Is TimeBank Right for Swarthmore?
By Louise Coffin
Have you ever wondered . . . How can I find a way to share a skill of mine? How will I ever find someone to help me? How can I support my neighbors and contribute to my neighborhood?
Perhaps the answer(s) to these questions lie in a community TimeBank, or for all of us, a Swarthmore TimeBank. A TimeBank is a network system based on equal exchanges. Someone offers an hour’s worth of services to another who is looking for that sort of help, and, in return, the person who provides the help receives an hour of credit towards a skill or service that he or she needs. It’s a two-way street. Hours are the currency, not dollars.
Perhaps you know about party planning or bookkeeping or gardening or computer applications. And you need help in cleaning out your basement or editing a letter or trimming a hedge. A TimeBank makes it possible for you to swap one of your skills or services in exchange for help accomplishing one of your needs.
We all have abilities and talents to share — even if, at first glance, we’re not sure we do. We all have need for others’ abilities and talents. TimeBanks create a computer-based way to “bank” the skills and needs of a community’s members and enable a community-wide search to match specific services with specific needs. In this way, TimeBanks can establish and enrich communication and connection. Nearby there are successful TimeBanks in Allentown and Phoenixville. And TimeBanks, USA, a national organization, estimates there are about 500 TimeBanks across the country comprising as many as 50,000 members.
What if there was a Swarthmore TimeBank? Are you interested? Would you like to participate? To build a local community of mutual support and care? To reach out and connect with neighbors?
The Aging-in-Place committee of the Swarthmore Senior Citizens Association is sponsoring a Swarthmore TimeBank, to bring all the members of our Borough closer together and to work towards making Swarthmore a truly age-friendly community.
You can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call Bill Davis at (610) 529-0399 to express your opinion.