The Access Community Action Agency is inviting community members to attend one of three one-hour information sessions called “Q: What is ‘time banking’?” These sessions will answer this question and introduce a new program Access will be bringing to the Windham region this fall — the Windham Area Hour Exchange. The Exchange is a “time bank” that will allow individuals, businesses, and organizations to exchange services using a time-based currency.
The Windham Area Hour Exchange is a membership-based program that will be open to all residents, businesses, organizations in Windham and its surrounding towns. There are no income requirements attached to this program. Exchange members will be able to “bank” an hour for every hour of service they provide to someone who needs it, which they will then be able to exchange for services they need. Services offered will depend on membership recruitment; emphasis will be on recruiting a membership pool that offers as wide an array of services as possible, including but not limited to transportation, child care, health care, home repair, yard work, errand running, tutoring, marketing, computer service, legal assistance, accounting, and more. Exchange members will contact each other to exchange services and bank their “time dollars” through an online membership community. Exchange membership will be free, although donations will be accepted.
Windham Area Hour Exchange Director Kate Fortier is excited about the benefits time banking will bring to the Windham region. “Time banking is really about empowered economic development,” she says. “Time banking empowers people to use skills, talents, and interests that may not generate them income in a traditional cash economy, empowers people of all income levels to get access to services they might not be able to afford, empowers businesses and organizations to generate customers and reduce costs, and empowers whole communities to build connections that can translate to increased participation in community projects, town government, schools, and more.” Ms. Fortier adds, “The potential ripple effect a vibrant time bank could have on the Windham region is really energizing to think about.”
Community members who would like to learn more about time banking and the Windham Area Hour Exchange are invited to attend one of three identical “Q: What is ‘time banking?’” information sessions. These sessions will discuss the concept of time banking, an introduction of the Windham Area Hour Exchange, and information about how the community can get involved. Two morning sessions will be held on Thursday, August 23, 2012 and Saturday, August 25, 2012 from 10:00-11:00 a.m., and one evening session will be held on Thursday, August 23, 2012 from 7:00-8:00 p.m. All three sessions will be held at the Access Community Action Agency at 1315 Main Street, Willimantic. Attendance at only one session is necessary. On-site child care will be available and light refreshments will be served. Registration is encouraged; contact Coordinator Chris Henderson at (860) 450-7400, ext. 7435 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Windham Area Hour Exchange is a Community Engagement Initiative of the Access Community Action Agency. Access is a federal and state designated Community Action Agency (CAA) that serves eastern Connecticut. Access provides food, emergency shelter, energy assistance, job and life skills training, youth mentoring, affordable housing for seniors, and more. For more information about Access services, call 860-450-7400 in the Willimantic area, 860-412-1600 in the Danielson area, or visit www.accessagency.org.