The Difference You Make
NeighborLink volunteers often wonder whether they're making an actual difference, having an impact, or even doing the right thing when it comes to taking on projects. The transactional nature of most projects leave less time for getting to know someone in a meaningful way than we'd like. Those volunteers that have had the opportunity to journey with a neighbor for months or years at a time do get to form relationships and gain the understanding of impact, but it can be hard to really know given the dynamics of giving, receiving, or transacting help.
For all of you that wonder whether you're making a difference or not, read the following note we received recently. Let this be a testimony that what you're doing matters whether you hear directly from the neighbor you're helping or not.
A neighbor reached out to us in early 2016 with the need of a new wheelchair ramp at her home for her adult daughter that has had a variety of life-long disabilities. The ramp they had was old, broken down, and had one long stretch that made it challenging. Our team of retired men that love to build wheelchair ramps connected with this family in mid-summer and by the end of the fall had built them a new wheelchair ramp. The family was overjoyed and the men got to know the family over those couple of months. At the end of the project, everyone was impacted by the project and the beginning of relationships formed.
Unfortunately, the daughter became ill in late fall, couldn't quite recover, and passed away in February. We received the below note from a neighbor/friend and a sweet slideshow she created for the family. Life is complicated, often seemingly unfair, and at times brief. One thing is for sure, there are always opportunities to be able to journey with each other in times of need no matter how long or short they may be.
I wanted to reach out to you and the group in case you haven’t heard, that (neighbor) passed away on 2/18/17 at Lutheran Hospital. She had been hospitalized for several weeks due to respiratory issues. She had been gradually going down and her needs increasing since November, and I never got a chance to send you a thank you for the ramps. They meant so much to us and she was excited to have them. Forgive my poor memory right now, but when the 2 gentlemen came at Christmas to give us the coin boxes, I was overwhelmed. I don’t know when a gift meant so much or brightened my heart as much as they did. Not for the dollar value, but for the love, care and support behind them.
I have such a high respect for the organization and the people who give of their time and hearts to help others in need. I hope one day I might be able to join the group and pass along some of my skills to help someone.
Please extend my heartfelt thank you to everyone who gave their time and help to us. I don’t know if I’m going to continue to need the ramp for myself or not, but should my health improve, I will pass the ramp and/or lumber on to someone else.
I thought you might enjoy seeing the slide show and reading the Remembering (neighbor) obit I wrote for her.
Blessings to you and the rest of the team, Jeff.
Summer Intern Spotlight - Kassidy Zurbuch
Summer Intern Spotlight - Jesse Harris
NeighborLink Welcomes Eric Wood as Executive Director
A Light on My Path: First Year Reflection
Why is it so hard to ask for help?
Making a Difference for Deb
Executive Director Job Description
Andrew's Parting Thoughts
Thank You For The Past 13 Years
2020 Volunteer of the Year Awards
Reflections With Robert - Revolutionary - August 31, 2020
Reflections With Robert - Community - August 17, 2020
Reflections With Robert - Between Waking and Sleeping - August 3, 2020
4th Annual Be A Good Neighbor Week Recap
Reflections With Robert - The Greatest Art - July 13, 2020
Now Hiring: Project Facilitator
Summer Intern Spotlight - Ben Richards
Reflections With Robert - Strangers and Sojourners - July 5, 2020
Summer Intern Spotlight - Kyle Zurbuch
Reflections With Robert - In Silence - June 29, 2020
Reflections With Robert - Enemy Territory - June 20, 2020
Reflections With Robert - When the Conscience Speaks -June 12, 2020
Reflections With Robert - Sumer of Love - May 29, 2020
Reflections With Robert - The First Four Months - May 22, 2020
Reflections With Robert - Strangers Into Neighbors - May 15, 2020
Reflections With Robert - Rebirth - May 8, 2020
PRESS RELEASE: $5,000 Grant from AWS Foundation
