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Category Archives: How To Use FPF

It’s election season!

Many are using Front Porch Forum to discuss political issues and candidates.

“There is no other source for local information about candidates, issues, and budgets that is free. I’m glad there are no memes here, no trolling for the sake of argument, but I deeply value the access to local issues, challenges, opinions, and endorsements of local candidates for office. Civil discourse is valuable. Let’s keep the emphasis on Civil as we continue the discourse.”  • Wade in Brandon, Vt.

“If, as stated, FPF is about connecting, then it should be more than just a community bulletin board. Someone said that there are plenty of other forums for political discussion. True, but by the same token there are also plenty of other places to let people know that you have extra puzzles or vegetable starts to give away. As long as we keep things civil and respectful there’s nothing wrong with an exchange of differing viewpoints. And those who don’t wish to read something are perfectly free to skip over it.”  • Lisa in Brattleboro, Vt.

“A forum is, among other things, a site for discussion. If we can’t air our differences, how can we ever resolve them? For that matter, can we really understand issues, local or otherwise, if we don’t discuss them, if we view them only monocularly, through the single lens of our own parochial points of view? What safer place to air one’s views than FPF, where tempers are necessarily tempered by the relative quiet of written speech? And what better way to organize and solidify one’s thoughts, to familiarize oneself with one’s own views, than to write them down in coherent sentences? Write on!” • Keith in So. Hero, Vt.

I would say that the idea of Front Porch Forum is to replicate the idea of sitting on the front porch and discussing what is going on in the world–near and far. I don’t think that a forum is only for looking for lost pets or selling tires. The definition of a forum is a place where people can exchange ideas, like being a libertarian, discussing the issues of the day, announcing area activities, and looking for lost pets and selling tires. Whatever people used to do on their front porch. I find discussions on the forum to be interesting and thought provoking. Obviously I don’t always agree but my horizons are broadened, causing me to at least think about things that otherwise would not be brought to my attention. If you don’t like the political stuff, don’t read it, but appreciate the fact that you can read about Odin, 225-65-17’s for sale and that the farmer’s market has moved in doors and all sorts of other things. I encourage people to put their thoughts and ideas out there for others to think about. At least we’re having a discussion with our neighbors about things that matter.” • Thomas in Roxbury, Vt.


FPF Got a Makeover! Access your Forum three different ways

Since Front Porch Forum released the email forum redesign in June, we’ve heard lots of great feedback from members! See what some of your neighbors have to say about the new formatting:

“Way to go FPF! You are a star in our communities. As a generator of two posts a week, I find FPF an ideal forum to keep our communities informed. You Rock!!!!” • John H. from Charlotte/Shelburne, Vt.

“The great thing about FPF is anyone is welcome to post on subjects that are important to them; for some people it’s Doggy Play Dates or Free Plants, and for others it’s Community Health Issues. The new format and bold subject field enable you to peruse the page, read the posts that interest you, and skip the ones that don’t (or maybe be exposed to a different point of view.) Thanks, FPF, for the opportunity to connect and share.” • Joseph C. from Waterbury Center, Vt.

In addition to the email forum redesign, FPF has taken more steps to make the forum cleaner and easier to use. Last year, we released a mobile app, which can be download from the Apple® and Google Play® app stores. It’s changing the way many FPF members read their forums!

“Get the App…best thing since sliced bread. I will now be able to keep up with it daily. Thank you FPF”
• Tammy W. from Morrisville, Vt.

Lastly, FPF members can access their forum by logging in from our website https://frontporchforum.com. Submit a posting, search the archives, access the business directory, and more!


Finding quick responses from neighbors

“Thanks for the set of Dominos, Pam! This Front Porch Forum really works!!!”  • Nancy in Jericho

There were so many people (50!) who responded to my request for shopping help, that it’s taking me awhile to reply to each person. Please know that I am quite grateful, and you will hear back from me. It’s very nice to have such good folks around.”  • Mary in Williston

Kind thanks to all who responded to my request for data entry work from home. 10 replies in 20 mins.. Project in progress. Stay healthy.”  • Jonathan in Charlotte

Hi! I started a routine of telling jokes every night to my 86-year-old mother who is quarantined alone in Florida. I’m running out of jokes and would really appreciate any help with new jokes…not too racy… Thanks so much!!!”  • Kim in Moretown

I recently added a posting to FPF for dog sitting and received quite a few responses. We successfully found someone that will take care of our shelties. Front Porch Forum has proven once again to be a wonderful resource. Thank you to all.”  • Sue in Danville

Post your need, large or small, quirky or off-beat on FPF!


