This heartwarming idea is great for the karma points. It is also very practical. In Northern Cape Breton, the Time Bank Coordinator Deidre Fraser has done a fair bit of research and planning over the last couple of years, and launched the time bank this spring. The response was very positive. Deidre explains the set up.
“A youth who wants to learn how to bake bread will call me and ask me to find someone in the bank who can show them how. I will coordinate a time that is best for everyone and if the task takes 4 hours, the senior gains the 4 hours in their time bank account. Therefore they are entitled to receive 4 hours of service from a youth. Down the road, that same senior calls me and needs someone to paint their deck, I would coordinate the date and time, and presto! Everyone gets what they need.” She facilitates the bank by sourcing out local seniors and students, and began their bank with a minimum commitment of 15 hours. Most surpassed that this summer.
“Exchanges can be anything from mending pants, learning Gaelic, how to play the guitar, or hiking together…. possibilities are endless!”
There are more Time Banks around the Globe. If you are interested in setting one up, there is a helpful network on www.timebanks.org. Although the site is American, the “starter kit” and contact pool is not limited by geography. For information on the Time Bank experience at the Top of the Island, contact Diedre at firstname.lastname@example.org.