Twinsburg Rotary Club talk is on 'time banking'

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Rotarian Rhoda Soclof

Twinsburg -- The time bank concept has come to Twinsburg -- one hour at a time.

"Though the concept is simple, the rewards are profound," said Abby Greer, executive director of the Kent Community TimeBank, as she introduced the 'time bank' initiative at a recent Twinsburg Rotary Club meeting.

Twinsburg will serve as the first hub in the 'time bank' movement into northern Summit County, Greer said.

Greer was accompanied by Tom Schmidt, local coordinator for the time bank and city resident. In December, Schmidt conducted an initial information and orientation meeting, when it was decided that community social gatherings will be conducted monthly to acquaint new and prospective members with time trade, and with each other.

These informal gatherings, he said, offer a face-to-face platform where participants can find out who offers what -- and who needs what.

The premise, Greer said, consists of a group of local residents who support each other through an exchange of services, skills and resources in response to individual or community needs. Available exchanges could include home repair, tutoring, pet care, transportation, errands, computer assistance, garden/yard work, housekeeping, car repair, childcare and other items.

For each hour of service rendered, a member receives credit of one time bank hour. The member, in turn, use and exchanges his time bank hour for services he needs. Time units are used as currency, with each unit valued at an hour's worth of labor. The program is member-led and free; no money is exchanged.

Time banking builds upon five core values, including assets (do we have what we need, and do we use what we have?); work redefined (all work is equally valued and equally prized); reciprocity (a two-way street of giving and receiving); caring community networks; and respect (for each other and the fruits of each other's labor).

Time banking empowers the individual to utilize untapped potential, while it creates social networks as neighbor assists neighbor.

Impassioned by its mission, Greer founded the Kent organization in April 2010, as an affiliate of TimeBank USA. It now has 385 members, who have exchanged 10,000 time credits. Greer's childhood years were spent in Hudson. Ten years ago, she relocated to Kent, where she resides with husband, Chris Lasko, and children, Sam, 20, and Emma, 16.

Schmidt is a native of Twinsburg Township where he serves as a Trustee. He resides on his family farm.

With the motto of 'service above self', Rotary is also dedicated to building more productive communities. The Twinsburg Rotary Club represents a cross section of business men and women who meet weekly to hear noteworthy speakers, enjoy fellowship, and engage in meaningful local and global projects.

For additional information about Rotary activities or membership, contact Philip Weiss at 216-536-1737 or via e-mail at twinsburgrotary@g-mail.com.

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