Front Porch Forum members make good use of their local FPF for upcoming Town Meeting Day.
“Several years ago, at a Town Meeting, I remember a very lively discussion among folks who had had enough of the high vehicle repair bills. A decision was made to instruct the town to pay for better quality gravel, with the slimy silt washed out of it. The Road crew embarked on a multi-year project of rebuilding our roads and now we can travel in the spring without worry of sinking into the muck and mire.
I love Town Meeting for just this reason. We can get together as a group and make recommendations to the town. I know that not everyone can come every year, but it points out how important it can be to show up at least once in a while when there is an issue that is really important.
See you at Town Meeting next Tuesday. If you can’t come, make sure you read the Town Report and if you have comments or questions, go to the Selectboard meeting.” • Marie in Richmond
Post and look to your local FPF for info on articles for discussion at Town Meeting Day! And remember to vote!
Tapping 145,000 Front Porch Forum members across Vermont, a recent independent, large-scale survey revealed that FPF members know and trust their neighbors at double national averages. They also have more hope for the future of their local communities. More than 15,000 FPF members across Vermont responded to the survey.
78% of survey respondents say that their neighbors trust each other vs. 38% of Americans that say they trust their neighbors.
“It makes you proud to live in a place with such a strong sense of community.” • John in Panton
The new survey, conducted by Network Impact and supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, also found a similar pattern when asking related questions:
85% of survey respondents in Vermont are optimistic about the community where they live vs. 44% of Americans who feel hopeful about the future of their neighborhoods.
69% of survey respondents in Vermont know most of their neighbors vs. 26% of Americans who can recognize most of their neighbors.
“The recent survey shows that 89% of respondents say their neighbors help others, and 79% say that their neighbors pitch in on community projects. Being neighborly is paid forward in Vermont… to everyone’s benefit.” • Michael Wood-Lewis, Co-Founder and CEO of Front Porch Forum
This survey was commissioned by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Front Porch Forum, and conducted by Network Impact. More than 15,000 FPF members (out of 132,000 surveyed) across Vermont responded in March 2017, yielding a 99% confidence level in the results. See here for Network Impact’s report about their survey.
Winter weather has Front Porch Forum members showing their care for the homeless in our communities.
“I’d like to say Thank you to FPF for giving me a way to reach out to people to get rid of items they may not want anymore for the homeless. Each year I put out a post telling my story of our “boxes of love” and our winter clothing giveaway to the homeless. Ever since my post, I’ve been getting emails regularly and items dropped off at my house. The collection is growing and I’m so thankful that FPF has such amazing kind hearted folks.” • Tricia in Shelburne
“My family and I bring food to local homeless people every week and I’ve noticed that many of them do not have proper winter attire. I am planning to make “Homeless Care Packages” and I am hoping you will consider donating some items.” • Amber in Williston
“The 13th Annual Gifts of Kindness toy and clothing drive was created to support individuals and families experiencing homelessness during the holidays. We seek to collect new and gently used toys, clothing, outerwear, boots, hats, and mittens to make the holidays brighter and people warmer in our harsh winter months.” • Jennifer in Waitsfield
We’re happy to see that Front Porch Forum is recommended and used by many to have important discussions on relevant town issues.
“I am really liking this thread on minimum wage. This kind of discussion is exactly what Front Porch Forum was designed for. We should be having a lot more of these kind of discussions as long as we can keep to the issues and not personalize the debate or attack those we disagree with. Our community and indeed our culture in general would be much better served if we had civil discussion and debate about important issues as though we were speaking face-to-face, FPF seems like an excellent vehicle to have those discussions.”
• Jeff, Town Energy Coordinator, Richmond
“The public must be better informed about this School Capital project. Information put on a school website is not adequate public outreach. We recommend Front Porch Forum as it is a primary source of local information for me and many others in the community.” • John in Morrisville
Reach out to your town officials on FPF!
While national politics grow ever more divisive, Vermonters appreciate the largely civil debates about local issues that happen on their local Front Porch Forums. For example, in a recent Middlebury FPF…
“I appreciate the civil discussion on FPF regarding the proposed Library expansion. Many interesting perspectives and information have been expressed. Thank you for that. It seems to me that all too often in our society differences of viewpoint cannot be explored respectfully. I appreciate this discussion.” • Christine in Middlebury
A neighbor uses FPF to pull neighbors into an international aid project.
“I could use money to fund my work in Nepal, and would really like to feel the support of my community behind me. Sharing the number of people who have helped bring me to Nepal with the women I will be serving will also let them know that they are not invisible and their lives matter. With your help the circles of love and peace will grow larger and stronger.”
Neighbors respond and a community of support is built:
“Thank you so much for your donation! Along with your financial support, I will take with me your modeling of being community builders. Connecting with self and others will likely be a core theme in the work the students develop for the safe house. I am better prepared to assist them by having you in my community.” • Topaz in Burlington
Have a cause that you’re passionate about supporting? Let your neighbors know on Front Porch Forum and expand your efforts!
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!