Love your neighbor.

Gardens For Good Collaboration


We love it when neighbors put energy behind their creative ideas designed to help neighbors. Erica Sullivan presented the idea behind Gardens For Good at a micro-grant dinner that fosters community & raises funds for creative projects that enhance Fort Wayne living called, Fort Wayne Soup. Erica presented her idea and won at the Soup hosted at end of June 2017. 

Gardens For Good is an empowerment tool designed to give residents in lower-income, food desert neighborhoods a 4' x 4' raised bed garden and all the tools like seeds, planting instructions, and master gardening support needed to increase access to healthy produce for their families. Access to produce at an affordable price is a real issue for some of our more vulnerable neighborhoods.  

Erica has a passion for home gardening, healthy eating, and has several connections within the healthcare industry as a former Parkview Health employee. One of the needs she identified was that there was a lack of opportunity to put the lessons in practice in simple ways by residents taking various classes to improve their health in these areas. Erica had the idea of creating small garden packages that could be used as an incentive to individuals enrolled in the HEAL program – a program brought to life through a collaboration between Parkview Health and St. Joe Community Health Foundation. This program’s goal is to improve the health and nutrition of the most vulnerable populations in Allen County’s low-income, food desert areas. Individuals in this program attend weekly nutrition classes and those who are lucky enough to receive one of Erica’s gardens, will receive weekly support to ensure this first-time endeavor is as successful as possible. Personal gardens allow participants to embrace growing their own food and solves the access to healthy foods problem. Each garden is designed to be just big enough to give someone a good idea of what's possible without being overwhelming or taking up too much space. If neighbors successfully adopted these garden beds, then Parkview could potentially pick this up as a program they help scale or the neighbor could add on to the garden bed to grow even more produce. 

Erica approached NeighborLink to see if we could partner on this project and leverage our volunteers to help design, build, and implement these gardens along with her community of friends. Of course we said yes because we've been a part of a few community garden projects before and believe that putting gardens in people's backyards increase the success rates of it being adopted. Gardening takes some hard work, a lot of patience, and a willingness to troubleshoot throughout the season as you nurture those plants to fruit bearing maturity. The more barriers you can remove from that process, the more likelihood you would produce the food you want and believe that it has a potential life transforming benefit. 

NL volunteers have already got a jump start on the process and have 10 beds created and packaged for installation come spring. The beds are designed to be assembled on site with the help of the recipient because we want them to be as involved as possible. Once we get closer to planting season, stay tuned for the install dates as we'll need volunteers that want to go house to house to build beds, fill with dirt, and walk through the planting process. 

We're excited to see this come to life. Thanks David Kattau and the Carpenter's Sons who jumped at the opportunity to engineer, cut, and assemble these garden packages. 

2018 Be A Good Neighbor Week - July 9-14th


We're excited to announce the 2nd Annual Be a Good Neighbor Week that is scheduled for the week of July 9th - 14th, 2018. Our inaugural event last year saw volunteers replace an entire roof, build a fence for a young couple, and help a senior citizen clear yard debris and do some painting. We had a successful week and are looking forward to expanding our impact this coming summer. 

Be a Good Neighbor Week is NeighborLink's way of providing a week-long service initiative to provide flexible service opportunities for anyone and everyone that wants to help a neighbor in a structured, organized, and collaborative way. We also have a desire to create a week-long effort that better illustrates the collective impact a group can have when they all offer their talents over a period of time when it best suits their life rhythms. We believe service needs to integrate into our lives to be as transformative as we'd like. Lastly, we want to challenge individuals that may have a history or taking oversees or regional mission trips to consider staying local this year. Consider taking some time off work or a series of half days to serve your local community. It's harder than you think, but we suspect its the personal challenge you or your family has been looking for. 

NeighborLink will select, organize, and lead a handful of highly structured and planned projects that individuals can plug into based on their availability and skillsets. In addition to the structured projects, we will assist groups of volunteers, like a business, in identifying a project they can take on and own with just their group. We're also inviting our partner organizations, like the YMCA of Greater Fort Wayne, to consider creating service opportunities during this week along with us. 

As the date draws near, we'll be adding project to this service event and updating the content to reflect the details. Until then, mark these dates on your calendar.

2017 Annual Report


2017 was a remarkable year and we wanted to make sure we documented it well and shared it with everyone that's been a part of making it successful. So, we took the time to hire a writer, Lindsay Hotmire, and invited her to interview a few foundations that provide significant funding to us as well as many other great nonprofits. Lindsay just happens to be the person that was influential in started NeighborLink Van Wert in 2009 and knows our organization well. We combined her stories with the data from some of the most prominent highlights of 2017 and asked our graphic designer, Matt Plett, to turn the content into an annual report. In addition, we created videos to go with the report to bring a few of the stories to life like only video can do. You can view those videos and several others by clicking here

This was our first attempt at developing a real, in-depth annual report in 14 years, and the first major printed piece we've created. It was important for us turn this content into a printed report and continue developing our ability to provide evidence that the resources our donors and volunteers are investing in our organization is making an impact for neighbors in need. Sharing the story is important to us and an annual report is a great tool to do so. We look forward to making this a regular rhythm at NeighborLink for years to come. 

By clicking the link below, you can download a PDF of the report. If you would like a printed copy mailed to your home, we'd love to do that. Simply send an email with your mailing information to and he'll get one in the mail.