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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.

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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

Different Kingdoms – Reflection from Pastor Ryan

Pastor Ryan Donoho, senior pastor at First Baptist Church of Lafayette, recently published this thoughtful Lenten reflection in his parish’s March newsletter.

Special thanks to Pastor Ryan Donoho for this timely reflection.


Different KingdomsPicture-of-Ryan-Donoho-225x300

Are you more American or Christian?  What is your primary allegiance?  The church is a community of people who live under the reign of God in the kingdom of God.  Although we might be natively born in the United States of America (USA), if we are followers of Jesus Christ our primary citizenship is in the kingdom of God.  And, although natural citizens of the USA, we are called to live as foreigners and strangers even in our homeland.  Each church is to be a little pocket of the kingdom living amongst the world.

1 Peter 1:17-23 (NIV translation)

Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear.  For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.  He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.  Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.  For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

The values and culture of Lafayette, Indiana, USA are not always in line with the values and culture of the kingdom of God.  And, at those points where they differ, the Church is called to live by the values of the kingdom of God.  Every church starts with the culture that they know and live in (we can do no other), and then discerns how they need to be transformed into the likeness of Christ and the values of the kingdom.  Churches should not be stagnant, but always transforming and always changing to more closely align with the will of God.  Each church is a work in progress, doing their best to embody the kingdom of God.

The church is called to be conformed to God and live differently from the ways of the world, and not the other way around.  Yet, it is compelling to try and make the church more American to more easily attract Americans to join the church.  To be able to effectively communicate the message of Jesus to a culture, like the American culture, there needs to be some familiarity with that culture.  Christians need to be able to speak the language of the average person in the society around them.  However, the purpose of this is to help call them into something different, a different way of living in the kingdom of God under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.  The church and its gatherings should remain distinctly Christian.

There is a difference between living as strangers in the world because we live with an outdated version of American culture, and living as strangers in the world because we live as citizens of the kingdom of God.  Things like the style of music (is it 19th century American or 21st century American?) and the technology used (is it 1980s technology or 2015 technology?) are not really the bigger issues.  Those are not the types of things that make us uniquely Christian.

The types of things that make us uniquely Christian are values like loving God, caring for those who are marginalized and forgotten by society, living simply and generously, loving our enemies, and looking to the interests of others above ourselves.  These things should instruct how we gather and live together as the church in the world.

However, it has become commonplace for churches to take up the practices of consumerism and follow American business models that at their core have values that are not in line with the kingdom of God.  Consumerism is largely based upon selfishness and many American business models are based upon growing in size and profits in competition with other similar service providers.  These are not the goals of the kingdom.

Even if the heart of the church’s desire to use consumerism and American business models is to bring more people into the kingdom and spread the message of Jesus, the medium and strategies used to communicate are a big part of the message themselves.  The way the message is communicated also communicates.  If we preach a message of loving, giving, and considering others above oneself, but present it in a medium that encourages selfish consumerism; then we are defeating ourselves and the message we preach.

It is tempting to reach for the consumeristic model of church, because it “works.”  It draws a crowd.  It can help pay the bills, and make us feel like we are being a successful church.  It is also natural and comfortable for us as Americans.  Yet, by what standard do we measure success?  Is it success according to the values of our American society, or success according to the values of the kingdom of God?

You may be wondering, “what does a consumeristic model of church look like?”  It is when a church tries to attract religious consumers to attend their church and consume their religious goods and services without calling them to the deep commitment of submitting themselves to God and one another as they live out the values of the kingdom of God in a community together.  It is when a church does some form of market research (formally or informally) to determine what consumers of religious experiences are interested in, and then shapes their gathering around those marketable experiences; instead of first considering the values of the kingdom and shaping their gathering around those values.  It is when a church tries to draw a big crowd to an attractive worship experience with a self-help message, but makes no intentional efforts at moving the people from the crowd into a smaller communal group where discipleship, mutual submission, mentoring, and practices of the faith take place.  It is when a church tries to draw a big crowd but does little to try and care for the “least of these” within their church or out in the world.

Choosing to form a church around the values of the kingdom of God instead of forming it around the values of our American culture will likely result in a smaller church.  Can American Christians be ok with that, or does our American concept of success by size and numbers push us towards forming our churches around American values to draw a crowd?  And, what will we do with our buildings?

As American culture and Christianity continue to diverge from one another, the question for American Christians increasingly becomes, “will they choose to become more American or more Christian?”  In some ways the divergence is helpful, because it can awaken American Christians to the reality that American values and Christian values are not one in the same thing.  They never have been, but it is becoming increasingly obvious.

So, what type of church will we be?

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Ryan

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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.


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Tax Assistance Program

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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.


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Tax Assistance Program

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Filed under Income Tax Assistance, Uncategorized, Volunteer

LUM Website — Offers Many New Features

website


After over 18 months of planning, copy-writing, and designing, LUM is thrilled to announce the launch of the new LUM website. Many thanks to Sylvia Mohler for her work designing and maintaining the former site for several years.

The new website was produced by the new LUM webmaster, Pablo Malavenda. Additional thanks go out to Wintek Corporation for their technical support and to the LUM volunteer IT consultant, Greg Veldman.

LUM is confident that you will find our new website much easier to find what you need — and to make your connection to LUM more meaningful. The launch of the new LUM website was celebrated this week at a reception where Malavenda was able to share some of the exciting new features (pictured below).


website2


Having a strong web-presence is vital for today’snonprofits — and LUM is thankful to all of those who have made it possible for Lafayette Urban Ministry to have (in our humble opinion) the best website around. Please take some time to browse around our new website soon—www.lumserve.org.


