Barter With Thy Neighbor: Learning About Timebanking

Need help building a deck? Maybe catching an airport shuttle isn't in your budget right now. Enter: the Time Bank. Their Mission is, "strengthening communities through reciprocity." If you spend an hour doing something for someone in your community, that hour goes into the "bank" as a Time Dollar. You can then spend that dollar to have someone else do something for you.Child care, pet-sitting, housekeeping, garden and yard work, music lessons, art classes, airport pick-ups, help balancing your checkbook...these are only a few of the services that can be exchanged and banked with your fellow Time Bankers. Each local Time Bank has the available services of its members posted on its website.

Time Banks can change neighborhoods and harness previously untapped resources by not only getting to know your neighbors, but developing personal bonds with one another. There are Time Banking has spread to 22 countries and 6 continents. If there isn't one in your area, there is a Do It Yourself Toolkit (pdf) to give you a taste of what starting your own Time Bank would entail.

For more information, Edgar Cahn, the founder of Time Banks USA and the inventor of Time Dollars gave a lecture last fall, which can be viewed here.

(Image: Flickr member Michigan Municipal League (MML) licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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