Time Banks Celebrate Our Very Best

Imagining the possibilities of Time Banks I have recently discovered something created by my fellow homo sapiens that promotes and celebrates our very best.

Time Banks may just be the coolest concept ever, right up there with microcredit and universal human rights. It leverages the stunning potential of social networking – which is, of course, human-to-human connection and the infinite opportunities that emerge as a result – while breaking down the virtual wall that, at the same time, can at once block true connection and community.

It’s a community exchange service that works like this. Connie, computer geek extraordinaire, registers online with her local Time Bank. Connie donates three hours to revive her neighbor’s ailing computer. Connie records it in the Time Bank online database, receiving, in return, three “Time Dollars” to spend as she pleases. Maybe she cashes in with a design-guru for help with a new logo. Or maybe she spends it on housekeeping, car repair, interior design, a hair cut or massage – all services provided by neighbors registered with Time Bank. Whoever works for Connie earns Time Dollars of her own, and can spend them with Anne the accountant, Bob the business coach, Mitch the mechanic, Wendy the wedding planner or Terrance the translator…and so on. It’s pretty simple.

“Yet it also has profound effects,” states Time Banks's site. “You get to know your neighbors and build an old-fashioned extended family of people who take care of each other. Time Banks are limited only by the imagination of their members.” 

There are hundreds of Time Banks all over the world. “It’s huge in London,” fellow Creative Connector and Time Bank-advocate, professional caterer and local food activist Nancy Maurelli told me recently. Getting “huge” in Southwest Virginia will require troops, troops with talent, the more the better. Count me in.

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Elizabeth Parsons is a seasoned editor, writer, and communications professional.  You can follow her on Twitter at @e_claire_p.

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Comments

  1. Excellent article Time Banks should work very well in SW VA. There is also the LETSystem, which is similar. Here is the link:
    http://www.gmlets.u-net.com/

    Mark
    [email protected]

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