TimeBanking members trade services, build community

Matt Leising, a Kent resident and University of Akron student, helped paint the Freedom House and aided a local family in landscaping. In return, he earned time credits he could use for goods or services he may need or want.

Leising is a member of the Kent Community TimeBank, which is a new alternative system used to get goods and services without having to spend money. He heard about Kent’s TimeBank from an article in Kent Patch and wanted to be a part of it.

“You feel good for helping others in your community,” Leising said. “Kind of like organized good karma or an environment to support it.”

Kent resident Abby Greer, executive director of the TimeBank, founded the organization in April 2010. Greer said members pool their skills, talents and resources for the purpose of building the community.

When a member does something for another member for an hour, they earn a “time credit,” which can then be spent on any of the thousands of services offered by other members.

“As long as you have the time, and there is someone in need of your contribution, a transaction can be made,” said Morgan Shields, Kent Community TimeBank member and junior psychology major.

More than 200 TimeBanks exist in the United States, and Kent has one of the largest TimeBanks in the country, with 465 current members, according to TimeBanks’ Community Directory.

The movement is also growing internationally. Countries like Spain and Greece have recently started their own regional community TimeBanks.

“Timebanking creates an environment where people are able to trust each other again,” Greer said. “It’s not just about saving money and using an alternative currency, it’s more about building a community that trusts in each other.”

Greer founded the TimeBank because it serves a mission she fully believes in. She said she believes one of her purposes for being here on earth is to grow and move TimeBanking.

Shields said she thinks the TimeBank provides great opportunities for students.

“I believe college students will find something of this nature to be of great benefit as it allows them to trade their skills for other services, such as tutoring sessions or rides to school or home from the bar,” Shields said.

The Kent TimeBank has a potluck dinner on the first Friday of every month from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the United Church of Christ, 1400 E. Main St., Kent. The next potluck social is April 5, and anyone is welcome to come enjoy dinner and learn more about the Kent Community TimeBank.

To find out more about Kent’s TimeBank or learn about the membership process, check out its Facebook page, “Kent Community TimeBank Inc.,” or their homepage, http://kentcommunity.timebanks.org/.

Abby Bradford is a general assignment reporter the Daily Kent Stater. Contact Abby Bradford at [email protected].