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Blog

Take some time off at a TimeBank!

Tiffany Tononi

Contributed by Tangela Woodley, former Semester in Detroit Intern, UNI

Unity in Our Community TimeBank

So your faucet has been leaking for the longest and you've tried everything from that “magical plumber glue” at CVS to taping the pipes with duct tape. Unfortunately, your painting skills have not been of amazing use for this situation. Did you know you could easily get someone to come fix your plumbing problem? Did I mention that there is no money involved? This magical world is called a Time Bank! Time Banks allow people with unique (and maybe not so unique) skills to trade “time.” It's a lot simpler than it sounds. Say you’re a painter, and you need a plumber. You could trade an hour of painting, for an hour of plumbing! Dollars aren’t the money here, instead, it is time.

When you spend an hour doing something for an individual or group, with TimeBanking, you earn one TimeBank hour. Then, you get to use that TimeBank hour to receive an hour of a neighbor’s time, or to engage in a group activity offered by a neighbor. With TimeBanking, you work with a group of individuals who are joined together for the common good. TimeBanking brings out the best in people because, as a system, it connects needs with resources and skills!

I got to meet with the amazing Jennie Weakley who is the Intergenerational Program Coordinator at Bridging Communities across from Dingeman Park. She is in charge of youth employment but knows just about everything about TimeBanks. 

The Unity in Our Community (UOC) TimeBank is unique from other TimeBanks in a lot of cool ways. Jennie says the UOC TimeBank has a very diverse group of participants in terms of age, economic background, and ethnicity. This allows the TimeBank to bring together a wide range of skills and talents. 

Are you interested in signing up to be apart of the UOC TimeBank? Signing up is super easy. Just check out the website, sign up, create a “facebook-esque” profile, and monitor exchanges. You never know what you might come across! After a few months of thinking she didn’t have any cool enough skills, Jennie’s first TimeBank exchange was picking up a neighbor from the airport! Jennie says one of the biggest challenges at the TimeBank is that once people become friends, they don’t log their exchanges anymore! TimeBanks help create long lasting relationships. What once was a TimeBank Hour, becomes a friendly favor.

For more information: visit http://www.southwestdetroittimebank.org