Precious Earth
April 22, 2020 — 12:17

By Grace Maselli

Today’s the day. Started in 1970, the global Earth Day event to honor environmental protection and the miracle of our abundant planet involves 193 countries worldwide. A lot has changed since 1970 and the inaugural Earth Day when Richard Nixon was at the helm of the U.S. government (and the year he created the Environmental Protection Agency). To put it in terms NPR’s using, “Earth Day at 50: Climate Activists Go Digital Amid Pandemic Shutdown”the celebration and activism are forging ahead despite the effects of COVID-19.

A stunning “It Can Be Done” Earth Day message also honors Stephen Hawking, theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author who was also Research Director at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the UK’s University of Cambridge. Hawking reminds viewers to take protective action in the precious time that remains. But you don’t need to be a theoretical physicist to make difference.

Teen Vogue prompts us to remember we can all become catalysts for positive change right here in our own Tampa Bay Area backyard. Take the lead from our youth and do some simple stuff: plant something, ride your bike, buy reusable bags, stop subscriptions to paper-made catalogs. And Tune into Earth Day Live for inspiration and emphasis on small steps with the power to add up to meaningful environmental impact.

In the renowned words of Rachael Carson, an American biologist who drove awareness of the dangers of pesticides and author of Silent Spring, a powerful book that influenced the environmental movement in the U.S.: “The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.”

 

Levity Amid Social Distancing
April 3, 2020 — 12:27

By Grace Maselli

The Tampa Bay Timebank values a good laugh as much as it values community connection. A TBT friend
shared a “NextDoor” social post, part of which is excerpted immediately below. NextDoor self-describes as the digital “neighborhood hub for trusted connections and the exchange of helpful information, goods, and services,” so we have something in common. A woman in a virtual NextDoor community penned this:

Isolation Can Be Tough

“Just seen a news report about the stresses and strains of self-isolation. It was reported that people are going crazy from being in lockdown in their homes. It was strange because I had just been talking about this with the microwave and toaster and all of us agreed that things are getting pretty bad. I didn’t mention anything to the washing machine as she always has to put a different spin on everything, and certainly not to the fridge as he is acting cold and distant again. In the end the iron calmed me down. She said everything will be fine, which surprised me because she’s usually the first one to apply unnecessary pressure and get steamed up over nothing!!!”

Community and Covid-19 Prevention, Big Timebank Hearts Pumped to Help
April 2, 2020 — 14:05

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.

 

Thinking of You
March 21, 2020 — 9:36

By Grace Maselli

Unless you’ve been under a rock, dear reader, then you know about the pandemic—Covid-19—and how it’s changed daily life. For reliable info, members of the Tampa Bay Timebank turn to recommendations from leading national public health institutes, namely the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And if you might be feeling “plague dread,” as coined by The Atlantic, you can find some tips here for staying sane.

But remember too, there’s still room for gratitude amidst the bewilderment of life gone topsy-turvy. (Think: “Hey, I may still be able to get food delivered to my door,” “I can take a walk,” [for those of us this may apply to], and “I can listen to a groovy podcast.”) About that last one, check out the Good News Network’s  “Inspiring Corona Virus Kindness Updates” to blow some much-needed fresh air up your trousers.

Or for a quick pick-me-up, call a TBT friend or a neighbor to let them know they’re on your mind and in your heart. Because after all, we’re in this together. Even if (to varying degrees) we can’t be in the same room right now. And in the spirit of community and living life one day at a time, here’s to hygienic hand-washing and common sense for all of us.

 

 

Episode 2 of the New Positive Podcast –Inspiring COVID-19 Updates from Geri & Anthony in Quarantine!

Food Healing with TBT
February 21, 2020 — 15:17

By Grace Maselli

You are what you eat, yes? The idea is in the air and in the research, part of the cultural zeitgeist.  (If you want to be healthy, live disease-free, manage symptoms, and stay sharp, the fuel you put into your body matters.)  The importance of food choices is top of mind for the Tampa Bay Timebank; we’re  hosting a nutrition class the first Thursday of every month at Tampa’s Jimmie B. Keel Regional Library, 4:30 to 6:30 PM.
The invaluable Nutrition and Wellness class is taught by member Heather Murray, RN and Licensed Massage Therapist who’s also a Certified Level 1 practitioner in Food Healing.

