To understand the how of time banks, a little background is offered. Time Banks value every member as an asset. Humans are respected,and the services rendered by them are placed beyond monetary value. Social networks are essential, and a global movement has resulted. The mutual exchange in helping each other is one of the core values of this alternative banking system.
Edgar S. Cahn is the founder of TimeBanks USA. He believes social
justice matters, and his immense education and working to decrease
hunger in America, and other new social frameworks is alive and well in
the USA. He also created the National Legal Services Program among his
many works in serving the disenfranchised people. His mission statement
is: Strengthening communities through reciprocity.
Each time bank individualizes the mission through various social
services, changing systems, or helping underprivileged people. The
services that a member wants to perform for another member are listed
online (on the site for that bank).
The Time Dollar
does one get "paid" for a service rendered? That's easy, in time
dollars. The time one spends to get a service provided earns him that
exact time as time dollars. Then, he can spend his time dollars having
another member's service provided for him. Here's an example: I list my
available services. Say one of them is raking leaves. Sally uses my
service, and it takes me two hours to rake her lawn. I have just earned
two time dollars to spend on a service I may need. Perhaps another
member has offered some house cleaning, and I choose to spend my dollars
on that. See how this equality of self-worth and time works? My time
is equal to yours. It's a reciprocity circle that continues to grow.
The time dollar provides giving and receiving in a non-threatening way.
Not all people will reach out for help, or want to receive charity.
This creates a time bank exchange with a time loan until the time
dollars are spent!
services, or works are typically those done as a volunteer. They can
be; tutoring, driving, delivering, child care, cooking, sewing, ironing,
yard work, painting, plumbing, yoga classes, and any number of odd
jobs. Basically, time banking is a simple and powerful means of
exchange that completes and furthers the mission statement. Doing for
others, and then having others do for you, is really strengthening.
time bank directory for USA TimeBanks is online. Not only does it list
those available, but also those starting up. There are TimeBanks
around the world, and even a starter kit for those folks wanting to
is a social change movement worth considering, especially since our
current economic practices are disintegrating. Time traders give what
they want to and get what they need. The time dollar keeps us in
abundance, not debt. The old model of create to sell may have to move
over to a more fundamental give and receive model. If we get to the
point that our current money model totally breaks, we will only have
each other. Why not start redefining our assets now, and serve our
interdependence in a caring cycle that enriches everyone? In other
words, we can use this TimeBank way to pay it forward.