Tampa Bay Time Bank is celebrating FOUR years of building community through timebanking in the Tampa Bay area! In the true spirit of making offers and exchanges, we are having a Talent Show and Birthday Celebration on Friday, May 22, 2015 from 7:30 to 11 pm at Sacred Grounds Coffee House, located at 4819 E. Busch Blvd., Tampa, FL 33617. Tampa Bay Time Bank (TBT) members are invited to participate as the TALENT for the evening’s show.
If you’d like to perform in the talent show,
Kathy McGuire at KathySings4u@gmail.com.
Get ready for this Abundance Swap! Bring your gently used items and swap them for something else. Help others in need, clear out your clutter and put your stuff back in circulation.
Saturday, May 16 from 1-4pm.
(click image below to download a pdf flyer)
The Tampa Bay Time Bank “terms of service” agreement contains the main guidelines to which all members agree when they join TBT. Here’s a pdf file of the document: TAMPA_BAY_TOS.
TAMPA BAY TIME BANK MEMBER AGREEMENT/PARTICIPATION AGREEMENT
1. As a member of Tampa Bay Time I agree to treat others with respect. I will respond to
communications promptly and perform quality services in a safe and careful manner.
2. I will not disclose any personal information (such as names, addresses, email addresses or
telephone numbers) about any Tampa Bay Time participant without the participant’s consent.
3. I understand that Tampa Bay Time will not do criminal background checks on participants or
check personal references, professional licenses, driver’s licenses and/or driving records.
4. I understand that Tampa Bay Time may take photographs and video for use in community
outreach, publicity and research. If I do not want my image(s) to be used I will notify the
photographer or videographer at any event(s) that I participate in.
5. I understand that Tampa Bay Time defines and limits the types of services that can be
exchanged with other participants. If I have any questions about whether a particular service is
allowed, I will communicate with Tampa Bay Time.
6. I am responsible for determining whether and when to exchange services offered through
Tampa Bay Time. I understand that the services I provide or receive are not evaluated or
recommended by Tampa Bay Time, and that Tampa Bay Time does not warranty or guarantee
the services in any way.
7. I assume full responsibility for all liability and all risk of injury or loss which may result from
participating in the Tampa Bay Time program. I agree to indemnify and hold harmless all parties
who facilitate or participate in the Time Bank exchanges.
8. I expressly waive any claims, demands or causes of action and release Time Banks USA, Tampa
Bay Time and their members, partners, contractors, agents, officers and employees from any
liability whatsoever arising from this program.
9. I understand that participating in Tampa Bay Time does not and will not form a contractual
relationship between me and any other Tampa Bay Time participant or entity.
10. As a participant in Tampa Bay Time, I agree that all services I give or receive are voluntary. I will not give or receive any money for these services. I understand that service hours have no
11. I understand that my participation in Tampa Bay Time may be terminated for any reason not
prohibited by law. Reasons for which my participation may be terminated include conduct that
is unlawful, harmful to any other individual or disruptive to the program.
12. This agreement will remain in effect even if I am no longer a participant in Tampa Bay Time. I
have read and understand and specifically agree to all of the language in this Agreement.
13. By Applying for this account, I acknowledge that I understand and agree to the above terms.
The Tampa Bay Time Bank will have a table at the Hillsborough Community College Beyond Sustainability IV on April 15, 2015.
The TBT table will be at the HCC “Showcase” between 3:00-6:00pm Wednesday, April 15th on the Ybor City campus. The entire event is free and open to the public. It’s in the Student Services Center, the LEED building on the HCC Ybor Campus, 1320 E. Palm Avenue, Tampa, FL 33605. Room YSSB 307/308. Parking in back.
Edgar Mitchell founder of The Institute of Noetic Sciences– IONS will be speaking at 7:00pm. See more at noetic.org. Our Time Bank partner, Suncoast Community Institute of Noetic Sciences (SCIONS) will have a table right next to ours!
