Category Archives: Income Tax Assistance

LUM – A Game Changer for Many


March 2015



2015-02-23 AnnePellegrino 005 (2)

Ann Pellegrino


Dear Friends,

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.


Greetings,

PS   On behalf of all those whose lives will be touched by your generosity, please accept my sincere and heartfelt thanks.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under After School Program, Case Management, Giving, Good Samaritan Fund, Homeless Shelter, ID Clinic, Immigration Clinic, Income Tax Assistance, Lafayette Urban Ministry, LUM, Volunteer

Meet a LUM Tax Assistance Volunteer

2015-02-23 AnnePellegrino 005 (gold)

Volunteers are an integral part of the LUM Income Tax Assistance Program — and we’d like you to meet one of our superstars — Ann Pellegrino.

Originally from Easton, Pennsylvania, Ann graduated from Middlebury College (Vermont) before ending up in the mid-west. She lives in Lafayette with her husband, Lou. Ann & Lou have two grown daughters & three grandsons.

She is a retired professional from Purdue University. While at Purdue, Ann administered programs in Gifted Education and later was an administrative assistant in a research laboratory in Biological Sciences.

As a volunteer tax preparer, Ann’s expertise is in preparing taxes for what the government classifies as “non-resident aliens.” About 75% of her tax clients are international students from Purdue. Ann has been a dedicated volunteer with the LUM Tax Assistance Program for over six years and has over 15 years experience in preparing taxes.

Ann shared that “it’s just so much fun. I enjoy working with the clients and figuring it out like one big puzzle. I love volunteering because I get to meet and work with very interesting people from all over the world.”

A tremendous thank you to Ann and all of our LUM Tax Assistance Program volunteers.


 

LUM Tax Assistance Program is Busy — Impressive Stats So Far

In just five weeks, the LUM Tax Assistance Program has had a tremendous positive impact on our community. Some interesting statistics so far are as follows:2015-02-23 AnnePellegrino 013 (gold)

  •  Total Income Tax Returns Filed – 400
  • Total Earned Income Credit – $390,982
  • Total Education Tax Credit – $5,016
  • Total Refund Amount – $790,310

LUM would not be able to offer this service without the skilled, trained volunteers who
make this important LUM program such a success each year. At LUM, taxpayers get one-on
-one help from IRS-certified volunteers who prepare their taxes at no charge. The 2015
LUM Tax Assistance Program is led by Sandra Dunn-El (pictured above). Call
765.423.2691 for more information.


Make a Donation Button

Tax Assistance Program

Leave a comment

Filed under Income Tax Assistance, Uncategorized, Volunteer

LUM Tax Assistance Program is Busy — Impressive Stats So Far

2015-02-23 AnnePellegrino 013 (gold)In just five weeks, the LUM Tax Assistance Program has had a tremendous positive impact on our community. Some interesting statistics so far are as follows:

  •  Total Income Tax Returns Filed – 400
  • Total Earned Income Credit – $390,982
  • Total Education Tax Credit – $5,016
  • Total Refund Amount – $790,310

LUM would not be able to offer this service without the skilled, trained volunteers who
make this important LUM program such a success each year. At LUM, taxpayers get one-on
-one help from IRS-certified volunteers who prepare their taxes at no charge. The 2015
LUM Tax Assistance Program is led by Sandra Dunn-El (pictured above). Call
765.423.2691 for more information.


Meet a LUM Tax Assistance Volunteer

Volunteers are an integral part of the LUM Income Tax Assistance Program — and we’d like you to meet one of our superstars — Ann Pellegrino.

2015-02-23 AnnePellegrino 005 (gold)

Originally from Easton, Pennsylvania, Ann graduated from Middlebury College (Vermont) before ending up in the mid-west. She lives in Lafayette with her husband, Lou. Ann & Lou have two grown daughters & three grandsons.

She is a retired professional from Purdue University. While at Purdue, Ann administered programs in Gifted Education and later was an administrative assistant in a research laboratory in Biological Sciences.

As a volunteer tax preparer, Ann’s expertise is in preparing taxes for what the government classifies as “non-resident aliens.” About 75% of her tax clients are international students from Purdue. Ann has been a dedicated volunteer with the LUM Tax Assistance Program for over six years and has over 15 years experience in preparing taxes.

