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Category Archives: Neighborhood

Better Informed Communities

Front Porch Forum Members Trust Their Neighbors.

 “When it comes to informing neighbors, was there really life before FPF?”  “Our community garden is thriving in its 4th season, largely because gardeners and supportive community members heard about it on Front Porch Forum. On FPF, we learn what our neighbors are thinking and doing. We participate in offerings we wouldn’t otherwise have known about. We avoid hazards we might have stumbled into if uninformed. We sell, buy, and give all manner of goods and services. I look forward to reading every issue. My responses range among curious, amused, concerned, angry, delighted, relieved, gobsmacked, inspired, and more. It takes a lot of worthy content to stimulate so much response repeatedly over time.”  • Sheryl in Montpelier

Connecting with neighbors and building local community begins with being better informed. FPF stimulates that in spades. Neighbors who use Front Porch Forum to communicate are more aware of who lives around them, stay better informed about what’s happening in their communities, and are more prepared to face challenges and times of crisis.

“FPF exists to help communities become more resilient,” says FPF co-founder, Michael Wood-Lewis. “Neighbors who know each other and communicate about what’s happening locally are far more likely to be better prepared to face tough times.”

You’ve got to know that a local issue is bubbling up if you’re going to be involved. For many Vermonters, that starts on their neighborhood or town FPF. Even knowing about the weekend’s yard sales or school sporting events via FPF leads people to getting more face-to-face time with neighbors.This leads to more connection and more involvement. Get on the local grapevine. Sign up for your local FPF. Read, and then share your perspective in a posting to neighbors.

Bree, librarian at the Westford Public Library, uses Front Porch Forum regularly to reach their patrons. From updates, special event notices and library closings, she finds FPF “reliable and easy to use. FPF is the social media outlet that reaches different generations of patrons – appealing to the whole town rather than a certain demographic or “friend” group.”

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.


The Great Monday Night Dog Chase

It’s not uncommon to hear wild tales of animal chases and gracious shout outs on Front Porch Forum, but it never gets old!

“Thank you to everyone who helped, offered to assist, pointed us in the right direction, or simply wished us luck as we chased the very fast and wily “Rolo the dog” all over our fair city after he escaped while we were dog-sitting. His jaunt included most of North Street (twice), Spring Street, all of Weaver Street, the Winooski Circle, the Casavant trail, and ended on Platt Street.

A special thanks to Ben for assisting with our pursuit on his moped; to all of the folks who donned headlamps and searched on foot; to the kind couple on Platt Street who found one very exhausted pup in their driveway and called the Winooski PD; and to the Winooski Police Department for their kindness and prompt attention. And lastly, our sincere apologies to anyone who was offended by a silver Subaru that was driving in a less-than-courteous manner as we tried to keep Rolo the Escapee in our sights.

Rolo is home safe and sound, and we are grateful for such a caring community! ” – Charlotte A. & Chris in Winooski


Appreciation for the splendor around us

A neighbor shares his love of a local trail on Front Porch Forum.

“I took my first ride under forest canopy, between wildflower meadows in full bloom with our native species, flushed out flocks of Goldfinch, travelled past pond and wildlife on paths in excellent condition. See vineyard and mountain peaks colored by the sunset and get away from it all right here!” • Larry in Charlotte

Thanks for the reminder to get out and explore where we live!


Thankful to live in such a cool place

Witnessing good deeds from neighbors happens often on Front Porch Forum:

“Thank you to the mysterious neighbor who patched my flat tire while I was out of town. I moved to Vermont in the last year and have met a lot of very nice people, but this goes above and beyond what I would expect out of my neighbors. I will honor your good deed by doing a good deed for someone else in need in the future.  • Kevin in Winooski

“I drove into the gas station on fumes, parked in front of the pump, and noticed that I had left my purse at home.  A gentlemen who happened to be in the store simply offered to pay for the gas, saying “It makes me happy if I can help.” Such generosity is rare and hope will be repaid to you in kindness many times over!”  • Isa in Greensboro

“Thank you to the kind person who turned in my debit card, dropped on the trail, to our bank. I appreciate it very much and hope to come across you on the path to thank you in person very soon.” • Hillary in Shelburne

Is there someone in your town you want to thank? Post it on FPF!


Free rhubarb. Swap for pie.

A beautiful example of using Front Porch Forum

“I harvested my large rhubarb plant.  However my baking skills do not match my gardening skills, so I posted: “Free rhubarb. Will consider swap for a pie.”  I swapped the rhubarb, got a luscious pie and a new friend who will get my crop annually.  I look forward to years of pies.” • Renee in Warren

Have an abundance of vegetables in your garden? Share them with neighbors on FPF!


