Community and Covid-19 Prevention, Big Timebank Hearts Pumped to Help

By Grace Maselli

Meet Mary. She’s an “Infection Preventionist” RN at Tampa General Hospital. See her mask? This was donated to her and some of her Infection Preventionist friends through the network of Florida Timebanks and its literal grassroots mobilization. Why? To assist healthcare workers not only in our immediate area, but other places. Take New York, for instance. Once again, Ground Zero for a crisis.

As of this writing, anti-coronavirus queen and TBT member Delphine Geraci has sewn 610 maskswith another 45 in line for completion today. Upwards of 75 of the beauties will be sent to a Brooklyn healthcare center described as a “war zone” by a hard-working physician there.

Delphine’s gotten some help from timebank elves across the region, not to mention timebankers’ neighbors, and the faith-based community. Our “runners” are buying and donating elastic bands and washed-and-cut fabric, bringing them to the drop-off table at Delphine’s house (and any other willing sewer who’s ready to come forward with her or his spools of thread!)

Staving Off Airborne Particles

The masks are intended to extend the lifespan of N95s, aka, “respirators and surgical masks (face masks) that are examples of personal protective equipment used to protect the wearer from airborne particles and from liquid contaminating the face.” In other words, a calculated barrier against Covid-19. No doubt you’ve heard that N95s are in short supply, with medical staff using them longer than they otherwise would. Supplemental timebank masks are designed to help lengthen the lives not only of N95s, but strengthen their precious and courageous wearers.

Llamas, Mustaches, and “PUL”

The timebank team’s fabric cutters, elastic gatherers, drivers, and sewers are using “The Turban Project” face mask pattern, though there are others among us also using a larger pattern. If you’re in the mood to explore, there’s lots to know and download from this site. Our fabrics are covered in llamas, polka dots, Haight-Ashbury tie dye, Star Wars memorabilia, and mustaches. Delphine, a Bariatric RN, is also making some out of “PUL,” or what’s described as a “disposable, breathable, and waterproof fabric, specially treated so that it is not harmful to the skin, both in adults and babies. PUL has a great variety of utilities and uses, such as the making of disposable masks and other sanitary covers.” According to Delphine, “PUL gives better protection when worn alone. Cotton is best when worn over an existing mask.”

In the meantime, we’ll keep on the move, aiming to help by being part of the larger community effortpart of the whole, as long as we’re able.

It’s true what they say: it takes an (underground) village to grow a heart to 50 times its normal size; this writer has never been more proud to be a member of a community that’s got one big enough to go around.

For donations of breathable cotton fabric and related supplies, contact Rita at 608.335.2382.


“Hello, from My Heart,” Gary Really Means It…

By Grace Maselli

Timebankers helping people. That’s what it’s all about. Spring Hill FL Timebank member Gary Schineller cares about community. Founder and CEO of the nonprofit Hello, from My Heart, Gary’s mission is “To measurably create happier, healthier, & more peaceful communities,” which includes Gary’s healing energy work; a sampling of the modalities he uses includes Reiki, kinesiology, transactional analysis, and meditation.

* Rapid Eye Movement

The Buzz: We Beseech You Dear Member (and Would-Be Member) to Help Us Expand!

By Grace Maselli

The Tampa Bay Timebank Leadership Team has been as busy as 80,000 honey bees in a colony. No kidding. They’ve been envisioning, planning, writing, and doingall along the way sweetening the connections between and among our 549 members. This includes a focus on areas of expansion.

This unfolding expansion, dear member, is where you can earn TBT hours for your activities—and exchangeswith fellow members by moving as the bees do: productively (and “in the context of ‘electric fields’!” It’s all true!).

Our all-volunteer org means no paid staff or central office.  No Gal Friday. What we do have: several coordinators managing the website and handling organizational planning. All other activity is generated by you, valued member, for members. And because we charge no fees, TBT relies on volunteer energy and donations whenever materials or cash are inevitably required.

