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Category Archives: Neighborhood


Vermonters help Federal workers during shutdown

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

 


Grab Your Toboggan

Our January Posting Flurry contest resulted in this wonderful story posted on FPF about community and helping our neighbors, with all the “feels”!

“Dan asked his teenage son and daughter if they would give him a hand. “Grab your toboggan, we’ll throw it in the truck”!

On his way to and from work, he had noticed that Mrs. Friendly’s woodpile had toppled over. She is 87, living alone and cooking and heating with wood. She says she always has, and she always will! She was a mentor to both of his children and they love her. She read to them at school.

The woodpile was too far from her house anyways and a snowstorm was about to hit the area. “Looking for a foot” she said when he called her.

Dan sat in his truck for an extra 5 minutes after talking to Mrs. Friendly and posted a request on Front Porch Forum for other helpers in the area, to help move and restack her wood. That evening when Dan and his teenagers arrived, eight other community members including three more teens, dressed in snow pants and boots, sneakers and some without gloves, pulling sleds of all kinds joined together in moving a cord of firewood. They stacked it on her porch and filled her many wood boxes inside. Dan said she begged us all to return for blueberry pie that next weekend. She said she had something to look forward to now, all toasty and warm and not worrying so much. “You better show up an eat my pies so the chickens don’t have to” she laughed.

It has now become a tradition for this same group to help her stack her winters wood. They check in on her, stop and visit, pick up groceries and her meds. She says she’s kinda glad her woodpile fell over, but mostly happy that Dan noticed and posted it “on that fancy phone of his”. Even when the kids come home from college they visit her. They bring “store bought pie” she complains.

Thank you FPF for making these kinds of things happen!!!”   • Suzan in Marshfield


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



Helping our neighbors after snow storms

With winter storm Bruce hitting New England, Front Porch Forum members prepare to help

“I came across one of our elderly neighbors out shoveling by hand and having a hard go of it. I stopped to meet her and finish it up for her, and she was lamenting that none of her neighbors who she’s known for many many years offered to help, even the ones with snowblowers. I asked if she was on FPF and she reported she didn’t have a computer or internet. We had a nice talk while we worked together, about her church and spiritual understanding, and community and our collective cultural woes as we all retreat more and more behind our screens.

It was a sweet connection, and I felt well paid by the companionship and exercise. So now I’m back home behind my screen again, reaching out to my neighbors and inviting you all to come out after storms, and see what we can do together to help out our neighbors!  • Ark in So. Burlington


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

 


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?