How can you use FPF in times of crisis?

Covid-19 is an unprecedented public health crisis. Connections among neighbors is a critical asset in such times: neighbors helping neighbors, people asking questions, government agencies and nonprofits posting updates, and more. This has been our mission since launching in 2006.


FPF's action steps now:

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.

  • FPF's engineering team moved rapidly to build new tools for helping our members track coronavirus information more effectively, as well as for highlighting official alerts from government and institutional partners.
  • While members are using FPF to self-organize in response to the crisis, our team is going to great lengths to ensure that misinformation stays off of FPF. See FPF's coronavirus / Covid-19 content policy here.
  • For businesses and government agencies that pay for access to FPF, we've provided the ability to post unlimited free crisis-related messages.
  • We are also temporarily reducing advertising rates for all local advertisers. As small businesses develop new products and services during this time, from expanded e-commerce to new delivery options, they'll also want to share news about changing hours of operation, steps they are taking to deal with the crisis, and more. FPF's tremendous reach, trust, and now a steeply discounted price should help. For more info contact localbiz@frontporchforum.com.


Here's how you can use FPF during this time:

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

"There were so many people (50!) who responded to my request for shopping help, that it's taking me awhile to reply to each person. Please know that I am quite grateful, it's very nice to have such good folks around." - Mary in Williston

- 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

"I want to thank the Forum for helping me out. An angel said she was willing to pick up my prescriptions every 28 days. If it wasn't for FPF I don't know what I would have done." - Kathy in Colchester

- 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

Social distancing doesn't need to mean social isolation.
To see examples of how neighbors are organizing to help neighbors, to position their communities to carry on through the worst of this crisis and into recovery, visit https://frontporchforum.com/helping-neighbors-connect

Questions?

Please contact us here.

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