Reflections With Robert - City of Smiles - April 24, 2020
PRESS RELEASE: $25,000 Grant from Foellinger Foundation
Reflections With Robert - Blessed are the Poor - April 17, 2020
Now Hiring: Videographer
Reflections With Robert - Mindfulness - April 10, 2020
How Churches Can Use NeighborLink During Covid-19
Reflections With Robert - Quan Am - April 2, 2020
Reflections With Robert - Siopao - March 27, 2020
NeighborLink's Role as an Essential Non-Profit
How To Post Additional Projects For Same Neighbor
Reflections With Robert - Ancient Wisdom for Modern Times - March 23, 2020
Loving Your Neighbor, One Call at a Time
In the Aftermath
How to Love Your Neighbor (In Times Like These)
3.16.20 Press Release - NEIGHBORLINK FORT WAYNE RESPONSE PLANS TO COVID-19
Volunteer Opportunities - Food Delivery
Volunteer Recommendations During COVID-19 - updated 4/6/21
3.13.20 - OUR COVID-19 RESPONSE
NL Renewing Partnership with AmeriCorps for Exciting Job Opportunities
Reflections With Robert - Moving Day - March 9, 2020
Reflections With Robert - Smidging - March 2, 2020
Bernie on a Journey - Part 28 - February 28, 2020
Reflections With Robert - Margin - February 24, 2020
Bernie on a Journey - Part 27 - February 22, 2020
Reflections With Robert - Abad - February 17, 2020
Bernie on a Journey - Part 26 - February 14, 2020
Reflections With Robert - Pothole - February 10, 2020
Bernie on a Journey - Part 25 - February 7, 2020
Bernie on a Journey - Part 24 - January 31, 2020
Reflections With Robert - Journey to Day One - February 3, 2020
Bernie on a Journey - Part 23 - January 10, 2020
Bernie on a Journey - Part 22 - December 20, 2019
Celebrating Another Great Year at NeighborLink
The Final Turnstone Ramp
Bernie on a Journey - Part 21 - December 6, 2019
Bernie on a Journey - Part 20 - November 29, 2019
Bernie on a Journey - Part 19 - November 22, 2019
Bernie on a Journey - Part 18 - November 15, 2019
What Makes a Healthy Neighborhood, Healthy? Research Report
Bernie on a Journey - Part 17 - November 8, 2019
Bernie on a Journey - Part 16 - November 1, 2019
Bernie on a Journey - Part 15 - October 25, 2019
Bernie on a Journey - Part 14 - October 21, 2019
Bernie on a Journey - Part 13 - A Busy Multi-Week Recap
Bernie on a Journey - Part 12 - September 13, 2019
Bernie on a Journey - Part 11 - September 6, 2019
Bernie on a Journey - Part 10 - August 30, 2019
NeighborLink Fort Wayne Teams up with Addison Agen to Host Concert
Bernie on a Journey - Part 9 - August 23, 2019
Bernie on a Journey - Part 8 - August 16, 2019
Recent Website Improvements
Bernie on a Journey - Part 7 - August 9, 2019
Bernie on a Journey - Part 6 - August 2, 2019
Bernie On A Journey - Part 5 - July 26, 2019
Bernie On A Journey - Part 4 - July 19, 2019
Bernie On A Journey - Part 3 - July 12, 2019
Bernie On A Journey - Part 2 - June 27, 2019
Bernie On A Journey - Part 1 - June 24, 2019
Let???s start from the top???At The Link with Steve Erick
Home Incentive Program (HIP) & What Makes A Healthy Neighborhood Healthy
Who's Posting All The Projects?
NeighborLink Teams Up with AmeriCorps for Exciting Job Opportunities
Showing Up for 15 Years
Hiring! Motion Graphics Apprentice
2018 NeighborLink Fall Leaf Raking Assistance
Hiring! Videographer Apprentice
Be A Good Neighbor Week Recap
NeighborLink In The News Recently
We're offering a Home Owner Improvement Grant: Is it for you?
The Wheel Chair Ramp Story
An Opportunity to be a Good Neighbor
NeighborLink Welcomes Three New Staff
NeighborLink Growing Again
At The Table Lunch Series
Innovation Comes In Many Forms
Gardens For Good Collaboration
2018 Be A Good Neighbor Week - July 9-14th
2017 Annual Report
We're In This Together
Finding the Intersection - AWS Foundation
Living out a Familiar Call in Unfamiliar Ways - Brotherhood Mutual
A Mission To Serve - The Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne
A New Era of Nonprofit Leadership - Foellinger Foundation
On Investing Well - M.E. Raker Foundation
2017 - NeighborLink Year End Event
#GivingTuesday - Help Rolland Get Heat
Love Tells A Story - Year-End Event
A Day In The Life of Jeff Shatto
Recap of "Be a Good Neighbor Week"
Why Be a Good Neighbor Week
Be a Good Neighbor Week - July 10th - 14th
The Power of an Intentional Birthday
NeighborLink is Hiring - Volunteer Recruitment Director
NeighborLink In The News
The Difference You Make
New NeighborLink Features & Changes
9 Years and Counting
2016 - "At The Link" - Where We're At
700 Completed Projects in 2016
New NeighborLink Website!
