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Ghost of Midnight

… about neighbors, community and Front Porch Forum

Creative School Projects at Home

Every day we are hearing more and more serious news about COVID-19. Front Porch Forum members are busy networking to help each other with child care and grocery shopping, sharing news and ideas, and creative learning projects kids can do while school is closed. Below, read about two kids who are preparing to put their academic skills to use in a creative home project.

“Hey Stowe neighbors,

We are in 4th and 2nd grade at Stowe Elementary. We can’t go to school now so we would like to work on a fun and creative outdoor project. The project we chose is to build an Adirondack lean-to like the ones the Civilian Conservation Corps built in the 1930’s. We researched online and found plans. We want to build our lean-to so we can camp out in it. In this project we will use math skills, reading skills, measuring and how to use tools.

The reason we are reaching out to you is because we would like to know is anyone has any left over building materials that we could come pick up to use for our project. We will modify the plans for the lean-to to be built with the materials we can find.

We are seeking:
roofing materials
plywood for decking
wood that could be used for walls

During this time of social separation, it is nice to have Front Porch Forum.” • 4th & 2nd Graders in Stowe, Vt.

Share your creative ideas or network with neighbors in your community on FPF today. We are all in this together!



FPF Members Prepare for COVID-19

Vermonters and Upstate New Yorkers are turning to their local FPF to share information and mobilize efforts to help their neighbors prepare for COVID-19. Keep an eye out for new information from your local public officials, updates on area events and business practices, and keep in touch with your neighbors to see how you can help each other to be resilient during this time.

Here are how some neighbors are reaching out in light of COVID-19:

 

“Hi Neighbors,

We don’t know how much coronavirus is already in our community, but its time to be prepared.

Two of the most important things you can do are:

  • -WASH YOUR HANDS frequently and well
  • -If you feel at all unwell- STAY HOME.

The 2nd point, self-isolation, can be a really big sacrifice.

I think I speak for our community when I say “thank you” in advance for doing this, and that we want to support you in doing the right thing.

So please, if you need to self-isolate, reach out to your neighbors, through tools like FPF. Some things we might be able to provide for each other might include:

  • -Grocery Delivery
  • -Netflix Passwords
  • -FaceTime Check-ins / playing online games.

If you need to stay isolated @ home and there’s anything at all that might make it easier for you to do that, please don’t hesitate to ask your neighbors.” • Ben in Burlington, Vt.

 

Hi, Richmond! Still very much hoping that this does not affect our town. However, if you or someone you know is self-quarantining due to concerns about coronavirus, your community is available to help—several people have expressed interest in assisting with deliveries of groceries and other essentials.

In that case, please feel free to get in touch. If you know someone who needs assistance and doesn’t use email, they can reach me by phone.” • Jen in Richmond, Vt.

 

Hey neighbors, let’s start using this group as a way to support each other during the coronavirus pandemic. Those of us who are able to provide assistance can let that be known (I can!). And, as voluntary and mandatory social distancing increases, folks who should stay home (anyone over 65, anyone with a compromised immune system, anyone showing signs of illness) can post here with questions or requests for assistance. Why not run a few errands for our neighbors, right? Let’s all take good care of each other.” Kristen in Burlington, Vt.

 

Looking for information and resources to help prepare for COVID-19? See this informational video approved by the Vermont Department of Health:

Coronavirus PSA – open captions

Other resources on COVID-19:

Front Porch Forum is a free, local resource that can help neighbors to stay informed and band together. Don’t forget to check in to see how your community is working together to get ahead of COVID-19.


Area small businesses connect with locals on FPF

Small businesses and your neighbors find great value in Front Porch Forum’s Business Directory

“The Standard Business Access Plan with recurring payments is a GREAT value (in my opinion), far better than newsprint with its reach and reader retention. I am able to connect with local shoppers and cultivate a nice client list. Keep doing what you are doing for the area small businesses, it is greatly appreciated.”  • Heidi at Whipple Tree Designs

I first hired Terri from the FPF Business Index last summer to prepare for a “mom visit” – and Terri cleaned my house so well that even my Mom was impressed!” • Catherine in Northfield

Recently I posted a query about vacuum cleaner repair. The closest recommendation was in Williston. But then I found a listing in the FPF business directory.” • John in East Montpelier

Use FPF’s Business Directory and support your local area businesses!


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



“Treating Loneliness as a Medical Condition”

Studies are showing loneliness is having a negative impact on individuals’ health. Strong communities and social connectivity help individuals experiencing loneliness to improve their health and wellness.

Reasons to be Cheerful published an article about a clinic in England that started working with lonely patients to find resources and opportunities to connect with others, building up social capital and decreasing health spending. People known as health connectors began to facilitate discussions with lonely patients.

“These health connectors could connect the patients to traditional medical services, but also to social services: discussion groups, a “shed” where men could come together to work on projects, group exercise classes, help with shopping, help joining a community choir, even a befriending service.”

Read the full article here.


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


VT Benefit Corp Seeking Full-Stack Developer

Front Porch Forum is seeking an Intermediate or Senior-level Developer to join our team. The position is full-time and based in Burlington (remote optional). Be part of a world-class team of engineers. Help us fulfill our community-building mission.

Click here for details.


Finding lost treasure(s) on FPF

With the help of neighbors, Front Porch Forum members are reunited with treasured items and pets.

We found Clem, our parrot, this morning from FPF postings and people looking out for her. Because people could contact us, we found her within 20 minutes of her moving to a different location. She flew down from treetops to telephone wire to my shoulder and we brought her back home. We are grateful for FPF and to all the people in our community who helped track her, talk to her and contact us!”  • Michelle in Montpelier

FPF is awesome! Within hours of posting my lost Yaktrax, I got a call from a neighbor who found both missing pairs, and another call from a neighbor offering me the ones she never uses! Thanks folks!”  • Deb in Brookline

Thank you. Whoever you are. In a moment of disheveled mania (dogs to emergency vet), i needed gas. During that transaction, and juggling vet calls, i dropped my debit card. And someone just returned it. Just like that. So simple and yet so meaningful. I can’t thank you enough. You have a piece of my heart… and sanity. ❤️” • Coco in Johnson

“I am glad the goat found his way home. Thanks for the narrative of the plight of Mr. Henkles as well as those who posted after finding a wandering goat. I actually anticipated the next FPF to follow the mystery/goat thriller.”
• Jeremy in Fayston

“I just recovered my glasses courtesy of a thoughtful neighbor who saw the listing and made the effort to respond. Many thanks to the two other folks who responded in a helpful manner, as well as to Front Porch Forum that makes this sort of thing possible.” • Peter in East Montpelier