By Carrie Anderson
A small group of people is starting a Time Exchange in Spokane. Members of our leadership group participated in the recent PJALS workshop at the Unitarian Church.
The Spokane Time Exchange (STE) will leverage the power of an online social network where members can go to ask for the help they need and add value to the community by sharing their own unique gifts. (We also have a person accepting inquiries for information by telephone.) The exchange is based on the currency of time, where everyone’s “hour” is valued equally.
The vision of the STE is to improve the quality of life for everyone in Spokane by bringing together people who share a commitment to these neighborly values:
Respect: Each person’s gifts, abilities and time have importance in the community.
Inclusion: People with a diverse landscape of cultural and professional abilities have been de-valued in our financial economy. We need to re-value simple human caring and kindness.
Mutuality: Ensure mutual enrichment and benefit. It’s good to give service because it helps someone feel directly supported; it’s also good to receive because it gives others the opportunity to know their work has value.
Visibility: Become more aware of one another’s needs. Make the network of mutual support that exists more transparent, so that we can see where and how it needs to be expanded (i.e., find an end to homelessness and respond to loneliness).
Collaboration: Find out what we can do together; expand the possibilities for working as a community by sharing ideas.
Security: Support a local economy and reduce the need for a monetary financial system that does not support our humanity.
The Objectives of the STE are to increase opportunities for all residents to contribute to the enrichment of Spokane’s quality of life through:
Education: Connect schools & learning centers to a network of extracurricular support.
Social Service: Partner with agencies to provide resources from the time bank community (i.e. transportation, meal provision, companionship, therapy); Offer incentives to existing volunteers.
Innovation: Accelerate the rate at which people can innovate and effectively collaborate on projects that stimulate green growth initiatives like community gardening, caring for streets and public spaces, improving bike and public transportation, & reducing waste.
Self-Empowerment: Create opportunity for autonomy by providing a network for open communication between members who want to share skills they enjoy and do work they care about.