I’ve poked around various social networking sites and some impress with a feeling of community among distant strangers, others with sheer size or whiz-bang technology. But I’ve never seen anything that elicits the reaction that we’re seeing to Front Porch Forum in the neighborhoods where it’s really caught on in this corner of Vermont.
The other day as a I walked along the sidewalk in downtown Burlington, a woman drove past and did a double take. Break lights… she jumped out and ran over to give me a hug… “you’re the forum guy, right?!?!” Her car door hung open and the guy in the Audi behind her started fuming. Her house had burned the week before and her neighbors had rallied around her and her kids through Front Porch Forum. We kept it short and traffic resumed.
Not the first time we’ve seen neighbors pulling together to help one of their own, nor the first public tears of appreciation I’ve witnessed. People are genuinely moved when they connect with the people who live around them… when a degree of isolation is broken through.
And today from a different person we heard:
Front Porch Forum has connected us to our neighbors and the community quickly and profoundly. We’ve been in Burlington only nine months but because of the forum we feel that we know our neighbors, even if we haven’t actually met all of them. And when we have questions or information to share, it’s an easy, friendly way to get answers or help and share what we know with other people. Our experience of Burlington is so intimately tied up with Front Porch Forum at this point that they go together in our minds. Burlington = Front Porch Forum = community = connection = Burlington. L.D., Five Sisters Neighborhood Forum