Where Neighbors Get And Give Help In Fort Wayne (VIDEO)

By Corinne Rose - 21Alive

January 24, 2014 Updated Jan 24, 2014 at 7:21 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) -- We've seen more snow this season than we have in the past several years.

When we live through conditions like this, there are people who are able to go out and get their own sidewalks and driveways cleared. But for others, there is a place they can turn for help.

The city's 311 operators referred a woman to NeighborLink when she asked for help shoveling her mom's driveway.

"This is the second time they've been here. And it means a lot to me because I'm not able to shovel snow. And my mom definitely is not able to shovel snow. So it means a lot to us," Janie says.

Every year, NeighborLink gets more than a thousand requests for assistance, from raking leaves and shoveling snow to furnace repair and window installation.

Most volunteers are part of a larger group like a church or civic organization who do the work together.

Volunteers rarely work on their own.

Aaron Makin has volunteered for three years, saying it's something he feels compelled to do.

"I have an 86-year old grandma as well, and I'm sure she has a driveway that she needs shoveled. And I can't really get to her. She's down in West Lafayette, and so I try to help out someone else's grandma," Makin says.

As for liability?

Andrew Hoffman/NeighborLink Founder: "We are a volunteer at your own risk organization. Each volunteer knows that they're coming out here just as they were walking next door to help their neighbor. So they've made a personal choice to do that. As far as a homeowner, we do have a release of liability for them that we ask our homeowners to sign," says Andrew Hoffman, NeighborLink founder.

Any time there are structural issues or electrical or plumbing problems, donations help a licensed contractor on standby take over a project.

So whether you need a little help around the house or if you're someone who'd like to volunteer, it's easy. All you have to do is go to www.neighborlinkfortwayne.org and sign up.

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