Anne Pellegrino recently stopped by my office, smiling ear to ear!
Anne is a LUM volunteer tax preparer and she had just finished a tax return for a low-income family of four. She was smiling because she just secured for them a $10,000 income tax refund for them!
“There is just no way to understate how much this refund is going to mean to this family,” she said. “This is a real game changer for them.”
Anne and LUM’s many other dedicated tax volunteers, brought $4.5 million in refunds back to 1,390 low-income working families in our community last year. Utility bills were paid. Overdue rent was caught up. Clothing was purchased for children. Money was set aside for college. Families were made more stable.
But the Tax Program is only one of the important ways that the Lafayette Urban Ministry is changing the game for working families and at-risk children during this time of year.
- LUM’s new Legal Immigration Clinic is providing expert legal advice and support to individuals in our community who are having difficulty navigating the Federal Immigration and Naturalization Service bureaucracy. We serve 10 new immigrant families each month.
- LUM’s Enhanced Afterschool Program is helping to narrow the academic achievement gap each day for 50 low-income children.
- LUM’s Overnight Shelter and Case Management Services literally save lives during these cold winter months when the weather is harsh. More than 200 homeless individuals have stayed with us on and off since the beginning of the year. Through case management services, we have helped many of them to leave our shelter for a home of their own.
- LUM’s Good Samaritan Program serves each morning as our community’s social safety net. Staff and volunteers help those facing eviction, utility disconnects and other financial hardships to remain safely in their homes. We serve as many as 60 households each week.
- Last year, LUM’s ID Clinic helped 166 individuals to cut through the government red tape associated with re-establishing their legal identity and securing a photo ID.
Each of the Lafayette Urban Ministry’s 15 programs is designed to strengthen low-income families or to support and educate at-risk children. In partnership with 42 local church congregations, LUM helps to restore the hope and future that is all too often absent among those who live in poverty.
In other words, our work at LUM really is a game changer for those we serve.
That’s why I hope you will join me in making a generous gift to support LUM’s programs.
Your gift of $50, $100, $250, $500 or $1,000 will support our efforts and make sure our doors are always open to those in our community who need us.
Anne Pellegrino, through her work as a LUM tax preparer, has a special vantage point from which she is able to see and understand the realities faced by the working poor in our community. She knows that most are just a paycheck away from crisis. And she knows how important LUM’s programs are to her client’s’ economic well-being.
But more importantly, because of LUM, Anne is able to share her talents and have a positive impact in the lives of others. And that really makes her smile!
Please, won’t you make a generous gift today to the programs of the Lafayette Urban Ministry?
There are several ways you can give. You can place your gift in the mail today. Or you can visit our website at www.lumserve.org to learn more about our programs and to make your donation online.
PS On behalf of all those whose lives will be touched by your generosity, please accept my sincere and heartfelt thanks.