Author Archives: Renee Bean

FPF Becomes an Example for Community-Building Tech in Canada

Do you speak french? Check out this wonderful piece about Front Porch Forum from our neighbors at Radio Canada. Reporter, Janic Tremblay, shares his experiences speaking to FPF members at a screening of the film “The Story of Vermont’s Quiet Digital Revolution.” Attendees share how FPF has encouraged forming positive relationships with neighbors, neighbors who bring their hyper-local forums to life.

Read Janic Tremblay’s article in french here.

Sweet Notes of Spring

Spring is in the air and folks are sharing their seasonal observations on Front Porch Forum. Among the leafy trees, fragrant lilacs and colorful, rolling hills, one Vermont neighbor spotted another, more humorous note of spring sweetness.

“I thought this might be enjoyed by more than me… ( I laughed all the way home about this…)… as I was driving to the Richmond Park, from the back way in Williston, through Fays Corners, you travel by a farm just as the road swerves left. There was a cow or a bull, large dark brown, standing in full view,… she/he had had her coat shaved with the words ………… “PROM?” : ) That made my day, and I wonder if the person for whom that was intended received the message……. Please share with your Richmond friends. : )” • Kathleen B., Hinesburg, Vt.

That’s one creative prom-posal!

“How Front Porch Forum is Empowering the Citizens of Vermont”

Front Porch Forum’s co-founder, Michael Wood-Lewis, met with Patrick O’Keefe of Community Signal to discuss how Front Porch Forum empowers Vermont neighbors.

Michael shared, “a vibrant local community… part of it is a functional local government. You also need engaged citizens, and you need a vibrant local business sector if you want to have a healthy community.  It’s hard to do that in the age of Amazon and Facebook.”

Citizens of Vermont use FPF to get to know their neighbors, share, become informed about what’s happening in their communities, and actively participate in community projects and local democracy. Listen to the full interview or read the highlights here.

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.

Keeping Hearts and Bellies Warm

It’s the time of year when we see more and more neighbors stepping out to lend a hand and making an extra effort to share goodwill. Enjoy a recent good tiding from Front Porch Forum

“My daughter works as Zachary’s and last night (12/23) she accidentally accepted a reservation for a family for the next night (12/24), not realizing the restaurant was going to be closed for xmas eve and xmas day. She didn’t get a phone number, just a first name so there was no way to call them back. The manager opened the pizza place tonight (12/24) for the family and he, my girl, and a couple of other generous people chipped in to serve them up their dinner.

Now that is is above and beyond. Good job on all parts, especially the manager, for caring so much about his customers that he didn’t want the family to show up to a “closed” sign AND for NOT getting mad at my sweet pea for her mistake. Nice all the way around! Happy Holidays everyone.”  • Diane E., Waterbury, Vt.

A Win-win Story

Positive outcomes abound on Front Porch Forum as neighbors share gratitude, thoughts, and even leftover paints.

“I wanted to pass on to you a win win story thanks to Front Porch Forum! I am the Director of Theatre Adventure of New England Youth Theatre in Brattleboro. I read in Front Porch Forum that Joanna R. was giving away interior latex paints. I was interested because I was in the beginning stages of working with two scenic artists to create a rolldrop for our next production.
I wrote to Joanna that I was interested in her free paints. She immediately wrote back and invited me to come look at them and take anything I was interested in. I did just that!  I left Joanna’s with a full trunk of many cans of paint and a smile on my face. The artist who painted the Brattleboro street scene with these newly acquired paints was equally pleased!

See the photo for the finished scenery that we will use for our April production, “Raising Our Voices Together.” • Laura in Guilford

Helping Older Vermonters Age Well!

Every day, neighbors connect on Front Porch Forum to post and read about events, community issues, and local goings on. Read about how Vermont neighbors and FPF have helped older Vermonters to Age Well below.

If you’ve noticed Front Porch Forum making a difference in your community, consider becoming a supporting member today by donating here.


“Thank You to Front Porch Forum for Helping Older Vermonters Age Well!

Aging well requires community.  Neighbors assisting neighbors to accomplish the necessities of life – maintaining social connections, securing ample and healthy food, having the mobility to address life tasks such as keeping medical appointments.

Helping make this happen for older adults in Northwestern Vermont (Franklin, Addison, Chittenden and Grand Isle counties), is the core purpose of the regional nonprofit and Area Agency on Aging organization, Age Well (www.agewellvt.org).  Instrumental in accomplishing our mission is our cadre of dedicated volunteers. Each week over 850 of our aging neighbors will receive at least one meal, primarily as part of our Meals on Wheels program, with over 5,000 meals served weekly. In additionAge Well’s volunteers serve as Senior Companions and Friendly Visitors to ensure that isolation, transportation and assistance with daily living tasks are not barriers to living life to the fullest. These programs are only possible through the efforts of our incredible volunteers, now numbering over 1,100.

So what does this have to do with the Front Porch Forum? Consistently, the most productive resource for Age Well volunteer recruitment has been the FPF. As demand for Meals on Wheels has increased, so has our need for finding volunteers.  During times of greatest recruitment need, the FPF team has gone the extra mile to assist in finding new volunteers, putting into action the spirit of community that is the essence of Front Porch Forum.

For the hundreds who are served by the scores of individuals who found their way to become Age Well volunteers through the FPF, we simply want to offer a sincere shout out. The Front Porch Forum is truly a remarkable community treasure.”

-Kim H., Age Well Board Chair from Mallets Bay

Join Us at Tech Jam

Join Front Porch Forum and dozens of Vermont tech firms at this year’s Vermont Tech Jam, presented by Seven Days. This free event will be held on Friday, October 19, at the Champlain Valley Expo in Essex Junction. Enjoy presentations, demos, and displays. Learn More about Tech Jam here. You can find FPF at booth G1!