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Category Archives: Community Building

Cultivating community through marshmallows

Front Porch Forum members expressed such creativity with our simple contest!  Here are a few more:

“Thanks for all the egg carton drop offs. We should be all set for awhile, but will post again when we run low. The response from neighbors makes my heart turn to marshmallow.” • Susan at Starksboro’s Food Shelf

“Hello, I’ve had a neurological condition that affects my ability to move and use my hands for a long time. I recently also had a spinal cord injury that I’m still in the process of recovering and rehabbing from. I was wondering if anyone knows of a support group locally for people dealing with these issues. The logistical and emotional issues surrounding this are so exhausting that I just want to sink into a large puffy marshmallow sometimes, so any emotional or psychological support groups would be really helpful.”  • Nicholas in Guilford

MARSHMALLOWS here, MARSHMALLOWS there; where e’re my eyes would land.
Reading Front Porch Forum has never seemed too bland.
FPF connected me to one I used to know.
She spoke of kiddos planting MARSHMALLOWS in the snow.

Thank you Front Porch Forum. This has been great fun!  • Wanda in Morrisville

“I live in an apartment with a wonderful pellet stove. Little did I realize that it would be so hard to get the pellets to the stove! Is there anyone out there with a truck, a strong back, and a willingness to help me out? Actually a few people would be great. The 50 40 lb bags of pellets need to be carried across the yard and up the stairs. All who help are welcome to hot chocolate with marshmallows and homemade cookies after. We can sit around the fire in the pellet stove and enjoy each others company.” • Victoria in Brattleboro

“Mom was done with her assisted living apartment (by way of moving into a Pearly Gates community) and we needed to clean out her refrigerator along with everything else. There was a little of this and a little of that, often repackaged, as was her way. But not the bag of Mini-Marshmallows. Nope, they were still sealed up. I like a fresh, soft marshmallow as much as the next guy. It’s just that, well, these were more like the hard mints you grab on the way out of a restaurant. Lethal weapons as ammo in a blowgun. Even a gecko wouldn’t have been able to toast them. Ma, I’m going to miss you and all those little idiosyncrasies that were so entertaining.” Ron in Alburgh

“If you have any spare marshmallows, please let me know. Seriously, what’s more fun than getting to know your neighbors, through community events, bartering, lending a helping hand, from your actual front porch or, more easily in winter weather, on Front Porch Forum?”  • Thomas in Windsor

 


Town officials in New York learn about FPF

“Talk of the Towns & Topics,” a publication for the Association of Towns of the State of New York, shared news of Front Porch Forum‘s expansion to parts of upstate New York.

FPF has served Vermont towns since 2006, and people use FPF for all sorts of things. This brief daily connection helps neighbors become better informed and more involved in the life of their towns.

“Technology can be used to divide us or bring us together. I really admire the way Front Porch Forum uses the Internet to bring us together. It’s not formulated to keep you in front of your screen. FPF urges you to read the local postings and then get going, and go out and be with your neighbors. That is really important and constructive in terms of building community and building democracy.”  • Susan Clark, a Vermont town moderator

“I really love your service and its natural connection to local governments”  • Libby with the Assoc. of Towns of the State of New York


Neighborly connections through FPF

Those new to a community often turn to Front Porch Forum to find connections.  What they find are wonderful neighbors!

I just moved to the neighborhood a few weeks ago! I am wondering if anyone is crafty or interested in crafts. I am hoping to have craft nights with others and maybe share techniques, catalogues, favorite tool, etc. Please be in touch if you would like to get together and talk crafts.”  • Kelley in Essex Junction

Hi FPF community, You all are the reason we chose to settle here and raise our family! The support you have shown after the loss of one third of my laying hens to a couple of domestic dogs, has truly been humbling. I thank you all for your kind words, your offers of help, suggestions & empathy. What a tremendous community, with wonderful neighbors, we all live in!!” • Deborah & Tim in East Hardwick


Paying it forward

The Holiday Season is fast approaching, but on Front Porch Forum we see neighbors paying it forward year-round. See this very generous posting from a Montpelier neighbor looking to pass on the goodwill in her life:

“Hi neighbors! I’ve just been to Costco for the first time since moving to Central Vermont a couple of years ago, and am super happy with the nutritious and relatively inexpensive food I was able to purchase!

