#PeopleofNEI: Andrew, transforming communities by being a good neighbor

Northeast Indiana is evolving. These are the people shaping its future. #PeopleofNEI

This week's feature:

Andrew is the Executive Director of NeighborLink that connects neighbors to encourage relationships and healthier neighborhoods. Born in Huntington, Indiana, he now lives in the Williams Woodland Park Neighborhood in downtown Fort Wayne. Andrew speaks about the power of neighborhoods, volunteering, and real connection. “The more that I volunteered, the more injustices I saw, and the more I saw disconnection within neighborhoods. It was my volunteering that ended up leading us to buy a home in a predominantly lower income area, but our neighborhood is full of integration and interconnection. We are raising three kids here. If I have learned anything from NeighborLink or Williams Woodland, it’s that they have given me more than I give them. You can’t exist in these neighborhoods without it calling you to transformation. Whether you have a heart for living in a diverse community or want something different from where you are now, the real joy comes from being in the middle of it. Our communities could be transformed if we would transfer and redistribute where we live and spend our time. Volunteering is fulfilling. It’s more than the perception of happiness. It’s about your life making a positive impact on the people around you. You can’t begin to help if you don’t know what needs fixed. Many people are struggling with a loss of connection; these are the struggles that know no socioeconomic bounds. When you are in relationship with others, you can get fulfillment from that. I get fulfilled when I see neighbors interacting on the street with each other. Being a good neighbor happens in any context. It’s not just in your neighborhood. It’s about living a life of intention. If you want to make a difference, you can do that here in northeast Indiana. There is a desire from so many leaders to help the next generation. The amount of individuals investing in local opportunities here is phenomenal. What is happening and being celebrated in northeast Indiana is because of so many people that are giving, sacrificing, and working hundreds of hours to make that happen. The magic happens in the margins. That is what creates the real culture of Fort Wayne.” #PeopleofNEI

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Read more articles by Stephen J. Bailey.

Stephen J. Bailey is a Fort Wayne native and the owner of PH Digital that was founded in 2006. Based out of the Anthony Wayne Building in downtown Fort Wayne, he specializes in web development, SEO development, social media management, and digital marketing campaigns with numerous companies in northeast Indiana. Stephen loves road trips, sushi, his pups, and spending time on our three rivers.
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