Love your neighbor.

The Power of an Intentional Birthday


Each time our lives revolve around the sun, our birthday appears. We all have different feelings about our birthdays based on years before and I've learned that it ebbs and flows each year. Over the past decade, I've become increasingly aware of the privilege and resource that I have in stark contrast to those I know that don't. I also reflect on the idea that I'm not very good at waiting until my birthday or other gift giving holidays to purchase the things that catch my eye. Overall, I'm not a huge fan of the attention that birthdays tend to create and would rather see a birthday quickly pass by. All the attention makes me feel uncomfortable. 

Four years ago I decided that I could redirect the attention on me to things I'm most passionate about, which are projects at NeighborLink. Along with two other friends of NeighborLink, we all created Birthday Campaigns to raise money for NL projects needing assistance as well as the 10th Birthday of NeighborLink. That sparked something incredible, which tapped into a whole host of folks that chose to support our campaigns instead of buying presents, a coffee, or whatever way they show love the best. 

Each year since, I've created a Birthday Campaign to leverage the attention that would be directed my way via social media and with family/friends with the goal of raising at least $500 for a project waiting for funding. This year, I set the goal of raising $500 in one day. The donations started coming in and by the end of the day on Facebook, I had raised $470. My first time using Facebooks donate button in your newsfeed post, which worked great. On the NLFW website, additional donations were coming in and I was at $480 there. By the morning after my birthday, I was at $950 total dollars. An hour later after telling everyone just how much money they raised, the goal had been doubled and $1000 is now ready to purchase materials for a neighbor in need. 

I like gifts a lot and I have a long list of things I'd like to purchase, but the feeling of generosity and grace poured out on your behalf to help a cause important to me is far better than any material item I could have received. The love of my friends and family is felt with or without a donation. If you've ever thought the same things about having everything you want/need or thinking you should do something for someone else like this, don't delay. 

I would encourage you to find the cause most important to you and give up your birthday. The amount you raise is the least important aspect of the choice to be give the generosity you receive to someone else. That's grace. That's love. 


NeighborLink is Hiring - Volunteer Recruitment Director


5.25 Update - Position has been filled!

NeighborLink Fort Wayne Foundation, Inc.

Volunteer Engagement Director Job Summary

NeighborLink has a vision to see the local Church of Fort Wayne, local businesses, civic groups, and concerned neighbors join together to serve 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 who cannot physically or financially perform those tasks. The successful candidate will be passionate about casting the vision of NeighborLink while recruiting new volunteer communities in the local community. This candidate will have a heart for neighborhood development, will be the champion of the NeighborLink model, and be responsible for implementing our mission of Practical, Neighbor-to-Neighbor Expressions of God’s Love. 

Responsible to:

NeighborLink Executive Director

General Details:

Full-time position (40 hours)

Start date: 5.1.17

General Duties and Responsibilities:

Community Outreach & Network Development 

Contact and recruit local churches, businesses, neighborhood associations, civic groups, and any group that could be potential volunteers. You’ll set a lot of meetings, do as much networking as you can, and be consistent in introducing as many people as you can to the NeighborLink story. 

Resource Development

While recruiting and attracting volunteers, you’ll also have the opportunity to help NL raise funds to support crowdfunding projects, sponsorship opportunities, or solicit in-kind support. While you’re building relationships, you’ll be aware of fundraising opportunities. 

Introducing Purpose to Existing Communities  

We are constantly connecting people, building communities, and introducing NL to existing communities looking for opportunities to add purpose to their efforts. Team NeighborLink is a perfect example of how we’ve been using athletics to attract, connect, and empower athletes to raise awareness, become volunteers, and fund raise on our behalf. Being an active athlete is a plus. 

Administrative Functions

Have a outreach plan that includes who you’re targeting, how you’re reaching them, what your goals are, and how it benefits NeighborLink. Initiate and journey with new volunteer communities into their first project as a way to build relationships and maintain consistency. 

Prepare and Circulate Monthly Activity Reports

Forward Executive Director each month a summary of activities and meetings for the prior month.

Must Haves:

Must be aligned with the goals and mission of NeighborLink to foster neighborhood development and have a relationships vs projects mentality. 

Previous sales and/or relationship development experience with a proven history of results and an existing professional/personal network. 

The desire to talk, interact, and build relationships with a large number of people from a diverse range of socioeconomic statuses. You know no strangers and have a desire to make connections.  

Efficiency working with current social networking websites (Twitter, Facebook, Vimeo, etc.), Apple software products, and be able to know when to pick up the phone and make a phone call. 


You Can Talk to Anyone 

You are energized by human interactions and communication. You can show up to a place you’ve never been and feel entirely comfortable engaging and talking to people about a wide variety of topics. The successful candidate will be tasked with showing up in places like this with the goal of raising awareness for NL and recruiting volunteers for projects.  

Your Self-Motivated & Driven to Succeed 

This position requires a self-motivated and driven individual that loves to meet goals. This is a sales role with purpose. You can research, make phone calls, get to the decision maker, and don’t need to wait for direction. 

You’re Reliable, Flexible & Able to Work Independently

If you say you’re going to do something, you mean it. You return phone calls, emails, and never miss a meeting you didn’t communicate about. Since you’ll be driven by relationships and new opportunities, the need to be available some evenings and weekends will be necessary.

You’re The Leader & Designer of the Plan 

NeighborLink is as flat of an organization that you’ve ever seen. You’ll need to be able to understand the vision, take direction, ask for feedback, and then run with it. We need a competent individual that understands that their role is as important as any other role in the organization and wants to take ownership of helping the organization grow. 


Please email your resume to

You can download a PDF of this Job Description here. 

Volunteer Engagement Job Description.pdf

NeighborLink In The News


Thank you to WANE-TV reporter, Michael, for interviewing and doing a feature piece on our work at NeighborLink last week. We have been fortunate to have volunteers complete over 115 projects to date this year, which is ahead of our scheduled goal of doing 1,000 projects in 2017. The number of projects is just a benchmark of progress for us and not our main driving force. We have a strong desire to recruit new communities of volunteers and help our existing volunteers find even more ways to help neighbors. If we do good at that, then we'll hit that 1,000 number. 

At the end of the day and at the end of this story, we care about the relationships we get to form over the scale of the projects. We've gotten to meet a great guy in Carl during a difficult season of his life and provide some positivity by helping him overcome some barriers difficult for himself to do alone.