Wednesday, April 15, 2015, 3-8 pm on the Ybor City Hillsborough Community College Campus. Download a pdf flyer of the event:
A Personal Experience
by Rita Cooper Cromwell Cobbs
Three weeks after my husband’s death in hospice, I can reflect on the experience of providing home care for him for the past six months with the help of the Life Path Hospice team, friends, family, neighbors and several Tampa Bay Time Bank members. All in all, my two years as a member of the Tampa Bay Time Bank helped provide a key network of support for this intense journey.
Much of that support was unsolicited and poured out from the members’ compassionate interest in our welfare. Even though such support had not been requested formally on time bank software, much service was provided informally, volunteered or just appeared as surprise presents. In retrospect, I have tried to provide some accountability by recording time bank hours to a few of the key people who helped us through this journey. But during the six month long hospice experience itself, it was not possible for me to have enough detachment, time, or energy to do the appropriate reporting of exchanges, nor was it expected by members. In fact, I moved from a fairly active participation in time bank activities to completely shutting off any computer connection with it, not even reading the newsletters.
My focus was one-pointed and brooked of no distractions by necessity. Also clear was that people who were friends in the time bank did not offer their support and help as a time bank exchange, but simply to assist someone they cared about in a time of crisis. The services provided, the meals brought, the patient companionship as caregiver relief were given as a gift of love, a manifestation of friendship, not as a potential exchange of value. For me, this created a strange gray area of communication, where to discuss something like giving credit in hours (not money certainly, but related to a value exchange) would have been tantamount to an error of etiquette, and would have reflected poorly on the friendship and feelings of affection motivating the service provided. In summary, it was not the mechanism of our formal exchange of hourly services in the time bank structure which was my big support at this time of need, but rather the intensity of the friendships generated through contacts within the time bank that provided a network of caring individuals who offered themselves and their talents as great gifts.
I did not undertake looking after my 89 year old husband through his lung cancer illness with only the support of hospice naïvely, but rather based that decision on my years of being a hospice administrator, and knowing in a thorough and basic way the gamut of the hospice process and its outcomes. In fact, I could visualize the final hours of my husband’s death at home from the first day that we received the hospice referral. And that both made the process easier and more functional and at the same time harder and more poignant. My commitment to caring for him at home was 100% and the only question was would I be able at my age of 73 to do what was needed as sole caregiver, our seven children being scattered throughout the United States. A few simple responses from the hospice team convinced me that their care was excellent and the structure was established to provide me with all of the basic care giving needs.
My husband had countless years of successes in a wide variety of fields and was best known for his storytelling ability and his infinite capacity to engage other people in interesting dialogue. We soon had emotional ties with the nurses, the CNAs, the social worker, the volunteers and other members of the hospice team. Quickly, my daily experiences were altered by my husband’s changing physical condition. It required concentration to stay on top of medical and emotional needs and to continue to provide enjoyable, productive and creative life experiences for him. He continued to write his newspaper column for the Virginia mountain newspapers each week, to communicate with family and friends and to read his usual book a day on an e-reader.
The one certainty we had was competent professional help from the hospice staff, so when volunteer hours were needed, I went first to the Hospice structure which mandated highly trained volunteers as part of their interdisciplinary team. We had two excellent volunteers, one who came every Wednesday after work and talked with him while I took a much needed break, and another who developed a Legacy program which involved videotaping his stories and resulted in some 10 hours of irreplaceable family history and anecdotes as well as a slide show commemorating his life and family.
Later, as time bank members begin to offer help and my routine was more established, I was able to incorporate their kindnesses as additional help to our day by day activities. One of the first supports from members of the time bank was bringing food. My stress level was high enough so it was hard for me to make decisions about food. My husband’s appetite was minimal and soon his intake was primarily supplementary drinks, but one Tampa Bay Time Bank member brought watermelon and other such delights and for his birthday a gigantic birthday cookie which was fun and made a great photograph. Another member offered overnight accommodations for visiting relatives. Sometimes someone would bring me a special little meal delivered as a surprise, often some delectable foreign dish, or a dessert or special cheeses or a sandwich. Since his intake was limited, it was usual for me to eat randomly, and such food gifts were always a great pleasure.
