Love your neighbor.

The Final Turnstone Ramp


Without Turnstone Center for Children and Adults with Disabilities we wouldn’t be building as many ramps as we do today. They were the recipient of a WOWO News/Talk 1190 AM & 107.5 FM Penny Pitch grant several years ago that was designated for building ramps. As Turnstone continued to growth into the organization they are today, they knew they needed a partner who was better equipped at managing a program that aligned with home modification projects and the volunteers needed to do them. 

Turnstone invited us to help facilitate the ramp program, which we did thanks to members of the Carpenters Sons and some of the previous volunteers that built ramps for years before we got involved. It started off slowly as we developed the process, but quickly picked up and almost two hundred ramps have been built, repaired or repurposed in the past three years thanks to this funding. That funding has been vital to ability to respond quickly to requests and be able to move with fewer barriers due to knowing there is trust that we use the funding wisely. 

We were able to embrace Turnstone's client co-pay model that encouraged participation at various levels since day one, which helps those dollars go even further. Each ramp costs us around $700 in materials and on average is 25ft long. 

Those funds are finally gone and we are grateful for Turnstone's partnership and trust. Because of that funding and the volunteers responsible for doing the work, there are over 200 people that have one less mobility barrier to overcome on a daily basis. The ramp program lives on healthily as we have been able to continue to fundraise throughout the years to ensure we have a budget to keep our volunteers mobilized. 

Bernie on a Journey - Part 21 - December 6, 2019


This week’s Vlog explained why neighborhood associations need money and why big events like the Williams-Woodland Holiday Home Tour can be so beneficial to neighborhoods!


It’s already December! I can hardly believe how fast the year has gone! In a few days I will be officially halfway through my AmeriCorps year at NeighborLink, which is a very bittersweet thing to realize and reflect upon. I have accomplished so little and yet so much. I have met so many people, but I still have countless people I need to meet. 

Here are my highlights, thus far!

In June, I hit the ground running, diving into the Homeowner Incentive Program, which is a grant program for exterior home improvements tied to our research project. I also started neighborhood walks and attending neighborhood association meetings to get to know the residents. 

July’s highlights were related to service project work. I was able to participate in “Be A Good Neighbor Week!” and in my first roofing project. Plus, served alongside the Carpenter’s Sons to build a ramp.

August was highly devoted to research and training.As a part of VISTA service we are all able to go to a regional professional training. My training was in Chicago and it was an incredible week of networking with other VISTAs and learning how to better serve NeighborLink. 

September saw the Regional Neighborhood Networking Conference, which was inspiring and informative, plus it was awesome to realize how many people I knew at the event based on my attendance at regional partnership and neighborhood association meetings. As a part of the RNNC, I was also able to help paint a mural downtown with New York based artist, Shawn Dunwoody. NeighborLink also hosted their first concert in September with Addison Agen and The Legendary Trainhoppers performing. 

In October, work began to wind down and my focus went to finishing Phase 1 of our Healthy Neighborhoods Research document, summary and press release. 

In November, although many things happened, my favorite aspect was attending Purdue Fort Wayne’s Seminar with the Federal Reserve of Chicago on the Community Reinvestment Act. It was heartening to see the different sectors present, all striving to help disadvantaged communities thrive. 

Although, December has barely begun, I am already looking forward to two things: the  Williams-Woodland Holiday Home Tour (because I love meeting people and seeing beautiful houses) and the NeighborLink End of Year event (because we have so much to celebrate!).

I am so excited to see what the next 6 months bring my way. Thank you all for accompanying me on this journey!

By the numbers:

1 appearance on TV representing NeighborLink/ promoting our Addison Agen Concert

1 press release written

2x voiced audio for advertisements or recordings

20 Blogs

21 Vlogs

42 HIP checks delivered

46 mtgs/events on nights or weekends

84 notes/ sites clipped in my Google Keep related to research

612 emails sent

1064 emails received

Immeasurable things learned and gained :) 

Giving Tuesday!


NeighborLink exists to connect neighbors in need with the time, talents and resources of neighbors ready to help. This year alone we have facilitated over 1,300 practical expressions neighbors loving their neighbors in need and this year for #GivingTuesday we invite you to pledge a monthly contribution.

What would it look like for you to give your time once a month to rake leaves or shovel snow?

Sign Up to Volunteer Here!

What would it look like for you to skip your morning coffee once a month to chip in on a wheelchair ramp or to replace a furnace?

Register to Make a Monthly Donation Here! ( Simply hit the make a donation button and there is a checkbox to make it monthly)

We believe that "Small Things Change Neighborhoods" because when we do the small things, over time it changes us.