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Category Archives: Community Building

More Neighborly Communities

Front Porch Forum members report closer-knit communities.

“We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say ‘It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.’ Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.” ― Fred Rogers of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood

Lynn A. of Montpelier, Vt. says Front Porch Forum: discovering Vermont’s neighborly spirit, one glorious post at a time.”

FPF members report knowing and trusting more of their neighbors than national averages, resulting in closer-knit communities. Neighbors who know each other are more likely to lend a hand in times of need, whether it be loaning a pressure canner, larger-scaled community projects like organizing a foodbank, or emergency efforts.

FPF co-founder Michael Wood-Lewis shares that “when neighbors know each other and offer help or advice among each other, social capital accrues. FPF fosters real connections throughout networks of neighbors, and those ties bring genuine value to a community. Why buy a new ladder when you can borrow one from a neighbor?”

Front Porch Forum is a place where folks can learn their neighbors’ names and share hopes for the community and perspectives on local issues. The forum enables participants to familiarize and become informed online so that they can get out and have face-to-face discussions and take action offline. The result: optimism, unity, trust, and helping one another.

Stephanie Teleen, Neighbors Day VT organizer, uses Front Porch Forum to get the word out. She says “there are a few things you can count on in Vermont: beautiful scenery, ample snow, and Front Porch Forum. When Vermont became the first state in the country to celebrate Neighbor’s Day on June 2, 2018, FPF was the first and only statewide organization to help promote this event. Why? Because FPF knows the value of personal connection and communication within our communities. Neighbors Day happens once a year, but FPF works to connect neighbors every day, all year long. FPF is like a digital potluck with no cooking required! Being neighborly is paid forward in Vermont… to everyone’s benefit..”

*The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded an independent third-party, Network Impact, to design, implement and analyze an online survey of 132,188 Front Porch Forum members in March 2017. 13,086 Vermonters completed this 20-minute survey. With a 99% confidence level, the survey results represent the full FPF membership.

**2015 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation National Survey of Health Attitudes


When the power is out, neighbors offer help

Those with the means to help their community did so on Front Porch Forum!

“The school will be open as an emergency shelter. If you or someone you know might need a warm place to stay or a source of water, you are welcome to take shelter in the school’s multi-purpose room. Please bring sleeping bags, food and any supplies you need. You are welcome to fill your own water containers in the kitchen.”  • Principal, Robinson Elementary School

“While parts of town are without power, we want to let everyone know if they need to get fresh water, charge a phone, use the WiFi, or just hang out in the light/warmth, they are welcome here. We are happy to open our doors to community members during this inconvenient time.”  • Priscilla at Quarry Hill Farm

“If you are a local who is out of power, you are more then welcome to come here for a shower!”
Erin at The Climb Fitness Center

“We have space in a chest freezer if you are out of power and want to save some of your freezer goods.” • Lisa in Richmond

 



Thankful for our neighbors

What a wonderful use of Front Porch Forum!

“In loving memory of our son, Edward, my husband and I are preparing Thanksgiving Dinner for community members in need. We are also happy to provide the ingredients for a delicious dinner for families who would prefer to cook it themselves. Todd and I will be delivering the hot meals between 11 and 12 on Thanksgiving Day. Edward Heyman’s Soup’s On program will be funding the meals.”  • Sandra in Huntington

“A magical story of giving: A gentleman asked if he could join me at the cafe, since there were no tables available…I was writing lots of lists for making holiday meal boxes. He asked what I was doing, I explained, then he asked if he could make a donation, and of course, I said yes!  I was thinking a couple bucks, and he handed me a 100 dollar bill!! I handed it back, saying that was too much, and his response was “I have food, please use this to help others.”  I had a smile on my face all day!”  • Karen in Worcester

“We should be thankful for having an opportunity to express ourselves in a non threatening environment. Most all of us have families and we should take this time to give thanks to them, our community and to FPF for giving us another way to share and benefit.” • J. in Barre

Happy Thanksgiving from FPF!


Return of the Battalion Stallion

Front Porch Forum members can be very creative with their postings!  Witness this humorous exchange:

“What a disgrace. I’ve never in my three years of living here been more disgusted with the State of Things. No more Battalion Stallion on the Country Store menu? Was there even a vote? Together we can right this wrong. Join me and the growing ranks of outraged citizens and help restore this town treasure to the once-great menu.”  • Ben in Jericho

“As both creator and destroyer of the Battalion Stallion panini, I offer my deepest, most profound sympathy for the loss of your beloved sandwich. It indeed was a stalwart of our menu for many years here. It filled up many a weary traveler on his or her way to gastric heaven. Alas, along came newer sandwiches and the Stallion became a lost pony. But only the forgotten are truly lost, as they say. This is ‘Merica, and despite our differences we can find common ground. All it takes is a good conversation and a hilarious FPF post. So, although we won’t put it back on the menu, you can stop by or call and order it. We’ll make it for you! Long live the Stallion! Hooah.”  • Jon at the Jericho Center Country Store

 



Almost there! Pitch in before midnight Halloween

Wow!  The response from Front Porch Forum members has been amazing.  We’re about $12,000 shy of our October Supporting Member Campaign goal with one and a half days remaining!

Please chip in today or tomorrow.  Thanks much!


A musical bond is formed on FPF

Here’s a special story of how FPF helped musicians form a neighborhood connection that still endures:

“Brit, whose family had recently moved from out west, used Front Porch Forum to see if anyone would be interested in getting together occasionally to play guitar and make music.  a few of us took her up on her offer, and we hit it off.  Almost 6 years – and many farmer’s markets & events – later, our meetings have become something very special to each of us.  We named ourselves the “Front Porch Foursome”, in honor of our origin.  We all still have our day jobs, but cherish the adventure this has taken us on.  Aside from our good fortune, we appreciate the forum that you have provided for our community, and for all of Vermont.”  • Brit, Nancy, Kathy & Char – the Front Porch Foursome

How will you use FPF to form friendships?

Happily, Vermont has Front Porch Forum

Did you hear the commentary aired on WDEV’s Friday morning news show about FPF?

In case you missed it, listen to the broadcast from Common Sense Radio commentator John McClaughry and learn why he encourages us to give a look at Front Porch Forum.