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LUM Camp Needs You! This Summer – July 27-31

Be a Camp Counselor – Support a Camper

As we think about a better tomorrow, why not sign up to be a volunteer LUM Camp Counselor this year.

LUM Camp is a week-long, overnight 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 (11 a.m. Monday, July 27 to 4 p.m. Friday, July 31, 2020). For additional information, click HERE.

If you would rather support LUM Camp with a donation, consider sponsoring a camper for $150.

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LUM Camp


Volunteer camp counselors must be

  • 18 years old,
  • enjoy working with children,
  • attend training on Thursday, July 23 at 7 p.m., and
  • be able to spend the entire week of camp from 11:00 a.m. on Monday, July 27 to 4:00 p.m. on Friday, July 31.

Committed volunteer camp counselors are at the heart of a successful LUM Camp and play an important role with our LUM campers. For additional information, click HERE.

LUM Emergency Shelter to Benefit from Grants

Twin Cities Recommend $21,290 to LUM

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Lafayette Urban Ministry has recently been recommended for two significant Community Development Block Grants from both the City of Lafayette & the City of West Lafayette.

LUM will be awarded $14,846 from Lafayette and $6,444 from West Lafayette — totaling $21,290.

Picture1CDBG is an important resource for local governments in their efforts to provide both transitional and permanent housing, as well as supportive services, to families and individuals experiencing homelessness. This grant money will be used to support our homeless clients.

Thanks to David Heckert, LUM Emergency Shelter director, for his work on these grants.

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Emergency Shelter

COVID-19 Response – Programs Information

LUM is Open for Business – Safety & Compliance

LUM is open for business, but “how” LUM serves the families in our community has been modified to keep everyone as safe as possible. Below is information on how LUM is continuing to serve the families in our community today. 

LUM Office – 420 N 4th Street, Lafayette, IN

  • Phones staffed from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Monday – Friday
  • No in-person visitors or clients allowed

Assistance Programs

Children’s Programs/Youth Programs

Food Programs – Protein Food Pantry (525 N 4th Street, Lafayette)

  • Open – Thursdays, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.; offering to-go, curbside service only
  • DONATIONS of protein food items, paper products, infant supplies & feminine hygiene products are needed and welcome. To learn more and see our list of needed items, click HERE.

Homeless Services

  • Emergency Shelter (525 N 4th Street, Lafayette, IN)
    • Open nightly, with a strict protocol for intake, check in, dinner service and sleeping arrangements
    • Intake – 1:30 p.m., LUM Office 420 N 4th Street, Lafayette
  • DONATIONS – Meals are needed every evening. Please consider preparing a meal for our shelter guests. To learn more and sign up online, please click HERE.
  • Winter Warming Station is closed until November 15, 2020 allowing staff to focus on the Emergency Shelter

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Three Ways to Support LUM Today

During times like these it is important to give wisely. LUM is a great investment in your local community.

A collaboration of 47 local churches, LUM serves as a social safety net for children and families who are experiencing difficult times. Last year, Lafayette Urban Ministry served more than 3,792 families through one or another of our 22 programs.

Here are three ways you, your organization and your business can support and invest in Lafayette Urban Ministry.

  1. CASH DONATIONS are preferred because they allow LUM to purchase what is needed, when it’s needed. To give online, go to lumserve.org/donate/.
  2. MEALS — Prepare a meal for the guests at the LUM Emergency Shelter. You may prepare & serve meals –OR– just drop off your prepared meal –OR– donate food that the LUM staff can prepare, like bread, deli meats, and large cans of soup, stew & chili. For more information and to sign up, go to lumserve.org/shelter-meal/.
  3. NEEDED ITEMS—Donations of “needed items” are also welcome and appreciated. To view the LUM Wishlist of Needed Items, go to lumserve.org/wish-list/. You may either ship or drop off items to the LUM Office (420 N 4th Street, Lafayette, IN 47901). Here is a list of “COVID-19 Supplies” that are urgently needed now:
  • Disinfectant (for surfaces) – bleach, wipes (Lysol, Clorox), spray (Lysol), cleaner (Fantasik, 409, Clorox)
  • Hand Cleaning – antibacterial wipes, gloves (nitrile disposable), hand sanitizer, liquid hand soap
  • Paper Products – paper towels, facial tissues, toilet paper

To give online, go to lumserve.org/donate/. To view the LUM Wish List of Needed Items, go to lumserve.org/wish-list/. THANK YOU.

