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Author Archives: Renee Bean

Paying it forward

The Holiday Season is fast approaching, but on Front Porch Forum we see neighbors paying it forward year-round. See this very generous posting from a Montpelier neighbor looking to pass on the goodwill in her life:

“Hi neighbors! I’ve just been to Costco for the first time since moving to Central Vermont a couple of years ago, and am super happy with the nutritious and relatively inexpensive food I was able to purchase!

As I’ve been experiencing some stressful food, fuel, and housing insecurity this past year, I’ve been incredibly grateful to local friends and organizations who have generously helped me fill up a tank of gas so I could get to work, share some of their shelf-stable food so I wouldn’t go hungry, and more!

I’d like to pay it forward — please let me know if any or all of the following (fresh, refrigerated) would be helpful to you, and when and where I could bring it to you…” 

Get inspired to connect with your neighbors and you might find surprising ways to support one another!


FPF on VPR’s Vermont Edition Oct. 23

Tune in to VPR on Wed., Oct. 23 from 12:05 p.m. – 12:45 p.m., to hear a fascinating discussion between Jane Lindholm and FPF co-founder, Michael Wood-Lewis.  Details here.

This Vermont Edition will take a deep-dive into responses from survey participants about life in rural Vermont. The results of the Vermont Rural Life Survey, a part of the VPR and Vermont PBS This Land project, reveal new insights into the quality of life in Vermont.

Turn on your radio for this great segment on Wednesday afternoon, or stream it here!


In giving you will receive

It’s wonderful to know we have neighbors and loved ones alike who can help us out when we need a hand. Sometimes, it’s even better to be the one offering something! A heartfelt story of thanks shared on Front Porch Forum below…

“Last month Rachel O., who is a teacher, requested Legos on our Front Porch Forum. I had a large bin of them from my grandchildren. They hadn’t played with them for years, so I thought it would be a good thing to donate them to Rachel, for her students.

Well, yesterday I received a thick envelope, in the mail. Seven students, from her 5/6th grade class wrote me thank you letters. What a heart warming surprise!

The saying goes, ” in giving, you will receive” how true that is.”  • Carmen in Burlington

If you want to see more stories like this, consider supporting FPF with your donation – become a Supporting Member.


People are awesome

One FPF member took to her forum to share just how awesome the people she’s met on Front Porch Forum are! Check it out:

“I just have to say that I have had such amazing people reach out to me since I moved here. My cousin has lived here in Morrisville for the past 30 years. Anytime I have needed help, she has referred me to this wonderful community here on Front Porch Forum. I have gotten free snow tires, a free haircut, furniture, and anonymous people helping me out. I am 61, a widow, and have disabilities. People are reaching out to me now offering me help to dig out my buried car. I am so grateful to all of you. Thank you for your generosity and caring. Hopefully some day, I can be of service somehow to someone. God bless you, and thanks to Front Porch Forum for existing.” • Gloria in Morrisville

Do you love your Front Porch Forum community? Help us get more people involved – donate to our October Supporting Member campaign today!


Trick-or-treating in rural Vermont

Vermont is one of the most rural states in the U.S. and many Vermonters live in homes that are tucked up to many miles away from the next house or main street. This can make participating in fun, community-centric celebrations, such as trick-or-treating, a real challenge.

See how this FPF member is coming up with ways to get more people involved in this year’s festivities!:

“Every year, my wife and I take our son to trick or treat around the center of Newfane. Living in a rural community, even in the center of town houses are a bit spread out and not all houses participate. Now since we live on a road that, let’s be honest, no one is going to take their kids trick or treating on, we though it would be nice to set up a table and display on the town common to give out treats.

We thought perhaps other folks who live out of town might like to participate as well.

I would love to hear other peoples thoughts on this. I think this could be a fun night, and bring more people out to celebrate.” • Jeffrey in Newfane

Have you used Front Porch Forum to get more involved in your community? If so, consider becoming a Supporting Member – make a donation today!


Random Acts of Kindness and Your Neighborhood FPF

It’s a tale as old as time! Random acts of kindness pop up all over Front Porch Forum: expressions of gratitude, folks organizing relief efforts for neighbors in need, and secret do-gooders surprising others with generosity. Recently, an FPF member shared the story below about a stranger coming through with heartwarming comfort and kindness, without seeking any recognition!

“A little over a year ago my dog Luke died very suddenly and unexpectedly and shortly thereafter a very caring and anonymous person left me a beautiful potted arrangement of flowers on my front porch. Just recently I had to put down my 14 year old border collie Jake. Once again a kind and truly caring person left a large beautiful potted mum on my front porch and again no signature on the hand written note. If you are this truly compassionate person either then and or now please know that your kindness means so much. Thank you.” • Christine D., Jericho FPF

Have you been inspired by the many acts of kindness shared and organized on FPF? Consider paying it forward by demonstrating acts of kindness in your neighborhood or by donating to FPF’s Supporting Member campaign to help us keep the good vibrations and community supportiveness rolling!


Finding Housing in Vermont

FPF member, Katie G., tweeted this great tip for finding housing on Front Porch Forum:

“A thing I love about Vermont: on it’s face, renting is hard (especially w/a dog), but if you put a post about yourself up on Front Porch Forum (i.e. pretty much send a personal ad about yourself to the whole town), tons of people will reach out with unadvertised housing opps!”

What are you waiting for? Reach out to your neighbors on FPF today!


How Borrowing Things From Neighbors Strengthens Society

by: Sarah Lazarovic, Yes! Magazine

by: Sarah Lazarovic, Yes! Magazine

Front Porch Forum has long suspected that even small interactions among neighbors have bigger implications for the strength and resiliency of communities. Next time you need a cup of sugar, don’t be afraid to check with a neighbor!

“Research shows that small talk and casual connections create happy communities and less-lonely individuals. This illustration outlines some specifics in a fun-to-read way: https://bit.ly/2UhBQoK

This type of strength is also central to community resilience in the face of big challenges (like climate change). I’m a member of Sustainable Williston, a group that cares about both. If you want to join us sometime, our usual meeting schedule is the 4th Thursday of each month at 7:15 in the library.

Thanks to FPF for connecting us digitally. Here’s to connecting in real life as well!” • Caylin M., Williston, Vt.

See the full, wonderful infographic from Sarah Lazarovic at Yes! Magazine that Caylin shared with her neighbors on FPF here.


“How neighbourhood social networks can help communities and local businesses thrive”

Front Porch Forum  is the hyper-local, neighborhood-centric social network that is having a big impact on communities and businesses. Many places are now looking to FPF as a model for community-building that empowers members to become more engaged and invested in their towns.

Mridhula Raghavan, a journalist for Ouishare Magazine, investigated FPF’s role as an alternative to Big Tech networking. Read the full article here.

“It’s not just a smiley face or thumbs up. It’s real engagement.”


WCVR interview with Front Porch Forum

Listen to WCRV‘s short interview with FPF’s co-founder, Michael Wood-Lewis, airing this Thurs., Aug. 8 at 8:12 a.m. on 100.1 FM and 1320 AM.

To stream the interview on Thurs., Aug. 8 click here.

Visit Front Porch Forum for the latest and greatest news and announcements!