As I’ve been experiencing some stressful food, fuel, and housing insecurity this past year, I’ve been incredibly grateful to local friends and organizations who have generously helped me fill up a tank of gas so I could get to work, share some of their shelf-stable food so I wouldn’t go hungry, and more!

I’d like to pay it forward — please let me know if any or all of the following (fresh, refrigerated) would be helpful to you, and when and where I could bring it to you…” 

Get inspired to connect with your neighbors and you might find surprising ways to support one another!


Our Leaf Bag is Full!

With help from thousands of Vermont and upstate NY neighbors… we made it! Thank you to the many Front Porch Forum members for chipping in to reach our October Supporting Member Campaign goal of $200,000.

If you meant to make your contribution and haven’t yet had a chance, there’s still time. Donate today!

“FPF has become the fabric of our communities, keeping each one abreast of the local to dos and stuff for sale and meetings to attend, and events coming up and information and gratitude for the great place we live here in Vermont.”   • Dave in Jericho

“I certainly agree with comments made about the important services provided by FPF. Vermont should never be without this kind of forum, providing an easy way for our communities to stay connected.”   • Roberta in West Bolton

FPF is a Public Benefit Corporation and not a charity. Contributions are not tax deductible. Ad sales to Vermont businesses cover most of our expenses, and your Supporting Member contribution helps close the gap.



People are awesome

One FPF member took to her forum to share just how awesome the people she’s met on Front Porch Forum are! Check it out:

“I just have to say that I have had such amazing people reach out to me since I moved here. My cousin has lived here in Morrisville for the past 30 years. Anytime I have needed help, she has referred me to this wonderful community here on Front Porch Forum. I have gotten free snow tires, a free haircut, furniture, and anonymous people helping me out. I am 61, a widow, and have disabilities. People are reaching out to me now offering me help to dig out my buried car. I am so grateful to all of you. Thank you for your generosity and caring. Hopefully some day, I can be of service somehow to someone. God bless you, and thanks to Front Porch Forum for existing.” • Gloria in Morrisville

Do you love your Front Porch Forum community? Help us get more people involved – donate to our October Supporting Member campaign today!


Trick-or-treating in rural Vermont

Vermont is one of the most rural states in the U.S. and many Vermonters live in homes that are tucked up to many miles away from the next house or main street. This can make participating in fun, community-centric celebrations, such as trick-or-treating, a real challenge.

See how this FPF member is coming up with ways to get more people involved in this year’s festivities!:

“Every year, my wife and I take our son to trick or treat around the center of Newfane. Living in a rural community, even in the center of town houses are a bit spread out and not all houses participate. Now since we live on a road that, let’s be honest, no one is going to take their kids trick or treating on, we though it would be nice to set up a table and display on the town common to give out treats.

We thought perhaps other folks who live out of town might like to participate as well.

I would love to hear other peoples thoughts on this. I think this could be a fun night, and bring more people out to celebrate.” • Jeffrey in Newfane

Have you used Front Porch Forum to get more involved in your community? If so, consider becoming a Supporting Member – make a donation today!


Random Acts of Kindness and Your Neighborhood FPF

It’s a tale as old as time! Random acts of kindness pop up all over Front Porch Forum: expressions of gratitude, folks organizing relief efforts for neighbors in need, and secret do-gooders surprising others with generosity. Recently, an FPF member shared the story below about a stranger coming through with heartwarming comfort and kindness, without seeking any recognition!

“A little over a year ago my dog Luke died very suddenly and unexpectedly and shortly thereafter a very caring and anonymous person left me a beautiful potted arrangement of flowers on my front porch. Just recently I had to put down my 14 year old border collie Jake. Once again a kind and truly caring person left a large beautiful potted mum on my front porch and again no signature on the hand written note. If you are this truly compassionate person either then and or now please know that your kindness means so much. Thank you.” • Christine D., Jericho FPF

Have you been inspired by the many acts of kindness shared and organized on FPF? Consider paying it forward by demonstrating acts of kindness in your neighborhood or by donating to FPF’s Supporting Member campaign to help us keep the good vibrations and community supportiveness rolling!