Neighborhood surveys bring communities together

From community projects to block parties, many are using surveys on Front Porch Forum:

“Just a quick reminder to take the White Church survey – what do you want the church to become? Let’s hear peoples ideas!”  • Eric in Westford

“In an effort to strengthen the safety and health of our neighborhood, we have created a survey to get a sense of what people would like to see updated or improved, and what people might be able to do to help make these things happen.” • Kate and Matt in South Burlington

“Is there any interest in having a casual neighborhood social / block party to get to know each other? Willing to do most of the legwork organizing if others are interested. I put together this survey, and hope you’ll take a minute to fill it out and let me know!” • Sara in South Burlington

“We recently did a survey and FPF came in as one of the most reliable sources of info for seniors.” • Patricia in Winooski

Want to get your neighbors input through FPF? Here’s how:

STEPS:

  1. Create a survey. Research which platform will work best for your needs.
  2. Create a post with a link to the survey on FPF. Explain the intent of the survey.
  3. Post a reminder post prior to your deadline for input.
  4. Have others in the neighborhood also post reminders.
  5. Check the share box to include neighboring towns if appropriate.

Summer work with the help of neighbors

College students and landscapers find work with the help of FPF:

“Just wanted to let everyone know that I am booked with at least 9 people to work for this summer and will post something if I am open to more work. Thank you all to those who have replied to my Front Porch Forum as it helps a lot!” • Kyle in Moretown

“Thanks to FPF, I saw a post for landscaping, masonry, carpentry, painting, and driveway repair work when I needed help fixing our stone wall. Jeremy fixed the problems with speed and skill. He’s a clean, careful worker. I will hire him again.” • Casey in Johnson

“Thank you for all the recommendations for Lawn Care, we have someone now. I greatly appreciate all the responses and love Front Porch Forum.” • Kim in Morrisville

Looking for help with odd jobs around the house? Try FPF!


A testament to Vermont teenagers

Front Porch Forum members routinely recognize the volunteers who give graciously in their communities.

“I managed to make a spectacular fall this past winter and ignored the pain until it was 2 AM on a very snowy night. Unable to get out of bed, I called 911 and within 10 minutes an ambulance with four young people backed down my 6” deep snow covered drive to my front door. Four young people put me on a stretcher and carried me to the waiting ambulance. 

On the way to the hospital I discovered two of my attendants were high school students. This being a Tuesday night at 3 AM, I asked about school and was told they had classes the next day at 8 O’Clock and would be there. They did this routinely as volunteers, twice a month.

I think this is an overwhelming testament to the American, (Vermont?) teenager of today.. I don’t know how many volunteer rescue services have similar programs, but I certainly appreciate this one.” • Jack in Jericho


Knitting together a community at the parade

FPF members remind us of the importance of in person connections.

“I’d love to see a float or section of the parade for NEW IN TOWN residents. How much fun would it be to meet babies born in the last year as well as any new families and other residents who moved here in the past 12 months or so!!! We could introduce ourselves during the after-parade festivities. Not all of us have the format of school activities for getting to know others, and using this idea would create another opportunity for knitting together our community.” • Susan in Westford

Have your own idea to share on meeting new people in town? Share on Front Porch Forum.


A shout out to generous neighbors

Thank you all, and, Front Porch Forum, for the ability to seek items, and the onslaught of people that responded!” • Dean in Rochester

“I am so happy that I post here before any where else cause it’s the community you live in that is always the most helpful.”  • Heather in Grand Isle

“Thanks to everyone who responded so quickly with my search for Mason Jars and Glass Jugs for our wedding. I am once again overwhelmed at the outpouring of support in this community.” • Lisa in Fayston

“I was looking to borrow a Pole Saw and within ten minutes of my post my doorbell rang with my neighbor having a pole saw in his hand!” • Chris in So. Burlington

“It looks like we’ve found our hoop! What a great community this is!” • Jennifer in Middlebury

“Thanks to all who responded to our call for wood. FPF is a life saver and our friends & neighbors are beyond helpful.” • Cecile in Vergennes

Several people responded to my search for bike wheels…I’m so stoked about this project and the community that so readily pitched in to help.” • Seth in Cambridge

“In regards to ‘Desperately Seeking Bed’, thank you to all that responded to my plea! It’s really nice knowing that I have moved to such a great place with amazing people!” • Erica in Stowe