“Sometime very recently our Town Hall had a visitor – not the ‘tooth fairy’ but perhaps the ‘wreath fairy’ who once again has hung beautiful balsam fir wreaths on our two front doors for everyone’s enjoyment. And so to our ‘wreath fairy’ – hope you are on Front Porch Forum and see this heartfelt THANK YOU!”
• Gloria, Ferrisburgh FPF
“Our weather vane has been recovered and returned to us, thanks to Front Porch Forum! An alert FPF reader recognized the cast iron horse at a local second-hand store. Thanks to this Barre neighbor and the Barre City Police Department, the relic from my childhood is back home. There is no doubt it was stolen from our yard before making its way to the store, so please keep this in mind as you decorate outdoors, no matter how “safe” your neighborhood may be.
“Many many thanks to the alert neighbor who acted on his suspicion. And thank you also to the people who emailed me to express their concern for the incident, and also for my personal feelings of loss. You brought me a lot of comfort with your messages.”
“I may be going to Mexico for a week in the spring. I can count to 10 in Spanish, and say “good morning” and that’s it. Although I won’t be entirely on my own, it seems prudent for me to have some grounding in the language. Can anyone recommend a source for lessons, or would anyone be willing to teach me once a week or so? I hardly know where to begin.”
• Elizabeth, Randolph Front Porch Forum, Dec. 1
“Thanks to all the FPF members who filled my mailbox with suggestions for learning Spanish and offers to have “conversation time” with me. One email came from the director of the Spanish immersion program at the Randolph Tech and Career center. He has set me up with one of his advanced students, he and she are providing me all sorts of ideas and resources (many online)… The first phrase I asked to learn was “More slowly, please”! (“Mas despacio, por favor!”) I so appreciate everyone’s interest and ideas. What a great forum!”
• Elizabeth, Randolph FPF, Dec. 8
“A huge thank you to John T. for finding our frightened dog Gracie on Jericho Road and taking her back to his house. He then promptly posted to Front Porch Forum and we were quickly reunited. She had been frightened by gunshots and had taken off. After calling and calling for her, for over an hour, I knew that I needed to watch the Forum for news. And the good news came quickly. Thank you to our wonderful neighbors and to Front Porch Forum for providing such a valuable service to our community.”
• Deb, Jericho Front Porch Forum
Nearly 10 years after it was created, the online community known as Front Porch Forum is a well-established statewide service.
It’s a unique model that hasn’t been duplicated on a statewide level elsewhere, but Front Porch Forum CEO and co-founder Michael Wood-Lewis says the business is viable without expanding beyond Vermont.
The free online community message board was started by Wood-Lewis and his wife Valerie when they were looking for a way to communicate with people in their Burlington neighborhood.
The business grew steadily. Then, in 2013, Front Porch Forum received a grant under the Vermont Council on Rural Development‘s Digital Economy Project that allowed it to essentially double its coverage area to include every town in Vermont.
Today the business has a dozen employees and is financially sustainable…
“Thanks to all the folks who offered to lend me a stroller for my visiting granddaughter. Especially on Thanksgiving it was heart warming that strangers would extend themselves to reach out to me. Front Porch Forum is an excellent way of making connections and building community.”
• Marsha, Hardwick Walden FPF
What an impressive kid… posting below in the Montpelier FPF recently…
Two weeks ago I was hit by a car and my mom posted a note to Front Porch Forum about this. I just wanted to give a big thanks to all the people who responded with advice, kindness, and support after this event. Also, a big thanks to Freeride Community Bike Shop on Barre St, who gave me parts and helped me rebuild my bike. You should definitely check them out sometime!
And here’s his mom’s initial posting…
To the Driver That Hit My Son on His Bike with Your Car: My 15-year-old was hit tonight at 5:50pm on State Street near the DMV riding his bike across the cross walk. The man driving the car did not even get out. Just yelled out the window “Are you ok?”. Although my son was not physically injured as he was thrown to the ground from his bike I want you to know that his bike was totaled. He saved up for that bike by himself working as a page at our public library. My son was too polite and too inexperienced in these matters to ask for any of your information. Shame on you for your irresponsible, dangerous behavior. Shame on you for not even getting out of your car. If anyone has any information or witnessed a Jeep Cherokee hitting a kid on a bike and then taking off on the evening of Friday Nov. 13 please let us know.
“Much to be thankful for today, including the kindness of strangers and the power of community. Cooper, who has been missing since hit by a car one week ago, survived his ordeal and was just reunited with his owners. Thanks and blessings to the FPF community!!”
• Karen, Barre Town Front Porch Forum
Stowe Middle School students no longer have to gobble and go. After parents and students complained that lunch periods didn’t allow enough time to finish a nutritious meal, school administrators decided last week to expand them to 20 minutes…
Student Kenzie Bruce posted on Front Porch Forum last week that the changes were already having a beneficial effect. “I, and others, are very grateful for the change,” Bruce wrote.
Parent Elizabeth Croes says her daughter no longer comes home from school with a lunchbox full of half-eaten food. “I was glad that enough parents expressed concern that they were able to change it quickly and positively,” Croes said. “It was good to have children see that it’s OK to express concern in a respectful way and to have the community respond to support them… “
Croes posted comments about the issue on Front Porch Forum, drawing responses from parents, students and community members who urged that lunch periods last longer. “As more and more people became aware and said, “˜Wait, this isn’t good,’ it was wonderful to have the support of parents and community members, even people without children in the school system,” Croes said…
Croes sees the Front Porch Forum campaign as “a perfect example of social media being used for good.” In an age in which parents might not always know one another, it made the community aware of what was going on and helped bring about beneficial change, she said.