I recently discovered Time Banking. The idea is one I have thought about before and presumed must exist on small scales within a number of communities, but it is only now that I have come to understand it is actually an initiative -almost a movement- happening in many communities and places around the world.
It is not altruistic and so I was not sure whether to include joining Time Bank in my challenge, but I have decided to because while it is not without personal benefits, joining is certainly pro-active in moving society away from a solely money-based economy, as well as connecting people with their community and finding skills and value in everyone.
Time Banking is based on the principle that everyone has skills and value, and by giving and receiving help to/from people in our neighbourhood, we build strong networks and are engaged in our community.
It is a pay-it-forward system where I do something for someone and earn time credits (e.g. cook a housebound person a meal), then I can use the time credits to ‘pay’ someone to do something for me (e.g. fix my washing machine).
I am especially excited as our local Time Bank network also has a ‘community chest’, where people with spare time credits can offer them to people or groups who are in need of some more – sounds like a great way to help the community.