We love this idea undertaken by Front Porch Forum members. Doing something good for the environment and building social contacts!
“Do you need something fixed? Come to the first ever Repair Cafe. Start collecting your household items to be fixed at this FREE event. We have fixers willing to work on watches, bicycles, clothing, knitting projects, electric appliances, small office equipment, furniture, small engines, lamps, tools (including sharpening) and electrical gadgets. And we even have someone willing to tutor you with your smart phone!” • Cathy in Charlotte
“One of the “fixperts” reinforced my eyeglass frames. This may save me having to buy a whole new pair of frames (very expensive!). Thank you. What a wonderful event!” • Lucy in Plainfield
“I was fortunate to have a loose jacket zipper secured, a broken hoe handle extracted, a few pair of earrings brought back to life and iPhone issues resolved. I witnessed holes in sweaters and coats mended; a chainsaw, sewing machines and lamps fixed; and blades sharpened and that was just in the short hour I was there. What a great event to connect with community members while bringing back to life items that would have been needlessly discarded.” • Judy in Charlotte
Here’s how you can do the same in your neighborhood:
- Post to organize several neighbors to volunteer making repairs. Suggest the idea of a “Repair Cafe” and seek a place to hold the event.
- Post an announcement two weeks prior to the event to invite neighbors in need of repairs AND to encourage volunteer help.
- Post a reminder message three days before.
- Choose the “Event” category so that your posting also shows up in the FPF Community Calendar.
- Check the share box to include neighboring towns.
“Repair is possible, and often not that difficult, with a little bit of community support.” — The Repair Café Foundation
From the obscure to the rarely used items in your home, people find what they need when asking their neighbors on Front Porch Forum.
“I recently saw a post for someone wanting to borrow a large black light for an event. Now I’m not saying nobody has one, but really, who has one laying around that works? Such an obscure random request I thought, but I had one that fit the bill and is brand new, so I emailed and they picked it up, he said the kids had a BLAST and even brought me a gift which probably costs more than the light! This (FPF) is such an asset when it comes to really cool, random items for sale, for free or wanted to borrow and the fact that it’s SO local….you just NEVER know what you’ll find!” • Steven in Shelburne
“Sincere thanks for the many offers of crutches to borrow. Thanks to FPF and wonderful neighbors I am all set.” • Greg in Charlotte
“Thanks to all who responded to my request to borrow a walker. The number of responses speaks volumes to how generous and supportive this community is. All the wishes for a speedy recovery were also much appreciated.” • Hugh in Starksboro
“I want to thank the many generous FPF people in our community who responded to my post a few weeks ago requesting to borrow some medical items needed for upcoming surgery.” • Lois in Winooski
“Wow, thank you to everyone who responded offering to let me borrow their snowshoes. What a generous community we have! I have made arrangements to borrow a pair, so I am all set. Thank you again to everyone who offered.” • Martha in Shelburne
Posting on Front Porch Forum to neighbors results in finding what you need!
“Judy answered our posting for a long ladder to do the painting of a 2 story garage behind my house. We were able to accomplish our goal and the garage is painted! Thanks to Judy and Front Porch Forum for getting us together.” • Frances in Barre
“If you ever need a pet sitter have no fear- there are plenty of qualified, animal loving entrepreneurs nearby. Also, kind neighbors willing to lend a hand. Just post to FPF!” • Caysie in Jericho
“I would like to thank everyone who offered a free cat carrier. The response was many and not expected. This Forum is great.” • Margaret in Middlebury
“Thank you all so much for the offers for a dorm fridge…..I found one! The responses were incredible…..SUCH AN AWESOME COMMUNITY and such an awesome resource FPF is.” • Michele in N. Fayston
We’re very thankful for the nice notes we’ve been receiving in the mail along with checks from FPF Supporting Members.
“My husband and I are new to Front Porch Forum and totally enjoy receiving our updates every day. It really makes us feel connected to our lovely community.” • Bernadette in Charlotte
“Thanks to Front Porch Forum rural life is so much easier. It’s all about the community connections, and FPF is the place to start, no matter what you are trying to find, fix, or do.” • Nancy in Tunbridge
“Thank you for such a great means to stay connected to our community. As seniors, we do use FPF to get household and garden help!” • Bill and Anastasia in Middlesex
“Have sold things, given things away, have gotten help finding local services – wonderful way to connect with my local community.” • Janice in Shaftsbury
Help us reach our ambitious fundraising goal and contribute to FPF’s Supporting Member Campaign today to keep this important free service coming to your community.
A beautiful example of making social connections through FPF…
“I let my New Yorker subscription lapse because I couldn’t keep up, but with everything that’s going on, I’m regretting it. Is there anyone out there that would like to pass your New Yorkers on to me a week or two after you get them? I’d be happy to share the subscription cost with you.”
• Heather in Burlington
After receiving multiple responses, Heather responded: “Hello generous neighbors! My neighbor behind me has offered to share her old New Yorkers with me, and that sounds like the simplest plan logistically. But…if you’d be interested in starting a New Yorker book club (no reading requirements! you just discuss the articles that interested you most and/or happened to read), let me know!”
Neighbors quickly responded in favor! Make new connections and see what ideas/initiatives could spring from posting to your neighbors on Front Porch Forum!
As parents begin to age, and we take them in to live with us, outfitting a home for their care can be a new challenge. Front Porch Forum members gave LOTS of resources for their neighbor:
Initial posting: “Hi FPF friends, My mother is coming to live with us tomorrow and i am seeking a walker for her. If anyone has one they are no longer using, I would love to hear from you.” • Cyndee in Shelburne
Response one day later: “Many thanks to those who responded to my request for a walker. I want to share what i learned.
1. Chittenden Country Agency on Aging in Essex, same shopping center as Big Lots offers walkers at no charge.
2. Good Samaritan Network loan closet at the Fanny Allen has medical equipment (walkers, canes, crutches) available at no cost
3. There’s a website with free/inexpensive assistive technology stuff of all sorts, which you probably have no idea even exists. It can be a great resource for people to pass on or get stuff to help make life easier for those with disabilities. It’s called: www.getATstuff.com
4. Many other kind people on FPF are willing to loan or pass their medical equipment along :)”
In need of a post hole digger, perennials, or a tiller? Front Porch Forum members are ready to help!
“My request for a post-hole digger brought 3 nearly instantaneous responses. In less than 24 hrs I had the job done and the loaner returned. Thank you, neighbors.” • Bob in Burlington
“Thank you to everyone who replied to my request for perennials, the response was overwhelming and my flower beds are going to be so great next year! I love FPF and this community!” • Rose in Middlebury
“I have a small tiling job to do, and am wondering if anyone has any left over thinset from a previous job that I could buy. And I’ve got a perfectly usable utility trailer sitting in my yard that I’d be happy to lend out to anyone needing one.” • Don in Craftsbury
“Thank you to the many individuals who have given free items to furnish apartments for youth who otherwise would not have housing. From bureaus, DVD players, a love seat, movies, a lamp, a kitchen table, many many Shaw’s stamps for cookware for all of our apartments, etc. Thank you from the Transitional Living Program at the Washington County Youth Service Bureau!!”
—Christina, Montpelier Front Porch Forum
Starting out on your own for the first time or know someone who is? Ask FPF neighbors for help!