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


Share this...
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on PinterestBuffer this pageShare on RedditShare on TumblrShare on StumbleUponDigg thisEmail this to someone

No Bartering in Time Banks

 Posted by at 8:16 pm
Jun 052013
 

Often one of the first reflections a new person has to Time Banking is, oh, Time Banking is just like a barter exchange. No. A barter is a one to one direct exchange while time banking is not. Barter is synchronous (directly face to face at the same time) while time banking  is asynchronous and not linked to a direct concurrent moment in time, and occurs independent of a face to face direct exchange and will occur at any time over time with any one [members only])


Share this...
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on PinterestBuffer this pageShare on RedditShare on TumblrShare on StumbleUponDigg thisEmail this to someone