A time bank is a network of individual, organizational, and business 'members' who provide services, track and bank their hours, and then spend those hours to get their own needs met. There is no barter or exchange; one member does a friendly, neighborly favor for another and records the time they spent doing so. Members share their talents and services, record their hours, then 'spend' them later on services they want. Everyone's hours are treated as equal in value.
After seeing a TED talk about how a New Zealand time bank helped its community recover from two major earthquakes, Eugene (Oregon) neighborhood preparedness committees created their own local time bank. The time bank can foster relationships and catalog resources to help our community prepare for and recover from disruptive events, such as major winter storms, high winds that cause power outages, wildfires, earthquakes, and pandemics.
Because hOurWorld.org provides this software at no cost, we are able to offer free memberships to all neighborhood residents. (Thank you hOurWorld!) We have established our first local branch office in Southeast Eugene, and hope to provide opportunities for person-to-person time banking in neighborhood branches throughout the city.
This project is supported as part of a comprehensive preparedness program that includes ICS For Neighborhoods, an Exercise and Evaluation Program, The Time Bank, and local public information officer training at Whole Community News. Residents of the local watersheds are welcomed and encouraged to participate.