A group of men and a few of their sons meet for breakfast, then divide up to do work projects around town. A volunteer accompanies a widow to a doctor’s appointment. A middle school youth group spends a Saturday morning mowing, raking and fixing a gutter for a disabled senior citizen. Neighbor2neighbor (N2N) is exactly what it sounds like: neighbors helping neighbors.
The N2N website makes it easy to help someone in need, whether you want to volunteer individually or as a group. The website has a continually updated database of projects in the Owensboro area. After logging in to the website, volunteers have the ability to sign up for a project.
Neighbor2Neighbor is a program of CrossRoads, Inc., a 501c3 corporation that combats the symptoms of poverty through emergency food assistance. In 2005, CrossRoads Executive Director Michele Ison ran across the NeighborLink program in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Groups of volunteers were helping the less fortunate throughout the city on a regular basis. In 2010, wanting to expand CrossRoads’ mission of helping those living in poverty or difficult circumstances, she felt the time was right to begin reaching out to our Owensboro neighbors in a loving, tangible way. Using NeighborLink as a model,
Neighbor2Neighbor was launched in Owensboro in 2012 after a group of 6 people brainstormed how to implement the program locally.
To date, N2N has already completed over 100 projects. Administrator Kim Taylor says a proposed partnership with the City of Owensboro will hopefully be taking place after the first of the year. “The City will provide the materials for 5-6 projects that our volunteers will head up,” Kim explained. “Keith Free has asked us to work with the city on the next block beautification program, too.”
N2N is also excited about unveiling their new website in the near future, which will include more features like an advanced filtered search and improved “community connector” where volunteers can connect with other volunteers in their work place, organization, church, etc. The updated website should make it easier for volunteers to get plugged in to projects and allow those who need help to submit new projects as needs arise.
“Our greatest need right now is for volunteer roofers,” Taylor said. “We have many houses that need roof repairs.”
With a solid start, a growing network of volunteers, a new website, and a developing partnership with the city, Neighbor2neighbor hopes to increase their reach even further by lending more helping hands to our neighbors in need. To join a project, see photos, or read more information, visit their website at www.n2nowensboro.org.