What follows are some significant areas of interest that TBT would like to expand to meet organizational need. Some categories are only bubbling ideas at the present momentor, significantly, they’re being handled by just one person.

So here’s the thing, if you’d like to get involved, don’t hesitate. Be like the bee and getta move on with another person or small group. Jump into something that maps to your passion or skills or both. We’re all ears and also open to hearing suggestions that may not be on this list. So please let us know what strikes your fancy and we’ll attempt to make it happen.

In the mean time, take a look through our Action Groups list and each category’s quick description to see what you think. To get things rolling or ask questions, contact

Action Groups

  • Administration Action Group
    Handles administrative necessities including paperwork and phone calls.
  • Community and Group Projects Action Group
    Engages in community service.
    • Co-Production Action Group
    Helps other organizations with their projects.
    • Education Action Group
    Either attends or offers educational workshops.
  • Emergency Services Action Group
    Volunteers to help in an emergency. Those with medical credentials can use them. Others may offer transportation, phone contacts, or general support.  We’d like people to join in various geo areas so we always have people nearby to call.
  • Entertainment Action Group
    Selects fun things to do for members and schedules open social events. It is a good way to get to know other members before making exchanges.
  • Events Action Group
    Puts on events around the area, such as Gathering with a Purpose and Introductory events. Support staff is always needed.
  • Field Trips and Travel Group
    Plans trips and tours around town.
  • Marketing Group
    Handles TBT marketing and advertising.
  • Membership Action Group
    Keeps in regular contact with members.
  • Monthly Program Gatherings Action Group
    Designs monthly programs held at Tampa’s Life Enrichment Center. Support is always helpful. Participants arrange speakers, food, transportation, and communications.
  • Orientation Group
    A trained group of people to help new members get acquainted with the website and members.
  • Social Adventures Action Group
    Selects fun things to do for members and schedules open social events and tours, for example. It is a good way to get to know other members before making exchanges.
  • Social Justice Action Group
    Involvement in specific social justice action-oriented projects.
  • Social Media Group
    Manages the Facebook group and other social media activities and announcements.
  • Speakers Group
    Makes presentations to various organizations about timebanking.
  • Spiritual Study Group
    People interested in metaphysics and spirituality who attend various local study groups and events.
  • Technology Group
    Helps with all the TBT technical requirements, including computer repair, setting up equipment for events, finding necessary equipment and connections for various media purposes, providing software assistance, photography, film-making, and more.
  • Trainers Action Group
    Trained trainers who carry out various programs such as formal orientations, introductory workshops, Gathering with a Purpose workshops etc.
  • Transportation Group
    Helps people who cannot drive to attend TBT events and sometimes arranges for personal travel needs.
  • Welcome New Members Action Group
    As the name implies, members of this group welcome new members via phone calls and small get-togethers to help new members become oriented and connected with existing members. Group members also help to facilitate new exchanges.

Readers can also support our Florida timebanks by donating equipment and supplies and cash for needed items.  Among our ongoing requirements: supplies for potlucks and events, (think, paper plates, utensils, napkins, paper towels, pens, paper, name tags, office supplies, color printing, and bottled water). You get the idea! If you have things lying around that you don’t need and that you think TBT could use, please let us know by contacting We’re eternally grateful!





Shake Yer Pots, Rattle Some Pans

By Grace Maselli


This year’s TBT pre-Turkey celebration will include improv music: ad-libbed and noteworthy notes as spontaneous accompaniment to yumilicious food! So join us for our November 2019 Third Tuesday Turkey and don’t forget your paper plate banjo and rattle drumsyer do-it-yourself tambourine and some knee-jerk symbols. Hop the holiday bandwagon in Tampa for this year’s “Friendsgiving,” when we’ll share Thanksgiving goodies and gratitudeBring a fun dish! If you need food ideas check out this list of classics. Here are the essential details on the not-so-skinny holiday:

