My journey with NeighborLink Fort Wayne has had me going from just showing up to leading my own projects to leading our church's local service efforts called GO Day. I have had the privilege of being the ED of NeighborLink Fort Wayne and the NeighborLink Network for the past 11 years. NeighborLink has been a perfect place for life, purpose, and vocation to blend together for me.
NeighborLink's mission is to facilitate practical, neighbor-to-neighbor expressions of God's love. We do this by leveraging technology to connect vulnerable homeowners and local churches or volunteer groups who are looking for each other. Throughout every community, there are senior citizens, people with disabilities, low-income families, and neighbors facing life's circumstances that have run out of options when it comes to having their tangible needs met. Our country has incredible social service nets to catch many of the needs, but we've learned that there are gaping holes in those nets, especially when it comes to housing related needs. NeighborLink provides one last opportunity for these neighbors, and assists by amplifying their voices the way only online tools can.
Just like the needs among us, there are countless churches, businesses, youth organizations, and service oriented clubs looking for meaningful service opportunities. They are looking for one-time, highly relational opportunities to love their neighbors by offering their skills and resources to do what that homeowner can not. They are also looking for opportunities that can be coordinated directly with the person in need and sometimes in a matter of hours.
The heart of NeighborLink revolves around removing as many of the barriers between those that need help and those looking to help out. We do all of this because we see a breakdown of relationship and community with one another. Families are broken, seniors are lonely, and society moves at such a fast pace that if we cannot keep up, we get left behind. At NeighborLink, we care more about relationships than we do the number of projects we complete each year, and we consider it a success when a family or small group begin to care for their neighbor on an ongoing basis.
Technology is a beautiful thing, and we see it connect thousands of people each year in Fort Wayne and throughout the NeighborLink affiliates and non-affiliates that use our tool. Since 2008, we have seen our model launched in 13 other cities, big and small, throughout the United States.
This is just a little bit of our story. I never turn down the opportunity to share more of our story, so reach out if you want to learn more.