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!