“Time Banks USA sees time banking as a vehicle for social change. First, the initiative redefines the value of individuals and the work they do, with all services valued at the same rate. Second, time banking fosters reciprocity. Third, it builds social capital through relationships, trust, and support networks. Fourth, it enables a broad spectrum of people to meet. According to Auta Main, director of New England Time Banks, time banking is “a way of bringing together diverse populations of people that may not have met otherwise. We are changing the face of communities.” That said, time banks are often set up to reach traditionally disadvantaged groups. The East End Time Bank’s membership, for example, is 75 percent low-income, 30 percent seniors, 15 percent disabled, and 15 percent single parents.”
This brief report harvested from the archives of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston provides a high level overview through the eyes of a senior research associate with the institution. Anna Afshar’s clear journalistic distance and attention to detail offers insight on the use, benefits, and impact of timebanking in the communities where it has been implemented. The report offers a swift read and may be useful to those who come to this site with no awareness of the practice of timebanking.
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