A Metaphoric Barn Raising (aka, a Community’s Collective Action)

By Grace Maselli

It’s all about getting it done. Together. Pretend it’s 1900 in Indiana. It’ll be mighty cold soon, and your barn, well, it needs a raisin’. Through collective community effort, your neighbors come together with lots of up-front prep work done. Lumber, hammers, and nails are at the ready for able-bodied builders—others bring food to sustain the collective. Before you know it, in one to two days, with dozens of people on the job, the structure is up. Later, there’s a party inside where it’s warm, with a fiddle or three and a dance. Next up, Jeremiah and Annabell’s place seven miles down the road.

The point? Interdependent social frameworks—neighborly and family bondedness, mean there are people who can be there when you need it most. And to whom you can return the favor. This is the very essence of Dr. Edgar Cahn’s vision 30 years ago or so when he conceived the timebank model of service exchange sans money. By connecting through local Tampa Bay Area’s timebanks, members and potential members stand to expand the help they give and receive through the barn-raising archetype. Whether it’s assistance you need moving your pile of stuff into storage, a leg up with cooking, yoga lessons to jump start your fitness goals, job coaching, or a ride to a doctor’s appointment, timebanking can get you there without money because in our world, time is the currency required. It’s free to join. And when you do, your modern day equivalent of Willis and Bertha, neighbors down the road—or, maybe, even across the Howard Franklin Bridge, just might be the folks in your life to lay a strong foundation. Click here to get your application to TBT rolling!



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