The TBT Revitalization Project
August 7, 2018 — 12:25

By Grace Maselli

We humans occasionally chafe at the mere mention of the “Ch” word: Change. No matter, TBT took a look under its timebanking hood. Sho’ ’nuff, it’s time to change it up. Give it a boost. A breath of fresh air. (One of the loveliest idioms ever: Something that’s pleasantly new. Different. Refreshing.) Think Altoids or the rush that comes with seeing a great friend again after a too-long hiatus.

Some TBT timebankers recently chatted up the notion of the TBT Revitalization Project. Putting the idea of MORE vitality onto our community table. Spreading the word to MORE people about our amazing timebanking exchange program. You can begin right in your nearby orbit (We’ll show YOU, scary Mr. Change!) Make it easy. Start at your quilting circle, support group, extended family dinner, Girls Night Out, when you’re riding the bus, at church, sangha, synagogue, mosque, economic development meeting, warm up before yoga class. You get the idea.

We aim to build community, connect, expand. Sign up to offer an exchange around something you love: cooking, organizing, skate boarding, snorkeling, helping someone learn to read. Whatever your passion is, share it in a timebank exchange. And reach out through TBT for something you might need: a ride to a doctor’s appointment, a partner to help you take a walk around the block, a meal delivered after a baby’s born. “TimebanksUSA” has a trove of ideas and connection to national timebanks for tips on how to take action. To earn exchange hours, host a movie night in your house or local community center and invite timebank members. Fling your doors open for a potluck. Invite peeps over for a weed-pulling party in your garden. Have a barn raising shindig. (Hey, if you were Amish, this would be apropos…) Got more ideas? Email us at info@tampabaytime.org or post to Facebook. We’re all eyes and ears!

It Was All Art and Ice Cream at Last Night’s Monthly Member Meeting (with a Pumpkin Tossed in for Good Measure!)
August 7, 2018 — 11:23

By Grace Maselli

Last night’s monthly TBT meeting on August 6 from 7 to 9 PM at Pancake Heaven (aka: IHOP nestled at 408 East Bears Avenue in Tampa) was all images and fun with a showing of abstract acrylic paintings on canvas shared by artist Troy Elder, son of member Gwen. Several of Troy’s beautiful pieces were viewed by guests and the one pictured here is in the hands of TBT member, Dr. Andy LePage. Andy gave a presentation on nearby neighbor,
the VERY active timebank in St. Petersburg. (Check it out here!)

There was even more merriment on the occasion of our wonderful TBT Coordinator Rita Cobbs’ birthday! Member Nancy Kay Wolf ordered up a jumbo-size ice cream sundae to do justice to the day with a Rita-inspired indulgence for our very own birthday girl. Lest you think that was all, think again, Charlie :). Members Robert and Deb McGinnis, who were also at the pancake table, gifted Rita one of their very own Seminole pumpkins from the lush McGinnis pumpkin patch grown from a single seed in their very own backyard garden in Lutz!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The Possibilities Are as Vast as the Skills of Those around You”
July 24, 2018 — 9:49

By Grace Maselli

Whether it’s home repairs, acupuncture, or sailing. Childcare, origami, event planning, or graphic design, as the video on timebanking produced by the University of Michigan’s Environmental Psychology Lab describes, the possibilities are endless. Our TBT like the hundreds around the globe is a service exchange system where the “person hour” takes the place of money and people earn and offer time credits to help build community, connection, and just get stuff done! 

 

 

A Good Head of Hair: “Putting Timebanking into Practice”
July 23, 2018 — 11:33

By Grace Maselli

I went to a friend’s house recently to wash her hair. She’d just had shoulder surgery and needed help with something I take for grantedthe ability to easily execute self-care. Bandaged and still in the early phase of recovery, “Pamela” cared about hygiene. Truth be told, it was a hairy situation for me at first. I hadn’t washed another person’s head of hair since my children were small enough to fit inside a kitchen sink. (On my worry list: unintended re-injury of Pam’s shoulder, soap in her eyes…) Happily, it went well and my friend smelled fresh as a daisy on a sunshine-y morning. I even played full-on hairdresser and combed her hair, added product, including a spray to spike her hairdo just the way she likes. Heretofore, Pamela didn’t know from timebanking…so I pitched away. “But what can I offer?” she asked in earnest. “Just about anything you might need or like to have a helping hand with yourself: car rides, organization,  sorting storage boxes,  gardening, reading to a house-bound person who could use some human contact.”

My plan as of this writing is to pick Pam up and drive her to the TBT August monthly meeting to get more than her head wet, but her feet too. Then I took to Page 34 of a long-ago written but still relevant missive published by “TimeBanks USA” in their, “Guidebook 1: Exploring the Big Ideas of TimeBanking, Transforming Time, Reweaving Community”. Page 34 offers the following suggestions for ways to contribute and receive timebanking tasks that map to many of our own TBT offerings:

Accompaniment
Adult literacy
Advocacy
Befriending
Car care
Child care
Clerical support
Computer assistance
Computer literacy
Consumer support
Cooking
Craft lessonsErrands
Entertainment
Financial advice
Group Activities
Gardening
Haircuts
Heavy lifting
Home Repair
House watching
Information sharing
Jewelry makingLegal assistance
Light housekeepingMassage
Meal preparation
Medical monitoring
Music lessons
Personal grooming
Pet CareReading
Resource sharingSewing/Mending
ShoppingTutoring
Translation services

 

I reckon I engaged in two activities with Pam that appear on this wonderful list: “Personal grooming” and “Befriending.” You’ll notice too that “haircuts” is colorized and bolded. It’ll be a long time before I ever take scissors to head again, now that my children are teens and the days of unprofessional trims with craft scissors are behind us. But I think I may add hair washing to a potentially ever-expanding list of TBT skills I could offer right here on the peninsula in Tampa Bay.

