Category Archives: Front Porch Forum

Neighbors Get Organized

Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2023 by No comments yet

Everyday across Vermont, neighbors come together to fix problems, have fun, talk, and share. Increasingly, they use their local Front Porch Forum to get the conversation started. Here are some recent examples…

In Essex Town and Essex Junction this week, neighbors are meeting at the local police station to organize neighborhood watches in response to property crime incidents. Notices for this meeting reached 10,377 FPF members out of the 9,310 households in these communities!

In Charlotte, folks there are using their FPF to organize a backgammon league. The member’s posting below reached 4,037 FPF members in a town with 1,499 households!

  • Yahoo!…FPF is terrific for connecting with neighbors. So far we have 23 people on the list of backgammon players eager to launch a league at the Charlotte Senior Center!– Sally

In Morrisville, one neighbor is looking to find a local running group. Shannon’s posting reached 4,852 FPF members in a town with 2,810 households!

  • “Hello! I am new to Morrisville, and am looking to connect with other runners. Are there any established running groups in the area?” – Shannon

How about in your town or neighborhood? Any new hobbies or meetups popping up? If you’re trying to get people together, Join FPF (if you don’t already have a free account)! Click compose and post your message to nearby neighbors. 

Happy organizing!

Whatever the Weather, Middlesex Weathers Together!

Posted on Monday, January 9, 2023 by No comments yet

Two days before Christmas, Vermont braced itself for a Nor’easter. The storm brought snow, ice, rain, and strong winds taking out power in many parts of the state. In Middlesex the Town Clerk turned to Front Porch Forum to share daily emergency info and updates. 

Later, members wrote in applauding their Town Clerk and all the utility workers that got them through the storm. We’re impressed by all of them, too! Here are some highlights…

  • Appreciation for the Town Clerk: “Many thanks, Sarah! Aren’t we Middlesexers (?) Middlesexites (?) fortunate to have a Town Clerk who is always watching out for us? The link she just sent provides a wealth of information to help us understand what we’re facing with the coming storm. It’s scary, but Sarah has made sure we’re prepared. Brava!” •Jeri

  • Appreciation for utility workers:Sending a HUGE shout out to the Washington Electric Coop crews who worked through a horrible stretch of weather to get power back to 5,000+ customers in our region.  It’s easy to take the luxury of our electricity for granted… until you lose it for nearly 2 days. For those without any back-up heat, this must have been brutal. Thank you, thank you WEC and Merry Christmas to all!” •Linda

  • Appreciation for neighbors: “Thank you to our wonderful neighbors. I received several offers of help to get through the time until we have electric again. We were able to secure quite a number of gallons of water today so we could do dishes and flush the toilet probably for the next couple of days and hopefully by then we will have electricity. Once again, we are very grateful for all of the offers of help we received” •Carol

  • Appreciation for FPF: “Thanks for being there for our community.  It sure has been a lifesaver for some during the power outages in Middlesex.” •Another FPF member

We are always impressed to see how neighbors come together to navigate difficult situations. Storms like these are what FPF and Vermont community is for!

Another Shout Out to FPF in NY Times

Posted on Monday, December 12, 2022 by No comments yet

Thanks to Jill who just posted on the Craftsbury Forum:

“I just came across this New York Times article  recognizing the great job Front Porch Forum is doing with keeping Vermonters connected. I know my family and I are grateful for the network it provides.”

Gratitude for days…

Posted on Monday, November 21, 2022 by 1 comment

Kindness is no stranger to Front Porch Forum‘s members. Every day we see neighbors posting appreciation for the people in their community. We’re sharing a few recent stories of gratitude this week. We are grateful for all the people making neighborly connections happen. ♡ Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Today a large tree fell across our steep, twisty driveway. Carey, a friend and neighbor, offered to send her husband to clear the obstruction. A new neighbor, Doug, followed me up the driveway and attempted to move the tree. Eight hours later, Dakota and Andrew, a young couple and future neighbors, skillfully attacked the tree and opened up access for us. Our gratitude to all of them for demonstrating the kindness and neighborliness that makes Vermont a special place to live.
• William in St. Johnsbury

Thanks to all the folks who had seen hubcaps in the area, I got mine back! Yay for FPF!!!
• Sue in East Montpelier

Many thanks to all who reached out to provide a dog crate for my daughter’s visiting puppy! I have secured a crate for the week (and actually longer)! I am grateful to live in such a giving community where people reach out just to lend a hand. It’s a good start for Thanksgiving.
• Terry in Randolph

A couple weeks back I requested donations for a young couple that is new to the area, relocated from the deep south. They’ve never experienced winter in New England before. The donations were dropped off to them and they are warm and cozy as can be while navigating daily life with snow! Thank you so much to everybody who reached out and orchestrated getting donations to them, the generosity from this community is outstanding.
• Tanya in Randolph

Thanks for Filling Our Leaf Bag!

