Love your neighbor.

NeighborLink is Hiring - Digital Content Creator AmeriCorp VISTA

10-14-2019

NeighborLink is currently recruiting AmeriCorps VISTA members for a NEWLY updated position. This position is for a Storytelling and Journalism Coordinator and this position gives NeighborLink the ability to increase our capacity while we grow as an organization, provide some phenomenal benefits to post-graduate candidates who may need a bit of space to figure out what is right for their career trajectory, and to evaluate new program areas. The right candidates will be passionate about serving their community in a real and tangible way. Below is more information on the position we are looking to fill as soon as possible. You'll be joining the NeighborLink team with two other AmeriCorp VISTA members that have recently joined our team. One is focused on Community Research and Engagement and the other is focusing on our Team NeighborLink program and also helping organize events. You'll be in great company. 

Storytelling and Journalism Coordinator 

NeighborLink at its core is a connecting organization that uses technology and story to connect neighbors wanting to help with those that are needing help. Those that need help find us and share all that they can in order to influence us to help them. Those that want to help know they want to help and will respond to the opportunity, but need to be told who needs the help, why they need it, and what can happen if they can help. We collect a lot of “data” every year and are always trying to find ways to turn that data into life giving information that influences others to action. We’re always telling the story of NL as it happens. 

We’ve been building a digital media team in the past year that includes a full-time videographer and a graphic designer/motion graphics person along with a director of communication. We’re looking to add a writer that has creative writing, journalism, and/or PR backgrounds that can join us to write stories and add depth to the content we’re creating. In addition, we’re looking for regular written pieces to come out via blogs, press releases, and long-form writing that are both telling immediate stories of neighbors we’re helping as well as trends related to the work we’re doing at a deeper level. Issues of poverty, fixed income homeowners trying to live in place, and the state of neighborhoods in local contexts. 

This has the potential to build our volunteer base, increase the depth of understanding and engagement of our existing volunteers, and increase the awareness of our organization in the public forum as being an innovative volunteer mobilization and neighborhood development organization. 

The right VISTA can expect to use their love of storytelling, writing, and research to bring out the core essence of NeighborLink. To find out more information and to apply, click on the link below:

Storytelling & Journalism Opportunity Listing


Contact us if you have specific questions. We'd love to talk to you before you apply if you have intial questions. 

Reach us: 

Megan@nlfw.org

260.209.0074

Bernie on a Journey - Part 13 - A Busy Multi-Week Recap

10-11-2019

It has been a busy series of weeks, which is why this blog will be a recap of not one, but 4 weeks worth of experiences, events and opportunities!

Vlogs have been happening, even if blogs have not, so if you need to catch up on those, just click here  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQZ084EPUv4&list=PLMeUIoRiiGE7FZogxh8zLritXfTPQbv4i

So we will start with the week of September 16-22, which was notable since it was the Regional Neighborhood Networking Conference for the latter half of the week. If you have never attended a RNNC, I would highly recommend it! It is a networking event where the best and brightest of 5 states (Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio) come together to discuss their endeavors and tips for how to make every community thrive.  

The RNNC changes location each year, but this time it was held in Fort Wayne, which gave me a whole new appreciation of the great work people have done to move Fort Wayne forward.

Key Concepts Collected Throughout the RNNC:

  • "You matter, and you are your neighborhoods greatest asset."
  • "What you do for me, without me, you do to me," all improvements need to be community-based and inclusive.
  • There isn't one solution to a community's ills, rather, there are many solutions that need to be implemented together.
  • Equip leaders in each community; help people get involved and use their voice, particularly from marginalized populations.
  • Leadership development must include cultural competency to figure out where people are isolated and include them.
  • "If you don't have knowledge, you still have friends"  - meaning use your resources and act when you feel convicted to do something. 
  • Partner and reach out with unexpected people, you never know who will respond. 
  • Give people enough space to grow and rise to the occasion. 

The keynote address was Shawn Dunwoody, a Rochester, N.Y. based artist,  who specializes in thought-provoking, participatory art, or as he put it, "organized confusion." As a part of the RNNC and the 2019 Art Crawl, Dunwoody allowed people to work on a new mural downtown off of Wayne Street in the alley near Caliente, while other service projects were going on around town. If you haven't checked out, please go visit it!


The next adventure was the Addison Agen and Legendary Trainhoppers Concert. We had a good turnout and were able to raise money for a roofing project, which was ultimately successfully funded. Thank you to all of you who attended and contributed financially to it and to our amazing performers!

  

Steve, Brendan and I at the USF Performing Arts Center before the concert started.

Steve and Brendan are our excellent videography team and they made sure the concert had awesome backdrops and photography. Steve has also been the force behind the 'Bernie on a Journey' videos, so these past few weeks he's been busy with that as usual. 


Then came the start of October, and with it, a wrap up of many summer projects. Most notably, phase 1 of our Healthy Neighborhoods Research project came to a close, which involved hours of editing and compiling data, with Andrew Hoffman(NL Executive Director) stepping in when I was sick for a few days. Additionally, the Homeowner Improvement Program has been wrapping up, meaning that there are last minute checks to process and checks to deliver.  

This week marked 4 months at Neighborlink and therefore, one-third through my AmeriCorps VISTA year! The weeks have passed quickly, always jam packed with community involvement and learning. Thank you for following along on this journey of service. I am so excited for the good work ahead!

Bernie on a Journey - Part 12 - September 13, 2019

09-17-2019

This past week was spent focused on making connections and using social time as a way to build relationships!

The first way this happened was through the North Highlands Block Party. 

Click below to see a video from the event: 

Rather than making this event solely for their neighborhood, North Highlands decided to include others around them, including: Bloomingdale, Hamilton, West State Court, Frank Park, and Lincoln Park neighborhoods. Little Turtle Library also came out to support the neighborhoods, and a multitude of other businesses donated either gifts for the raffle, 

or even came out to the event to provide food.

The police department and fire department also had a presence doing demonstrations explaining K9 officers and letting people explore their work vehicles. 

It was a great event showcasing the benefits of people spending time to get to know others around them. It builds community and helps increase the feeling of safety and comfort for an area.

The second event of the week that showcased how social events can build community was the Fairfield Manor Social hosted by Williams Woodland Park Neighborhood. Fairfield Manor is a historic apartment building that actually resides in Williams Woodland Neighborhood. However, due to the insular nature of an apartment, the residents of the neighborhood and the apartment don’t really know each other, despite living so close together. 

So instead of a meeting where there was an agenda, Williams Woodland leadership and a handful of Manor residents planned a two hour social event where people could naturally meet one another. It actually allowed many residents of the Manor to get to know each other, too. 

Incorporating the Manor residents into Williams Woodland is mutually beneficial; it brings a new pool of volunteers and interested people in for Williams Woodland events and petitions, and it helps the Manor residents feel less stuck inside, because now they have Williams Woodland neighbors to hang out with.  


These events were very encouraging to partake in because wherever people connect - there is power. Power to transform their neighborhood, community and the world. People connected are people empowered. 

How connected(i.e. empowered) are you?