Front Porch Forum was recently featured in an episode of the podcast “Home. Made.” It tells the FPF origin story, and also gets into the behavioral science of what happens when we feel like we finally belong somewhere. Give it a listen!
Learn more about the episode or read the transcription here.
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.
Even though this year has been full of challenges the likes of which we’ve never seen before, many folks on Front Porch Forum are finding a plethora of things to be grateful for. Indeed, an attitude of gratitude can make the darker times seem much brighter. Check out what some of our neighbors have had to say during this time of thanks:
“Hey you. Yeah YOU!!! 2020 gave you every reason to not be thankful. It threw everything at you yet here you are reading this. Thank you to all the essential workers from doctors and nurses, to farmers, to the kid bagging your groceries, you putting yourself at risk so we can have some semblance of normalcy is greatly appreciated and does not go unnoticed. Thank you to this community who stick together and help each other despite adversity. All storms end eventually and we will come out of all this stronger. Happy Thanksgiving” – R. in Stowe
“FPF has been a faithful and trusted organization for us all and especially important during this challenging time.” – L. in So. Burlington
“I am beyond grateful for this beautiful Valley in which I can enjoy the clean air outdoors, walk on hillsides that take my breath away with my dog and husband and enjoy delicious, local foods.” -L. in Mad River Valley
“It would be an even more disconnected world than it already is without FPF to tie our neighborhoods together.” – J. in Charlotte
“Been living in this home since 1960. Have enjoyed the neighborhood, but recently have come to appreciate the neighbors as never before. With the Pandemic, neighbors have offered, and delivered food and help. One neighbor has taken over my hobby of picking up the trash along the roadside, beer cans, etc., that I decided not to do anymore. I think I saw her/him on the road Sat. afternoon, and checked it out Sunday, trash is gone! Yes, We like it here. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.” – A. in East Hardwick
Share what you are grateful for this year with your neighbors on FPF.
We couldn’t resist sharing this story shared on Front Porch Forum. A unique way to “pay it forward.”
“Something amazing happened to us tonight. We went out to dinner to celebrate our 51st wedding anniversary. We had a very nice meal which we very much enjoyed. When we asked for the check the waitress said that she had heard us say that it was our 51st anniversary. A frequent customer of their’s had called in and asked that, in memory of his son who would have been 24 today, the restaurant choose a customer celebrating something of consequence, and he would pick up the bill! So we had a very nice dinner capped off by this man’s thoughtfulness! We, of course, paid the waitress a tip for 20% of what the bill would have been and asked the hostess if she could give us our benefactors name and telephone. She did so and we called him as soon as we got home and thanked him. We also decided that this was such a nice thing to do that we will “pay it forward” and do the same thing in future every year on our anniversary to honor our long deceased parents and their anniversaries.” • John in East Hardwick
Have your own examples of “Paying it Forward?” Post them on FPF!
Read your FPF by email? Prefer the website? Are you a mobile app aficionado? However you connect with your neighbors online, FPF has gotten some major upgrades this year, including a new look across the board and new features to make reading and posting even easier. Here’s how some FPF members have responded to the changes:
“The great thing about FPF is anyone is welcome to post on subjects that are important to them; for some people it’s Doggy Play Dates or Free Plants, and for others it’s Community Health Issues. The new format and bold subject field enable you to peruse the page, read the posts that interest you, and skip the ones that don’t (or maybe be exposed to a different point of view.) Thanks, FPF for the opportunity to connect and share.” • Joseph in Waterbury Center, Vt.
“I used the “Edit post” option for the first time just now. It may have been there for a while but I just happily discovered it and wanted to pass along my excitement for the service Front Porch Forum is providing to our communities!” • Elly at Lamoille Regional Solid Waste
“We just moved to Vermont from California and I am looking forward to using this forum for resources!” • Holly in Williston
Front Porch Forum is a way to connect with neighbors on community efforts, local issues, and…scat identification? One curious neighbor asked for help discovering what kind of animal had been in their backyard, and got a huge and helpful response on their neighborhood forum! Check out the story below.
“Well, if you want to gather a crowd, just show up with a little scat.
I received 17 unique offers of help analyzing the scat photo. Each was serious and wonderfully curious in their pursuit of an answer.
The identifications offered included: skunk, raccoon, feral cat, weasel, coyote, red fox, grey fox and bobcat, after our neighbor reminded me that we had a beautiful bobcat sitting in a maple across from our barn a year ago.. Catamount was ruled out.
Several folks forwarded the picture to several other more expert folks who responded with a more focused belief that it was either a skunk or a raccoon but most likely a raccoon.
My thanks to everyone who replied to my ask. It was great to touch base with so many old friends that, due to circumstances, have been out of touch.
FPF is a force for good and re-tightening community. Thank you.” • Phil in Craftsbury, Vt.
Have a question you could use some input on? Try asking neighbors on your local FPF.
“I can find a house, a boat,
I can sell a fridge, a goat,
I found my super Subaru
I searched each day, and so can you!
Children grown, grandchildren too
Too much stuff, so what to do?
I’ll sell the crib, lego and bike,
Then I can buy that dress I like!
You want to share news of a bear,
A barn sale, concert, country fair
Lear how to hunt a good mushroom
Find a painter for your room
You need to get a ride to Lansing
Or new partner for some dancing
You say you need a plumber SOON
Ask “The Forum” and he’s there by noon!
I think you get the picture now
You know the “why”, find out the “how”.
And don’t forget “There’s no free lunch”,
Donate to help the Front Porch bunch!” • Alison in Charlotte, Vt.