Episode 5: Kevan Chandler

If you’ve spent much time downtown around Fortezza, you’ve probably seen Kevan. Kevan is hard to miss because he's such a friendly guy who engages you almost immediately when you're in his presence, and he's in a power wheelchair due to having Spinal Muscular Atrophy, which is a disease that affects the central nervous system. 

Because I find myself at the front window area of Fortezza several times a week, I’ve had the privilege of talking with him and getting to know more of his story. 

Kevan’s story about how his physical vulnerabilities have made way for deep, authentic, and rich friendships that are genuinely awe-inspiring. The kind of community that we all seek, Kevan’s circumstances somewhat force him to have. We all long to have those people we can depend on when we’re in need to come help us, to talk with us, to live in genuine relationship with. 

We are all hardwired for that, but it seems so difficult to attain. I love that Kevan’s story offers this unique perspective of community and how stepping out in vulnerability changes the relationships around us.

Link to Kevan's video and Andrew's written reflections from the interview. 


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Episode 4: Donnivan & Jordajé

Donnivan and Jordajé prove that our neighborhood kids are bright, observant, and probably know more about what's going on in our neighborhoods than we do. They're tuned into justice related issues, what healthy relationships could look like, what seems to be broken around them, and the ideas that could be solutions to that brokenness.

You'll want to watch this entire episode to be inspired by a 9 and 7 year old. We were reminded just how broad a child's worldview can be and how we as adults have a responsibility to nurture that rather than narrow it. 

Link to Donnivan & Jordyace's Video and Andrew's written reflections from the interview. 


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Episode 3: Cyndi Demaree

Cyndi and her husband, Paul, started the Firefly Coffee shop 19 years ago after a professional transition and a deep desire to create a public space around their love for coffee and people. Since then, they've worked hard at creating the culture and environment that makes the Firefly truly unique. There is more in that cup than just coffee. Cyndi shares about how the coffee shop can be it's own neighborhood, what makes their environment unique, and some tough calls along the way to create a healthy community for all that come.

Link to Cyndi's video and Andrew's written reflections from the interview. 


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Episode 2: Ed Fenstermacher

Ed is the quintessential neighbor. You know, that Mr Rogers type. Ed has lived in his neighborhood for 34 years and in that time got married, had children, cared for aging family there, and has seen the neighborhood develop in that time. Ed shares how even after 34 years, that he's still learning how to engage and ask questions of his neighbors before drawing conclusions. Ed believes there is always more to the story and that if we simply stop at our initial conclusion, we'll often make the wrong decision when attempting to address it. 

Link to Ed's video and Andrew's written reflections from the interview. 


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Episode 1: Andrew Hoffman

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For the past 15 years, NeighborLink has been connecting neighbors with the vision to see neighbors help neighbors address their tangible needs. Over 10,000 connections have been made in that time, which have led us to think deeply about what being a good neighbor and what healthy neighborhoods can look like. Beyond the traditional neighborhood, we ask questions about what other places in our world act like neighborhoods, such as a work place or coffee shop.

Andrew sits down with Lynsdy, NL Community Engagement Coordinator, to give some history, context, and some vision for this series in this kick off episode. Andrew talks about his experiences over the past 10 years as Executive Director of NeighborLink and as a neighbor on some ways he's seen incredible activity in the neighbor-to-neighbor context. When we choose to be neighbors, we choose to be intentional about creating the kind of community we want for ourselves and for others. 

Link to Andrew's video and written reflections. 


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"Neighboring" is now available on iTunes - Click Here to Subscribe

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