleagues by allowing them to give to local families in need.

To view the entire LUM Wishlist of needed items, click HERE.


LUM Jubilee Christmas is Saturday, December 14, and the Donation Center opens Monday, December 2 from 1-5 p.m. For a list of needed items, and the locations and open hours of the Donation Centers, click HERE.

IBEW Local 668 Donated 25 Turkeys

Thanks to the members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 668 for their recent donation of 25 turkeys to Lafayette Urban Ministry.

These turkeys will be served at the annual LUM Greater Lafayette Interfaith Community Thanksgiving Celebration next Thursday and offered to the families using the LUM Protein Food Pantry this week.

LUM is grateful to IBEW 668 for their continued support of the LUM mission.


Consider a Donation to LUM This Holiday Season

This year, considering replacing your Office Holiday Party “gift exchange” with a collection of “needed items” for LUM.

Whether it’s after school snacks for our students or cleaning supplies for the Emergency Shelter or toys & books for Jubilee Christmas or paper products for the Protein Food Pantry — each donation is helpful and appreciated. Make your holiday celebrations, at work and at home, more meaningful for your family, your guests and your colleagues by allowing them to give to local families in need.

To view the entire LUM Wishlist of needed items, click HERE.


LUM Jubilee Christmas is Saturday, December 14, and the Donation Center opens Monday, December 2 from 1-5 p.m. For a list of needed items, and the locations and open hours of the Donation Centers, click HERE.

Jubilee Christmas – Donation Centers OPEN

Jubilee LOGO redLUM Jubilee Christmas is Saturday, December 14, and the Donation Center opens Monday, December 2.


Donations of new, unwrapped toys, clothing (newborn to 12-year-old), books, games, sport equipment, quilts/family blankets are welcome. See below for our list of needs and donation centers.


Donate Items — Jubilee Christmas Wishlist — new items only

  • 2012-12-08 Jubilee Christmas Day 018 (2)Toys, Board Games, Dolls, Lego sets, Dress up & Pretend Play, Play kitchen items
    • Highest need — children aged 10 – 12 years old
    • No Guns, please
  • Sports & Recreation equipment — Balls & equipment (basketball, soccer, kick balls, baseball, etc.), Bikes, Outdoor games (Flying discs – Frisbee, Hula-hoops, Jump ropes, Family games)
  • Books (grade-level: Pre-K through teen)
  • Craft Kits & Art Supplies
  • Children’s clothing — outfits; winter coats, gloves, hats, scarves, boots;
  • Blankets & Quilts — each family gets at least one for the family
  • Wrapping Paper, Gift Bags, Tape
  • Batteries
  • Gift Cards — Food cards, Gift cards for teen siblings
  • Bottled water
  • Trash bags (30 gallon)

Donation Centers are as follows:

  • LUM Office
    420 N 4th Street, Lafayette, IN
    — Monday, December 2 through Friday, December 6 — 1 to 5 p.m.
  • Oakland High School/LARA
    1100 Elizabeth Street, Lafayette, IN (rear – cafeteria entrance)
    — Monday, December 9 & Tuesday, December 10 — 1 to 5 p.m.
  • Brokerage Brewing Company
    2516 Covington Street, West Lafayette, IN
    — Through Monday, December 9; HOURS: Mon. – Thurs. 3-9 p.m., Fri. & Sat. noon-midnight, Sun. 1-8 p.m.
  • Greyhouse Coffee & Supply Co.
    100 Northwestern Avenue, West Lafayette, IN
    — Through Monday, December 9; HOURS: Mon. – Fri. 7 a.m.-10:30 p.m., Sat. & Sun. 8 a.m.-10:30 p.m.

Jubilee LOGO red

Jubilee Christmas relies on donations from churches, organizations and individuals for a successful Jubilee Christmas.

You can help by donating a cash gift of $50, $100, $250, $500, $1,000 or more to Jubilee Christmas. Your cash gift to Jubilee Christmas may be given in honor of a friend or family member — in lieu of a holiday gift. LUM will send a Holiday Card sharing that a donation has been made by you to Jubilee Christmas in their name.

