What is a Time Bank?
The modern movement was begun in the early 70s by three women at the Grace Hill Settlement House in St. Louis, who wrote the four Core Values and embodied them in MORE "Member-Oriented Resource Exchange. The concept was developed by Edgar Cahn, author of Time Dollars: The New Currency that Enables Americans to Turn Their Hidden Resource - Time - into Personal Security & Community Renewal
A time bank gives value to many tasks we take for granted, like caregiving, housekeeping, and sharing skills and talents. Everyone's time is equal and everyone can contribute, as you can see by the stories of established time banks, below.
Everybody has something to offer
What can a 90-year old blind woman contribute to a time bank? In one time bank, she helped lighten the load of an elementary school teacher by preparing materials for a class project. Hundreds of pieces of yarn, 18" in length, were carefully cut and sorted into groups of 10.
Giving is Receiving
An artist who lived out in the country had an opportunity to attend a work/stay program overseas but needed someone to watch her two dogs while she was gone for 6 weeks. Through the timebank she found someone - and it turned out to be a neighbor she had never met. She also needed someone to pick up her art from a show that would end while she was away and in the process found someone to babysit her houseplants. He enjoyed both the art and the plants - displayed along with her business cards - at his office.
Eco + Friendly
One member was going through her things to have a garage sale but knew her location wasn't a good one. Her husband predicted he'd be taking everything to the dump. She asked friends to have a joint garage sale with her but the timing for them wasn't right. So she got creative and put up a request to use her hours in exchange for the use of a yard in a more convenient location in town. The sale was a success and what she didn't sell she gave away - nothing ended up at the dump.