St Vincent DePaul Society - Year End Impact
100 Completed Projects in a Month!
Leaf Raking Season Is Here!
The Sacrifice of Giving
Team NL Cyclocross Riders Are Cycling to Raise $6000+ for Neighbors in Need
NeighborLink Collaborates with Bravas
When You Can't Help Everyone
Summer Recap and Looking Forward
Behind Our "Get Out of Your House" Video
Recap of August Service Days
Update on NeighborLink's Search for a New Building
What I Learned While Volunteering
Jake & Mallory Shinneman, Team NeighborLink
Update on $100,00 Grant
Gay Penland, Volunteer
Ben Steele, Team NeighborLink Ambassador
25 Years Strong: Dayton Group Keeps Serving, This Year in Fort Wayne
Here's What's Been Happening with Mission Serve This Week
Spending a Day with Jeff Shatto, Director of Mobilization
The Alveys, Neighbors
Chris Minick, Neighbor
JP & Grub 'n Go
Kami's Reflection on Internship Experience
Carol Kortokrax, Neighbor
Intern Nicole Talks About Her Experience So Far
NeighborLink Completes 15th Wheelchair Ramp for 2016!
Kat Reflects on First Few Weeks of Her Internship
Even More Website Updates
The $100,000 Update
We're Hiring! Program Support Person
Want $5,000 To Help A Neighbor In Need? We've Got it.
NeighborLink Partners with the City of Fort Wayne
Missional Coffee Gatherings with NeighborLink
New Committees at NeighborLink
NeighborLink Searching for Contractors to Hire To Skilled Projects
2016 Winter Training Series
Furnace Fundraising Report
Neighbors At The Table Event Recap
Feathers For Heat - Fundraising Campaign
Meet Elisa Layton, NL's New Program Director
It's Leaf Raking Season
Esther Gets New Roof!
NeighborLink Receives $8,000 Grant
NeighborLink Fort Wayne Receives $500 Donation from AT&T
I'm Growing and I'm Grateful
NeighborLink Women's Breakfast Gathering
New Feature - Text & Email Notifications
A Family Affair: The Story of the Menefe Roofing Project
NLFW.org Features - Service Events
Volunteers Respond to Fort Wayne Flooding
NeighborLink Welcomes Summer Intern, Katie Fair
Meet Millie! Our New Mobile Project Management Vehicle
Running For a Roof
Can Burgers Make a Difference?
Volunteering In Crisis Situations
March 28th - Intro to NL & Volunteer Training
Creating Project Type Maps
Volunteering: Small Things Make Big Changes
Walking In Winter
The Extra Step
NeighborLink Seeking Design Intern
Recent NeighborLink Website Updates!
NeighborLink Network Android App Launches!
NeighborLink Welcomes Heather Schoegler to its Board of Directors
Volunteers Painted 122 City of Fort Wayne Fire Hydrants
It's Leaf Raking Season!
NeighborLink To Present at IN Statewide Conference on Oct 1st
Recent Website Updates
"How Many Yards Can You Mow In One Day?"
The Committed Few
Roxanne's Landscaping Project
Team NeighborLink Meet & Greet Info Session
35 Volunteers Help at Camp Red Cedar
Summer Volunteer Schedule at NeighborLink
Fundraiser Success! Allena Got a Hot Water Heater
Not Your Usual Birthday
Project Recap: St Francis Students Paint Garage
Project 200 in 2014 Just Completed!
IPFW Big Event Recap
Welcome Jeff Shatto To NLFW
NL Welcomes Derek Webb - May 24th
Moving Project Success
Exploring the Role of Dignity at NeighborLink
New Website Overview
The Crossing & NeighborLink Partner
We Always Appreciate the Promotion
The Beauty in the Challenge
2013 Year In Review
NeighborLink Year-End Event - December 3rd
Neighbor Of The Year Nomination
A Little Thank You
Brett Meyer Is Raising $1000 For NeighborLink At Fort4Fitness
Who Will You Nominate for Neighbor of the Year?
Intern Update: Last Day (For real this time)
Big Advice Can Come in Small Packages
Intern Update: LAST DAY...sort of.
