Aug 222013
 

Strengthening Communities
The Integrative Potential of Time Banking   ver8.18.13
A Guest Post by Marie Wilson Nelson

Time Bank Mahoning Watershed (http://tbmw.org/) is a community service exchange or “Time Bank,” a collection of people and organizations who connect unused resources with unmet needs. Time Bank Mahoning Watershed is part of an international social change movement grounded in five core values articulated by founder Edgar S. Cahn in No More Throwaway People: The Co-Production Imperative:

  • Assets: We are all assets. Every person has something of value to offer.
  • Redefining Work: Some work is beyond price.
  • Reciprocity: Helping works better as a two-way street.
  • Social Networks: We need each other. People helping each other reweave communities of support, strength and trust.
  • Respect: Every human matters.  When respect is denied to any, all are injured.

Acting on these values our Time Bank fulfills its mission–promoting equality and building a caring, just and sustainable community economy through inclusive exchange of time and talent. The concept is simple. Members help someone for an hour, earn an hour of credit, and spend the credit on services offered by any other member. Reweaving community one exchange at a time, they document exchanges in an online database (http://sandbox.timebanks.org) and revitalize what Cahn calls “the core economy” on which the Market depends. The core economy includes:

  • Raising healthy children
  • Revitalizing neighborhoods
  • Making democracy work
  • Nurturing the spirit
  • Building strong families
  • Strengthening local economies
  • Advancing social justice
  • Making the planet sustainable

In the PBS documentary Fixing the Future, time bankers help each other weatherize homes, access medical care, eat healthier food and take sailing lessons (8-minute clip: http://video.pbs.org/video/1646871620/). They contribute to low-carbon lifestyles, reduce transportation costs and provide services within neighborhoods. They grow capacity for community groups, non-profits, small businesses, and government groups, serving schools, hospitals, churches, libraries, and court systems. They do so by

  • Offering groups an expanded pool of volunteers.
  • Providing something valuable groups can give back to volunteers.
  • Identifying and connecting unused community resources with unmet needs.
  • Incubating new businesses.
  • Facilitating restorative justice.
  • Lowering operational costs.
  • Keeping prices low for businesses, clients and customers.
  • Reducing medical expenses.
  • Helping elders age in place.
  • Mentoring & tutoring.
  • Offering internships and on-the-job training.
  • Reducing tax burdens.
  • Containing administrative costs.
  • Tracking volunteer hours for reporting in funding proposals.

Each of these benefits reverses the opportunity costs of not banking time.   In addition, paying volunteers in Time Bank Hours could support start-ups in underserved communities. A few potential examples come to mind:

  • Weatherization projects                        Solar installations
  • Urban farms                                            Plant nurseries
  • Food preparation and distribution    Canning and preserving
  • Water catchment                                   Backyard garden installation
  • Home building                                       Home repair

Any group aligned with the five core values may partner with a time bank:

In the spirit of reciprocity, Time Banking offers community partners:

  • A complementary currency, the Time Bank Hour, created by doing some work.
  • A means of rewarding unpaid work by converting it to goods and services.
  • A way to reactivate social capital that lies untapped within neighborhoods.
  • Proven models for co-producing each other’s operations.
  • A way to restore community values ignored by the market economy.

If you want to discuss the above ideas, Contact Tony Budak


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You Don’t Need Cash

 Posted by at 1:24 am
Jul 022013
 

hOUR Share – 

Members who may be able to serve others in the community can then be rewarded or reciprocated by coming in to our exchange and donating some of that time for some canned goods or some boxed items.

GO hOUR Share

Maxine’s TimeBank Store –

Obtaine new and gently-used clothing, toys, books, dishes, jewelry, home decor, equipment, supplies, etc. A store where members can get donated goods using Timebank Credit Hours they’ve earned helping in the community.

GO Maxine’s

Time/Store in Maastricht –

‘Re-Action! Sustainability through Social Innovation.’ Uses time as currency and allows groups and individuals to pool and trade their time and skills (labour) for commodities.

GO Time/Store

Time/Bank: A Conversation

What was the impetus to resurrect Josiah Warren’s project/store?

GO Conversation

Complimentary Currencies: A True Story

Go Three Experts

If you want to discuss the above ideas, Contact Tony Budak

 


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