NeighborLink helping Fort Wayne residents weather the storm...clean-up

NeighborLink helping with storm cleanup
NeighborLink helping with storm cleanup(WPTA)
Published: Jul. 7, 2022 at 5:40 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - For people like Anna Barker, the thought of having to deal with tree limbs falling during storms can cause a lot of stress.

She had one fall very close to her house in the early morning of July 5th, and as someone who has to care for her child and with all the other stresses of life, it took her some time to find who could help.

“The next morning I came out here and climbed on top of the play set to see what the damage really was. I was like, I don’t even know where to start with this, it was kind of overwhelming,” Barker explained. “I thought, at the very least, it would be a really expensive thing to get it taken care out. Then I thought, well there’s nothing attached to the tree and I think this might be something that if I have people who are willing to help me, we could get it done.”

Barker found just the right group with NeighborLink, who’s main goal is connect people in need with people who can help.

NeighborLink Executive Director Eric Wood explained, “We want to see the people who are stuck in the margins connected to the people who have the skills, or capacity, or time, or energy or resources that can help anyone, anywhere, anytime.”

When Barker thought of the group to help her out, “It was a sigh of relief to think about that this was a possibility that there’s people out there who can help with this and are willing to help with this.”

So far this year, NeighborLink has approved over 800 project, but says they don’t sift through if a person meets a criteria or not, they just link neighbors up.

“There’s always going to be a surplus of need and it may not be financial. It may be aging in place or disability, or single parenting. There’s loads of reasons people are in hard spots, but at the end of the day if the folks who have time, energy, and resources don’t make margin in their life for the margins the people are stuck in, then the problem grows,” Wood said

This week, they’ve added 100 requests for help because of the storms. NeighborLink says if you need help, you can use their new website neighborlink.org to get your requests in even easier.

And for people like Barker, they’re able to take one less thing off their plate thanks to volunteers.

“It felt like grace,” Barker said. “Getting something that I don’t deserve, like some people helping when they don’t even know me, some of them, and just being willing to help because they care.”

If you need help, or you want to help others, go to neighborlink.org

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