Love your neighbor.

Showing Up for 15 Years

01-02-2019

Oh what a year and not just any year, it's the celebration of our 15th year helping neighbors, connecting with neighbors and being good neighbors through tangible expressions of God’s love. As we look back to these last 15 years, the momentum we have experienced in 2018 is icing on the cake, some may even say with sprinkles (if you like sprinkles, which I definitely do!). 

This year we surpassed our goal of 1250 projects and reached 1302. Broken down, that’s 25 projects a week or around 3-4 projects a day! We currently have 163 volunteer groups and 88 of those groups returned from the year prior. Words cannot express how grateful we are for our volunteers' endless dedication, commitment, and selflessness. They are, you are, the backbone of our organization. We cannot put a price on their servitude…but if we were going to give a volunteer valuation (from independentsector.org) our combined volunteers' time just this year is valued at almost $300k!

On December 22, we held our annual volunteer awards banquet and for the first time ever in our history we gave out awards.  The NL staff spent many a meetings discussing what these awards would be and we kept landing on wanting to give awards to everyone, because you are all such a blessing to us. After much discussion, we chose fun Heart & Hammer pins in 3 different colors to signify different volunteerism milestones. Then we chose awards for unique accomplishments for the year. Gay Penland (Helping Hand Award) lead teams of volunteers who painted over 940 fire hydrants (surpassing years past by over 600), Aaron Makin (Innovation Award) built a remote control lawn mower that was fun to use (so they say, I am dying to get my hands on it as I am sure you are too) and a clever way to promote NeighborLink awareness. Aptera received the "Link Award" for their dedication to motivating and encouraging their employees to give back through various projects during work and outside of work hours. The Gab & Go Gals (Rookies of the Year), are a group of dedicated women who recently starting doing projects with NL on a regular basis. Phyllis Weaver received the "Neighbor Award” for being one of our homeowners that has received helped from NL over the years and sends hand-written messages and calls showering our volunteers and our organization with love, gratitude and prayers. Finally we presented a traveling award that we named "The Steve Binkley Award." It honors Steve, who in every way embodies what it means to give selflessly and in a way that continually honors God and those less fortunate. This award went to Dave Kattau, a member of the Carpenter’s Sons, who every single week co-leads a team of retirees that make wheelchair ramps for the disabled in our community. These individuals would not have access in and out of their homes to go to the grocery store, to their doctors appointments and to visit loved ones. No-one should be ever be confined to their homes.

Another way we have engaged our community is through Team NeighborLink. Our athletes raise money and 100% of the proceeds goes back to funding projects. Athletes can commit to fundraise during their athletic pursuits, they can simply wear our gear and get the word out about who we are and what we do or they can participate in our events. A large portion of our community participates in local athletic events so NL has hosted Night Moves 5K runs and cyclocross off-road bicycle racing events. There were a total of 26 NL hosted events in 2018 and between the events and athletes, our athletes raised almost $20k.

As we head into 2019, we look forward to continued partnerships. We recently completed our annual report and focused on the retiree groups that give their time every single week, our corporate partners such as Masters Heating & Cooling who donate 100% of labor to fix or install heaters, Momper & Sons who encourage their employees to take on NL projects between their insulation jobs, and The YMCA who is working hard to help their members be whole with mind, body and spirit who are on a mission to encourage their members to give back to their community through volunteerism. You can download that report here. NL 2018 Annual Report_SINGLE PAGES.pdf

Through growth and grant funding, NeighborLink was able to add five people to their staff this year (previously there were just 3!) These additions will enable us to help expand our outreach and visibility throug the community, through our churches, businesses, civic groups, athletes and individuals. And with the SEED Grant funds we were awarded through Ambassador Enterprises, we are going to create videos to tell our story. Which story? All of them - the journey’s of our neighborhoods, our city, our volunteers, our homeowners, our athletes, our events, our partners and so much more. We will also offer our video services to help other organization tell their stories who are doing great things in our community. It has and will always be our goal to not just complete projects but to build community, empathy, friendships and tolerance for each other, for our neighbors and for God. We’ll see you in 2019!



Hiring! Motion Graphics Apprentice

11-13-2018

NeighborLink is excited to announce the development of a video content driven Apprenticeship in collaboration with Punch Films. Wherever there are people, there are stories. Those stories unlock information necessary to educate, inform, and help us form our course of action when it comes to solving problems, being entertained, or in our case, trying to connect volunteers to neighbors in need. With over 2,500 requests for assistance a year, it can be hard for volunteers and donors to fully understand what we do, how to get started, and how their investment in our organization impacts the community. In an effort to overcome those barriers, we want to begin creating as much content as we can to tell stories, break down how NeighborLink works, and create content that educates volunteers on how to be good neighbors in practical ways. 

For the right candidate that is emerging from college or exploring what a career in creative storytelling or video production, this position may be a perfect fit. NeighborLink has endless content to create, various forms of content we want to make, and a creative sandbox that rarely exist for recent graduates. What we lack in expertise or technical support is being made up by our friends at Punch Films through mentorship, training, and large scale video production experiences. 

The successful candidate will get a team of content and communication strategy experts at NeighborLink that know what stories need told and how to tell them. They will get freedom to explore their creativity and be driven to hone their technical and interpersonal skills that are vital to be successful in this industry. Finally, they'll receive professional oversight and on-the-job training from one of the biggest video production companies regionally. In the end, the content they create will make a different for a small, grassroots nonprofit and in the lives of neighbors struggling with life's circumstances. 

This is a 1-year Apprenticeship commitment with the goal of creating the content we need at NeighborLink, to build a consistent, real-life portfolio of an emerging talent, and open doors for a full-time position as a motion-graphics or videography position within the local or regional community for the candidate. 

The job description is right here Motion Graphics Apprenticeship Job Description.pdf

Download, read over, and send your resumes/reel to Andrew@nlfw.org if you're interested in being consider. Window closes on December 7th. 

NeighborLink Vimeo Channel for examples of the content we've created in the past

2018 NeighborLink Fall Leaf Raking Assistance

10-29-2018

Fort Wayne, Ind ¦ October 29th, 2018 – The leaves are beginning to fall and we know there are many Fort Wayne residents that are seniors citizens or those with disabilities that cannot rake them to the curb on their own.  If you need help with your leaves this fall, please contact NeighborLink directly by calling 260.209.0074, or post your projects directly on the NeighborLink website at www.NLFW.org.

To Volunteer ¦ There are two ways to volunteer. You can either sign up on the NeighborLink website to tackle the projects that come in or you can identify a project in your neighborhood and connect directly to that neighbor. Join NeighborLink’s grass-roots effort to help our neighbors in need. Our goal is to do 100 leaf raking projects in 2018.

About NeighborLink Fort Wayne

NeighborLink Fort Wayne is a 501(c)3 non-profit Christian ministry that invites Fort Wayne residents and organizations to seek free assistance from their neighbors, and invites Fort Wayne residents to join volunteer project teams to provide free assistance.  NeighborLink Fort Wayne volunteers have completed 1,028 projects to date in 2018.

NeighborLink Fort Wayne’s mission is practical, neighbor-to-neighbor expressions of God's love.  For more information, or to donate or volunteer, visit www.nlfw.org call 260.209.0074.

Media Contact - Andrew Hoffman   260.209.0074