Information on Time Banking
By Cynthia Harwood
Time banking is a resurgence of an old idea that is springing up all over the nation and the world. It’s where people and organizations help each other by sharing their valuable time and talents. Some refer to it as bartering, but it is not bartering in that no value is placed on a person’s time or talents. One hour of service is equal to one hour of time.
In these challenging economic times when many people may have more time than money, it is a great way to build communities. Members of Time Banks come together and share their talents, skills, and time to meet each other’s unmet needs. The five core values of time banking are: Assets, Redefining Work, Reciprocity, Social Networks, and Respect. One of the best things about time banking is it strengthening and rebuilding of community, and can be used to achieve wide-ranging goals such as social justice, bridges between diverse communities, and local ecological sustainability. (Adapted from TimeBank USA.)
There are now many articles and videos about time banking on the internet, but one of my favorite videos involves an elderly woman in Kirkland, Washington, who tells how she had some plants in her garden that needed to be strung up. She states she could no longer do it herself and she couldn’t afford to pay to have it done. So she joined her local Time Bank and another member from her group hung up her plants and earned time dollars for helping her out. She in turn sews on people’s buttons and mends clothes. Besides having her unmet needs being taken care of, she now feels like a useful, contributing member of society by helping others with their mending. The second story is about a 12-year-old boy who receives guitar lessons and he walks another member’s dogs. Time banking is for all ages and backgrounds.
Time Banks can be run on membership fees, donations, grants, and members’ time. Most are 501-c-3 non-profits making them tax-exempt and, therefore, are able to accept donations and grants. Time Bank of the Rockies, our local Time Bank, is using hOurworld, a National Organization’s computer program, to keep track of members’ time and talents.
Directions to listing
AddressPO Box 85, Montrose CO