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Melvin's Volunteer Causes


The conduit of participation in Melvin's Neighborhood is the Front Porch. These informal meeting places, most often locally owned businesses, are named after gathering spots so often seen in Latino communities that are used as the connection to the street. These Front Porches are where the Middle Ring flourishes and what the French political philosopher, Alex de Tocqueville, observed in the 1800’s as the source of America’s “exceptionalism.” They allows us to organize and take action directly, not wait on the sidelines while traditional institutions may or may not.

Your neighborhood’s Front Porch can be anywhere or anything. It can be the local pub down the street or the coffee-house where you get your morning sustenance from. It can be Bill’s garage where everyone gathers to watch Sunday football games. It can even be your kitchen table. What happens on the Front Porch is what matters … not what is looks like or where it is.

The Front Porch’s purpose is to identify solutions, whether they be in response of needs or opportunities. These solutions are designed to help your community pick up the slack and mend its societal safety net as well as lead it into the future. They can range from organizing a cleanup effort, to fixing a playground, to even spearheading a high school mentoring or apprentice program. And by being a contributor, you and your community members can be involved with whatever solution fits your strengths, desires and availabilities.

As a part of the Melvin's Neighborhood platform we’ve put together a roster of several examples of what can come from Front Porch collaborations. These examples represent solutions to many common needs and opportunities a community may encounter. By no means is this roster comprehensive, but it’s a start. If your community addressed everyone of these issue - well let's say you'd have a pretty great place to live.

  • “I’m Not Alone Anymore” ~ Elderly and shut-in well-being assistance

  • “Label the Town” ~ Community “places of interest” labeling

  • "Pretty Pictures On The Wall" ~ Amateur art showings

  • “Is it Art” ~ Vacant area art projects: art, music, theatrical

  • “Showing our Stuff” ~ Street fairs

  • “Recess Time” ~ Playground restoration

  • “Help Me … I’m Dirty” ~ Public and private space clean-up

  • “Stop and Smell the Roses” ~ Public and private space beautification

  • “Fixing the Neighborhood” ~ Neighborhood renewal and repair

  • “Hey … We Need Some Help Over Here” ~ “On-demand” help services

  • “Apollo 13 ... Please Come Home" ~ Resource Maximization

  • “Pop-up Community” ~ Vacant building resource maximization

  • “Get Out of the House” ~ Adult athletic and intelligence leagues

  • “Love Comes From the Ground” ~ Gardens and farmers market

  • “Play Ball” ~ Youth sports and intelligence leagues

  • “Getting Up to Speed” ~ Student tutoring

  • “This is What I Think … ” ~ Youth writing project

  • “Making the Transition” ~ Apprenticeships and post school transition

  • “Millennials Rising” ~ Millennial Anti-Congress and activist effort

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