Monthly Archives: January 2019

The secret? Staying local

We’re seeing an outpouring of interest in Front Porch Forum in light of the recently published article on the Verge!

Andrew Liptak, author of the Verge article How a Vermont social network became a model for online communities,” writes “Vermont’s Front Porch Forum is a good example of how to create a positive, online community – staying local.” 

Creator of Ruby on Rails and founder/CTO at Basecamp, David Hanemeier Hanson, saw the article and tweeted on his feed.  Then Jack Dorsey, a founder of Twitter and Square, retweeted it.  Clearly the work we’re doing is being recognized!  Thanks @dhh, @jack and the many others who have shared this article.

“Front Porch Forum isn’t designed as a virtual replacement for one’s real-world neighborhood — it’s meant to facilitate those everyday, in-person connections that form the basis of a community.”

Vermonters help Federal workers during shutdown

Front Porch Forum members reach out to help their neighbors affected by the Federal shutdown:

“This is a difficult time for some of our neighbors and we are ready to offer assistance. If you are affected, or you know any one affected by the “shut down” remind them, encourage them, tell them that food shelfs around the state are there to support them and they don’t have to worry about the cost of food in lieu of mortgage payments or gas for the car to get to work. We would be honored to help and support them. We are committed to helping our neighbors in need. • Ruthanne in Jeffersonville

“I own a home bakery and would like to offer families affected by the government shutdown free baked goods. I bake cookies, brownies, cakes and cupcakes, banana bread and other items.”  • Alice in Fairfax

“People have offered to help me in making sure that everyone in our community who is suffering due to the govt. shutdown have the basic necessities they need. We are a small community in a small state, and we need to make sure that those in this community who need help with the basic necessities receive the help they need.”   • Andi in Hardwick

“We know it isn’t much, but Green Rabbit wants to offer what we can… If any of you are feeling the financial crunch of missed paychecks due to the government shut down, please reach out to us. We are happy to deliver bread and/or a wholesome supper for your family.” • Suzanne in Waitsfield

“We would like to invite those government families who are currently not receiving wages to the food pantry. A large variety of fresh vegetables/fruit, and frozen and canned goods, staples (cereal, pasta etc.) will be available as well as meat and poultry, bread, eggs and cheese. We welcome the opportunity to be helpful to you as you navigate the government shutdown.”  • Lori, State Representative in Essex


Grab Your Toboggan

Our January Posting Flurry contest resulted in this wonderful story posted on FPF about community and helping our neighbors, with all the “feels”!

“Dan asked his teenage son and daughter if they would give him a hand. “Grab your toboggan, we’ll throw it in the truck”!

On his way to and from work, he had noticed that Mrs. Friendly’s woodpile had toppled over. She is 87, living alone and cooking and heating with wood. She says she always has, and she always will! She was a mentor to both of his children and they love her. She read to them at school.

The woodpile was too far from her house anyways and a snowstorm was about to hit the area. “Looking for a foot” she said when he called her.

Dan sat in his truck for an extra 5 minutes after talking to Mrs. Friendly and posted a request on Front Porch Forum for other helpers in the area, to help move and restack her wood. That evening when Dan and his teenagers arrived, eight other community members including three more teens, dressed in snow pants and boots, sneakers and some without gloves, pulling sleds of all kinds joined together in moving a cord of firewood. They stacked it on her porch and filled her many wood boxes inside. Dan said she begged us all to return for blueberry pie that next weekend. She said she had something to look forward to now, all toasty and warm and not worrying so much. “You better show up an eat my pies so the chickens don’t have to” she laughed.

It has now become a tradition for this same group to help her stack her winters wood. They check in on her, stop and visit, pick up groceries and her meds. She says she’s kinda glad her woodpile fell over, but mostly happy that Dan noticed and posted it “on that fancy phone of his”. Even when the kids come home from college they visit her. They bring “store bought pie” she complains.

Thank you FPF for making these kinds of things happen!!!”   • Suzan in Marshfield

This year’s January Posting Flurry is OVER… and the Lucky Winner is…

Front Porch Forum members submitted hundreds of clever “toboggan” entries into FPF‘s January Posting Flurry! Thanks to those who entered, and to all who enjoyed this bit of fun. Entries received before 1 pm on January 11 were entered in the random drawing. Please DO keep posting to your local FPF as the spirit moves… but the contest is done at this point.