The Rev. Wes Tillett – LUM Executive Director

His Vision, His Passion & His Inspiration

Restoring human dignity…which all God’s people need and deserve” is the part of the LUM Mission Statement that speaks to Wes Tillett the most. He stated that,

Each of us is made in God’s image — ‘Imago Dei.’ Everyone has value and meaning and is worthy of love and respect. The word, ‘dignity,’ perfectly encapsulates that sentiment. I pledge to continue the long history of LUM to meet people right where they are — and offer help and hope.” 

Wes attempts to “Live a Life of Love” each and every day (Ephesians 5:2). He commented that,

Love is the most important thing to me. A love that’s full of action, full of grace and truth, full of justicepeace, and joy, full of the life-giving nature of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” Wes is inspired by faithfulness. He stated that, “It is so easy to be distracted, to be motivated by FOMO (fear of missing out), to take the convenient way out when things get tough. When people have grit, when they keep their word, when they have integrity in public and private, when they make sacrifices to help others, I get inspired.” He is inspired by “all those unknown saints who are faithful to God in their own quiet way, day after day.

Wes is also inspired by the three executive directors who have preceded him. These three leaders, Joe Micon, the Rev. Jud Dolphin, and the late Rev. Ron Elly, have left a legacy of serving “the least” and thereby serving God (Matthew 25:40). They have, over the decades, built a strong agency that has a solid infrastructure, vital services, talented staff, dedicated volunteers including board members, supportive community and government partners and a great reputation. Wes is honored and humbled to serve as the next leader of Lafayette Urban Ministry.

Recently, Rita, Wes’s wife, met a former LUM Camper of his from 15 years ago, who is now 23 years old. Wes was amazed to hear how much his attention and affection meant to this camper. He added,

As I come to serve at LUM again, I hope to enrich the lives of thousands of people — those who are served and those who serve. Hope, help, healing, hospitality — all done in love and wisdom — I hope to uplift many in the community through these.

His Experience & His Education

Wes Tillett earned a BA in Biblical Education and graduated summa cum laude from Cedarville University (Ohio). He was elected by the student body to serve on a student pastoral leadership team — preaching and leading worship on campus. He earned a Master in Divinity from Western Theological Seminary (Michigan), where he received two awards as an outstanding graduating candidate and a third for outstanding work in Christian education and formation for ministry assignments.

From 2003-2010, the Tillett family lived in downtown Lafayette and were engaged with LUM. In 2005, Wes was the assistant to the program director of the LUM After School Program, who at the time was his wife, Rita. He assisted in program logistics, tutored, mentored and in the process became a self-proclaimed basketball champion & kickball legend. During this time he also served as a volunteer LUM Camp counselor. Wes was the youth minister at First Christian Church (2003-2005) and then the director of Family & Youth Ministries at Central Presbyterian Church (2005-2010). He was the Mission Co-Worker in Zahle, Lebanon (2010-2012) and served in various churches in Indiana, Michigan, and Virginia. 

For the past seven years, the Rev. Wesley Tillett has been the founding, lead pastor at Voyage Church in Oshtemo, Michigan. He also founded the Oshtemo Area Churches, a coalition of five churches from different denominations, which addresses food insecurity, mentoring, tutoring, and clothing needs, by partnering with food banks and elementary schools. OAC received the Champ Award in 2016 by the Communities in Schools.

His Family, His Background, His Favorites

Wes Tillett is originally from Rensselaer, Indiana, and graduated from Rensselaer Central High School. He currently lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan, with his family and their goldendoodle, Hunter.

Wes and his wife, Rita HurleyTillett, grew up together and were middle school sweethearts. One Christmas day, when they weren’t even dating, Wes showed up at Rita’s doorstep to ask if she’d marry him. Today they are the proud and grateful parents of four children — Tobias (13), Kidest (11), Avalyn (6), and Noah (5). Wes and Rita feel blessed to have received their children through birth and adoption — internationally from Ethiopia and domestically through foster care.