Gifts for neighbors in need

A number of generous “free” items and services are being offered on Front Porch Forum.


“I have about 5 yards of quilt weight fabric and lots of odds and ends of thread that I’d be happy to give anyone wanting to make face masks. I’d be happy to drop it off anywhere in the kingdom or you could pick it up.”  • Jenise in Barton, Vt.

Hey Friends, with the recent job climate and layoffs around town I wanted to offer my expertise to help with free resume reviews. Send any questions to me and I’ll respond and find time after hours to review and get back to you. Cheers and be safe!” • CJ in Stowe

My husband and I are avid from-scratch bread makers and would love to make homemade bread for those not able to get to grocery stores easily. Our capacity is 2-3 loaves a day so we will get to everyone we can over time. Please email me your name, phone number, and address and we will call the night before your name is up! If you have need for an emergency loaf, please let us know and we will do our best to get it to you ASAP.” • Mary Jane and Steve in Williston

“I have 2 new Chromebook laptop computers that I would like to donate to 2 local students who may not have the resources to ensure computer connectivity in order to engage in online learning and enrichment.”  • Nancy in Randolph

“It is a difficult time right now with so many children and adults working from home. I have a desktop computer with all the accoutrements available for a family who needs it for work or schooling. I can bring it to you if transportation is an issue.” • Nichole in Middlebury

“Do you need homeschool supplies to help keep your kids active and learning at home? If the cost of homeschool supplies is a hardship, please contact me. I several supplies available at no cost. I’m happy to deliver or have you pick up.” • Nathan in Burlington

Have something you can contribute to help others in your community? Post them on FPF!


Going on a Bear Hunt

“This just makes me so happy. My @frontporchforum has never seen this much action.” • Whitney in Burlington

Front Porch Forum members are creating local scavenger hunts. The popular “Bear Hunt” is fun for kids. Neighbors put teddy bears (and other stuffed animals) in their own windows for children to spot when they walk or ride around their neighborhoods. 

“Would folks like to create a bear hunt? We will definitely have some bears in our windows and are curious if other neighbors would like to join in the “hunt”.  Members of a number of communities across the globe are placing teddy bears and other stuffed animals in their homes’ windows to create a scavenger hunt-esque activity for kids who are stuck at home. While taking walks or drives around the neighborhood with their parents, kids in participating communities can have some fun by keeping an eye out for any number of stuffed animals that have been put on display at other houses.”  • Judy in Burlington

Start one in your neighborhood with a post on FPF!


Sharing is Caring!

Supply shortages and photos of bare shelves have been all over the news and social media platforms over the last couple of weeks. Many Front Porch Forum members have taken to their neighborhood forums to share what they can with neighbors in need of this and that. See some inspiring and generous posts below!

 

“I appreciate so much all the offers to help in our community. Please try to use the Waterbury Good Neighbor Fund and our Food Shelf as central well-connected mechanisms to help the most people. Another way to help is by buying gift certificates for businesses that are likely to have to close or slow down (though recognize that just spreads out the loss of business). I’d suggest if you are in a position to tip heavily to your local and beloved businesses as appropriate, please do. They have been there for our community, and they are entering a time of massive uncertainty. Another way to help is to donate blood. Most organized blood drives will be closed for concerns of congregating too many folks. If you are healthy (and bored), and can make your way to a donation center, that will be super helpful to our medical system as this pandemic progresses. Covid patients don’t usually need blood products but we will still see the baseline cases of trauma, etc that will need blood and with drives closed we will run out quickly. Science/math-based models suggest this virus will be hitting peak numbers in VT during May/June. We have a little time to get ready. Please settle in for the marathon ahead. I’d welcome any 1000 piece plus puzzles folks have to share! :)” • Amy O. in Waterbury, Vt.

