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 NeighborLinkGC.org to request help or to sign up as a volunteer.