Ann shared that “it’s just so much fun. I enjoy working with the clients and figuring it out like one big puzzle. I love volunteering because I get to meet and work with very interesting people from all over the world.”

A tremendous thank you to Ann and all of our LUM Tax Assistance Program volunteers.


Make a Donation Button

Tax Assistance Program

Leave a comment

Filed under Income Tax Assistance, Uncategorized, Volunteer

Ivy Tech Professional Internships at LUM

ivytechintern Samantha Hardebeck is the new LUM After School Program Intern with responsibilities for assisting the program director with the implementation of the program.

Samantha is from Frankfort, Indiana. She is a student at Ivy Tech Community College in the School of Liberal Arts & Sciences. Samantha is in the Human Services program focusing on child psychology.

After graduation, Samantha  plans on being pre-school teacher.

 


ivytechintern2Vivian Kuo is the new LUM Immigration Clinic Intern with additional responsibility with the Tax Assistance and Good Samaritan Programs.

She was born in Taiwan and is from Seattle, Washington. Vivian is a psychology major at Purdue University and taking classes at Ivy Tech Community College in the Human Services program.

After graduation from Purdue, Vivian plans on pursuing a doctorate in clinical psychology and a career in family and relationship therapy.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under After School Program, Good Samaritan Fund, Immigration Clinic, Income Tax Assistance, Interns, Lafayette Urban Ministry, LUM

New Year’s Resolution – Volunteer More in 2015


LUM VolunteerS Button

Is one of your New Year’s Resolutions to Volunteer More in 2015?

Well — LUM wants to help you achieve that goal. There are a number of opportunities for you, your family and your friends to get engaged with LUM now.



Immediate Openings — LUM Volunteer Needs

  • Tax Assistance Program
  • Emergency Shelter Coordinators
  • LUM Camp Counselors
  • Food Pantry—Data Entry Volunteers
  • Volunteer Receptionists

Please scroll down and read more details about all of these incredible opportunities to serve LUM and your community.

Please share with others.



VOLUNTEER — LUM TAX ASSISTANCE PROGRAM


2013-07-11 MarilynZerbes 022 (2)Ever thought about volunteering to help people with their tax returns? Don’t know that much about taxes? Don’t worry — you’ll get specialized training or you can choose a volunteer role that doesn’t require tax law certification. The LUM Volunteer Tax Assistance Program offers flexible hours, the training is free and the time commitment is up to you.
The Last year, 52 volunteers prepared close to 1,500 returns for LUM clients, returning more than $4 million to those households. Choose your LUM tax volunteer role – and get a chance to touch many lives. If you’re interested or need more information, please call or email Sandra Dunn-El (765.423.2691 | sdunn-el@lumserve.org).

Please share with others.



LUM SHELTER VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES


2013-02-05 LUM Emergency Shelter 006 (2)The LUM Emergency Homeless Shelter needs volunteers 365 nights a year. Currently there are openings for Weekend Coordinators and Overnight Shelter Volunteers.

  • Weekend Coordinators – Responsible for managing the LUM overnight shelter one or more Friday or Saturday nights a month from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m.; sleep from 11 p.m. – 6 a.m. provided no emergencies occur. Weekend Coordinators supervise shelter guests and volunteers; and are fully trained prior to first shift.
  • Overnight Shelter Volunteers – Duties include assist coordinator in checking in guests & serving meals, stay on site all evening (8:15 p.m. to 7 a.m.), and take a shift on “awake” duty. Must be able to maintain confidentiality and interact with a variety of people.

Volunteers must be at least 18 years old and attend one Shelter Training Session which are offered twice a month. The next two Training Sessions are scheduled for Thursday, January 16 & Monday, January 26 at 6:30 p.m. at the LUM Ray Ewry Youth Center (525 N. 4th Street, Lafayette). No need to register. Click HERE for more information on the positions and for the 2015 Shelter Training schedule.

If you’re interested or need more information, please call or email Joyce Fasani (765.423.2691 | jfasani@lumserve.org).

Please share with others.



