Category Archives: Community Building
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
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
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
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!
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
With election day around the corner, we’ve been witness to many great examples of FPF members offering to help get their neighbors to vote.
“I would love to help a couple of people who either don’t have a car or cannot drive, get to and from the polling booth next Tuesday. This would include pick-up at the person’s home, bringing them to the polling station, waiting for them to vote, and then driving them back home.” • Sonia in Williston
“If you or someone you know needs a ride to the polls November 6th – or needs a ride to Town Hall to get a ballot for early voting – please let me know. I am arranging to assist folks getting a ride.” • Jean in Reading
“When you read the postings in this forum about a hotly contested election for our local State Representative, all of them, no matter who the advocate is supporting, have been reasonable and respectful and I think it reflects well on the quality of the people who live here and the health of our community.” • Howard in Wells
All of us at Front Porch Forum encourage you to vote this election!