Tip #3: Have Conversations with your Neighbors
Lula & Willie's New Railings
Lunch and Learn - Heather Schoegler
Tip #2: Lend a Hand
New Porch Completed!
NeighborLink joins 3 Rivers Raft Race!
Intern Update: How Time Flies
Tip #1: Take Cookies To Your Neighbor
Code Enforcement Is A Great Partner
Putting forth the Effort
Lunch & Learn: Joe & Becky
Rejecting Apathy in Service
Empowering the Youth!
Lord, I Need You
Do more than exist.
Top 5 Things to know about working for NL
Project #4461: Coming Together to Help Roberta
Be Extraordinary in the Ordinary!
Lunch n' Learn: John Barce
A World of Beauty
What Makes a Great Neighbor?
Hydrants: Round One = Complete
Small Things Impacting Neighborhoods
An Honest Confession
An Intern Update: Reflecting at Yummee's
Let us Celebrate the Crowd Funding!
Relationships vs. the Works
Scraping, Painting, & Learning
Love Your Neighbor As Yourself.
Appreciating the Fire Hydrants
Introducing Your NL Interns
Connecting The Dots: Team NeighborLink
Intern Update By Andrew & Jon - 5.7.13
NeighborLink Fort Wayne Birthday Campaign
This Makes It Worth It
Weigand Construction Volunteers With NeighborLink Fort Wayne
Thank You For Your Service
Cornerstone Youth Center Spring Break Project 2013
Engaging the Recipient Training Notes
Intern Update By Andrew & Jon - 4.8.13
NLFW.org Hack-A-Thon! Friday, April 26th
New Coach Resource
Update - Urgent Moving Project - It's Almost Done
Summer Internship Opportunities
Small Things Video Series - Food
How Projects Get Funded at NeighborLink
We Love Getting Thank You Cards
We Still Get Surprised
We're Looking For Web Developers
Where Are You Going to Sit?
The Justice Conference - Simulcast in Fort Wayne
Intern Update By Andrew & Jon
Funded Project Report - Project 4243
10 Things We're Working On In 2013
Meet The New Interns - Jonathan Purdy
Meet The New Interns - Andrew Schnurr
10 Things You Should Know About How 2012 Went at NeighborLink
1st Successfully Funded Project in 2013
Thanks, Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year
New Love Your Neighbor T-Shirts
Our Reflect. Rejoice. Renew. Event was a Success!
Core Philosophies Reminder
Reflect. Rejoice. Renew. Film
A Conversation Between Two Pastors - Part 4
A Conversation Between Two Pastors - Part 3
A Conversation Between Two Pastors - Part 2
A Conversation Between Two Pastors - Part 1
Calling Artists for December 10th Event
Thanks Three Rivers Wesleyan!
Going from Volunteer to Coach
4th Annual Leaf Raking Challenge - Nov 10th
Around The Block - Telling The Stories of NeighborLink
The People of The Second Chance
Energizing Indiana & NeighborLink Fort Wayne
NeighborLink, Meet Viola..Your Neighbor
Volunteers Exceeded 500 Projects in 2012!
Casting New Vision For the NLFW Advisory Group
Jeff Shatto Rides 682 Miles For NeighborLink Fort Wayne
Raise The Roof Was a Success!
Our First Fully Crowd-Funded Project!
New Kid on The Block - Week 6 - HEART
Raise The Roof Promo Video
New Kid on The Block - Week 5 - PURPOSE: IT???S FOR THE BIRDS
The Story of Grub & Go - New Videos
Raise The Roof - 5 Roofs in One Weekend!
New Kid on The Block - Week 4 - OFF THE RECORD
The Power in Showing Up
New Kid on The Block - Week 3 - Originality is Overrated
Living In The Tension of Serving
NeighborLink Network Retreat - We all Need Community
New Kid on The Block - Week 2 - "Decent"
New Kid on the Block - Week 1 Recap
Great American Cleanup Was a Success!
NeighborLink Fort Wayne & The Great American Cleanup
Cornerstone Landscape Group Serves NeighborLink Recipients
Northeast Fort Wayne Service Days Announced
NLFW Wants to Partner With Contractors
NeighborLink Fort Wayne Launches Crowdfunding Tool
Team NeighborLink & Fort 4 Fitness Spring Cycle
Longing For More Workers - Reflections on the Harvest