LUM VOLUNTEER CAMP COUNSELORS NEEDED


2012-08-01 LUM Camp 005 (2)Would you, or someone you know, make a good LUM Camp Counselor?
LUM Camp Counselors – First Call! It may be freezing outside with snow flurries — But in 27 short weeks, it’s time for LUM Camp 2015!
LUM Camp is a week-long, overnight camp program for low-income children from 8 to 10 years old. Volunteer camp counselors must be 18 years old, enjoy working with children and be able to spend the entire week at LUM 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.
Close to 60 volunteer counselors and activity leaders guide the campers through a week filled with new experiences including swimming, hiking and crafts. LUM Camp Counselors instill confidence, rejoice in the accomplishments of campers, help nurture self-esteem, and support each camper throughout the wonderful week that is LUM Camp.
A comfy bunk in a rustic cabin is reserved just for you! All you need is the availability and willingness to have a fun week this summer with a great group of campers. Why not make this year the year you say “yes” to becoming a LUM Camp Counselor? For additional information, click HERE.

Please share with others.



FOOD PANTRY DATA ENTRY VOLUNTEERS NEEDED


2013-04-25 RexFuller 001 (2)The St. John’s/LUM Food Pantry Data Entry volunteer welcomes clients to the St. John’s/LUM Food Pantry, verifies their household information on LUM’s client database, and determines if they qualify for assistance. Clients are then served by the counter volunteers. The St. John’s/LUM Food Pantry is located in St. John’s Episcopal Church at 6th and Ferry Streets. The pantry is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday mornings from 8:45 to 11:45 a.m.—and Saturdays from 1 t0 3 p.m.
The Data Entry volunteer must be knowledgeable of basic computer operation and database concepts. As special training is required, a long term commitment is desired. Interested persons should please email or call Linda Hicks (lhicks@lumserve.org | 765-423-2691).

Please share with others.



VOLUNTEER RECEPTIONIST NEEDED


131023 Jubilee RegistrationVolunteer Receptionist needed each afternoon from 12:45 to 4:30 p.m. — and some mornings.
Volunteer Receptionists greet guests, answer phones and complete general clerical duties in the main office of Lafayette Urban Ministry (420 N. 4th Street, Lafayette).
If you are interested or need more information, please call or email Sylvia Mohler (765.423.2691 or smohler@lumserve.org).

Please share with others.



Join LUM online and help us serve children and families even better.


 Instagram-logo  

      pinterest-logo-2-1074x1067

Leave a comment

Filed under After School Program, Homeless Shelter, Income Tax Assistance, Lafayette Urban Ministry, LUM, LUM Camp, St. John's/LUM Food Pantry, Volunteer

A Fond Farewell to Ron Smith


2014-05-28 2014-05-28 001 001


Happy Retirement to Ron Smith — LUM Program Director


Ron Smith, LUM program director, was recognized at a special reception by co-workers, LUM board directors, family and friends. Balloons, cake, speeches & even a song were offered as Ron turns the page on his seven-year involvement with LUM. At LUM, Ron directed Hunger Hike and Jubilee Christmas, and assisted with the tax preparation program & St. John’s/LUM Food Pantry.

Ron shared that his first paycheck came when he was 10 years old. He also stated “My many years of military service, employment at Purdue and various businesses, then here at LUM have been a wonderful way to spend a career.” He said that during his years at LUM he met many wonderful new friends who will continue to enrich his life for years to come. Thank you, Ron, for your hard work on behalf of the many children and families served here at LUM. Blessing to you!


Pictured above from L to R: Seated—Ron Smith and his daughter, Elaine McFadden; Standing—Jeremiah Dole, Ron Hoffman, Linda Hicks, Joyce Fasani, Mary Anderson, Joe Micon, Susan Brouillette, & Sylvia Mohler.

 



Join LUM online and help us serve children and families even better.


 Instagram-logo  

   pinterest-logo-2-1074x1067   

Leave a comment

Filed under Hunger Hike, Income Tax Assistance, Jubilee Christmas, Lafayette Urban Ministry, LUM, St. John's/LUM Food Pantry, Uncategorized

Mission Moment — Meet the Poore Family


March 2014



Dear Friend,

The Lafayette Urban Ministry has been a special friend to Lisa Poore.  

moore family

The Poore Family

After the accidental death of her husband…
During the difficult process of grief and recovery…
Through all the challenges of being a new single parent and working mom…

LUM has extended to Lisa the heartfelt friendship and support she has needed to start over.

