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Members of Lewiston Time Bank trade time and talents instead of money

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 Members of Lewiston Time Bank trade time and talents instead of money Empty Members of Lewiston Time Bank trade time and talents instead of money

Post by Alchemist on Fri Sep 09, 2011 3:29 pm

Members of Lewiston Time Bank trade time
and talents instead of money
By Andrew Cullen, Staff Writer
Published on Tuesday, Jul 26, 2011 at 12:12 am
| Last updated on Tuesday, Jul 26, 2011 at 1:01
pm
Melanie Swift exchanges her skills, including
computer work and strategic planning for
community organizations, as part of her
activities with the Lewiston-Auburn Time Bank.
Buy a print
- Andrew Cullen/Sun Journal
Since returning to Lewiston a few years ago,
Melanie Swift has wondered how she can help
build and strengthen the community she grew
up in. “How do you create community?” she
asked. It's a simple-sounding question, but its
answers are less clear-cut.
“We all live in the same community. We all have
the same values in the community. We all want
to see the same things happen in the
community,” she said. But how do you get
people to work together, to share skills and
resources, especially in a fast-paced world most
recently defined by online “social” media and
shrinking budgets?
One of the answers Swift has found is the
Lewiston-Auburn Time Bank, a branch of a
national organization that encourages people to
trade their time and talents, rather than
currency. The Lewiston branch is housed at the
124 Canal St. office of the community health
organization Thrive, for which Swift also works.
Members of the Time Bank earn “time dollars”
by volunteering to complete specific tasks
requested by other members — one time dollar
for every hour worked. They can then cash in
the time credits they've earned by asking others
to help them complete tasks of their own. Swift
has helped out fellow Time Bank members by
cat-sitting, doing sewing and mending, and
working with community organizations to
develop their strategic planning.
Other common requests are for lawn care,
cooking, basic car repairs and tutoring, Sharon
Carter, the L-A Time Bank coordinator, said. The
bank allows people to share whatever skills they
have with others, and to take advantage of
other folks with skills they lack — or just to get
more helping hands for projects that are too big
to do alone.
Most members volunteer more often than they
cash in their time dollars, Swift said.
“It's easier to give than to take,” Carter said. But
once members are used to the Time Bank's
model and asking for help from time to time, it
becomes a “great way of saving money and
doing something good for the community,”
Swift said. “Once you start doing it, you'll do it
more often."
Since every hour volunteered can be exchanged
for someone else's help for an hour, “What you
put into it is what you're going to get out of it,”
Swift said.
www.sunjournal.com/city/story/1064912

Alchemist
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