“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.”
“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
“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.”
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.
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.
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
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 Pantryand 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.
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.
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.
Campaign for Hoosier Families – A strong, public voice for Hoosier families and children in need
LUM Legislative & Social Justice Updates
The Campaign for Hoosier Families engages local, state, and federal officials on behalf of low income families and children. Since LUM was incorporated in 1972, “advocacy” has been a part of the mission. As a part of the Campaign for Hoosier Families, Kathryn Williams is the new LUM Public Policy Advocate.
Kathy Williams graduated from Northeastern University School of Law and was admitted to practice law in both Indiana and Massachusetts. She is a registered lobbyist with the State of Indiana and has represented clients in civil cases through the Indiana Legal Services Organization in matters including family issues, housing, government benefits, and constitutional rights. Kathy is a long-term public policy advocate at the Indiana General Assembly, representing many different organizations that provide human services and/or advocate for social justice, which now includes LUM. Kathy is currently monitoring key legislation at the Indiana Statehouse.
Patti O’Callaghan, who serves as the LUM Volunteer Legislative Liaison, submitted testimony on Indiana bills related to the following:
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
Earned Income Tax Credit – supporting an increase in the state EIC. LUM was instrumental in getting this established, and it inspired the LUM Tax Assistance Program.
Township Homeless Assistance and Preventing Homelessness that occurs due to eliminating local control of rental properties
On the Federal level, LUM supports:
COVID-19 Relief for Hoosiers who are hungry, unemployed or at risk of eviction
Low Income Home Energy Assistance
Minimum Wage increase to $15 per hour
LUM is thrilled to have the experience of Kathy & Patti advocating for Hoosier families. They are well-respected and are the best at representing LUM where the decisions are being made at the State Capitol and beyond.
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 bills that are being watched by 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.