Posted on Monday, October 31, 2022 by 2 comments

We made it!  Thanks to thousands of Front Porch Forum members who generously chipped in to reach FPF’s fall Supporting Member Campaign goal.  These dollars will fund FPF operations in the months ahead.

If you meant to donate to FPF and haven’t yet had a chance, there’s still time. Please give today!

FPF is a Vermont Public Benefit Corporation and not a nonprofit. Contributions are not tax deductible.

Help FPF Raise $200,000 by October 27, 2022

Posted on Sunday, October 23, 2022 by No comments yet

FPF’s 25 staff work every day to keep Vermont’s hundreds of Forums humming.  We can’t do it without your help.

We need to raise $200,000 statewide from our members by this Thursday, October 27, 2022, to meet our fall budget goal.  Please donate today.

We need your help to keep FPF going strong.  If you are in a position to donate, please give today and help us fill up the leaf bag!  https://frontporchforum.com/supporting-members

Thank you,
Front Porch Forum’s 25 employees

FPF is a Vermont Public Benefit Corporation and not a nonprofit. Contributions are not tax deductible. Ad sales to local businesses cover most of our expenses, and your Supporting Member contribution helps close the gap.

While we prefer online donations by credit card or PayPal, we also accept payment by check, with gratitude, at:  Front Porch Forum, PO Box 8219, Essex Junction, VT 05451

Keep Your Local Forum Going Strong – Donate Today!

Posted on Monday, October 17, 2022 by No comments yet

Front Porch Forum’s annual fall Supporting Member Campaign starts today! If you are able, please donate to FPF now by credit card, PayPal or check: https://frontporchforum.com/supporting-members

FPF helps neighbors stay informed and connected locally. In the face of our world’s growing challenges, building community among neighbors is critical. FPF is serving more people in Vermont than ever before. In a state with only 270,000 households, 220,000 people actively participate on their local Forum.

If you value FPF, please support our work by reading, posting, and — if you are able — by donating today.

Thank you.

FPF is a Vermont Public Benefit Corporation and not a nonprofit. Contributions are not tax deductible. Ad sales to local businesses cover most of our expenses, and your Supporting Member contribution helps close the gap.

Use FPF to Recommend Local Businesses

Posted on Monday, October 10, 2022 by No comments yet

Front Porch Forum takes our members’ privacy seriously.  When members post to their Forum, they know that what they write will be visible only to the members of their own FPF and of immediate neighboring Forums.  This allows members to engage freely in conversation about local issues, which is central to FPF’s community-building mission.

There are a few situations, though, where it might make sense for members’ postings to be more broadly visible.  One of these is when a member recommends a local business or nonprofit on their Forum.  Recommendations on FPF are an important resource for our members, and making them more broadly available helps support the nearly 12,000 local businesses and nonprofits that are members of FPF.

With this in mind, FPF recently launched a new feature:  Recommendation postings for businesses or nonprofits now show up on the business or nonprofit’s listing in FPF’s Community Directory!  Those postings are visible to any FPF member who views that listing, even if they aren’t a member of the Forum where the recommendation originated.

So if you are a business owner or nonprofit leader, ask your customers and supporters to post a recommendation for you on their Forum.  (While you’re at it, ask them to “favorite” your listing as well!)  When it shows up on your Directory listing, FPF’s 220,000 members all over Vermont will be able to see how much FPF members value what you do!

Solving Social Media’s ‘Local Paradox’

Posted on Thursday, October 6, 2022 by No comments yet
Stanford SOCIAL INNOVATION Review

A new article in a Stanford University journal underscores various failures of Big Tech social media, and highlights Vermont’s own Front Porch Forum as a better way.

In the bowels of social media giants, like NextDoor and Facebook, live online spaces for local social networks to take hold (e.g., a neighborhood based Facebook group). 

One might think a healthy form of social connection would come from these local online networks because they’re grounded in real-world relationships and physical space — you could literally bump into that posting’s author on your way to school drop off — but in practice, as this article points out, local social media can be even more toxic than global platforms. It’s dubbed the ‘local paradox‘. 

The solution to this local paradox, they say, is to build networks that are values-driven, closely moderated, trusted, and local. Further, they share Front Porch Forum as a leading example