Skip to main content

Northwest Neighbors Network  
HomeSWEL Time Bank

SWEL TimeBank

NNN has joined forces with the SWEL TimeBank. A timebank is a reciprocity-based work trading system in which hours are the currency.

With timebanking, a person with one skill set can “bank” and “exchange” “time” in another skill with every hour of every skill being equally valued regardless of the service(s) provided. Helping others in this way builds and strengthens community.

NNN is what’s known as an organizational member of the timebank. This means that individual members of SWEL can earn “timebank hours” for helping NNN become a reality. NNN has already received a donation of 100 timebank hours which are being used for this. In the future, we hope to strengthen our connection by creating a joint SWEL/NNN membership.

The Praxis Center (Michigan) found that timebanks value the contributions of senior citizens. In a society that assigns human value to a person’s ability to produce, older adults are burdened with a diminished perception of their worth. When this is internalized in combination with social isolation and a decreased physical ability to perform household work, many elders succumb to depression and illness.

In a timebank, the inherent value and wisdom of our elders can be received and valued while allowing them to access necessary services they can no longer physically perform themselves. For example, they can teach skills like knitting or reading in exchange for window washing, oven cleaning, or home repairs. It may even be possible to earn and save time credits as a way of preparing for retirement.