Article courtesy of Debby Genz
A TimeBank is a concept that has been around for a long time and is used widely across the US and the world. It’s a way of building community, sharing skills, building social capital, and weaving a web of social connection in a fragmented world.
We started the Asheville TimeBank in 2015, joining the Ourworld network of TimeBanks, and have grown to over 120 members currently. We’re an all-volunteer organization, run by a “Kitchen Cabinet” which receives time credits for the hours spent administering the TimeBank.
Our GDP economy leaves out the vast network of caring and sharing that goes on, neighbors helping neighbors, family members caring for each other, friends teaching skills to each other; but a TimeBank acknowledges this vast underground economy and offers a system for tracking such exchanges.
It works like this: you join the TimeBank and list your skills and talents, plus what help you’re looking for. Say you love to teach Thai cooking and you need help repairing a fence. Sonya responds to your offer and you spend two hours giving her Thai cooking lessons and get two-hour credits in your account. Fran offers to help you fix your fence, which gets done in an hour and a half. You deposit a credit and a half in Fran’s account, which she uses to get a haircut from Stephan. And on it goes…
With a community like Haw Creek, you can have a TimeBank within the ATB by designating a mileage radius for the offers and requests, or you can also extend your exchanges out to the wider community. Either way, there’s a lot to be gained by joining us and we look forward to sharing more ideas of how we can collaborate with you for our mutual benefit.
For more information on Asheville Time Bank go to www.ashevilletimebank.org