Love your neighbor.

Why is it so hard to ask for help?

03-16-2021


Think back to a time when you were lost when trying to go somewhere new. Did you stop a stranger and ask for assistance? Odds are you pushed through until you figured it out on your own or got even more lost. Things could have been so much easier if you would have stopped and asked for help. So why didn’t you? In her book "Reinforcements," Heidi Grant goes into detail about why it is so hard to ask for help.

1) It makes us feel bad

The thought of walking up to someone and asking for help is enough to make anyone feel uncomfortable, but there’s more to it. Our brains can take the social pain of asking for help and turn it into physical pain. Think about the idea of a broken heart or a pit in your stomach. Those are physical reactions to social stimuli. The same thing happens when we have to put ourselves out there and ask for help. The threat of pain after being rejected or thought of being incompetent is too much for many people to bear. Instead, we’d rather figure it out on our own.

2) We assume others will say no

When I was a kid, I always tried to beat my dad in the basketball game HORSE. Of course, he’d go easy on me and let me score a few baskets, but he’d always win. Eventually, I started to wonder if there was even a point. Why do something if you're destined to fail? We get the same feeling about asking for help. We assume that people won’t help us and that everyone will say no. This feeling is even stronger after we’ve already been turned down once. Why even ask if they’re just going to say "no"? Fortunately, that’s not true. According to several studies, people are much more likely to say "yes" than we assume. Also, just in case you’re wondering, I can now beat my dad in HORSE.

3) We assume asking for help will make us less likable

Nobody wants to be the weakest link on the team or feel like they’re a burden to those around them. We, as humans, naturally care what people think of us. We hope to project an image of confidence and competence. When we have to lower ourselves and ask those around us for help, we lose that persona. It can harm our own self-image and we assume it affects how our peers see us. Again, that’s not really true. Think about the last time that someone asked you for help. Did you think less of that person or resent them in any way? The answer is most likely no. However, the fragile idea of self-image causes us to avoid asking for help.

Nobody can deny that asking for help is a hard thing to do. It causes intense discomfort, and most people would rather avoid it altogether. Sometimes, however, we have no other option. At NeighborLink, part of my job is to talk with homeowners who are in need of help and post their requests on the website. Every day I talk with people who have fought through everything listed above to ask a stranger for help. That can’t be easy. NeighborLink provides a place where volunteers can go to help their neighbors. Hopefully, we can also provide a place where it is easier to ask for help. #LoveThyNeighbor


Grace German


Making a Difference for Deb

02-16-2021

For several years, NeighborLink has partnered with the City of Fort Wayne’s Division of Community Development/Office of Housing and Neighborhood Services to help execute a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. It is common for home repair needs of our neighbors to exceed the skills of our volunteers. The funds from this grant are used to secure the skilled labor needed to support our volunteer efforts.

Funds are limited to $7,500 per project and the homeowner must qualify for the program. Qualification for CDBG dollars is based on income and then initiation/completion is based on the order in which NeighborLink volunteers select projects and notify NeighborLink staff of a need for contractors. If costs exceed $7,500, a homeowner can pay or fundraise for the balance.

Projects have included roof replacements, exterior painting, foundation repairs, tree removal, siding replacement, and more. Each project has a special meaning to the homeowner, who often has no other options to complete the repairs. Deb’s project was no exception.

Deb has some health and mobility issues making even just maneuvering around her two-story house a laborious task. Like many older homes, the only bathroom is on the second floor and lacks proper features to assist with accessibility. Deb had a small, stand-up, single shower stall that became virtually impossible for her to use. Without access to a proper bath or shower, Deb's mobility issues began to take over her life. Not to mention, all while being confined to her home in a pandemic except for doctors' appointments. (As we have said before, COVID-19 has been particularly hard on the disabled and elderly, who were already experiencing high levels of isolation.) Deb's neighbor reached out to us to see if we could help remodel her bathroom. Deb qualified for the CDBG grant and our work began.

We secured quotes from several contractors with the goal of replacing Deb’s shower with a walk-in tub. We moved forward with Windows, Doors & More (WDM) to do the work. The total estimate exceeded the limit and they worked with us to get it under $7,500. We arranged for volunteers to complete the demo work under budget.

A few weeks before Christmas, our volunteers completed the demo, and WDM worked their magic to prep the bathroom and install a new, jetted, walk-in tub for Deb. We are very grateful for the work of WDM. While the basic features of the tub worked, they initially had issues with the electrical in connecting the jets. (Old homes + old electrical = no fun for anyone.) Their crew worked tirelessly, coming back four times until they were able to get it all functioning.

I had the privilege to check-in on Deb after the tub’s installation. I cannot begin to describe the change I saw in Deb's demeanor since being able to enjoy her own bathtub (and even before the jets were fixed). She was beaming! Her face was brighter. Deb told me how she could even see improvement in her skin and circulation. The tub, combined with the promise of a COVID-19 vaccine, brought hope to Deb after a year of seemingly unending hopelessness. She felt motivated to tackle a few other projects she had been delaying. To have had even the smallest part in facilitating this hope for Deb was quite an immense feeling for me. It has been my pleasure getting to know Deb and hearing her crazy stories of her previous adventures (she went to Woodstock!). She has sent several texts and notes professing her immense gratitude. We were equally happy to be able to utilize this program to help.

Small things really do change neighborhoods, and—equally important—neighbors.  

~ Beth



Executive Director Job Description

02-07-2021

***As of 3/15/21, we are no longer accepting applications for the Executive Director Position.*** 


NeighborLink Fort Wayne Foundation, Inc. 

