The time bank has been active now since February of 2015, since the beginning it has grown to over 50 members and we haven’t promoted it yet to the families we serve through other New Path Ministries.
Brenda Donnelly from BAD Press, has donated her time and talents to create a video to share some of the stories of the time bank.
Brenda posts on her Facebook: “Had a great day shooting a promo video for New Path Outreach’s new project–The Time Bank. It’s an alternative economy which helps low income and no income individuals share their time and talents in exchange for products and services from other Time Bank members. So excited to help this project gain momentum! — with Renae Eshelman at Fort McKinley.”
Some stories featured in the video are how members have utilized the bank to provide products such as homemade Bread, homemade lasagna, a Southwest casserole, decorated cakes, and many more. The time bank also had members who provide services such as lawn care, oil changes, manicures & pedicures and transportation and list just keeps growing. As of early June the bank members have performed a total of 194 transaction. “It’s a perfect model of neighbors helping neighbors” say’s Sherry Loschi, Community Manager. Sherry tells us, “We all have the opportunity to share the gifts and talents God has naturally given us, as well as knowledge we’ve learned. Seth Stormer, a time bank member, offers his knowledge of the Medicare system to help seniors understand the different options for health care coverage and can help them make the best choice based on their individual health needs.”
We get the same question over and over from people, what is the time bank? The best answer we’ve heard was from bank member Kathi Sitzman, “I tell my friends it’s like bartering on steroids.” And it is very much like that, the bank is actually a community of people who have agreed to share what they have with other members- there is no facility such as a”bank”, however, the web site is a tool for members to pay for products and services they receive with time they have earned helping someone else. The web page is a tool to track their own transactions and see the balance of time they have and connect with other members. In the time bank the currency is time, and everyone has time, and an ability or knowledge they can share with others. Members can post “offers” as well as “wishes”. Offers are described as a product or a service you have and are willing to offer, and a Wish is described as something you wish you could get from someone else. Cassy has a carpet cleaner she is willing to loan out, and Sarah has a wish borrow a carpet cleaner, it is her wish. The web site shows both the offer and the wish and as members they can search and negotiate how to connect with each other, that how it works. The web page provides a safe place to communicate about the transaction. The Bank does require members providing transportation to people to have a BMV check and child care givers to have a background check. “We want our members to feel safe and be safe.” Sherry explains.
Community gatherings sponsored by the bank’s steering committee open opportunities for members to get to know each other through a social events. In May of 2015 there was a Pizza Party called “It’s about time we got together” was a fun filled night of games, Pizza & snacks brought to share, and door prizes. Nearly half of the community was present and a good time was had by all. We look forward to where God leads us on this journey of loving our neighbors and being loved and cared for by our neighbors.