This past Wednesday we held our annual year end celebration on the campus of Indiana Tech. The room was lined with pictures of volunteers, homeowners, athletes, and families displaying all the good that was NeighborLink this year. It was a wonderful evening spent in fellowship with supporters of the organization while highlighting all of the great things that happened in 2019 as well as giving out volunteer awards. We wanted to give special recognition to volunteers that have gone above and beyond for NeighborLink and those they serve in our community. We encourage you to read below to learn about this year’s award recipients and the impact they’ve made.
Dennis Dan - Neighbor-to-Neighbor Award
Dennis Dan is one of those rare people that became a volunteer at NeighborLink after receiving help. Dan asked for help with snow removal back in February due to a recent surgery. Dennis is a guy that believes in paying it forward and has a long history of helping others any chance he can get. As soon as Dennis was recovered enough from his surgery, he was volunteering with us and has taken on numerous transportation projects. Dennis is warm, kind, thoughtful, and cares for those he transports.
E-gineering - Link Award
Building a web-based platform for NeighborLink is an expensive and complicated process, and there isn’t a week that goes buy that we aren’t working on our website. Finding a partner that understands software and technology, cares about the work you’re trying to do, and aligns philosophically and even missionally is vital to the success our organization. We began working with E-gineering in 2018 after outgrowing our previous developers capacity, and they have been an incredible partner. In the past two years, they have donated over 3,000 hours not because we’re asking for it, but because they believe in our mission fully and want invest in our organization. We’ve developed a true partnership and are continue to find ways to support each others businesses.
John McGauley - Outdoorsman Award
John is a member of Concordia Lutheran Church and helps lead a group of members in a program they call, Concordia Cares as well taking on projects with his wife, Nancy. John has a passion for serving others as a way to help them navigate life’s circumstances and as a way to illustrate Christ’s love to neighbors in need. John brings his expertise to project selection, planning, and execution. We have been blessed by his leadership and tenacity to get bigger projects completed over the past two years. He’s navigated some significant projects that have helped those homeowners get through challenging circumstances.
Carpenter’s sons - Team Work Makes the Dream Work Award
One of the greatest aspects of any dedicated group of volunteers is the relationships that are formed within the group itself. The Carpenter’s Sons of the St. Vincent De Paul Society of St. Vincent De Paul Catholic Church are a diverse, talented, energetic, inspiring, caring, and mostly retired group of people that seem to have found a groove with each other and within NeighborLink among several other organizations. Members of this group of around 30 different volunteers dedicate a handful of hours to over 20 hours a week to organizing, planning, and completing over 500 projects this year. It’s an honor to celebrate their collective efforts with the “Team Work Makes The Dream Work” Award for their continued efforts to enjoy one another while engaging with our homeowners with grace, kindness, and desire to connect relationally.
Sunrise Cafe - Mehrdad Dehmiri - Alliance Award
Every on-going group of volunteers needs a place to get together and if you’ve ever been in Sunrise Cafe off Dupont Rd on Tuesday mornings at 8am for the past 5 years, you’ve seen a group of 20-25 Carpenter’s Sons right in the middle of the restaurant. When you show up 48-50 weeks a year, a relationship forms between everyone involved, including owners and key waiters and waitresses. This has been the case with the owner of Sunrise Cafe, Mehrdad. Merhrdad is always very welcoming, humble, and greets everyone with enthusiasm.
Parker Crosby - The Steve Binkley Award
The Steve Binkley Award was created to identify and affirm the pursuit of kingdom minded service in an individual’s life that has shown an ongoing commitment loving others at NeighborLink and beyond. It is named after one our most dedicated volunteers that exhibits an ongoing pursuit of getting to know “who his neighbor is,” what it means to love them well, and how to allow those experiences to facilitate personal and spiritual transformation in himself. Steve Binkley continues to be an active leader and volunteer with the Grub & Go Guys and inspires the work of so many others at NeighborLink. This year the award went to Parker Crosby. Parker is a young man that made an intentional effort to begin living a life of service several years ago and continues to pursue the path of being a leader that invites us all to be more actively involved in loving our neighbors and causes that are important to us.
NeighborLink wouldn’t be where it is today without all of our volunteers and supporters. We thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for the time and energy your’ve poured into loving your neighbor. We celebrate all that was 2019 and look forward to where God leads us in 2020.