By Grace Maselli
Our invaluable, smart, compassionate TBT Coordinator, Rita Cobbs, reminisced recently about her five-year history with our Tampa Bay organization. Timebanking made a difference both in her “regular” living, and the life-altering loss of her beloved husband during this time period. “Two different TBT friends on separate occasions drove me from Florida to Virginia to help sell my house there,” approximately 800 miles each way. “I think back to the days when I was looking after my husband and remember all the goodwill visits and friendship extended,” Rita says. Besides interstate driving, help was on the way in Tampa to repair Rita’s home when her husband was no longer able to participate. “A timebank member and her father installed some fencing and a fine, white gate to the back yard,” Rita says. Another member and his son cleared all the backyard brush and hauled everything away, too. Yet another member pressure washed the roof.
Gratitude for Support and Knowledge
But it didn’t end there. Creativity, joy, and connection have come from Rita’s interrelationships over time with TBT members. “I can look back on numerous people I hold close to my heart, to lots of fun, and to wonderful benefits. Some of those benefits involved enjoyment of classical music at the Florida Symphony Orchestra, trips to the movies and restaurants, and transportation to social events. And also assistance getting through medical surgeries,” Rita says. Art by way of Tampa’s Life Enrichment Center likewise figures largely: “I was encouraged to teach a watercolor class at the Life Enrichment Center,” one of TBT’s non-profit organizational members, “and I even taught a few classes at my home!”
Nonetheless, catch your breath here, dear reader—as there is still more to consider. Through TBT, Rita also had “direct experiences” with yoga classes, acupuncture, the healing arts, open space meetings, not to mention “creative people committed to healthful living, proper diet and permaculture, social consciousness and social justice. My life has been enriched.” Hallelujah! The additional good news is our Rita continues to be one of the guiding forces in the TBT movement.