Ryan Kellermeyer & Michelle Randolph Share

Apr 13, 2023  |  Layla Price-Bodkin

A Hoosier cou­ple has boomeranged back to Mar­i­on from the east coast to be close to fam­i­ly and fos­ter rela­tion­ships to help their new home­town thrive.

Ryan Keller­mey­er and Michelle Ran­dolph met in Philadel­phia, got mar­ried in Mat­ter Park, bought a home, and began plant­i­ng roots in Mar­i­on in Jan­u­ary of 2021. Lat­er that year, they pur­chased a vacant lot near their home and brought 20 neigh­bor­ing house­holds togeth­er to launch Hill Street Com­mu­ni­ty Gar­dens. The gar­den has also become the cat­a­lyst for a series of quar­ter­ly neigh­bor­hood pot luck” din­ners that have gath­ered more than 50 neigh­bors togeth­er. Ran­dolph said, It’s been suc­cess­ful so far because our neigh­bors are enthu­si­as­tic, involved, and eager to share respon­si­bil­i­ty for the work.”

Keller­mey­er was raised in Grant Coun­ty, grad­u­at­ed from Madi­son-Grant High School and attend­ed East­ern Uni­ver­si­ty in Philadel­phia where he was active in neigh­bor­hood com­mu­ni­ty devel­op­ment efforts for over 20 years. Ran­dolph grew up in Goshen and was home-schooled before pur­su­ing fur­ther edu­ca­tion and mak­ing her way to Philadel­phia to work at a bilin­gual Chris­t­ian health cen­ter. Ran­dolph has two degrees – one from Grace Col­lege in Span­ish and one from Bethel Col­lege in Nurs­ing. Today, Keller­mey­er works as Gen­er­al Man­ag­er of Green­way Lawn & Tree Ser­vices, and Ran­dolph serves as a nurse for Radi­ant Health.

Not long after start­ing Hill Street Com­mu­ni­ty Gar­dens, Ryan and Michelle real­ized that Grant Coun­ty was a place of both tremen­dous need and gen­eros­i­ty. This led them to, again, bring neigh­bors togeth­er to launch Neigh­bor­Link Grant Coun­ty, an affil­i­ate of Neigh­bor­Link Fort Wayne. NeighborLink’s online plat­form brings peo­ple who request help togeth­er with peo­ple who want to be good neigh­bors. Since launch­ing in Octo­ber of 2022, it has result­ed in 15 house­holds receiv­ing help from over 30 vol­un­teers for requests includ­ing yard work, mov­ing assis­tance, wheel­chair ramps, plumb­ing, floor­ing, and more. Keller­mey­er said, Neigh­bor­Link Grant Coun­ty is all about neigh­bors help­ing neigh­bors, and we’re sim­ply the matchmaker.”

The cou­ple agreed that it has been enjoy­able and enrich­ing to help oth­ers while work­ing togeth­er. They have visions for a more vibrant space in their com­mu­ni­ty gar­den and for Neigh­bor­link Grant Coun­ty to become a go-to’ resource for those need­ing help or want­i­ng to help.

Vis­it Neigh​bor​LinkGC​.org to request help or to sign up as a volunteer.

Related Posts