Often a time bank friend would ask if I needed something from the grocery store and if I mentioned one item, they would appear with a basket of goodies. One special member emailed a long list of things that she would like to do for us; the itemized list gave me previously unidentified possibilities. It also made me realize that she wanted to help and was not making a token overture. She came to our house and listened to me talk for over an hour, adding supportive comments and gentle guidance. Her professional skill as a counselor was just part of her personal identity and “friend to friend” she was able to provide professional support, a bonding that carried over through followup emails.
Some members were long-standing friends; when one of our dogs needed surgery, she took over the whole process, taking the dog to the vet, handling aftercare, and monitoring recovery. None of this would have been something I could have handled on my own while looking after my husband.
Another member developed a relationship with my husband almost like a granddaughter. She checked weekly to see what we needed, brought supplies, treats, fixed home repair problems, and created a bed for him outside in the backyard to give him a chance to be in the sunshine.
Perhaps the most extraordinary development was during the last three weeks of my husband’s life. Two members of the time bank who operate a community acupuncture clinic in the area came by repeatedly to help in many ways. One, an expert in computer technology, got my printer working, also fixing some computer problems, and signing me up for her Netflix program, enabling me to watch some interesting movies. The computer and printer concerns were important as we continued to work with my husband’s writings and needed to print out copies for his review as well as photos of daughters and sons. Both of these TBT members were good visitors, full of fun, hugs, and emotional support, bringing food delicacies which we shared together. They also made visits at bedside with my husband to listen to his stories and share their own lives.
As the time of death drew near, their spiritual support came into play. One member brought invaluable spiritual books, one book a dialogue with a Rabbi and another written by hospice nurses, entitled Final Gifts, providing a way to meaningfully interpret the so-called confusion of patients in their final day. The other friend who had medical training was able to help position my husband in his hospital bed and make him more comfortable. All in all, their visits were a major contribution to our comfort and tranquility.
Another fairly new and inactive time bank member, both a friend and neighbor, came regularly. He took a couple of our dysfunctional hearing aids to the VA repair service and brought them back in working condition, helping us when hearing problems were compounding all our other concerns. He also spent hours at bedside in meaningful conversations with my husband. A visit from Mark was something my husband welcomed even during his last week of life.
There are several conclusions that I have drawn from this recent life altering experience:
1. Attention to the mechanism and technology of a time bank (its exchanges) is beyond the capacity of a caregiver and patient during a time of crisis. It is largely impossible to initiate and complete requests and recording of hours for services rendered unless a caregiver shifts that needed one-pointed focus away from the medical task at hand. Nevertheless, the basic building of community which is the foundation and function of the time bank exists in and apart from the formal exchange mechanism and THAT is the greatest benefit derived from the time bank. That community of friends who really care about the patient and caregiver come forward with love and service as a voluntary outpouring of affection.
2. For one committed to the principle of time banking, it is easy after-the-fact to begin some kind of equitable adjustment of “time-bank hours” for services rendered that satisfies the function of hourly exchanges and at the same time cements the personal relationships of the people involved.
3. There is probably a role for facilitators within the time bank structure to help this process go forward and also perhaps to create a gift category of hours that could be awarded in the name of a person giving the service. If it is awkward to award hours for service to a particular member, it might be more graceful to give hours in their name to a fund for those who need hours, much like a donation to a charity in honor of a special friend. If such a mechanism is created it is important that some member of the time bank acknowledge that gift of hours and the name of the person that is being recognized soon after the service is rendered so that it is not an unrecognized formality.
