Written by time bank member, Bruce W.
It is difficult to believe that it’s already been more than two years since we organized the first meeting of what was to become West Sound Time Bank (WSTB). Initially, there was a core group of about a dozen volunteers that met weekly for a few months, progressing from the philosophical and conceptual strategies to identifying and articulating the specifics. While “Vision and Mission” were juicy topics, considerably more time was spent on pragmatic elements such as liability and financials. Using the experiences and expertise from other Time Banks and the support of Sustainable Bainbridge, WSTB’s web site was launched in January 2012.
|Need your trees trimmed? Bruce is your man!|
While the idea of non-monetary exchanges of effort has been the basis of local communities and neighborhoods for millennia, it seems to have waned in the last few decades. Most likely there are a variety of reasons for this change. Possibly it’s the fear being imposed on us by the nightly news or perhaps it’s our more litigious society. Once you think about it however, it really comes down to individual choice. It is Our Choice to interact with and support neighbors. It is My Choice to ask them for support when I need it.
Over the last year and a half I have participated in 11 exchanges with other individuals. Every one of them was both productive and fun. For me, the most important elements were the camaraderie and the making of new friends. Yes, it was nice having assistance watering the yard while on vacation, and yes, having someone help care for our old pooch was a real gift. (And, those rowing lessons were quite fun.) For me, however, the sense of community that I felt from helping someone else is what’s most meaningful and long lasting.
If you haven’t requested a service in a while, just go do it – you’ll be happy you did and you’ll be doing your part to build a more friendly and supportive community (in spite of this era of divisiveness at both the local and national levels).