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  • Writer's picturePatrick O'Neill

Local church partners with NeighborLink to help neighbors

Mrs. Bond received a phone call from her neighbor a few blocks away and was expecting to chat about the typical goings-on in the neighborhood. Things like, “did you see that house that’s being remodeled on 37th Street?” Or jumping into the typical fall foliage talk like, “Can you believe how beautiful maple trees are this autumn?” This call was different though. This call was providing a resource Mrs. Bond never expected but definitely needed—help.

The neighbor launched into telling her about a group called “NeighborLink” that was offering to help folks in the neighborhood with needed home repairs and yard cleanups. She asked if she had any need for some help. Naturally, Mrs. Bond was surprised. “Of course,” Mrs. Bond said, “I have weeds that are grown up taller than my garage.”

That simple “yes” started the ball rolling. Mrs. Bond was connected with NeighborLink Indianapolis and was able to discuss the things in her yard that needed help, but then, you know, while she’s got them on the phone. . .maybe they could take a look at her neighbor’s home too. Mr. Goode could really use some help. Neighbor to neighbor is exactly how NeighborLink started and how it thrives.

Mapleton-Fall Creek Neighborhood has changed a lot since the 1980’s when Mrs. Bond moved in. One thing that has remained constant though, is her involvement in the neighborhood. Mrs. Bond used to help her neighbors by cutting their grass or trimming their weeds. Coincidentally, in recent years that has become the very thing that is too difficult for her to continue helping with. Though Mrs. Bond has been unable to physically be as active in her community, she has been able to remain socially active.

A recent addition to the ever-evolving neighborhood is New Circle Church. They have had a presence in the neighborhood off-and-on for nearly a decade but just recently were able to purchase one of the long-standing church buildings in the neighborhood and have been working hard to integrate themselves in the community. One of those ways has been to partner with NeighborLink on organizing group projects for their congregation, and specifically within their own neighborhood, Mapleton-Fall Creek.

Working together, NeighborLink Indianapolis and a team of 12 volunteers from New Circle Church tackled both Mrs. Bond’s and Mr. Goode’s yards on a Saturday morning. For Mrs. Bond, the team was able to trim those pesky weeds by her garage, fix a shutter that had become detached and add a seal to her back door to block the cold winter air.

Mr. Goode had a bit more that needed to be cleaned up. The team trimmed and removed years of overgrown weeds and shrubbery from around the perimeter of his yard, cleaned out his gutters and repaired and painted his windows. These were needed improvements to maintain their homes. Mrs. Bond and Mr. Goode didn’t have the financial means to pay someone to complete the work and neither of them were physically able for the labor involved. These were important maintenance steps to help provide them the opportunity to continue to live safely and happily in their homes.

Lisa Cole, Director, Community and Partner Engagement, is excited for this budding partnership with New Circle Church.

“Our missions align closely,” explained Lisa. “We care deeply about seniors and helping stabilize neighborhoods by allowing them to age-in-place safely. Leveraging our strengths together will only increase the impact we’re able to make helping neighbors most in need in this community.”

We’re pretty sure Mrs. Bond and Mr. Goode couldn’t agree more with this partnership.

If you’ve got a congregation, work group, or even a book club that’s ready to jump off a zoom call and into a safe outdoor volunteer experience, let us know! We would be happy to organize a group project serving a senior in need with your group of volunteers.

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