Finally, at this point, weeks after my husband’s death and one day after a Thank You Potluck for all those who helped us on our journey (a gathering attended by some 40 people, 8 of whom are members of the Tampa Bay Time Bank, and taking place in our front yard) I am reminded of my husband’s strategies in fund raising for Roanoke College in Virginia. His point when accompanying one of their development staff was never directly to ask for money. He believed that, if a call was completed with the proper emotional rapport and information, the financial gift would follow and would often be greater because it was never requested. In the same way it has seemed to me that there has been more goodwill created for and about the time bank through an oblique process, stemming from natural emotional attachments and affection than through any so-called pitch or direct solicitation of membership. Perhaps what we have learned is that, when we go about building community, the time bank structure takes its rightful place as a mechanism rather then as the primary function.
One of the Tampa Bay Time Bank Partners is Suncoast Community Institute of Noetic Sciences (SCIONS), a community group of the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS). IONS was founded by astronaut Dr. Edgar Mitchell in the 1970’s, inspired by his profound spiritual experience while traveling back from the moon during the Apollo 14 space mission. Dr. Mitchell founded IONS to pursue the scientific study of states of consciousness, distant healing, global wisdom, and psychic phenomenon.
SCIONS was founded in 1995 through the pioneering work of TBT member Sharon Joy Kleitsch, who is still deeply involved in the coordination and planning of events. Douglas Bonar, another TBT member is the current SCIONS facilitator.
As a Tampa Bay Time Bank partner, Douglas has invited us to speak about timebanking at the quarterly SCIONS meeting and mentioned TBT many times in his monthly Consciousness Cafes at Sacred Lands. He has also distributed TBT material at other attended events as he believes strongly in our mutual vision and efforts to create the highest community good. He also has attended and volunteered on many occasions at TBT events.
TBT offers a big thank you to SCIONS for assisting with our exposure so more folks can get to know about the wonderful concept of timebanking! To know more about Noetic Sciences please visit noetic.org or join the local Noetic Meetup group.
On January 31, 2015 Tampa Bay Time (TBT) had it’s first ever booth at the Saturday Morning Market in downtown St. Pete, the award-winning farmer’s market that has grown in over a decade to be the largest in the Southeast. As always, thousands of people came to ogle the market offerings of flowers, plants, produce, prepared foods, and multiple crafts, of a quality that is often rare in community markets, to a background of live music. TBT was a small presence in the 125 vendors that chilly morning, but a mighty voice for Time Banking in our region
Our TBT Pandora team from the St. Pete area did TBT proud, with the TBT logo on everything from a banner, to the table cover, to our t-shirts, and chairs! Since our booth had dog treats and water dishes, the canines pulled in their companions with enthusiasm, and we had great discussions with a wide variety of folks, including a couple who know Time Banking founder, Edgar Cahn!! We often heard “Really? Services for free?”, and “Really? I love pot lucks!”, and “Really? I just moved here and would love to meet people like this!” Time Banking at its best!
We’ve been invited to participate again, so look for another announcement in the near future, and plan to treat yourself to this wonderful experience. Muchas gracias to the St. Pete Pandora Team of Peggie Marks, Teresa Miller, Sandra Prandy, Renee Burger, Laura Clark, Douglas Bonar, and Marilyn Newbould, as well as Christina Bellamy, for staffing our booth and being the face of TBT on that day!!
“I did all my Holiday shopping today,” exclaimed one enthusiastic time banker near the end of Saturday’s Abundance Swap, and she was not alone. We were busy from start to finish and everyone left with several things they needed.
Tampa Bay Time Bank’s latest Abundance Swap was another fine example of a free market! Our recent swap on Saturday December 13 at Sacred Grounds Coffee House in Tampa was this year’s second swap. On November 1 we held the first TBT (Tampa Bay Time Bank) Abundance Swap at Moccasin Lake Park in Clearwater.
For those of you who weren’t at the second Abundance Swap at Sacred Grounds in Tampa yesterday afternoon, it was a smashing success. Rita’s enthusiasm sparked a lot of work in a short time, and everyone rallied to make it work.
