What is time banking?
- A time bank consists of a group of community members who exchange their time and talents with one another.
- One hour spent sharing one’s talent to benefit someone else = One time credit is earned.
- Each time credit earned can then be exchanged for an hour of any service offered within the time bank.
Time banking is based on 5 core values:
- Assets: Everyone has something to offer.
- Redefining work: Rather than just placing value on how much a service costs in economic terms, we place an emphasis on other factors that make our community a better place. We need to ask what type of work needs to be done in order to build healthy neighborhoods where everyone feels a sense of belonging.
- Social Networks: When people increase the number of social networks that they have, they are able to improve their overall health and wellbeing.
- Reciprocity: In time banking, we change the question from “How can I help you?” to “How can we help each other?”
- Respect: We believe that everyone deserves respect.
Why is time banking important?
- It reinforces the notion that every individual has value and purpose.
- It minimizes barriers between individuals and systems within our communities.
- It restores a sense of unity in our neighborhoods.
Time banking with NHCLV:
- Our time bank serves as the time bank for the Lehigh Valley.
- 200+ members
- Numerous services are exchanged:
- Wellness-related services (walking groups, prescription pick-up)
- Help at home (yard clean-ups, household repairs)
- Opportunities to participate in and assist with organizational/community events
How does NHCLV utilize time banking?
Patients can be referred by clinicians or other NHCLV team members to participate in the time bank.
Why is time banking important at NHCLV?
- It reduces social isolation.
- It helps community members in feeling a renewed sense of purpose and ability to contribute to their community.
- It empowers members to be active participants within their neighborhoods.
- It allows individuals to foster relationships with others and to adopt leadership roles within their community.
Janelle Zelko Hager
Neighborhood Health Centers of the Lehigh Valley
333 W. Union Street
Allentown, PA 18102