Growing up on the prairies of northwest Indiana, Wes developed a love for the outdoors and Chicago sports teams (Bears, Bulls and Cubs); and Wes & Rita grew up cheering for the Purdue Boilermakers. (Boiler Up!) Wes enjoys swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, sailing, water skiing and stand-up paddle boarding, also known as “SUP-ing.” He also loves playing board games with his children, date nights with Rita, hiking with his dog (Hunter), traveling to new places, playing guitar & hand drums, painting, and spending time alone with God. He has a passion for holistic health (body, mind, soul) and staying in shape by participating in 5K runs and sprint triathlons. In addition to his work, Wes has been active in the community with agencies focused on children, mentoring, and education.

  • Wes’s favorite Bible passage is, “I am the vine; you are the branches” (John 15:5)
  • His favorite quote is “When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years,” attributed to Mark Twain
  • His favorite poem is The Peace of Wild Things by poet, novelist, essayist, farmer, and environmentalist, Wendell Berry, from Kentucky 

The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me and

I wake in the night at the least sound

in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,

I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water,

and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things

who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief.

I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light.

For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

~ Wendell Berry (1968)

Rev. Susan Brouillette, Salute to Women Honoree

Brouillette Celebrated as Immigration Advocate

At a special dinner last Tuesday, the Rev. Susan Brouillette, the LUM Immigration Clinic founding director, was an honoree the 47th annual Salute to Women program. Susan was one of only 12 women honored this year. She is being recognized for being an “immigration advocate” and for being “instrumental in the development of Lafayette Urban Ministry’s Immigration Clinic.

Joe Micon, LUM executive director remarked that,

Most of the immigrants and asylum seekers who come to the LUM Immigration Clinic are in serious straights. Some are without family or friends. In Susan Brouillette, they have found an advocate who represents and defends them with skill and commitment. She is one of those rare and extraordinary individuals responsible for our community being such a diverse and welcoming place.

Join us in congratulating the Rev. Susan Brouillette for this well deserved recognition.

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Immigration Clinic

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.

LUM Retirement Follies – Emotional Tribute

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Salute to Joe Micon

Joe Micon – Honored as True Community Leader

Last Friday, close to 500 individuals gathered to pay tribute to Joe Micon, a true community leader for more than 41 years. The event included amazing musical performances by Michael Kelsey, Purdue Varsity Glee Club, Black Voices of Inspiration, Zelaya, and the 65 member, LUM Ecumenical Choir.

Joe Micon and his family were joined by past executive director, Rev. Jud Dolphin; past acting director, Mary Anderson; Ellen Elly, the wife of the founding executive director, the late Rev. Ron Elly; Rev. Don Nead; and Professor Emeritus Jim Davidson. The event concluded with a reception sponsored by Lafayette Brewing Company.

Joe was overwhelmed with the love and support from the guests and speakers. He was presented with the following:

  • Sagamore of the Wabash – from Governor Holcomb presented by State Senator Ron Alting (click HERE for more information)
  • Marquis de Lafayette Award – from the City of Lafayette presented by Mayor Tony Roswarski – the highest award given for going above and beyond with volunteerism, citizenship, and overall dedication & commitment to the community
  • Quilt – made from squares created by the LUM After School Program students
  • Artwork Gift – from the City of West Lafayette presented by Mayor John Dennis
  • Proclamation & the Indiana State Seal – from the state legislature presented by State Rep. Sheila Klinker
  • Resolution – from the state legislature presented by State Rep. Chris Campbell
  • Distinguished Alumni Award – IU School of Social Work (click HERE for more information)
  • Executive Director Emeritus distinction – presented by the LUM Board of Directors (click HERE for more information)

LUM Follies was also a fundraising event for the LUM Good Samaritan Fund — an emergency financial assistance program. So far, the event has raised close to $33,000 for the LUM general fund and Good Samaritan Fund in honor of Joe Micon. If you were not able to attend the LUM Follies, you may send your well wishes to Joe Micon by email or US Mail (jmicon@lumserve.org | 420 N 4th Street, Lafayette, IN 47901). Donations to LUM in Joe’s honor are still being accepted as well. Simply click the button below to give online.

Thanks to YOU, Joe Micon was given the retirement send-off he deserves.

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

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Salute to Joe Micon

To view VIDEO, click HERE. To view more PHOTOS from the event, click HERE.
To view Joe Micon’s Remarks, click HERE.
{Photos courtesy of Bob Bauman. Video courtesy of Max Malavenda.}