Kudos to the gang who got there two hours ahead to set up. There were the stalwart TBT folks: Marie, Rita, Tish, Nancy, Kelley and who else am I missing? For the clean up, all those and many of the Swappers who hung around to help, they were enjoying it so much!
There were some good things about the Swap beyond someone getting a new iron.
1) Ages of people stopping by were from twenty something to octogenarians
2) Shelby graduated from USF yesterday morning, and was at the Swap at 2pm
3) A woman said she had been hounded by her kids to downsize, and resisted for yrs. When she heard about the Swap, that got her started. She brought us a trunkload of stuff, and said it was a first step.
4) Several grandmothers were taking outfits for their grandchildren, who would be in the next size up by spring
5) About 15 folks from the storefront church in the same plaza walked past and asked about TBT.
6) Several people who couldn’t attend yesterday gave me stuff to take to the Swap
7) S. Pinellas TBT’ers need to offer a Swap. Some folks don’t want to drive an hour, even if it is for free stuff
8) Talked w/a few people who have been members, but never attended anything or made exchanges.
9) Swaps donate a lot of the leftover goods to thrift stores. Donations at most thrifts are down 15%-ish.
Good work, Tampa Bay Timers and Swappers!
**The next swap will be Saturday, February 6, 2015 at Sacred Grounds!!**
Watch for another swap to be held in the springime in Pinellas County, too!
Saturday, December 13, 2014
Sacred Grounds Coffee House
4819 E. Busch Blvd., Tampa, FL 33617
Open to the General Public: 1pm – 4pm
Tampa Bay Time Bank Volunteers: 11am – 4:45pm
Today’s times call for a new kind of economics to address the changing needs of our community. The Tampa Bay Time Bank has created an event to do just that: Abundance Swap.
Here’s a flyer to send to friends and post around town: TBT Abundance Swap Flyer
This Abundance Swap will be an activity where anyone can bring a gently used item or one in decent working order. Those items will be on tables for display, and can be taken home for free. Bring something, take home something! One person’s trash is another’s treasure.
What: Tampa Bay Time Bank’s Abundance Swap
Where: Sacred Grounds Coffee House, 4819 E. Busch Blvd., Tampa, FL 33617
When: Saturday, December 13, 2014, 1pm – 4pm
Who: anyone who wants to participate in these creative exchanges
Why: de-clutter your home, get some good stuff, meet like-minded others
Tampa Bay Time http://tampabaytime.org is a community skills exchange, also known as a Time Bank. We offer what we do well and ask for help with what we need. We work for social justice while expanding our circle of friends. All are welcome.
Time Banking is a social change movement based on five values:
- Assets: we are all assets.
- Redefining Work: Some work is beyond price.
- Reciprocity: Helping works better as a two-way street.
- Social Networks: We need each other.
- Respect: Every human being matters
Donate items in good working order: ‘Gently used’ Clothing, children’s stuff, household/kitchen stuff, electronics parts, leftover house paint, companion animal items, games (make sure they are playable), toys, tools, books, art and craft supplies. Broken crayons ok, used pencils ok. Crafters can use an old dress to cut up fabric. If clothing is not wearable, take off buttons; someone may use them. Pieces of wood leftover from a project ok.
Please No: food, shoes, underwear, dirty or beyond-broken things, cleaning products, cosmetics, etc.
By Sherry Kule
Enrollment Support. Assistant Coordinator
Dear Time Bank Members,
I’m so happy I become a time bank member back in December 2012! It’s July 2014 and I continue to make 2-4 exchanges weekly. I have an extraordinary amount of fun and success time banking. I would like to share with you how I do this just in case you haven’t had the chance to make your own exchanges yet, are not sure about how to make this work for you, or want more success with it. Much of this is common sense and I’m sure you know most of it already. Basic business networking skills and experience also come into play.
