A resource for strengthening the bonds of community.

What Is TimeBanking?

TimeBanking is a modern take on the oldest form of exchange, bartering. But rather then swapping goods after haggling over their value, participants in TimeBanks swap time. In a TimeBank, everyone’s hours are equal, and therefore easy to trade. One hour helping another earns one Time Credit. Time Credits are earned and spent to meet the needs of individuals, friends, neighbors, and the larger community.

Time banking is also a form of alternative currency. But unlike national currencies  which are lent into existence and backed by debt, Time Credits are awarded for effort expended, and are therefore backed by the labor and tangible goods or services produced from that effort.

How They Work

Each TimeBank is unique – a reflection of its members, who they are, the dreams they have for their community, and what they choose to offer and receive. The Mt. Airy Community Time Bank has been set up to promote a stronger community and local exchanges within Mt. Airy.  It recognizes the value of the skills and support we provide to our community and our friends and neighbors every day.

A special website helps you offer and receive services, and keep account of the Time Credits you earn and spend. Members provide their skills, talents, or resources, then spend the Time Credits earned to receive help, lessons, services, trips etc.

Civic and community organizations can also join the Mt. Airy Community Time Bank and use Time Credits to reward their volunteers for hours spent improving our town and serving its citizens. These organizations play a special role in time banks, as they have the ability to award new Time Credits, serving as the issuer of the “currency” in the time bank system.

Kids can also join the Time bank (with approval and oversight of their parents) and earn Time Credits for their volunteer hours. They can then use these credits to obtain things like tutoring, music lessons, sports instruction, anything another member of the Time Bank chooses to offer.

The Five Core Values of TimeBanking

The Mt. Airy Community TimeBank operates in partnership with the National Time Bank movement, and upholds the following Core Values:

  • Assets: We are all assets; we all have something to give.
  • Redefining Work: Building community is real work that TimeBanking recognizes & rewards.
  • Reciprocity: Commit to give and receive.
  • Community: People helping each other re-weave communities of strength and trust.
  • Respect: Our common humanity calls for each individual to be deserving of respect.

How to get started

BeLocal is looking for a moderator to run our TimeBank site. If you are passionate about building connections, have some computer savvy, and are committed to building alternate means of exchange, please reach out to us on our contact page. And then get ready to start TimeBanking with your fellow Mt. Airy Citizens!

For more on TimeBanking, please read this fantastic article in Yes! magazine.