Time Banking Builds Resilient Community
Our current economic model is unsustainable because the market completely fails to value, recognize or reward many types of vital work—like the work of raising healthy children, building strong families, revitalizing neighborhoods, preserving the environment or advancing justice and democracy. There need to be other ways than “market price” to place a value on people’s time and talents. That’s where time banking comes in.
Time banking is a skills exchange platform that uses a different kind of currency—time—to provide new ways to link untapped community capacity with unmet needs. Everyone’s time is valued equally because everyone has the same number of hours in a day.
There are hundreds of time banks in operation all over the world, including the York Time Bank in York, Pennsylvania. In a time bank, members earn a credit for every hour they spend sharing their skills or service with another time bank member. Whether it’s helping in the garden, giving someone a ride to a doctor’s appointment, teaching someone to knit, taking someone’s dog for a long walk, cleaning or volunteering for a member organization, every hour of service earns a time bank credit.
Those credits can then be exchanged for any service or skill offered by another time bank member. Members can also post requests for specific skills. This is important because often, people don’t consider all the skills they have, as it may not be something they would typically do for money. Both individuals and community groups can become time bank members.
Time banking strengthens the community, reduces economic segregation, eases isolation and increases resilience. It helps people recognize and make good use of their talents and skills, whether it’s something they do professionally or just for the love of it.
For more information, visit YorkTimeBank.com.
Eleanor Justice is a York Time Bank volunteer.