Give the Gift of Time, Receive the Gift of Time, With the Lynn Time Bank
by Lynn Time Bank Coordinator Joy Winkler
- Whenever I encounter a problem that I don’t know how to solve, my first call is to my big brother. Most of the time, I am able to get the answers to my questions from him and solve whatever problem I am facing. Likewise, my brother almost always calls me to help him with problems that he encounters. Neither one of us gets paid to do this, but we gladly share our knowledge with each other.
All of us have relationships like this where we share our skills and knowledge with those around us in a mutually beneficial way such that our lives are enriched. However, I have discovered several flaws with the system my brother and I have. Due to geographic distance, communication is much less convenient and there are some things that neither one of us has any experience in. If, for example, I need a ride to the airport, my brother cannot help me. What if there was a community that I could call on to help me when I needed it and where my skills would be valued? What if there was a network of people dedicated to exchanging skills and services without costing me money? What if a community network existed in which I would be valued for learning new skills and working to make my community a better, safer place?
Did you know that such a community exists in Lynn? The Lynn Time Bank has been in Lynn for over a decade providing the opportunity to exchange services within the network at no cost. It is one time bank of over a hundred around the world and is one of the most diverse. Our members are young people, senior citizens, parents, professionals, men and women across all socio-economic backgrounds, ethnicities, and ability levels. We are all joined together because we believe in the core values of the time bank which include valuing all people.
At the Lynn Time Bank, we value time, not money. Every hour of service earns one time dollar that can then be spent to receive an hour of service. All services are valued equally. After all, each of us only has twenty-four hours in a day, so everyone’s time is a precious commodity. Through these exchanges, the Lynn Time Bank is redefining traditional work by valuing the time, energy and expertise that is required to revitalize neighborhoods, care for each other, and be engaged in community activities.
I am honored to serve as coordinator for the Time Bank this year. My service to the Time Bank is apart of my year of service through Americorps VISTA, a program designed for volunteers to serve America’s communities one year at a time. The Lynn Time Bank provides the opportunity for me to serve the community of Lynn, but even more importantly, it provides you the opportunity to improve and empower your community in service to one another.
I encourage you to visit our website www.lynntimebank.org for more information about the services that our members offer and join us in our mission to build a stronger, safer community in Lynn.
Coordinator, Lynn Time Bank, Inc.