Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Helping with a move

After I started working with the time bank I checked out time banks in other cities. I found a very active one in Milwaukee where I have an elderly friend. She was immediately interested and I signed her up. 

She is making great use of the time bank right now to help her with packing up her home for a sad but ultimately positive move to an apartment. She has needed help with cleaning, small repairs, making decisions, packing the cherished things she'll take, discarding decades of collecting - and making piles for an estate sale. 

It's stressful, and I guess there is no other way it could be after a lifetime in her home.
There is a great deal of coordinating tasks and people that I think is taxing for her - but she is so glad to have all these young people in her life, showing up and helping. For some of them she is combining time exchange with a portion of hourly pay. 

I wish I could be there to help but knowing she has great people with her is a great relief.
Here is Kyoko Morris.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Salem Soup Swap favorites

We had a great Sunday at the Soup swap - more of a soup tasting, truth be told, though some attendees took home a sampling of leftovers. With about a dozen soups and four types of fresh breads, there was a warm turnout of new faces and existing members. Lots of conversation about the strange winter, plans for spring, life stories compressed into 10 minute tales, and of course, talk about time banking.

Personal high points were Lisa's Smokey chowder and the Deviled Chicken Soup. The fluffy fresh-baked dinner rolls were as heavenly (and comforting) as sweet slabs of layer cake. What were your favorites?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Growing our Time Bank

Our time bank project is chugging along. About 7 months in, we are being invited to present to groups (Interfaith council, Greenwich Senior lunch, private homes)

Feb 5 we have a community social in Salem - a Soup Swap where people bring crock pots of hot soup, hang around and talk -listen to five minutes about time banking - then just enjoy themselves on a wintery Sunday afternoon. Leftovers go home with attendees.

We are committed to moving our information sessions around to Southern Washington County communities, and within a month of an info session, holding a social (with a theme). Next info session will be in March on Schuylerville.

The other piece we are working on is having a planned presence in communities, meaning every week (or two) someone is available in a public place for conversation about time banking. For some it means simply being in their regular place (for example, I have breakfast most Fridays in Schuylerville) and announcing that for anyone interested in stopping by. Argyle Library is almost ready to start.

How about you? Do you have a place in your community where you can be found on a regular basis? Would you be willing to talk about your time banking experiences on a one to one basis?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Last night at the Salem information session we wound up talking about soup. Maybe in part because we have a Soup Social coming up Feb 5 (Proudfit Hall from 2 -4). Maybe because the idea of getting and giving help cooking and setting up for an event came up in the conversation.

It the sort of thing we easily offer to a friend or close neighbor - just lending a hand - without compensation.

Today a friend is feeling a little under the weather and his wife is out of town for work. I thought about the quarts of chili I have in the freezer and offered to bring him some. I don't want to get an hour for this, but it keeps me thinking. I happen to know he could use a little help, he's a friend as well as a neighbor. But what about the neighbors whose needs I don't know? There are many around me with whom our friendly exchanges are not much more than "how are you holding up this winter?" Maybe they would welcome a pint of chili or someone to take them to the grocery or pick up their order at the Farmer's Market on this very cold day. Short of calling around the neighborhood, I can't know who could use a little help.

The time bank doesn't necessarily cover all the little changes in our life - but we can post things like: I broke my foot and can't drive for 3 weeks - I need help running errands. Or - I have the flu and would love to have a couple servings of homemade soup to see me through (and maybe a couple boxes of those ultra soft tissues.)

Sometimes it is easier to think of giving than receiving, but just writing those two fictional needs made me feel warm. How sweet it is to wish for connection and nourishment, to simply ask for help and have a kind person step up to offer. I am almost inclined to think this is the way of all guardian angels.

It's what we do for each other. But it goes beyond what we can do for friends and people we know. We reach for another level of our character to offer a hand to those we don't know, whether or not we get something in exchange. We feel good. But for those who find themselves doing a lot for others (in so many ways, including through our work), it's nice to be acknowledged, to earn a time bank hour, and to use it to get a little support for ourselves.

Monday, December 12, 2011

A recent email exchange

I just had another exchange, this with Bob, accomplished entirely by email. I was researching the purchase of a new laptop and couldn't figure out the benefits between two of them. I sent him the specs, he asked me a few more questions and then gave me his read of both machines. It was a great help, I could make my investment with confidence that I was getting the equipment I need. Thanks to Bob!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Post your inspirational stories and exchanges

Send Your Stories and TimeBank Highlights

Time for the Holidays and help support a cause: TimeBanks Network E- Bulletin wants to highlight TimeBank holiday exchanges and inspirational stories and experiences to demonstrate our work on precious causes such as family and youth support, health and aging, veterans, and the homeless. Send an email to to contribute a timebanks story, pictures, video, and highlights. Put Time for the Holidays in your subject line

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

New Member Orientation Weds, November 9 in Greenwich

Battenkill Time Traders New Member Orientation

Wednesday, November 9th at 7 pm

Greenwich Library, Main Street

What if you could get an hour (or more) of some service you need without having to pay cash for it? It could be almost anything – gardening, computer help, canning, small repairs – what do you need? What skills could you offer?

Battenkill Time Traders, a group of your neighbors from southern Washington County, are hosting an orientation to explain how time trading (also called time banks) works. Attendees have the opportunity to meet other members and learn how time trading can enhance your community. Automatically earn three hours for your account when you sign up for active membership.

Our January orientation will be held in Salem NY.

For more information visit our website:

or send a message in reply to this post.