As I finish up my first few weeks as the time bank coordinator, I can see how truly passionate the people around me are. Each person I work beside is willing to give up their nights and weekends, lunch breaks or half days to work for this dream we all have. We all see the bigger picture. How each time we sacrifice a weekend it's so our community can become a better place. I have for a long time now lived with a specific phrase in the back of my head, “work to make the word a braver and kinder world.” Although time banking may not be making the world a braver place, me accepting my first full time “real life” job is is making me braver. And time banking most certainly is making the world a kinder place. I think those of us who have been down on our luck, tight on money, or having a hard year can really see the impact the time banking will have. Sometimes, when you are having a hard time seeing the good in the world, just having a community of people who are willing to help you can make it seem like the sun is shining. Just knowing that you can get the help you need from people who care can literally save a life, give someone hope and, ultimating making the world a better place. Because you don't need to affect millions of people to make a difference, it just takes one.
Throughout the last couple of weeks I have been working hard to schedule some orientations so we can start seeing the GNTB make a big difference. We have three upcoming events:
October 9th and 16th- Coffee and Time Banking @ Morgantown Coffee House. 3pm-5pm. Bring friends and enjoy some of my favorite coffee in town while learning how YOU can make a difference in the world.
October 14th-Outdoor Walk and Time Banking Informational @ Marsh Creek State Park. 1pm-3pm. Come to walk through the beautiful Autumn weather and learn about time banking and how you can get involved. Small picnic at end so feel free to bring food and snacks!
So excited for each of these events! Please contact me to RSVP @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Time Bank Coordinator
I promise you, it is not terribly difficult to join the Good Neighbors Time Bank and I can also promise you that it will be well worth your time.
Here are the steps to joining the time bank.
1) Go to our website, www.goodneighborstb.timebanks.org. Then click on Getting Started with GNTB. Click join and complete your online profile. Part of completing your profile will be noting what skills and gifts you want to share with others (think of things you genuinely like to do) and ways that you might need the help of other time bank members (think of things you struggle with doing or don't prefer to do on your own.) So give this some thought before heading to the website.
2) Attend an orientation meeting. We are working diligently to set up multiple orientation meetings across the region. Keep an eye out on our events calendar on the website. You can also follow our Facebook page. Every event, including orientations will be highlighted on our Facebook page.
3) Send in your annual membership payment. There is a $25 fee for individuals wishing to join the time bank. These funds serve to cover additional costs of running the time bank including the annual fee for utilizing the software used to track our members' time dollars. If the cost is a hardship to you, you can still join the time bank. For anyone who wishes, you may complete 2 hours of service to the time bank or another member, but you will not receive time dollars for this service. This work will replace the membership fee for the year. If you prefer this method of "paying" your membership, its easy. Just let the time bank coordinator know. No questions asked.
That's all there is to it. If you have any questions or challenges please contact me, email@example.com and I will walk you through it. Looking forward to time banking with you in the future.
The Good Neighbors Time Bank is growing every day. We officially launched our time bank in July and spent much of August ensuring all of our pieces were in place. We have accomplished so many of our goals.
Julianna will be officially starting with the time bank by mid-September and will be coordinating the day to day efforts of the time bank. In this role, Julianna will manage our local orientation meetings and social activities across the region. She will be THE go to person to onboard new members. She will also be the point person for promoting the time bank and will also help members connect with one another, ensuring that time banking is a positive experience for all of our members. We welcome Julianna to our KenCrest and time bank family. We are so excited to share our combined passion and energy with everyone.
Next steps...We have an upcoming orientation scheduled on September 10th in Sellersville, Bucks County. We will be meeting at the Jerusalem Lutheran Church, 733 Ridge Rd. at 6:00 pm. Feel free to join us for some refreshments while we learn about time banking and point out ways that time banking can benefit you and your community. You will also have a chance to sign up as members. Stay tuned for more orientation and social activities coming to a community near you.
Do want to get involved and help our time bank community grow? You can help in a number of ways.
Yep...it's true! As a member of a time bank you can get needs met and you don't need to spend money to do it. Sounds pretty good right?
As we discussed in previous posts, in time banking we believe that everyone has skills to share with others and everyone has needs that friends and neighbors can help you with. There is a reciprocity in time banking, a give and take which is rooted in skills and interests rather than in a monetary relationship.
Once you become a time bank member you can begin to spend the Time Dollars you earned by requesting a service from other members. These requests are then automatically emailed out to the membership and members have a chance to respond and fulfill your request. So I just took a look at the Phoenixville Area Time Bank webpage (BTW: the Good Neighbors website will be up and running by this time next month...we hope!) and went to their request page. This is a list of all the types of requests currently in circulation within the PATB.
Let's say you need sewing help. Perhaps you're like me...short...5'2"...and usually need you pants hemmed. You can make a request for a member to hem your pants. Easy Peasy!
OK- so maybe you're a normal sized human and don't need a lot of clothing hemmed. Maybe you're looking for some financial information. Now, you would not want to ask me for financial help, but there are lots of other members who have the knowledge and experience to help you. No problem!
Don't need financial assistance? How about help gardening or with yard work? There are members who could help you with weeding or learning about how to grow vegetables. So cool!
Also, on the PATB website is a list of the the time bank's talents. This is my favorite by the way.
According to this amazing list of talent, there are 18 members who are willing and able to help you with sewing. There are 7 members who can help you with your finances and there are a whopping 32 members who would love to help you in your garden! So get thinking about what talents you want to share with others and what some of your needs might be. Can't wait to get things started. Keep in mind that if you live/work in the Phoenixville Area you can join the Phoenixville Area Time Bank today! Reach out at www.patb.timebanks.org.