Executive Director 

NeighborLink is seeking a new Executive Director with a vision to see the local Church of Fort Wayne be the hands and feet of Jesus through serving our City's vulnerable homeowners, who are our neighbors. Thousands of seniors, individuals with disabilities, and people facing life's circumstances are struggling with home maintenance and repairs along with many other tangible needs who cannot physically or financially meet them on their own. Our mission is practical, neighbor-to-neighbor expressions of God's love, and our vision is to develop neighborhoods through the tangible acts of kindness of concerned and committed neighbors. 

As the Executive Director, you will exemplify a mature relationship with Jesus Christ and a passion for introducing others to the love of God, expressed through loving and selfless service for the glory of God. You will have experiences from engaging with vulnerable neighbors, which have transformed you and shaped you. You have passion for God to be glorified, and for the staff and volunteers to be developed in their own Christian formation, through the ministry of NeighborLink. 

You will be passionate about ensuring our mission is being implemented in the local community by bringing creative, problem-solving vision to complex issues facing vulnerable neighbors and neighborhoods with a heart for connecting neighbors. You will champion the NeighborLink experience, lead a team of committed and experienced staff, and position us for the next phase of organizational growth. 

General Duties and Responsibilities: 

Staff Oversight and Organization Operations: 

You are responsible for the hiring, retention, and professional development of competent, qualified staff. You are responsible for the effective administration of NeighborLink operations, which includes but is not limited to signing all notes, agreements, and other instruments made and entered into on behalf of the organization. 

Organization Mission and Strategy: 

You will work with the board to ensure the mission is fulfilled through existing programs while working to refine and establish the strategic plan that is consistent with the vision of the organization and future opportunities. You are responsible for the enhancement of NeighborLink. 

Brand Management and Communication: 

Responsible for the enhancement of NeighborLink’s image by being active and visible in the community and by working closely with other professional, civic, and private organizations. You will be responsible for setting the communication tone and strategy while giving leadership and vision to Neighboring Productions, which is our internal video production company. 

Financial Performance and Viability: 

You will be responsible for fundraising and developing other revenues necessary to support NeighborLink’s mission. You are responsible for the fiscal integrity and will be responsible for annual budgets, monthly reporting, and fundraising strategy. You are responsible for fiscal management that operates within the approved budget, ensures maximum resource utilization, and maintains the organization in a positive financial position. 

Board Governance: 

You will work with the board in a manner that supports and guides the organization's mission as defined by the Board of Directors. You will be responsible for communicating effectively with the Board and provide all information necessary to function properly and to make informed decisions in a timely manner. 

Responsible to: 

NeighborLink Board of Directors 

Must Haves: 

You are able to faithfully align with and be able to implement our organization's mission of practical, neighbor-to-neighbor expressions of God's love. 

You are a communicator, collaborator, and connector. You have strong oral and written communication skills and have the desire to use information to connect the dots for others in an effort to motivate them to action. You like to talk, interact, and build relationships with a large number of people from a diverse range of socioeconomic statuses. You have high levels of interest in relational connections. You are kind, inclusive, and believe that everyone has something to offer. 

You are self-motivated to stay busy, solve problems, and accomplish your goals in a highly decentralized and independent environment. You will be driven by your desire to do your work at the highest level, be responsible to your team, and to represent yourself and the organization well. 

You have the desire and flexibility to create a work/life integration that gives you space to always represent NeighborLink. You have a schedule and availability that allows you to make time for NL work at night, on weekends, or whenever the opportunity presents itself to fulfill the job time requirements. In return, you have autonomy and an equal amount of flexibility in the role. 

You have efficiency working with web-based, form-driven and word processing kind of applications, Apple software products, and be able to know when to pick up the phone and make calls. 

Skills: 

You Have Conviction and Vision 

One of the most important skills the successful candidate brings to NL is the ability to see unmet needs and desire to find solutions. Your conviction to do the right thing, stand alongside the vulnerable, and address the right problems is connected to how you see the world and our roles in it. That vision attracts and leads others into being a part of the solution. 

You're Reliable and Flexible 

If you say you're going to do something, you mean it or you work hard to find a solution if you can't. You will have several different projects and staff members relying on you to do what you've promised you can do. You like to take ownership of projects and see them through. 

You're Able to Work Independently 

NeighborLink is a flat organization and each staff person is responsible for their specific set of goals. You willneed to be able to articulate the vision, collaborate with your team, see what's next, and then run with it. You will also have the flexibility you need to accomplish your job responsibilities and lead your team. 

You're a Problem Solver 

You thrive on solving problems that come at you. There is no rule book or how-to guide to many of the challenges we see at NL. Having the curiosity and mentality to exhaust your resources and network to search for solutions is vital for you and the rest of us to succeed. 

General Details: 

  • Full-time position (40+ hours week) 
  • Bachelors Degree Required - Masters preferred. 
  • Transparent and high integrity leadership. 
  • Five or more years of professional and/or nonprofit leadership experience. 
  • Experience and skill in working with a Board of Directors. 
  • High-level strategic thinking and planning. Ability to envision and convey the organization's strategic future to the staff, board, volunteers, and donors. 
  • Demonstrated ability to oversee and collaborate with staff. 
  • Active fundraising experience that has successfully generated new revenue streams, improved financial results, and cultivated relationships with donors. 
  • Strong financial management skills, including budget preparation, analysis, decision making, and reporting. 
  • Salary range: $60,000 - $70,000. 
  • Discuss health insurance benefits.


IF THIS IS YOU...... 

Please email your resume and completed application (ED Application.pdf) to Board@NLFW.org 

For more information on NeighborLink Fort Wayne, visit, www.NLFW.org 

NeighborLink Fort Wayne is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer 


PDF of job description: ED Job Description.pdf

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