Without further ado, the winning entry of this year’s random drawing for an iPad is…

“Our Wii died so I thought I’d check to see if anyone local has one they don’t use that they’d like to sell?
*bonus joke* 
Why do people from Massachusetts go to auctions? 
Toboggan!”  • Cathy in Granville

Kudos, Cathy! In addition to her clever post, we received some other noteworthy posts shared here:

“As you drive around town with your toboggan on the roof of your car, why not wave to the people in cars you meet going the other way ? You have more in common than you think – and a friendly wave will help spread good will and create a sense of community!”   • Holly in Tinmouth

“Hey All, I’ve got Vapor XV hockey gloves size 13…used, but usable ($40); Winnwell hockey stick ($15) and OP Black size 11 men’s low sneakers ($15). I’m certainly willing ‘toboggan‘!”  • Judy in Derby

“I joined FPF after another member explained it to me and encouraged me to join and I am so glad I did. New to the area, I have been able to keep up with important things I otherwise would not have necessarily known about, like the PFOA clinics for example. Also I found snow plowing services through FPF after no luck with ads, yellow pages, etc. So, I won’t need a toboggan to get out this winter! “  • Alice in Sunderland

“Our couch thinks it’s a toboggan and slides all over the room. We could use an area rug to teach it otherwise.  Maybe you’ve got one waiting for a new home?” • Beth in Stowe

What exactly is a “toboggan”? The answer is simply a matter of perspective, often based upon locale. In the south, a “toboggan” is a hat. Up north, a “toboggan” is a sled.  Let’s allow this contest to serve as a reminder that a misunderstanding or differing view is simply a matter of orientation. And that the most effective and neighborly way to engage with each other, whether on FPF or in person, is to first take brief moment and consider a different perspective.  Cheers to the first snow of the year, and may the lesson of the “toboggan” positively impact all posts in 2019!”  • Alexandra in Winooski

“RiseVT has graciously donated snowshoes to many libraries including the H.F Brigham Free Library. These are brand new Tubbs snowshoes in a variety of sizes. Come and borrow them for free with your library card! Sorry we are not lending out any toboggans at this time.” • Library Director, Bakersfield

“Do you have a great homemade remedy for scrapes and scratches from a runaway toboggan? The ride was great until it swung around and flipped over!” • Mary in Woodbury

“My wife and I are looking for an inexpensive home to buy, rent, or rent to own. Fixer uppers are great. Mainly looking for secluded. May consider other options. A toboggan hill would be a plus.” • Randy in Albany

“Its a little difficult in snow, 
But I geared up and ran. 
Those sneakers are now put away, 
While the ole “Toboggan” 
Will be my new play.”  • Dechen in Lincoln



It’s January Posting Flurry time!

Returning for another year, Front Porch Forum‘s Posting Flurry, a simple contest for FPF members through 1 PM, Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. Simply submit a posting on a topic of your choosing (“desk for sale,” “seeking plumber,” “ode to the cold”… you choose) and include the contest word “toboggan” anywhere in your posting and you will be automatically entered. We’ll randomly draw a winner this Friday, Jan. 11. That’s it!

So, if you’ve been meaning to post a question, concern, announcement, offer, observation, advice, etc… do it now and you might win a new iPad!

1. Any current FPF member may enter by submitting a posting to their local FPF before 1 PM on Jan. 11, 2019. The posting must include the word “toboggan.”  Remember to make sure you spell it correctly!
2. To be entered in the contest, postings should reflect a genuine effort to communicate, in the spirit of our mission “to help neighbors connect and build community.” The idea of the contest is to encourage legitimate postings, so please curb the impulse to post nonsense messages.
3. Limit one entry per day per member account.
4. The winner of the random drawing will be presented with a gift certificate to Small Dog Electronics with sufficient funds to purchase a new iPad 9.7-inch 32GB Wi-Fi.

To submit your posting:
Go to https://frontporchforum.com and click “Login”, then click “Compose Posting,” enter your message, and click “Submit Posting.”