Date Tuesday, November 19, 2019
Time 6:30-8:30+ PM
Address Life Enrichment Center
9704 North Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33612; phone: 813.932.0241
Questions? Contact or call (215) 834-4567 and reference our Thanksgiving potluck at LEC

Community, It’s a Choice

By Grace Maselli
Community is a lot more than a physical neighborhood, town, city, or state.
Of course, that physicality matters. (It’s easier to pull weeds or dust a timebanker’s ceiling fan in an exchange if that person lives in your proverbial backyard.) But community is also about something arguably even more intimate: identity. Longstanding TBT member Christina Bellamy’s personalized presentation at last month’s Third Tuesday gathering on October 15 opened a dialogue about all this and more. Using timebanking’s “Gathering with a Purpose” model, Christina stirred interactive conversation; she opened up a casual discourse with emphasis on the warmth and connection that characterizes timebanking’s priority, people and their collective and individual value as community members—or as writer Megan Garber wrote a couple of years ago in The Atlantic, “Community…is not merely something that one fits into; it is also something one chooses for oneself, through a process of self-discovery.” 


Christina’s  October 15 talk took a deeper dive—a spelunking exploration into what timebank vibe means to the whole and, to cite Megan Garber again, what it means as part of a journey toward self-discovery. There’s a wealth of motivation to explain why people get involved. Some reasons have are economic. Others have nothing to do with dollars and cents. Because in timebanking, “currency” is measuredearned and spentin timebank hours. And for those on a budget, or with limited and fixed incomes, this can be an exceedingly helpful advantage because we can still get our needs met and also help others in the same way, even when we can’t afford it in greenbacks. For others, there’s motivation to widen the circle of good friends, enriching an experience of community along the way. And for others still, a non-material, spiritual (metaphysical, ineffable, sometimes sacred) energy compels involvement. Sometimes it’s all of the above: a desire to support others, be supported, and know intrinsically that timebanking’s ethos is real and can be felt when we all have a chance to feel valued and offer something in return.

Before the October 15 meeting concluded the group put together a timeline, a visualization depicting how longfrom a few weeks to close to a decade—that each participant was connected to TBT. People took stock of their identities as a growing part of the TBT tribe, an ever-widening kindred connection. If you’re inspired to Gather with a Purpose, download “Gathering Welcome & Introduction” to get rolling and keep the community energy flowing!

Celebrate 40 Years of Peace *and* Get Your Groove Thing on with WMNF Community Conscious Radio and Living Playback Theater

By Grace Maselli

Wanna joint TBT in supporting the local Tampa community? No better way than to bring it on down to “Celebrate 40 years of peace, love, and music on 88.5 FM” and let art and music rule the night on Saturday, November 9. Here’s what the WMNF Community Conscious Radio and Living Mirror Playback Theater have to say about it all:

“In 1979, WMNF  took to the airwaves after volunteers knocked on doors seeking support and talking with people about the dream of a unique radio station: A community radio station featuring music and public affairs not offered on mainstream radio. Forty  years later, that dream is still a reality. We’ve made many friends along the way and have a lot of stories to share.  We will celebrate the stories of those dreamers and all the friends they have made over the past 40 years with the help of Tampa’s own Living Mirror Playback Theater.” One of our very own longstanding TBT members and high-velocity community activists Christina Bellamy is an improvisational theater performer with Playback, a troupe that travels the Tampa Bay area engaging audiences in impromptu storytelling directly from participants’ lives, with audience members watching Playback enact quick tales on the spot.”

Come share YOUR story about your connection with WMNF, what it’s meant to you, and enjoy the playback performance! Here are all the vital stats you need:



Saturday, November 9, 2019

Where: Tampa Friends Meeting House
1502 W Sligh Ave, Tampa, Fl 33604
When: 6:00pm-8:00pm
Cost: $10 advance, $15 day of show requested donation
RSVP: 813-238-8001 and talk to Miss Julie to reserve your seat; space is limited

It’s Third Tuesday Turkey Time, Bring Your Sweet Potato Casserole and Some Gobble-ish-us!