Highlights of the New LUM Website


 

  • Easy to find LUM Program information
  • Easy to find LUM Volunteer opportunities
  • Easy to Donate online using secure PayPal links
  • Online Volunteer Applications now available
  • Online Registration & payment for events like Hunger Hike, HH5K Run & Follies
  • Online volunteer sign up for events like the Community Thanksgiving Celebration
  • Google Map to easily get directions to the LUM Office
  • Language translation feature translates any page using Google Translate
  • Live Weather posted for Downtown Lafayette
  • Calendar of LUM Events linked to Google Calendar
  • Blog posts for in depth look at LUM programs, clients, volunteers, events, staff, etc.

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Filed under Lafayette Urban Ministry, LUM, LUM Staff

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.

 

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

New LUM Emergency Shelter Coordinator

ShelterCoordinatorKaleigh Basan is the new LUM Emergency Shelter coordinator. She is from Rockville, Indiana and is a student at Purdue University.

At Purdue, Kaleigh is working toward a degree in Human Services with a minor in Early Childhood with Exceptional Needs.

After graduation, she plans on pursuing a Master’s degree in children’s ministry. Kaleigh plans on continuing to do mission work and hopes to work in foster care, helping place children into better homes.

 

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Sunday Noon Meal Moves to LUM

Community Meal Tradition Continues!


Founded in Lafayette around 1989, the Sunday Noon Meal is a collaboration of many churches to pr2015-02-08 CommunityMeal 019 (3)ovide a simple and healthy meal every Sunday for individuals in our community. The Sunday Noon Meal has had several homes, most recently Trinity United Methodist Church. The LUM Ray Ewry Youth Center is now the new home of the Sunday Noon Meal. The only thing that has changed though is the location.


The same group of churches and Purdue student organizations still coordinate, prepare and serve the meals each and every Sunday. The Sunday Noon Meals are coordinated, prepared and served by members of the following churches:

  • Calvary Baptist Church
  • Cathedral of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception
  • Central Presbyterian Church
  • Elston Family Church
  • First Baptist Church
  • First Christian Church
  • Grace United Methodist Church
  • Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
  • Lafayette Church of the Brethren
  • Lafayette Friends
  • Lafayette Reformed Presbyterian Church
  • Neighborhood Christian Chapel
  • Otterbein United Methodist Church
  • St. Andrew United Methodist Church
  • St. Boniface Catholic Church
  • St. John’s Episcopal Church
  • Stidham United Methodist Church
  • Trinity United Methodist Church

LUM is thrilled to be the new home of this wonderful community tradition. For more information on the Sunday Noon Meal, please email Dinah Dalder at dalder@purdue.edu.


Volunteer

LUM Host-Site Coordinator – If you wish to be the LUM Host-Site Coordinator for this event, please email lum@lumserve.org.

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Carolyn Kessler—35 Year LUM Volunteer

CarolynKesslerLast week, we lost a very close friend of Lafayette Urban Ministry — Carolyn P. (Pollard) Kessler, 79. Carolyn volunteered with LUM for over 35 years.

Originally from Anderson, Indiana, Carolyn lived in Lafayette and passed away at Signature Health Care on Wednesday, February 4, 2015. She was the daughter of the late Wayne and Isabel (Emerson) Pollard. She was a graduate of Anderson High School and earned a Bachelors degree from Purdue University. Carolyn married David Philip Kessler in 1957 and he preceded her in death in 2003. She was a member of Faith Presbyterian Church, where she had served as a deacon and an elder.

Carolyn was a loving mother and grandmother; an avid gardener; and enjoyed tennis, cooking, walking her dogs and her volunteer work. Surviving are her sons, Eric R. Kessler (Nancy) of Clemmons, NC and Joel R. Kessler of Hermosa Beach, CA, two daughters, Lisa A. Czerwonky (Dan) of West Lafayette and Beth C. Eifrig (Fritz) of Chicago, IL, and her sister, Jennie Sue Alexander of California. Also surviving are five grandchildren, twins Matt and Merry Kessler, Mitch Kessler, David and Grace Czerwonky.

A memorial service was held yesterday at Faith Presbyterian Church with Pastor Horner officiating. The Kessler Family has requested that memorial contributions be made to Lafayette Urban Ministry or Faith Presbyterian Church’s Deacon Fund. To give a memorial gift to LUM, click here.

Carolyn will be missed but not forgotten for her service to others through LUM & her church.

 

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Filed under After School Program, Giving, Good Samaritan Fund, Lafayette Urban Ministry, LUM, Volunteer

Brouillette appointed to City Commission

{Pictured above, L to R: John Rivera, Susan Brouillette & Mayor Roswarski. Photo courtesy of the City of Lafayette.}

L to R: John Rivera, Susan Brouillette & Mayor Roswarski. Photo courtesy of the City of Lafayette.

Recently, LUM’s very own Susan Brouillette was sworn in by Mayor Tony Roswarski and City Clerk Cindy Murray as a member of the Lafayette Human Relations Commission along with John Rivera. In a statement from the City of Lafayette, it was shared that “Citizen involvement in local government is so important, and we welcome Susan & John.”

The City of Lafayette Human Relations Commission was created in 1968, and consists of nine citizens appointed by the Mayor and approved by the City Council.

The Commission’s main objectives are to end prejudice, intolerance, bigotry, and discrimination in the City of Lafayette, to encourage respect and understanding of all individuals and groups, and to investigate complaints of discrimination in the City of Lafayette.

Congratulations to Susan Brouillette on this appointment!

 

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Filed under Campaign for Hoosier Families, Lafayette Urban Ministry, LUM, LUM Staff