Each of her three children, Shane, Hayley and Madison, have attended LUM’s Enhanced After School Program. While Lisa is finishing up her workday as an aide at a local school learning center, her children are here at LUM completing their homework, participating in educational enrichment activities and enjoying the company of caring adults.

During the summer months, Lisa’s children participate in LUM’s 5th Quarter Learning Retention Program where fun-learning in math, science, social studies, and reading helps them to be better prepared to return to school in August.

Each of Lisa’s children have also attended LUM Camp. She remembers thinking there would be no place other than LUM she would entrust to Shane’s, Hayley’s and Madison’s first-ever trips away from home. The children still sing all the LUM Camp songs!

On LUM’s Jubilee Christmas day, Lisa “shopped” for the toys that were on her children’s wish lists. Christmas without their dad will always be difficult. But Lisa was grateful to watch her children’s spirits lift as they opened their presents.

Recently, Lisa came to LUM to have her income tax return prepared free of charge. The state and federal tax credits she earns are crucial to helping Lisa pay her family’s basic costs of living.

So do you see what I mean?

LUM has indeed been a very important friend to Lisa and her children. And like any friend we want to be here whenever

Lisa Poore & Joe Micon, LUM executive director

Lisa Poore & Joe Micon, LUM executive director

we are needed. That’s why I hope you will consider making a generous financial gift to support our work.

The Lafayette Urban Ministry is both first recourse and last resort for our neighbors in need. During 2013, the Lafayette Urban Ministry served 6,027 different families. Our doors are always open and our staff and volunteers are always here to serve – every day of the year, literally around the clock.

By making a generous contribution of $50, $100, $250, $500, or $1,000 you can help brighten the future for the many children and families LUM serves.

Your gift will be used to support all of LUM’s important programs…

  • the Homeless Shelter and Case Management Program
  • the Good Samaritan Emergency Assistance Program
  • the Community Thanksgiving Meal, and St. John’s/LUM Food Pantry
  • the Asset Building Classes and ID clinic
  • the many Youth Service Programs and Free Income Tax Return Service

Your past support has been critically important to those we serve here at the Lafayette Urban Ministry. I hope you will continue – and perhaps increase – your giving for 2014.

Through all of her challenges, Lisa Poore has always impressed me as a devoted and hard working mom. Right now, she is taking an online course in order to receive a higher job certification. In the future, she dreams of purchasing a new home.

Lisa gives thanks for the friendship and generosity shown her by the Lafayette Urban Ministry. It has helped her and her children to heal and start over again.

But in-so-far as LUM would not be here without your generous support, Lisa is really giving thanks for you.

Please, won’t you make a generous gift to the Lafayette Urban Ministry? Please give online at www.lumserve.org.


Gratefully,
Joe Micon Signature
Joe Micon
Executive Director
Lafayette Urban Ministry


P.S. — Help us to build a community where hardworking moms like Lisa Poore, and terrific children like Shane, Hayley and Madison can live, learn and grow to their fullest potential. Please, can we hear from you today?



Join LUM online and help us serve children and families even better.


 Instagram-logo  

   pinterest-logo-2-1074x1067   

 

Leave a comment

Filed under 5th Quarter, After School Program, Giving, Income Tax Assistance, Jubilee Christmas, Lafayette Urban Ministry, LUM, LUM Camp, Mission Moment

Volunteers Needed — LUM Income Tax Assistance Program

Choose your LUM tax volunteer role – a chance to touch many lives.

Ever thought about volunteering to help people with their tax returns? With thousands of volunteer tax preparation sites nationwide, you can touch many lives as a tax volunteer. Helping in either the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) or Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs can be rewarding while serving a vital role in your local community.

