The Stories of Lakesha, Erica & Shavonn
A Letter from Joe Micon, LUM Executive Director
Dear Friend,  
Lakesha Porter is a mail clerk for the US Postal Service in Lafayette. Erica Davis is a special education instructor at a local elementary school. By day, Shavonn Williams is a production worker at Kirby Risk. By night, she is a nurse’s aide at Sycamore Springs Hospital.
 
So what do Lakesha, Erica and Shavonn each have in common? They each come to the Lafayette Urban Ministry for services and support for their families and children. Despite an unemployment rate of only 3.20% (essentially full employment), Lafayette’s poverty rate remains at a very stubborn 18.94%. For a family of three, that means a breadwinner working 40 hours per week is earning less than $10.25/hr. Comprised of mothers, fathers, children and grandparents, these households work hard, but still struggle to make ends meet.
 
For 47 years, the Lafayette Urban Ministry has been sharing help and giving hope to local families striving to build brighter futures for themselves.   Poverty robs families and their children of so many of the opportunities they need to grow and succeed. The Lafayette Urban Ministry responds by providing those families with the practical help, educational resources and emotional support needed to overcome difficult times. Whether it is through after school learning or summer youth programs, direct financial assistance, free income tax preparation, immigration services, emergency shelter, addiction help or any combination of 20 additional services, LUM is a crucial asset for those in our community working to escape the grasp of poverty.
 
Last year, 4,723 households were served by the Lafayette Urban Ministry .
Lakesha Porter doesn’t know what she would do without the support of LUM: LUM is a Godsend to us. The staff and volunteers always show respect and offer encouragement. Whenever I run out of food, or need a little extra cash to pay my rent, I can always count on LUM. The kids love going to LUM’s After School Program - and I love that LUM practices spelling words with them and helps with math. I don’t know how we would make it through the holidays if it weren’t for Jubilee Christmas. And LUM even helped when I lost my photo ID.
 
As a valued partner in all that goes on at LUM, your past support of the Lafayette Urban Ministry has made a world of difference. Together, we have strengthened families, nurtured children and made our community a better place for everyone. I hope you will continue your support of the Lafayette Urban Ministry by making a generous gift of $50, $100, $250, $500, $1,000, or more, today.
 
I can think of nowhere else that your charitable contribution will have greater impact. I can think of no better way to practice our Lenten discipline than to share with those less fortunate. Scripture is so very clear. Jesus tells us we are to shelter the homeless, feed the hungry, love our neighbor, welcome the stranger and treat others as we ourselves would like to be treated. The Lafayette Urban Ministry takes that call seriously and provides each of us a place to put our faith into action. LUM affords us the opportunity to hear Jesus’s words anew - to understand our responsibility and to respond in kind.

I wish that Lakesha, Erica and Shavonn along with everyone else who works hard and plays by the rules were paid a wage high enough to provide the basics for their children. Working full-time and still not being able to escape poverty is unjust. But until that reality shifts, I am thankful that the Lafayette Urban Ministry is here to offer friendship and practical support to working families and their children.

Won’t you please give generously so that our efforts can continue? You may contribute online and find out more about all the things your gift to the Lafayette Urban Ministry will accomplish, by visiting our website at www.lumserve.org/donate .
LUM Students Celebrate Reading Month
Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss
March is National Reading Month, and the LUM After School Program  students celebrated with a grand birthday party for the beloved children’s author, Dr. Seuss.

The "Dr. Seuss Spirit Week" celebration included reading groups with Dr. Seuss books and videos, fun educational exercises, Dr. Seuss themed snacks, arts and crafts activities, games and more. The LUM After School Program   was bursting with excitement all focused on reading, writing and creativity.

Special thanks to the volunteers from the MARK Tutoring program at St. Thomas Aquinas, Purdue Pre-Pharmacy Club, Timmy Global Health at Purdue, and our other weekly volunteers for their help with the events. Pictured above with a LUM student is Kristi Hogue, LUM After School Program director.
St. John's/LUM Food Pantry Celebration
Celebrating 27 Years of Ministry
You are cordially invited to attend the St. John's/LUM Food Pantry Celebration. Here are the event details:
  • DATE: Saturday, March 23
  • TIME: 7 p.m.
  • PLACE: Commons - St. John's Episcopal Church, 600 Ferry Street, Lafayette
  • Free & open to the public
  • Hors d'oeuvres will be served

The reception will celebrate and honor 27 years of service to the families in Tippecanoe County. Reflections of the food pantry will be shared, and volunteers and staff will be recognized. If you have stories to share or know of milestones in the history of the food pantry, please submit those in advance to the Rev. Bradley Pace at bradleypace@stjohns-laf.org . For more information, click HERE .
Want to Stay Up to Date with IN Legislation?
Sign Up - Campaign for Hoosier Families
Here are a few ways to "Stay Up to Date" with current Indiana legislation:
  • C4HF eNewsletter: click HERE to read THIS WEEK's edition, which covers legislation updates on redistricting reform, payday loan interest rates, and minimum wage.
  • To view all past C4HF eNewsletters, click HERE.
  • Sign up for C4HF updates, click HERE
  • Check out the Legislation Tracker, which is updated regularly by the C4HF team, to view click HERE.

The  Campaign for Hoosier Families engages local, state, and federal officials on behalf of low income families and children in Indiana.  
Interfaith Discussion Speaker - Rescheduled
Dr. Robertson - Saturday, March 16 at 2 p.m.
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church rescheduled Dr. Robertson, a speaker in the Interfaith Discussion Speaker Series. Details are as follows:
  • Dr. Stuart D. Robertson, lecturer, Biblical Hebrew, Purdue University 
  • Saturday, March 16, 2 p.m.
  • Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 1005 N 21st Street, Lafayette
  • FREE and open to the public

For more information, call 765-447-4205 or go to  holytrinitylafayette.com .