As a community leader, you may have noticed that Backbone Campaign has pivoted some of our organizing capacity to serve our Vashon home. Through our Vashon Resilience project we have generated signs, posters, videos, and podcasts to bolster public health. We continue to organize volunteers to boost local food security. And now, we invite you into a process of launching a community timebank (also known as a "Time Exchange") to bolster quality of life despite economic hardship.
What is a Timebank? A Timebank is a tool for tracking exchanges of time across a community. Timebanking provides a time-based currency that connects people in a community by facilitating and tracking exchanges of time. Our timebank will use an online tool to catalog members' offerings, post their requests, and track exchanges and time balance of individual and organizational members.
Together, we can harness the gifts and talents of our community and match those with needs and wants of individuals and organizations like yours. Yes, organizations may also participate and we hope a Vashon Time Exchange will bring your organization additional capacity to fulfill your mission. Establishing a timebank offers us the opportunity to cushion the blow of changes in the economy, enhance the quality of life, and create a yet more vibrant, sustainable, and connected community. (More about Timebanking below.)
Additional info on Timebanking
The core values:
In his book, No More Throw-Away People, Edgar Cahn, the creator of timebanks, listed five core values that stand at the heart of successful timebanking
- Assets. Every one of us has something of value to share with someone else.
- Redefining Work. There are some forms of work that money will not easily pay for, like building strong families, revitalizing neighborhoods, making democracy work, advancing social justice. Time credits were designed to reward, recognize, and honor that work.
- Reciprocity. Helping works better as a two-way street. When we create a reciprocal system, we honor each other’s value by receiving what they have to offer. We create value by accepting the service of others. Others cannot give unless someone receives.
- Respect. Every human being matters; there are no throw-away people. Respect underlies freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and everything we value. Respect is the blood supply for the heart and soul of democracy. In Timebanking, an hour of time pulling weeds is honored the same as an hour of an attorney’s time crafting a will.
- Social Networks. Our social infrastructure of relationships with one another is as essential as a systems infrastructure of roads, bridges, and utility lines. When people help each other they also reweave communities of support, strength, and trust. Social networking builds commitment with each another and in Timebanking, commitment is part of every exchange. We need each other, and networks are stronger than individuals.
To get involved with the Vashon Time Bank, please contact tbteam (AT) backbonecampaign.org.
For more information about Time Banks, visit TimeBanks USA site, timebanks.org