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Time Initiative of Maine

The latest news from the growing global Timebank Movement!

From Stacey J: Just found this wonderful article about two good friends of mine, Edgar Cahn (founder of timebanking) and Mashi Blech, the longest serving timebank coordinator (over 30 years!) and wanted to share it with you all! It's a great introduction to timebanking and has some great quotes you can share when talking about timebanking to other friends and groups. Check it out:

Download the podcast HERE. Share with your neighbors!


Here are the most important quotes I thought were great: 

"Edgar Cahn, now 82, began his career as a speechwriter for Robert Kennedy...Cahn says he has now documented 1,000 time banks around the world, including about half that total here in the U.S. Many operate on a software platform created by TimeBanks USA, the nonprofit Cahn founded." (our Community Weaver)

" Chicago, 127 schools nearly eliminated special ed by having fifth graders help the third graders learn the alphabet. The kids earned credits that allowed them to receive a recycled computer from the system." (this also greatly reduced gang violence)

"In another example Cahn shared, teens serving on a youth court jury in Washington, D.C., helped reduce recidivism. Ultimately, the teens were granted sentencing authority and would sentence the teens to a diversion program to do community service to make restitution for property damaged or stolen...The program reduced rearrests from 34 to 6%."

From Mashi: "The TimeBank tool is equalizing the playing field, empowering people who have long existed on the fringes of society to help themselves, help one another and become much more integrated into the fabric of their communities. In addition to giving them access to services they could not otherwise afford, they feel useful and needed and report improvements in their health and emotional well-being because they are part of our timebank community."

From Edgar on the 3 Discoveries that Led to Timebanking:

1. "...The economy doesn’t value contributions fairly. The amount of work that it takes to enable a family to keep an elder person out of a nursing home is now valued at some $500 billion. All sorts of things don’t get valued our current economic system, despite having tremendous value. Most notably, the unpaid work of mothers to care for, education and otherwise support their children."

2. "...The economic system values things that are scarce. People are plentiful, abundant, ubiquitous. Such things are virtually worthless and, in some cases, treated as nuisances. Cahn wanted to create a system that valued the intrinsic worth of a human being—and all human beings equally.

3. "...The idea of co-production. He points out that while working as a law professor—which he still does—he could give a brilliant lecture but the outcomes on the exams depended at least as much on the students. Viewing the students as partners in co-production of learning created a new paradigm that helped to define the time banking model."

Blech says, “We can’t achieve social justice simply by delivering services. We need to enlist those who we are helping as partners and collaborators.”