Until the next time...Cultivate Optimism!
So in order to participate in time banking you need to sign up as a member of the time bank. This usually entails filling out an application with demographic info. There may be a modest fee attached to joining a time bank. This fee covers the cost of the software time banks use to track your time dollars as well as other operating costs. If a fee would be an obstacle for you to join a time bank...never fear! There are easy ways around this. For example, you could provide 2 hours of volunteering to the time bank covering your fee. Once you are all signed up there is usually an orientation to go to. I would strongly advise you to take advantage of this. 1) You get to meet really NICE time banking people. 2) You get to learn about the FANTASTIC time bank you just joined and 3) You get to learn how to use the time bank SOFTWARE. Don't worry- the software is easy, but if you don't have a computer or computers are your mortal enemy there's ways around that too.
Now you're ready to start time banking. WOO HOO! I will use myself as an example. I am a member of the Phoenixville Area Time Bank (Check them out if you live in the Phoenixville area- they are Rock Stars!) I like to cook, so one service I offer the time bank is cooking meals. Members contact me through the time bank webpage and place their order. Last week I received an order for a vegetarian and egg free lasagna. After I get the request I:
1) Go to the grocery store to get the ingredients. The member who requested the lasagna will reimburse me the cost of the raw ingredients. In this case: noodles, ricotta, mozzarella and sauce.
2) Make the lasagna. I don't charge for the baking time, just the assembly.
3) Take the lasagna out of the oven and put instructions on the foil cover. Then its time to clean up.
4) The only thing left is to schedule a pick up or delivery and then "bank" your time. The requesting member paid me the money for the ingredients and 2 time dollars for 2 hours of service. Shopping, assembly, clean up and delivery.
Now the only question is...how will I spend my time dollars? Guitar lessons? Gardening help? Help with my taxes? Sky's the limit! Time banking is easy and fun. It brings people together and helps you to get all your needs met. Can't wait until will launch the Good Neighbors Time Bank in June. We hope to begin officially signing up members in April so stay tuned! Until then...Cultivate Optimism!
Sorry...this was meant to be the first blog post...blog fail! I'm learning so much everyday through this time bank project which I am sure is the most important part! So, trying again.
"In 900 years of time and space, I have never met someone who wasn't important."
- Dr. Who, by Steven Moffat
Although this quote (one of my favs) is not about time banking, it is this sentiment that drew me to time banking. Time Banking is a social construct that believes that every single person on this planet- and perhaps others- has something to offer others. Everyone has skills and strengths that others can benefit from. In time banking everyone is important and everyone's time is equal in value.
As we know these are not tenants that we often find in our society. We greatly underestimate the value and importance of so many people in our communities; seniors, the underemployed or unemployed, people who have a disability. In time banking all are valued and all find a place to belong.
That is why I have been looking for a way to strengthen and grow time banking opportunities in Southeast PA. The Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council has generously provided vital funding to launch the Good Neighbors Time Bank and KenCrest, my employer, has come on board as the initiative's primary sponsor. Borrowing from Margaret Meade a small group of dedicated people have come together to shape our time bank and, we hope, to change the landscape of our communities for the better.
We are in the initial stages of planning and organizing. We are currently looking to hire a time bank coordinator. This role will be similar to Julie on the Love Boat (for anyone too young to remember Julie from the Love Boat feel free to Google her). Our Julie will be part event planner, part social director, and part liaison. If you love working with people (lots of people!) and have a passion for community development and social justice...this gig could be for you!
We are also looking for community partners who will offer up space for orientation and informational sessions, social activities and membership drives. If you want to be a part of this revolutionary initiative and have some space we can access feel free to reach out!
Visit our blog to keep up to date on our progress. We will be posting every step of the way.
And Remember...Cultivate Optimism.
I have been super busy these past two weeks building interest in our amazing time bank. I met with the Bucks County Quality Council (shout out to those awesome peeps) who bowled me over with their excitement and enthusiasm for this project. I will be chatting up the time bank later this month at the Bucks County Provider meeting. Looking forward to making lots of new friends there. Anyone else out there reading this blog who would like me to come out to present to your membership, group or soiree?? Just ask. I love talking about time banking. Find my deets on the contact page.
More news- We are working on an amazing logo for our project. Thanks so much to Linda Jacobs at Downtown Dezign for her mad skills. I am in awe of her talent. Hopefully by next week I will be able to unveil the new logo. Lots of color, a bit of whimsy, super cool! Stay tuned!
Our Facebook page really took off last night...in the span of about 3 hours we got 50 likes and 50 followers. If you haven't visited our Facebook page yet head to https://www.facebook.com/GoodNeighborsTB/ I am completely amazed by everyone's support of this project. It just goes to show the power we have when we work together!
Lastly- our wonderful planning committee is coming together. I am thankful for all their efforts. We are currently seeking a Time Bank Coordinator to join our Merry Band of Brothers and Sisters. See flyer below. If this looks like your kind of gig, by all means get in touch.
Thanks everyone for your interest and support. More updates coming your way soon. Check back to see our amazing logo. Until then...Cultivate Optimism every day!
Hi- I'm Alli. I am the Director of Employment and Day Programs at KenCrest. I am working with a dedicated group of community members and professionals to develop the Good Neighbors Time Bank. I am passionate about Social Capital Building, coffee, good books, great food, crochet and photography. I live a blessed life in Pottstown, PA surrounded by my husband, friends, family and 2 dalmatians. Life is good...with time banking it can be better!