By Grace Maselli

Hard to believe it’s Turkey Time again! Members and friends, join us at a shared, festive, pre-Thanksgiving potluck table where young and old alike (and everything in between) are whole-heartedly and timebank-style welcome. We’d love to see you in Tampa for this year’s “Friendsgiving” where we’ll be serving up goodies and gratitude. So bring a fun dish to share! Here’s the down-low on the not-so-skinny holiday:

Date Tuesday, November 19, 2019
Time 6:30-8:30+ PM
Address Life Enrichment Center
9704 North Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33612; phone: 813.932.0241
Questions? Contact or call (215) 834-4567 and reference our Thanksgiving potluck at LEC


Diabetes and Cancer Prevention: Health-Focused “Third Tuesday” Monthly Meeting

By Grace Maselli

It’s a happy, life-affirming truth that Florida Timebanks’ membersin Tampa, Spring Hill, and St. Petersburghave myriad talents to share with each other and the community at large. Personal health and cancer prevention are among the subjects members study. Jim Zorman, Spring Hill Timebank health writer,  presented recently on diet and disease prevention at TBT’s Third Tuesday monthly meeting at Tampa’s Life Enrichment Center on Tuesday, August 20. Attendees who eagerly came to listen to “Big Jim” Zorman speak numbered 23. Among the key concepts covered: cancer cells thrive on sugar. Avoid High Fructose Corn Sugar, white flour, and alcohol that metabolizes as harmful sugar. Protection can also come in the form of correct doses of Vitamin D. The Cleveland Clinic offers supplemental info to complement Big Jim’s assertions: “Diet, Nutrition, & Healthy Lifestyle Help Reduce Cancer Risk.”  Also referenced during the meeting was New York Times Bestseller, Radical Remission, Surviving Cancer against All Odds, by Kelly A. Turner, Ph.D.

We love to hear about potential speakers and are open to presentations at our Third Tuesday meetings. Bring us your ideas at 608.335.2382.




Hooray! Holiday Demonstrates Revitalization Is Taking Hold

By Grace Maselli

This year, TBT crushed it with holiday cheer. We decked our halls and paid homage to Suessian Who Wompers and Pantookers. And with approximately 20 to 25 people present, our attendance spiked over the previous two months at the December 18th Third Tuesday of the Month gathering and Christmas fête held at the Tampa Life Enrichment Center. Needless to say, our holiday food table also overflowed with a yummy assortment. Thanks to Dr. Edgar S. Cahn, founder of the timebank concept, we hobnobbed, socialized, and looked each other in the eyes as we chatted, laughed, and made a gen-u-ine human connection to each other. On the Big Merry Day itself, Tuesday, December 25, some of us caravaned to an Open House holiday celebration at member Dr. Andy LePage’s joint for more joviality, holiday singing and, of course, eating. Phew! What a nourishing year it’s been on so many levels thanks to the Tampa Bay Timebank.

We’ll continue our feasting and singing and, of course, timebank exchanging, as we poise ourselves for 2019. Stay tuned for more as TBT launches into the new year, turning on its collective light bulbs to keep the momentum building around the TBT Revitalization Project! If you’ve got some groovy ideas, share them here in the blog.


Let Your Light Shine

By Grace Maselli

You’re being beckoned, dear reader, to think about what’s meaningful to you this holiday season. The question to consider is, What sets your own inner light ablaze? What gives your life and soul a sense of purpose? What revs you up, puts a smile on your face, inspires you to spread joy and declare your life distinguished to you? What feels purposeful  from your perspective? Is it children, animals, volunteerism, the interconnectedness of family?

Here’s hoping you’ll accept the invitation to think about it more deeply. In a quiet space. Or a noisy place. Where ever your inspiration may












come from. Let us know here in the blog comments box, or let it roll around in your heart as you consider holiday cheer from TBT and timebanks everywhere that are devoted to connection, to keeping people in communities linked to one another!