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Ghost of Midnight

… about neighbors, community and Front Porch Forum


Documentary about FPF Spreading Interest Internationally

Canadian filmmaker Peter Strauss’ new documentary film about FPF, “The Story of Vermont’s Quiet Digital Revolution,” has garnered international interest. After numerous screenings around the state and features in International film festivals, more and more folks outside of Vermont are eager to see just how FPF works.

“The film on FPF that’s in Middlebury on Tuesday must be good. Last fall I met someone in Nova Scotia who had just seen it at the Halifax Film Festival. As soon as she heard I was from Vermont she wanted to know if I was on it, asked a lot of questions, and had a good time looking through the posts on my phone.” • Polly D., New Haven, Vt.

Have you had friends, family, or new acquaintances ask to take a peek at your home forum? FPF is currently available in Vermont and Washington County, NY. Folks can learn more about FPF by watching the documentary at one of our statewide screenings or on Vermont PBS.


Bowling alley idea catches fire on Front Porch Forum

A simple FPF post sparked a host of interest and a plan to bring new life to downtown Middlebury.
“Wondering if anyone is interested in opening a bowling alley in Middlebury?!” • Lerin P.

Front Porch Forum neighbors responded with a flood of excited posts echoing this sentiment, ultimately resulting in one business entrepreneur ready to pursue the idea.

“I’ve heard a number of times that folks would like to have a bowling alley, some night-life, something TO DO in Middlebury after the shops close. Well, I have a plan to accomplish all these wishes.”  • Scott G.

Now there are construction plans of a classic, all-ages source of fun – a bowling alley – in the previous home of the Ben Franklin store.

Read more in an article from The Middlebury Campus.

We’re inspired by this story to build community which started with a simple post on FPF.






The secret? Staying local

We’re seeing an outpouring of interest in Front Porch Forum in light of the recently published article on the Verge!

Andrew Liptak, author of the Verge article How a Vermont social network became a model for online communities,” writes “Vermont’s Front Porch Forum is a good example of how to create a positive, online community – staying local.” 

Creator of Ruby on Rails and founder/CTO at Basecamp, David Hanemeier Hanson, saw the article and tweeted on his feed.  Then Jack Dorsey, a founder of Twitter and Square, retweeted it.  Clearly the work we’re doing is being recognized!  Thanks @dhh, @jack and the many others who have shared this article.

“Front Porch Forum isn’t designed as a virtual replacement for one’s real-world neighborhood — it’s meant to facilitate those everyday, in-person connections that form the basis of a community.”


Vermonters help Federal workers during shutdown

Front Porch Forum members reach out to help their neighbors affected by the Federal shutdown:

“This is a difficult time for some of our neighbors and we are ready to offer assistance. If you are affected, or you know any one affected by the “shut down” remind them, encourage them, tell them that food shelfs around the state are there to support them and they don’t have to worry about the cost of food in lieu of mortgage payments or gas for the car to get to work. We would be honored to help and support them. We are committed to helping our neighbors in need. • Ruthanne in Jeffersonville

“I own a home bakery and would like to offer families affected by the government shutdown free baked goods. I bake cookies, brownies, cakes and cupcakes, banana bread and other items.”  • Alice in Fairfax

“People have offered to help me in making sure that everyone in our community who is suffering due to the govt. shutdown have the basic necessities they need. We are a small community in a small state, and we need to make sure that those in this community who need help with the basic necessities receive the help they need.”   • Andi in Hardwick

“We know it isn’t much, but Green Rabbit wants to offer what we can… If any of you are feeling the financial crunch of missed paychecks due to the government shut down, please reach out to us. We are happy to deliver bread and/or a wholesome supper for your family.” • Suzanne in Waitsfield

“We would like to invite those government families who are currently not receiving wages to the food pantry. A large variety of fresh vegetables/fruit, and frozen and canned goods, staples (cereal, pasta etc.) will be available as well as meat and poultry, bread, eggs and cheese. We welcome the opportunity to be helpful to you as you navigate the government shutdown.”  • Lori, State Representative in Essex

 


Grab Your Toboggan

Our January Posting Flurry contest resulted in this wonderful story posted on FPF about community and helping our neighbors, with all the “feels”!

“Dan asked his teenage son and daughter if they would give him a hand. “Grab your toboggan, we’ll throw it in the truck”!

On his way to and from work, he had noticed that Mrs. Friendly’s woodpile had toppled over. She is 87, living alone and cooking and heating with wood. She says she always has, and she always will! She was a mentor to both of his children and they love her. She read to them at school.

The woodpile was too far from her house anyways and a snowstorm was about to hit the area. “Looking for a foot” she said when he called her.

Dan sat in his truck for an extra 5 minutes after talking to Mrs. Friendly and posted a request on Front Porch Forum for other helpers in the area, to help move and restack her wood. That evening when Dan and his teenagers arrived, eight other community members including three more teens, dressed in snow pants and boots, sneakers and some without gloves, pulling sleds of all kinds joined together in moving a cord of firewood. They stacked it on her porch and filled her many wood boxes inside. Dan said she begged us all to return for blueberry pie that next weekend. She said she had something to look forward to now, all toasty and warm and not worrying so much. “You better show up an eat my pies so the chickens don’t have to” she laughed.

It has now become a tradition for this same group to help her stack her winters wood. They check in on her, stop and visit, pick up groceries and her meds. She says she’s kinda glad her woodpile fell over, but mostly happy that Dan noticed and posted it “on that fancy phone of his”. Even when the kids come home from college they visit her. They bring “store bought pie” she complains.

Thank you FPF for making these kinds of things happen!!!”   • Suzan in Marshfield