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Jubilee Christmas

Be a Volunteer Income Tax Preparer at LUM


Every year, hundreds of low income families come to LUM to get their taxes done. We all know how scary tax time can be, but here at LUM it’s often a time of joy. Families who struggle every day just to get by, come here to learn they’re going to get a refund that will place badly needed money back in their pockets. And you can be a part of making that happen!

The average family that uses the LUM Tax Assistance Program earns a little more than $20,000 a year. They cannot afford to pay a professional to do their taxes, and many lack the confidence, experience, or ability to complete the returns on their own.  

Being a volunteer tax preparer at LUM can be an incredibly rewarding experience.Since, it is a small program, our volunteers have the chance to get to know their clients, and to feel the very personal and immediate reward that comes with realizing they have truly helped someone. At the same time, our volunteers have a lot of fun. Volunteers and staff get to know each other, socialize together between client visits, and help each other solve problems as they arise.

While a few of our volunteers are tax professionals, looking for a way to use their skills to help those in need, others just love the mental challenge of completing a tax return, and still others come to us with no background in math or taxes whatsoever. There have even been volunteers who started off terrified of numbers, only to discover that taxes weren’t that scary after all.

Tax tax clinics are scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Wednesdays from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., beginning in February and going through early April. You can sign up for as many or as few clinics as you’d like.

All volunteers need to complete an IRS tax certification. This can seem intimidating at first glance, but don’t worry! There will be Saturday prep classes in December and January to help you get ready. And once you’re certified you can spend a clinic or two shadowing a more experienced volunteer before taking your first client. And if you run into problems you don’t understand, there’s always someone there to help!

Anyone can learn to do this, regardless of background or experience. If you’d like to find out more about becoming a volunteer tax preparer, please email program director, Josh Prokopy at jprokopy@lumserve.org.

 

Please share with others.

30 Days to LUM Jubilee Christmas

Volunteers Needed & Donations Welcome


Recently the LUM Jubilee Christmas coordinators representing 27 local churches met at Lafayette Urban Ministry. At the meeting each Jubilee Christmas coordinator received a list of their “families.” The coordinators were excited because now they may begin their toy shopping and event planning.
 
This year Jubilee Christmas will serve more than 640 local families including close to 1,850 local children. Churches & organizations across the county will host 25 events on Saturday, December 14.
 
Lots of VOLUNTEERS are needed. DONATIONS of new (unwrapped) toys, books, games, gift cards, batteries, gift wrap, clothing (newborn to 12-year-olds), and quilts/blankets are welcome and may be dropped off at the Jubilee Christmas Donation Center (Monday, December 2 – Friday, December 6 from 1-5 p.m.) at 420 N 4th Street, Lafayette. You can help Jubilee Christmas even more by donating a cash gift of $50, $100, $250, $500, $1,000. For more information on LUM Jubilee Christmas, click HERE.
 

Pictured above is part of our Jubilee Christmas team — some of our Host Site Coordinators. God bless our hardworking and loving JC coordinators. They are truly the heart & soul of Jubilee Christmas each year. If you see them, please thank them for all they do for the children in our community during this Christmas season.


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Thank you and Merry Christmas!


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Jubilee Christmas

 


Port of Hope 2019 – Tremendous Success

Community Comes Together to Support the
LUM Immigration Clinic


The fourth annual Port of Hope fundraiser benefiting the LUM Immigration Clinic was another resounding success. Enthusiastic guests partnered with good food, lively music, hearty conversation, and thought provoking art to celebrate the diversity that is Greater Lafayette and our immigrant community. 
 
Many thanks to our sponsorsrestaurants, and donors. These businesses and individuals generously give to the Immigration Clinic, and we ask that you show them your support and let them know that you saw them at Port of Hope. Without the support of our sponsors, donors, and guests, paired with efforts of our tireless volunteers, this successful event would not be possible. To view more photos, click HERE.
 
With your help and the help of everyone who contributed, the Port of Hope is on track to raise more than $41,000. All funds raised support the continued mission of the Immigration Clinic. If you weren’t able to attend, your donation would still be greatly appreciated.
 