The VITA and TCE programs offer free tax help to people with low-to-moderate income, senior citizens, persons with disability, those who have limited English proficiency and others who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. In the majority of the free tax help sites, taxpayers can get one-on-one help from IRS-certified volunteers who prepare their taxes for them. Other sites offer the self-prepare option for people to do their own taxes for free using web-based tax preparation software. And, some sites offer both options. Volunteers are needed in all these sites during the tax filing season.

Don’t know that much about taxes? Don’t worry — you’ll get specialized training or you can choose a volunteer role that doesn’t require tax law certification. The hours are flexible, the training is free and the time commitment is up to you.


Below are some of the volunteer roles needed by the LUM free tax assistance program:


Greeter/Screener

  • You greet everyone visiting the site to create a pleasant atmosphere. You screen taxpayers to determine the type of assistance they need and confirm they have the necessary documents to complete their tax returns. Tax law certification is not required for this position.

Interpreter

  • You provide free language interpreter services to customers who are not fluent in English. Basic tax knowledge is helpful, but it is not required for this position.

Site Administrator/Coordinator

  • You have excellent organizational and leadership skills. You are the primary resource for sharing your knowledge of the program and are available to assist with any issues that may arise. You develop and maintain schedules for all volunteers to ensure adequate coverage, supplies and equipment at your site. Tax law certification is not always required for this position.

Tax Preparer

  • You complete and successfully certify in tax law training, including the use of electronic filing software, to provide free tax return preparation for eligible taxpayers.

Quality Reviewer

  • You review tax returns completed by volunteer tax preparers, ensuring that every taxpayer receives top quality service and that the tax returns are error-free. You must be tax law certified at least at the Intermediate level.

Computer Specialist or troubleshooter

  • You have a working knowledge of personal computers, software and communications systems. Tax law certification is not required for this position. If working at a self-prepare site you must become familiar with the various tax software option(s) available at your site. Although you may have less taxpayer interaction than most volunteers, you must be patient with those individuals who may not be as computer literate.

Tax Coach

  • You provide tax law assistance and guide taxpayers in preparing their own tax returns. Tax law certification is required for this volunteer role and training is available on-line or through face-to-face instruction.

So, if you’re comfortable with technology, enjoy helping your community, need experience for your resume, or just like to have fun and have the time to volunteer, visit http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Volunteer-in-Your-Community, complete and submit Form 14310 using the submit by email button on top of the form. Someone will contact you to help you get started.


You may also email or call LUM directly {lum@lumserve.org – (765) 423-2691} to get involved in the LUM Tax Assistance Program serving Tippecanoe County residents.

More information on the LUM Tax Assistance Program may be found HERE.



Join LUM online and help us serve children and families even better.


     

Leave a comment

Filed under Income Tax Assistance, Lafayette Urban Ministry, LUM, Uncategorized

Meet the LUM Executive Council – Tricia Sembroski


Treasurer: Tricia Sembroski

 


tricia

Tricia is an at-large member of the LUM Board currently serving as LUM’s treasurer, and a member of St. Andrew United Methodist Church.

Tricia is an administrative assistant at Trinity United Methodist Church and works part-time at St. Andrew United Methodist Church. She and her husband, Glenn, have a married daughter who has three children, and a son who lives in Indianapolis. Glenn works in the physics department at Purdue. Tricia enjoys dancing, singing, writing, painting, working with numbers, and even doing taxes!

She is active in Family Promise, the LUM Tax Assistance Program and looks forward to becoming even more involved through her service to LUM as treasurer.

 



Join LUM online and help us serve children and families even better.


   

   pinterest-logo-2-1074x1067

Leave a comment

Filed under Board of Directors, Income Tax Assistance, Lafayette Urban Ministry, LUM, Member Churches, Volunteer

LUM Tax Assistance Program — Results So Far


Image


With less than two weeks left to file income tax, LUM executive director, Joe Micon has some exciting statistics to share with the community. Watch this short video blog to learn more:



LUM offers Tax Assistance until April 11, 2013. To make an appointment call 765.423.2691. For more information about the LUM Tax Assistance Program, click HERE.


Local news coverage of the LUM Tax Assistance Program:



Join LUM online and help us serve children and families even better.


      

Leave a comment

Filed under Income Tax Assistance, Lafayette Urban Ministry, LUM, Uncategorized