By Grace Maselli


Tampa Bay Timebank’s Third Tuesday membership meeting this January 15 was spirited and industrious. It brought with it 12 attendees and White Elephant fun. Debuting during the latter activity was a red octopus “carousel” for drying your most delicate hand washables! Check it out right here as members who joined the meeting at Tampa’s Life Enrichment Center (LEC) displayed their giftiness. Candles, potpourri, sachet (Do you notice a coincidental theme?), jewelry, chocolate, and hybrid pens-book markers also made their way into the gift swap.

The evening was also notably marked by strong emphasis on timebank exchanging—where one member’s hour of a “service” offering, anything from running an errand or editing a research paper, to washing another person’s car or painting her living room walls, without money involved (except in some cases where the cost of gas and some supplies may be warranted) in the transaction—is equal to every other person’s hour of service. Exchanging is the lifeblood, the heart and soul, of timebanking and core to the TBT Revitalization Project.

Amped-Up to Grow

As such, our cheerful leadership’s sustained focus is on getting timebank exchanges amped-up to grow community connections. Among these broader Tampa Bay Area leaders are Dr. Andy LePage, founder of the Spring Hill Timebank, pictured here holding the ever-lovely plastic octopus and surrounded by members. The esteemed Marie Nelson who founded TBT, Rita Cobbs, our current and venerable coordinator—and Nancy Wolf, Kelley Curtis, Karen Lowman, and Vikki Sinclair, are all longstanding, invaluable members who play leadership roles, among other pivotal supporter-members otherwise known as ardent advocates of the timebank way.

We Hustled and Bustled, Moved this Way and That

Livening things up and driving the point home, Andy led an exchange exercise that went like this:

• He handed out paper copies of his “Love to Do’s” list of approximately 45 timebank activities/services and asked everyone to circle the options they were most drawn to. The stuff they liked best, from art and pet care to home repair and language interpretation—and a gaggle of things in between.
• We were directed to circle three to five of our faves.
• Next, Andy handed out Post-it Notes and pens.
• For each darling activity/service that a participant selected, he or she filled out one Post-it with the specific activity indicated and his or her name included on each sticky note.
• We stuck the Post-its on three walls.
• We were invited to walk around the room to see who shares similar interests.
• So we hustled and bustled with springs in our steps, this way and that, through the room, to gaze upon Post-its and see what was what.
• Then we gathered in a cozy community circle where we had an open conversation and grouped people with like interests.
• Immediately, some exchanges were set up!

The moral of the story: Timebanking works beautifully when people get to help each other and themselves and self-express, all at the same time. Andy’s taken his exchange exercise on the road to various timebank area meetings to cheers and whoop-whoops of acceptance.

Join us in February for our monthly member-and-guest meeting and orientation and let us know what exchanges you’re interested in! Here are the details:

Date Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Time 6:30-8:30 PM
Address 9704 North Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33612; phone: 813.932.0241
Questions? Contact or leave a blog post here






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