What is on your "If I had" list? If you had more money, you would eat out more? You would repair that nagging issue with your home or car? If you had more time, your lawn would be mowed, you'd send something in for your child's bake sale? I have these moments, many of them, as I struggle to live frugally. There have been times when I simply have lacked the equipment or the manpower to accomplish a task despite being capable of completing it and there are times when paying for a job to be done is either overwhelming or completely out of my budget.
Back in the autumn, I heard through some source or another about an organization called the Kent Community Time Bank. I started exploring what I could find of it online and was amazed to find a network of people who exchanged their talents with others without the use of money. What a novel idea! People exchanging services with others of their community. It took me some time to get myself to an orientation meeting but at that meeting I was delighted to learn just how diverse our local time bank is and how quickly it is growing!
The membership of the KCTB seems to include members from all areas in our community, students, parents, retirees, professors, even businesses and organizations. I have been told, that at the point of this blog post, there are 315 members from Kent and the surrounding area who have shared over 10,000 hours of services, skills, and talents! The Kent Community Time Bank is among the top fifteen Time Banks in the world!
As a work at home mom, the time bank gives me an additional benefit of meeting people in my community that I might not normally encounter in my daily life. It also gives me a way to use my talents, skills, and resources to help others. It is not intrusive and I am not obligated to attend anything nor offer services if it is inconvenient for me. It is simple to access with both an active Facebook page and a main website that also houses the database off offers and requests. It's exciting to be part of an organization that is not just a bank, or a service exchange but also a community and a social movement! I find that I can not stop talking about the KCTB to friends and neighbors!
|Super Mulch Brigade! (Photo courtesy of Sheri Wild)|
In the short time I have been a member of the KCTB, I have seen evidence of members coming together to help lay mulch for another member (so many came that it only took them 45 minutes!), heard of members going to help another clean up storm damage, as well as many smaller scale activities such as clearing out a shed, editing a paper, and the loan of a pasta maker that resulted in homemade pierogies! There seems to be no limit to what can be accomplished within the Time Bank.
|Actual food from a KCTB potluck! (Photo courtesy of Denise Creque Tupa)|
This Friday, May 4, 2012, the Kent Community Time Bank is celebrating it's 2nd anniversary at a potluck dinner at The United Church of Christ in Kent, 1400 East Main St. Kent, 44240. The potluck will start at 6:30pm and you do NOT need to be a member of the KCTB to attend! The event is family friendly and there will be musical entertainment! Feell free to bring an instrument for the informal jam session!
|Some enticement to attend? (Photo courtesy of Denise Cruque Tupa)|
The monthly potlucks are a way to get to know your fellow community members face to face and to learn about Time Banking from those who are actively involved in our Time Bank. And you will retroactively earn your first time credit for bringing a dish! This will be my first pot luck, but I have heard the food is amazing and I am very eager to meet more members of my community...and try the food!
|Need I say more? (Photo Courtesy of Denise Cruque Tupa)|