The Front Porch Initiative answers the crisis our society faces due to vanishing conversations, commonality, and community. We are a collaborative group of community leaders who are passionate about transforming community by investing in the next generation.

There was a time when such community occurred naturally within families and neighborhoods. People gathered on the front porch to swap stories, share a laugh, and enjoy each other’s company. Sadly, many of us have replaced our front porch discussions with weak substitutes, such as the Internet and entertainment, busyness and isolation.

But deep down, we all still long for the front porch—a place where we can share life. We need a gathering place to reconnect to those around us and act as a front porch in this increasingly isolated culture.

This is why we started the Front Porch Initiative—to move our relationships forward by looking back at how community has always been built—sharing life and sharing stories.

Watch this moving story of Chad, a child who faced incredible challenges in his youth, but was shown hope by someone who knew his story.

“Once you know each other’s stories, you can have empathy, and that creates connection with the staff and students. My Story has helped us see that we all have a beginning, challenges, hope and a future.”

—David LaFrance, Principal of Oakland School, Bloomington, Illinois

We long to re-establish

The starting point for any relationship is conversation. Face-to- face engagement and storytelling gives a place to tell and listen to each others’ unique stories.

Connection is found in the things we have in common with others, as well as in understanding and celebrating the things that make us different. When we know others, we have the opportunity to put ourselves in others’ shoes (empathy).

When we’re connected to those around us, it means we’re more willing to take risks and put others first. It also means students are more likely to succeed, both academically and socially.