We have great members and I am amazed at how nice they are. Some will go way out of their way to make an exchange and I truly appreciate this.
I couldn’t believe it until I counted the hours I exchanged (once you login, click on the “Statement” icon). I was ‘member gone wild!’ last year, getting almost everything I’ve wanted for a long time with tasks started, in progress or completed. I exchanged 107 hours with TBT members within the months of April and May 2013.
I also maintain my hours in order to have enough for exchanges. I offer community activity to the Tampa Bay Time Bank, helping with Enrollment Support to other members, as well as my own offers. I invite new members to join (earning 2 TBT Hours) who will appreciate this amazing concept and/or have the skills I would like for an exchange and/or for other members to enjoy, in order to fulfill their requests. I have had three potluck orientations at my house (each worth 4 TBT Hours).
For anyone interested, I would like to share with those looking at time banking as a way to add abundance to their lives:
HINTS FOR SUCCESSFUL TIMEBANK EXCHANGES
- I keep in mind time banking is about building relationships and I work at it. I am interested in our members and potential members – and what they are about too, not only about what I can get.
- For each request being fulfilled during an exchange with a member, I give instructions ahead of time (depending on the exchange) or when we meet. I let my goal be known – the outcome I want to achieve for the hours agreed upon.
- I am appreciative and not highly critical of the work being done. I don’t expect a poor result but if the member is not a pro, I don’t expect 100% pro work. I get great results nevertheless!
- If the member has made a mistake in painting, landscape work, mending, shelf installation, computer work, housekeeping, – whatever the exchange may be, I remind myself I am exchanging valuable hours, not cash; the error can most likely be corrected. I find a polite way to explain what I am looking for as the desired result and nicely work it out.
- I had to bite my tongue and be nice one time re: work not up to par. It will pay off and I will continue to exchange with that member who possesses other great skills I will want for another exchange.
- If I don’t have another member available with that important or rare and needed skill just yet, it may pay off to keep the peace until I have someone else lined up.
- I am not obligated to exchange with every member.
- Especially Good Points to Consider:
- Some members have unique and valuable skills for exchange so I go out of my way to ensure they are happy during and after the exchange. Exchanging with TBT members is not the same as hiring a paid contractor whom I may have to fire for a poor job.
- I may email a thank you note for a great job done, happy to know them, etc.
- I gave one member chicken soup because she didn’t feel well but arrived anyway to fulfill for me what was an important Request.
- I taped a member’s requested two night movie special for her to watch while doing my mending, for two separate visits.
- I offered one hour travel time each way. This member drove to exchange with me, so I offered it with the hope to see her again for the same exchange. It came back again.
- I offer gasoline reimbursement of $5-$10 when the driving time isn’t local. I remind myself how much that service would ordinarily cost me and am happy to pay the mileage.
- I schedule exchanges that are convenient for the both of us.
- I invite guests to orientation events whose skills I need, that our members want or who will benefit as members.
- I find that members have other talents and skills they didn’t write in their Offers and Requests but were mentioned in potlucks or their “My Bio” in their member Profile. By getting to know them at potlucks and while doing work for TBT, I learn more about them.
- I keep my Offers & Requests updated on the website and delete the ones fulfilled. I date them far enough into the future so they don’t expire and always have at least two of each posted.
I gladly contribute my time to help TBT because of the generous gift of time bank hours and the opportunity to make exchanges. I do not take this privilege for granted. I am making new friends, helping others get what they need and want, building community, and sharing this unique and innovative concept.
It has been fun tackling work I didn’t want to do with the help from TBT members. Many are new friends with a shared purpose.
Wouldn’t it be nice to create an abundance of skilled and talented members so we always have the exchanges we need, and to keep our newly invited members happy too?
I hope you have fun with time banking. This is about building community – something I hadn’t experienced for a long time until I was invited to join the Tampa Bay Time Bank.
Please feel free to contact me anytime with questions or for more information: email@example.com, 727.543.9933