NeighborLink pairs projects with volunteers

MIAMI COUNTY — Pairing community service with those in need will be easier than ever thanks to a new online portal.

NeighborLink will launch in the Miami Valley on June 1. Those in need of a simple task like yard work, household tasks like changing light bulbs or other labor can be paired up with community service groups or local volunteers with a few simple clicks on the keyboard.

New Path Ministries will serve as the administrative lead for the NeighborLink program. Miami Valley’s NeighborLink President Doug Powell was introduced to the online community service system several years ago. Powell had led other home service ministries in the past and found the NeighborLink system more user-friendly for those in need and volunteers looking to serve.

New Path will vet volunteers before they are approved to assist home-bound community members. Once approved, volunteers can search for a specific project and view available tasks listed on the database.

“Through our online system folks can post items that need to be done and also volunteer to help their neighbors,” said New Path Executive Director Bill Lutz. “we are excited and we’ve reached out to churches

“I can envision families getting out and raking leaves in the fall…anything people need help with,” Powell said. “Speaking from a church perspective, I see people in the pews that want to help and want to serve but don’t aren’t seeing something within the walls of the church that speaks to them. But I know there are people sitting there that would jump at the chance if they knew that electrician could help a homeowner or nonprofit or a church, a small church, there’d be someone out there to pick it up.”

Powell said NeighborLink would help those who have just a weekend day to serve to those who are retired who can help throughout the week. Powell said the flexibility and skill set for each project will vary, making it easier for those to help and those requesting help to find the right fit.

The Fort Wayne Indiana NeighborLink has been a success in terms of linking volunteers to help with projects ranging from home repairs to gathering leaves. According to its website, 1,295 projects were completed last year and 398 are currently available and 60 were funded by donations from those who may not have the time or skills to help but want to help finance a project.

To post a need, volunteer for a project or donate to NeighborLink, visit NLMV.org beginning June 1. For more information, contact admin@nlmv.org or call (937) 667-1213.