At its most basic level, timebanking is simply about spending an hour doing something for someone else in your community. That hour goes into the timebank as a time credit. Then, you have a time credit to redeem by having someone else do something for you. It's a simple idea, but it has powerful ripple effects in building community connections.
Since the 1980s, timebanks have been growing across the world, from the US and UK to Japan and New Zealand. To learn about other active timebanks in our country, check out the Dane County TimeBank's Community Justice Initiatives in Wisconsin, and watch this great video from the Long Beach Time Exchange in California. In our area, there's also an active timebanking community in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Mutual exchange has existed for thousands of years, though timebanking as we know it today was developed by Dr. Edgar Cahn. For more on this history, read "The Time Bank Solution" in Standford Social Innovation Review and learn more about the network at www.TimeBanks.org.
Opportunities abound for the DC TimeBank to help organize around different initiatives including education, food and wellness, prison reintegration, immigrant worker cooperatives, and others. If you're interested in using the DC TimeBank's platform to support your work, email us and we're happy to support you!
Pictures from left to right: Bike clinic led by the WTF Spokefolk Collective at the Movement Makers Fair in June 2017; Sandwich Making Project to benefit Central Union Mission organized by member Keri in October 2016; Anacostia River Trash Clean-Up organized by member Clara in May 2015; Yoga class with member TanO held at Wellness Day in May 2014.