Come to the TBT First-Monday-of-Every-Month Social! Invent Something to Host and Earn Timebank Hours!
July 6, 2018 — 9:19

By Grace Maselli

It’s about connection. In person. “Facetime” as it was originally intended! (Remember, Oprah won’t be there to help hoist that tree out of your driveway after a Florida-style storm. Sheldon and his geeky Big Bang Theory friends won’t give you a ride to the airport or scrub the barnacles off your boat in a timebank swap.) But you stand a REAL chance with REAL people in Tampa Bay. And even more so if they know who you are! So come to our TBT social the first Monday of every month. Host a potluck. Or  a game night and earn TBT hours! Dust off the Scrabble boards and open up your living room for a retro experience in real time; throw in some mixed nuts and lemonade to make it super groovy. We’d love to see more of our 590 members in all three dimensions (or all 10 if you’re a Superstring theorist)! Check the TBT calendar for times and locations.

590 Strong!
July 6, 2018 — 9:01

By Grace Maselli

That’s right, at TBT we’re 590 MEMBERS STRONG with a tally of 23,398 hours exchanged as of this moment in time! We’re making valuable deposits into the local community with no bank tellers, no dollar transactions, no drive-throughs! Rather, we pay dividends to our peeps using skills swapping and connection to our local residents in an alternative system of shared interest and assistance. We’re contributing rides, fixing toilets, grooming dogs, and gardening for each other. Tell your friends. Expand the network of neighborliness!

A Documentary Film about Timebanking
July 6, 2018 — 8:23

By Grace Maselli

 

Time as Money is a 70-minute documentary directed by Lenore
Eklund and released in 2015 featuring, of course, Edgar Cahn. In it, the beauty of skills swapping, “alternative” currency, creating a network of support and a “secret economy” that builds real life, real world, REAL (not virtual!) connections between humans figures largely. Ironically, it looks like a direct download will run you $2.99+. Or, for a free copy, you can always set your sights on that venerable, enduring community system: the public library. “Everyone has something of value to offer,” says Cahn in Time as Money. Who wants to host a movie night at their place? Invite TBT timebankers and earn hours. Let us know at info@tampabaytime.org

Self-Interest and Altruism
June 19, 2018 — 15:57

By Grace Maselli

Timebanking founder Edgar Cahn, now an octogenarian, has wisdom to share. “Timebanking is an explicit way of harnessing self-interest and altruism,” he notes. Sure, people who join have specific interests and needs, but there’s beauty in timebanking’s alchemy informed by another medium of exchange. Beyond cash transactions, people involved in timebanks tend to assign value to what Edgar calls “physic income.” That which is earned on behalf of the human soul. The spirit. With all of it potentially nurtured by helping others as one’s own needs are also met. For the biggest payoff, empathy and caring are marbled into the equation.

Said another way, the exchange of task-and-time itself, the interplay of doing and giving, has intrinsic value. But currency also comes in the form of self-esteem, Edgar believes. For example, “Teachers take lower salaries because their self-esteem is based in part on the choice to make the world better. You get psychic income from feeling good about yourself.” (Of course, our devoted teachers in Tampa Bay deserve psychic income and dollars, this writer believes.) So here’s a hats-off to TBT and its raison d’être:  “nourishment” of the psyche and community in its multiple and invaluable forms.

Edgar Cahn: Timebank Founder
June 5, 2018 — 9:35

By Grace Maselli

 

Combining compassion with creative thinking, Edgar Cahn linked currency with “social care networks” in 1995 when he founded TimeBanks USA, a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit headquartered in Washington, D.C. A law professor and speechwriter for Robert F. Kennedy, Cahn’s sense of community consciousness and collaboration has long been established. Respect and reciprocity underpin Cahn’s system of exchange: where an hour of work to assist a neighbor with a taskwhether it’s donating time to help clean out a garage or cook and deliver a mealis exchanged and the doer receives and a hour of timebank credit for each hour of work completed. Paying it forward, being available to community members in need. Such notions began with an idea from Cahn who formalized it into timebanking and who continues to care about building connections between people and advancing social justice causes, including his work on behalf of Native Americans and defending their civil rights. Keep your eyesopen. More to come on the history of timebanks and Cahn.

 

 

When People Help One Another, Communities Are Strengthened
May 27, 2018 — 16:05

By Grace Maselli

TBT recently interviewed member Virginia Rieck Warren. We pulled the proverbial camera way back during the exchange and took a look at TBT through Virginia’s eyes as a public health professional. “Published research indicates time banks have the capacity to increase social capital: and those community connections make towns and cities more resilient,” Virginia offered.

Little Things Can Matter
Even small gestures—connecting through TBT to help in someone’s garden, or tutor a young person learning to read. Outside the time bank, ask office co-workers about their families and vacations, let a  neighbor know you’re available to help with an errand, open the traffic flow to another driver, compliment a friend in a meaningful way. These small acts of connection and caring help strengthen social ties. They’re small gestures of engagement that let people know you’re thinking about them and they can make a huge, positive difference in a person’s life. Dr. Joe Kelly’s “Project Change” is a case in point. Based in Vancouver, Joe is self described as an “innovator in sustainability and social change.” You too can make your town and city more resilient by signaling interest in the people around you.