By Grace Maselli
Given the public health push to vaccinate, for one shimmering moment in spring we thought we’d beaten back COVID-19. Then came the Delta variant and whammo—the trauma continues, with social distancing, mask wearing, and other survival behaviors and more forced change set in motion yet again.
Our own TBT had high hopes for in-person community and educational events. But like the rest of us, we hit the reset button and we’re back to Zooming and digesting life during a pandemic.
Despite the intensity of what communities and timebanks have lived through since early 2020, TBT was recently notified by hOurworld that we’re ranked in the Top Two internationally out of more than 400 timebanks around the globe for activity and exchanges, undeterred by lockdowns and enforced shut-ins. hOurworld is an international network of timebanks—an online system—where people log or bank the number of hours for which they provide exchanges to other members; the system likewise lets members keep a running tally of the hours spent receiving services provided by their member peers.
News of our happy catapult to the Number Two slot came at us like an adrenalin-pumped surprise party. Gratitude for the ranking goes to Coordinator Rita Cobbs and the TBT Leadership Team, including some serious volunteer and community development chops from Leadership member Christina Bellamy. Rita keeps the full head of steam on our timebank partnerships and collaborations, trainings, brainstorming sessions with Leadership, and the group’s collective energy for moving through the sticky parts of problem solving in the synergistic process.
“We’ve had to continually ask ourselves, ‘How do we build on discussions and idea sharing from diverse experiences and points of view when we can’t meet face-to-face?’ and ‘What do want to learn together’?” Rita says, using technology as an enabling tool.
This extends to our regular Third Tuesday membership and guest meetings. The next one on Tuesday, September 21, will focus on financial literacy, budgeting, and more; presenter will be Faith Wilson, Financial Advisor at Edward Jones in Clearwater. The educational event runs from 6:30 to 8 PM with a Zoom link sent to members and guests closer to the September date. For questions, or to get on the Zoom routing list, text Rita at 608-335-3383 or send an email to: email@example.com.
Ideas for future Third Tuesday Zoom topics are always welcome!