Wow! A number of students and families participated in this year’s “At-Home” version of the Good Citizen Challenge, complete with 40-plus activities encouraging learning in History, Government, Community Service and News Literacy. Many put FPF to work to complete the activities:
Team Tiki in Wolcott organized donations to the Hardwick Area Food Pantry. Blaine, 6, chose the charity. “It was all him,” said mom Laura.
Laura put out a call for donations on their Front Porch Forum, and neighbors they’d never met responded, dropping food off at their house. They’d beep when they arrived, said Laura, and “We’d wave from the window” or help unload the items.
She said delivering the donations was a big moment for Blaine. “I think it was the first time he really had an experience where he could actually feel that he had an impact on the world,” she said. “Things like that really sink in for children. I think he won’t ever forget that.”
Pick up the April issue of Kids VT, which is in this week’s Seven Days to learn more, or read online.
Go to FrontPorchForum.com and experience the newly upgraded FPF website! Each Forum issue is easier to find, search and read. You can also browse and search postings from neighboring communities! And posting is simpler too.
Now you can read your daily Forum via email, website or mobile app… your choice. Customize your email and notification preferences by logging into your account at FrontPorchForum.com
Front Porch Forum is working everyday to fulfill the mission of helping neighbors connect. The Web Forum redesign is intended to make FPF even more accessible, highlighting member postings, local businesses and nonprofits, and events that allow neighbors to join in common interests. Other recent steps we’ve taken to improve our service include:
We continue to work to bring value to Front Porch Forum members, and look forward to announcing our next series of upgrades and new features ““ stay tuned!
Get tips on how best to make use of Front Porch Forum during these unprecedented times we’re in due to COVID-19. Visit frontporchforum.com/fpf-in-times-of-crisis for regular updates.
Coronavirus is an unprecedented public health crisis. Connection among neighbors is a critical asset during crises and Front Porch Forum is here to serve. Neighbors helping neighbors, people asking questions, government agencies and nonprofits posting updates, and more. This aligns with our community-building work that has been our mission since launching in 2006.
FPF is 100% committed to our role as essential civic infrastructure for Vermont communities, and we will do whatever it takes to help Vermonters and our neighbors in upstate New York stay connected and be resilient in this time of crisis.
Please post to your local FPF and respond to others. Recent examples for inspiration:
– Setting up shopping services for neighbors who are quarantined
“My 93 year old grandmother is feeling justifiably nervous about going out and about to get groceries right now. Unfortunately, she lives in Maryland and I live in Lincoln, so I’m limited in how I can help her … but maybe I can help you! If you live in Lincoln and the thought of going out to grab groceries is making you feel vulnerable and nervous please email me or send me a text. You can give me a grocery list and I’ll head to town and pick things up for you.” – Suzanna in Lincoln
“Let’s start a list of those who might be willing to pick up/drop off groceries & prescriptions and those who might need the help. Perhaps the best place to start is to ask if there are a couple other people in our community who would be willing to brainstorm how we could set something up.” – Cassandra in Northfield
“What do you think about starting a Five Sisters shopping squad to go on grocery/drug-store runs for neighbours who are immunocompromised, older or self-quarantined?” – Zoe in Burlington
– Addressing food insecurity with school closures
“I am aware that food-insecure households in our community will be critically affected by school closures. I also believe that as a community we have the ability to face this challenge together. Perhaps we could cooperate with school officials to deliver meals prepared in the school kitchens as the necessary infrastructure & financial support for food preparation are already in place there. I’d like to reach out to school officials to offer help with delivering meals to students that need them when schools are closed.” – Forest in Shelburne
– Offering to pick up prescriptions for those who can’t
“I am still going into my office for the time being. I work above Walgreens on Main St. If anyone in Cabot needs to get prescriptions filled but doesn’t wish to venture out, I am happy to pick them up and deliver them to your home. Hopefully others who are traveling to the larger surrounding towns will join me. Remaining calm and helping our neighbors is the best way to battle this evolving situation.” – Ruby in Cabot
– Sharing supplies that others may need, i.e., toilet paper
“Before all the Covid-19 brou ha ha began we happened to pick up a large package of toilet paper on a Costco run. If any local residents are self-isolating and need a roll (because that appears to be what stores are out of most), send me an email explaining your situation and I will be happy to drop a roll on your doorstep. Be well, everyone!“ – Bill in Burlington
– Suggestions for child care and how to continue schooling at home
“With sudden school and daycare closings, many in our community need child care ASAP. First responders and front line healthcare workers especially need help. If you are a daycare provider, or perhaps a college kid at home with some time on your hands, please consider offering to help with child care. You can respond to FPF or even leave your name, phone number, and capacity at HR@CVHHH.org.” – Rebecca in Montpelier
For creative school projects while at home, see our blog on the topic.
– Reach out to those who feel isolated and tend toward depression.
” Stay in touch, let folks know they are not alone, that someone cares. And I urge anyone out there in our community who feels afraid to be isolated, let someone know that you need support. It’s OK to ask…any time, not just when there is a pandemic.” – Cynthia in Middlesex
– Many businesses use FPF to reach customers.
While health is paramount, the viability of our local economies is urgently important too. Please find ways to buy local during this time, including supporting FPF’s advertisers.
– Try taking in-person gatherings online and let others know
“No surprise here: Open Mic Night will not happen as scheduled in efforts to keep our community healthy and safe. BUT! Don’t let that stop you from sharing your talents! Let’s do Open Mic Night remotely!
If we’re going to socially distance ourselves or a while,
Let’s take every chance we can get to make each other smile!
I’m not a big rhymer, it really just isn’t my style,
But for neighbors I’m happy to weather an extra long mile
See? Poems are already happening. SO:
Send out a link on FPF to a recording of your music!
Post your favorite joke to FPF!
Publish an excerpt from your upcoming novel on FPF for us to read!” – Marie in Huntington
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/
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!