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About Time Banking


What is a Time Bank?

A timebank is a way to exchange services without charging money, and it's a way to get and give help. If you spend a few hours helping someone, you earn Timebank Hours for that service. Then later you can spend those Timebank Hours to get someone else to help you. This way you can help people with whatever you're good at and you can find people to help with what you're not good at. The key is that in a large group, you don't have to exchange both ways with the same person because the timebank keeps track of the hours you've earned. How is this different from a regular economy? It operates under the theory that when helping each other, everyone's time is of equal value. Sometimes time trading can help you find experts or teachers of things you wouldn't otherwise have access to, and sometimes it can get you services that you would otherwise have to pay money for. It's a new way to organize the traditional concept of neighborhoods and communities.


Why Time Banking?

Communities have lost the personal connections that provide support for basic human needs, as our society has become more mobile and there are fewer people at home with time to attend to caring for others. Caring for people does not have much value in our society if value is measured by financial reward. Individuals who are unable to participate in our current economic structure are marginalized, feel worthless and become alienated from society. The high level of alienation felt by increasing numbers in our society leads to communities characterized by distrust for neighbors, a lack of civic engagement and violence.


How will the Time Trade Circle Help?

The Time Trade Circle will redefine work to include whatever it takes to rear healthy chidlren, preserve families, care for the frail and vulnerable, and make neighborhoods safe and vibrant. The Time Trade Circle will connect neighbors to neighbors who will treat time as a currency and will exchange services with one another. In the Time Trade Circle every individual's work is honored equally. The help Time Trade Circle members provide to one another will build a network of support, strength, and trust.


Core Values of Time Banking

Assets: We are all assets.
Every human being has something to contribute.

Redefining Work: Some work is beyond price.
Work has to be redefined to value whatever it takes to raise healthy children, build strong families, revitalize neighborhoods, make democracy work, advance social justice, make the planet sustainable. That kind of work needs to be honored, recorded and rewarded.

Reciprocity: Helping works better as a two-way street.
The question: “How can I help you?” needs to change so we ask: “How can we help each other build the world we both will live in?”

Social Networks: We need each other.
Networks are stronger than individuals. People helping each other reweave communities of support, strength & trust. Community is built upon sinking roots, building trust, creating networks. Special relationships are built on commitment.

Respect: Every human being matters.
Respect underlies freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and everything we value. Respect supplies the heart and soul of democracy. When respect is denied to anyone, we all are injured. We must respect where people are in the moment, not where we hope they will be at some future point.


The Founder

Dr. Edgar Cahn created the concept of Timebank Hours.
Read more about him here.