A roadside sign along I-89N in Middlesex informs drivers to go to healthvermont.gov to learn more about the COVID-19 virus on Tuesday, March 10, 2020. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger
VTDigger spoke with co-founder of FPF, Michael Wood-Lewis, about how our members are posting with ideas on how to volunteer and help our neighbors as we face the challenges which the coronavirus brings each of us.
Vermonters, known for being civic-minded, have already started taking to Front Porch Forum and Twitter to see how they can help fellow residents prepare for the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Michael Wood-Lewis, founder of Front Porch Forum, said the online, community-based information service was seeing “dozens, probably hundreds” of posts from neighbors wanting to help out. Several ad hoc groups are organizing courier services to deliver supplies to neighbors who can’t leave their homes.
Post your offer of assistance or request for help to your local Front Porch Forum.
Read the full article here: https://vtdigger.org/2020/03/14/guide-how-you-can-help-volunteer-or-donate-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/
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!
“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 town. For 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
It’s Town Meeting Day in Vermont and Front Porch Forum is buzzing with posts about community-centric topics and local issues. Stay informed on what’s happening in your town and around the state, and keep the conversation going! Here are some great posts about Town Meeting Day from neighbors on FPF:
“Hi Neighbors! For those of you that haven’t taken advantage of early voting, I’m extending an invitation to help get you to Holley Hall tomorrow to VOTE! I have a young one with me, so my availability is limited. But during the morning, we would be more than happy to pick you up & take you home if getting out is a challenge for you.
Please get in touch this evening if you’d like to make a plan. Thank you to everyone who participates in voting!” • Megan in Bristol
“Here’s our proposal:
WHAT: a real Pot Luck Lunch
WHEN: on Town Meeting Day, Tuesday, March 3rd, whenever the meeting ends
WHERE: in the gym at Doty Memorial School
WHY: because it’s so good to be able to sit down and talk with neighbors that we may not see very often, while sharing a delicious meal!” • Dell in Worcester
“Town Meeting Day is a Vermont tradition that feels deeply important to me. We live in a place where we still can truly participate in the democratic process, connect with our neighbors, and model active citizenship to our children. Please consider attending, even if you never have before! I hope to see you there.” • Tai in Charlotte
Don’t forget to share your thoughts on Town Meeting Day on your FPF!
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
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