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Immigration Clinic

 

Meet Linda Hicks | Grace In Action | 15+ Years

A Letter from Joe Micon, LUM Executive Director


As I look at my life, I would prefer: to err on the side of GRACE rather than judgment, to love too much rather than too little, to believe in my sisters and brothers too much rather than not enough, to believe the best and be wrong rather than believe the worst and be right. ~Author unknown


Each time I read these words, I can’t help but smile and think of Linda Hicks, the LUM Good Samaritan Program director. 

Linda has been on staff since 2004, but it has been just 2 ½ years since she assumed the responsibility of directing the LUM Good Samaritan ProgramDuring that time, more than 5,000 cases have crossed Linda’s desk. She has provided more than $300,000 in direct Good Samaritan Fund aid. 

Whether it is a family threatened with eviction because of mom’s job loss, a senior facing a utility disconnect, or a woman trying to escape domestic violence in need of a bus ticket to safety, Linda has worked directly with each case. And while every situation is unique, Linda’s response is always the same – the generous sharing of both grace and concrete action.


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Good Samaritan Fund

I remember Linda working with JULIE. Julie’s back injury was so severe that it prevented her from hugging her two little children. Julie’s husband has a job that includes health insurance, but coverage wasn’t enough to pay all the costs of Julie’s doctor bills and physical therapy costs. A check to their landlord from the LUM Good Samaritan Fund is the only thing that kept a roof over her family’s heads during their time of greatest need.

I remember Linda working patiently over the phone with TAMMY, who was at home recovering from brain surgery. Tammy will work again someday, but for now, she has no income. An online payment to Tammy’s utility company from the Good Samaritan Fund was the only thing keeping her air conditioner running during the heat of last summer. 

I think of Linda working on Jeff’s behalf. A single dad caring for two special needs children, JEFF couldn’t return to work for several weeks until his children were approved to begin receiving supportive services. Checks from the LUM Good Samaritan Fund paid for Jeff’s back rent and overdue heating bill.

Your contribution of $50, $100, $250, $500 or $1,000 will allow the LUM Good Samaritan Fund to be here for all the families, many with children, who call upon us for help. And remember, not a single dollar of what you give is ever used for administrative overhead or staff costs. Gifts to the Good Samaritan Fund are spent exclusively for food, shelter, health care or transportation assistance for someone in need. 


Jesus said, “Come & inherit the kingdomfor I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink,I was a stranger and you welcomed me….


Linda Hicks and her staff of volunteer caseworkers, follow Jesus’s call every day. Their work is made possible because people like you give generously to the Good Samaritan Fund. I hope you will continue to give, so that our community’s most important financial safety net can continue. 

Linda Hicks always does her job with grace rather than judgment. She believes in those she helps too much, rather than not enough – and she provides the care and encouragement they need to overcome difficulties. She is a blessing to each person she meets. Please, won’t you be a blessing too? Share a generous gift today with the LUM Good Samaritan Fund.


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Good Samaritan Fund

Winter Warming Station Opens 3 Days Early

Due to Snow, Freezing Temperatures & 20 MPH Winds

The LUM Winter Warming Station which was scheduled to open this Thursday at midnight, opened last night due to three inches of snow accumulation, freezing temperatures and 20 mph winds. The Winter Warming Station complements the services offered by the LUM Emergency Shelter and is used by individuals needing a place in the evening to “warm up.” Located in the LUM Office building (420 N 4th Street, Lafayette), it is open from midnight to 7 a.m. until April 2020.
 
No one in our community should have to spend the night outdoors in the harsh weather — and the LUM Winter Warming Station allows individuals, including those who are not eligible to stay at the LUM Emergency Shelter, to be in our safe, secure indoor warm space. It also gives individuals an opportunity to learn about other services offered by LUM and other local agencies for which they may be eligible. Other contingency plans are in place during stormy weather or if temperatures get dangerously low. For more details, please email Joe Micon (jmicon@lumserve.org).

2015-11-18 420 Night - Winter Warming Station 005 (2) (1280x670)

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Winter Warming Station