Every first Thursday Heather shares helpful resources like one of her go-to books, Conquering Any Disease, The Ultimate High-Phytochemical Food-Healing System by Jeff Primack, complete with real-life case studies of healing to inspire behavioral shifts and a strong dose of hope. Members receive timebank credits for attending. Got questions? Want the low-down on phytochemicals? Come to class! Reach Heather or TBT Coordinator Rita Cobbs at 608.335.2382. Check out the pic of below of this month’s inaugural class meeting.

Reminder! The Feast of Saint Valentine, Pagan Potluck
February 14, 2020 — 13:30

By Grace Maselli

Check this out from the History Channel: “While some believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine’s death or burialwhich probably occurred around A.D. 270others claim that the Christian church may have decided to place St. Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February in an effort to ‘Christianize’ the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. Celebrated at the ides of February, or February 15, Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.”

So, in honor of paganalia and crop production, they’re’ll be a TBT Valentine’s Potluck on Sunday, February 16 from 3 to 6 PM. Wear your heart on your sleeve or on a special V-Day T-shirt! Bring your So-Easy Coq au Vin to share or other Vintage Valentine’s Day classics: Salmon Mousse Canapes, Baked Oysters with Tasso Cream (whatever Tasso Cream is), Crown Roast with Apricot Dressing, or luscious Fudge Tort. Or if it’s easier, bring Mac ‘n Cheese and black olives on all of your fingers and thumbs. They’ll go well with the paper plates and plasticware.

And while it’s true that the potluckaroo is five weeks and five days away from this writing, time flies. So mark your calendar for some conviviality and the making of a holiday in your image of what it means! Bring your favorite love poem or ballad to read aloud. Bring a haiku or an ode. A quatrain or free verse. We’re open to Roman gods, creative expression, and food.

Date Sunday, February 16, 2019
Time 3 to 6 PM
Address 2128 Park Crescent Drive
Land O Lakes, FL 34639
Questions? Contact Grace at (215) 834.4567 and reference the Valentine’s Potluck
“Hello, from My Heart,” Gary Really Means It…
January 16, 2020 — 11:31

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!
January 15, 2020 — 11:27

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 coordinator@tampabaytime.org.

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 coordinator@tampabaytime.org. We’re eternally grateful!

 

 

 

 

The Feast of Saint Valentine, Pagan Potluck
January 7, 2020 — 11:38

By Grace Maselli

Check this out from the History Channel: “While some believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine’s death or burialwhich probably occurred around A.D. 270others claim that the Christian church may have decided to place St. Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February in an effort to ‘Christianize’ the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. Celebrated at the ides of February, or February 15, Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.”

So, in honor of paganalia and crop production, they’re’ll be a TBT Valentine’s Potluck on Sunday, February 16 from 3 to 6 PM. Wear your heart on your sleeve or on a special V-Day T-shirt! Bring your So-Easy Coq au Vin to share or other Vintage Valentine’s Day classics: Salmon Mousse Canapes, Baked Oysters with Tasso Cream (whatever Tasso Cream is), Crown Roast with Apricot Dressing, or luscious Fudge Tort. Or if it’s easier, bring Mac ‘n Cheese and black olives on all of your fingers and thumbs. They’ll go well with the paper plates and plasticware.

And while it’s true that the potluckaroo is five weeks and five days away from this writing, time flies. So mark your calendar for some conviviality and the making of a holiday in your image of what it means! Bring your favorite love poem or ballad to read aloud. Bring a haiku or an ode. A quatrain or free verse. We’re open to Roman gods, creative expression, and food.

Date Sunday, February 16, 2019
Time 3 to 6 PM
Address 2128 Park Crescent Drive
Land O Lakes, FL 34639
Questions? Contact Grace at (215) 834.4567 and reference the Valentine’s Potluck
The White Elephant in the Room
January 6, 2020 — 11:13

By Grace Maselli

Join TBT for our upcoming Third Tuesday monthly member-and-guest gathering. We’ll not only talk timebanking and exchanges, but amp-up the fun with our traditional, post holiday White Elephant—our homage to the Big Season, plus a book and CD swap. Come, join the fun. Bring your stuff to give away, leave with new goodies. Get to know people. Bring a light snack to share. It’s that easy!

Date Tuesday, January 21, 2019
Time 6:30-8:30+ PM
Address Life Enrichment Center
9704 North Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33612; phone: 813.932.0241
Questions? Contact coordinator@tampabaytime.org or call Rita (608) 335-2382