 

Been having fun making tiny bottles of hand sanitizer. For those days when you’re out and about and can’t get easily to a sink and soap. Have placed some in a basket on my front stoop. When the weather is fair-ish. Please feel free to take one.

I’m using 90% alcohol that dilutes down a bit when mixed with aloe vera gel, but still should be super strong. Hand sanitizer kills the virus but doesn’t wash it away. Soap and water are still best for that.

If you have any small bottles, ie the travel sizes, that’s the choke point in the Sue’s Sanitizer pipeline, so it would be most kindly appreciated if you drop them into the same basket.” • Sue S. in Burlington, Vt.

 

“I too would love to offer support as its needed….I am a naturopathic physician, and one thing i can offer is herbal medicine, specifically antiviral tincture which is a boost to the immune system and proactive and protective against viral infection in these trying times. Please get in touch if you would like some to be dropped to your home, if you are in need…(Until it runs out;) Also if you are elderly or at risk and you need extra support in the form of grocery runs or anything like that i can be of service.

Much love in this time of physical distancing! I too cannot wait until the time i can hug my loved ones;)” Casey E. in Middlesex, Vt.

Do you have items, talents, or ideas you are able to share? Or are you in need of something specific? Reach out to your neighbors on FPF today! We’re all in this together.




Pssst! Do you want to be in-the-know?

“Have access to every community event before it happens? You can—with the click of one button!  Here’s the secret: Click the box in your FPF e-newsletter that says “CALENDAR.”  This link will magically bring you to our Community Calendar page, where you can find out what’s happening all over townFor instance, just next week alone, I see…

…A poetry performance by local youth
…A school board meeting about hiring the new SU superintendent
…The Empower Vermont high school music festival
…A Spring Trails event
…A diaper drive featuring a magician (Wait, what? Hey, I’m just telling you what’s on the calendar.)

If you’d like your upcoming event to appear on our local Community Calendar, just post it as an “event” on Front Porch Forum, and it will appear there automatically.  Enjoy this cool resource!” • Ursula in Middlesex

“Perhaps other people already know this, but I only recently became aware of the calendar that is available on Front Porch Forum. If you click on FAQ and then “calendar,” you can see the calendar for a whole month.  Anyone who is trying to schedule an event, should check this calendar first, in order to help avoid conflicts.”   • Susan in Randolph

“Hurray for Valley Calendar!  At last a way to see some of what is going on in the Valley – please keep showing the Mad River Valley Calendar in FPF!”   • Pamela in Warren

“There really is a sense of community commitment, responsibility, and self-reliance that we’ve never seen any place else when we read FPF. It’s a wonderful on-line communication model for communities that want to effectively keep in touch, and offer something for everyone. We thoroughly enjoy the news and updates from the surrounding communities, as well as updates on the legislative meetings that are open to the public. It is not only engaging to learn about what services are available (enormously helpful!), but the social calendars are fun too. Well done!” • Rona & Richard in Arlington


FPF Search: A very useful function

Looking for a recommendation from an old, “lost” posting on Front Porch Forum? Members remind us that you can use our “Search” function with great success!  (Searching past posting is available both on our website and the FPF mobile app!)

“I notice a lot of requests for past postings that people are requesting. If you were to log into your Front Porch Forum Account, Click on the “Search” button and type in a key word. This will bring up all sorts of past postings that you are looking for. I’ve done this numerous times in the past.”  • Michael in Bristol

“If you are looking for old posts, you do not have to wait until you post a question and (hopefully) get an answer the next day. Just go to frontporchforum.com, sign in and hit search archives. If you just type the pertinent words in the right side of the page, it finds any posts on the subject for whatever date range you request and whichever neighborhoods you want. If you want a phrase, put quotes around the phrase or it might find anything with any of the words. It may find even some posts you did not recall seeing in the first place which could be helpful. I’ve used this more times than I can count to locate people and find recommendations.”  • Donna in Calais

“It really helps to post recommendations to the Forum as opposed to emailing the author.”   • Nancy in Fairfax

“If you need to search past issues of FPF, go to the login page and the third option on the top menu is “search archive.” It is a very useful function.”   • Laury in Montpelier