In 2017, a vote had been made by members for our initial time bank to limit participation to Black women and femmes that were either members of our collective or somehow connected to our networks. This was (1) for safety reason since people publish their addresses on there and exchange childcare and (2) because a large part of time banking is about relationship-building so folx who attended our community events or volunteered with us would have a an opportunity to get acquainted with each other in-person so connecting online was more organic. This worked great for that level of the project and we’d like to maintain the sanctity of that space. However, there is a greater need now more than ever to connect folx in our larger community to the resources mobilizing in their neighborhoods. So we are launching a separate time bank in Philadelphia for those in need now and to grow it post-pandemic to be cemented as a vital community resource institution.
What we’re learning from this Pandemic is that, like we’ve always predicted, Capitalism is collapsing and we need to strengthen the alternative systems of Social & Solidarity Economies for people to transition into as we divest/escape/are pushed out of this toxic system that is Capitalism. Time Banking is one of those alternatives as it does not reinforce Capitalist beliefs, practices nor exchange money. Time is the currency in time banking and our biggest focus now is transferring Time Wealth from people with excess amounts of time and resources to those who are experiencing Time Poverty. Many people inundated in Time Poverty are still expected to be at work right now under the guise of being an “essential worker” (read: fatally-exploited worker) and are being placed at-risk for contracting COVID-19 everytime they must leave the house. These people are part of families who are also further at-risk. In this case, time banking could be used to help folx disinfect their homes regularly, get groceries or supplies dropped off, source essential home goods people making like DIY-sanitizer or Elderberry syrup for immune-boosting benefits, meal prep, temporarily rehoming pets, kids or elders who may be at greater risk. There are many possibilities when we operate in a system that values everyone, especially care workers and relationships are recognized as an essential part of surviving this together. This alternative route of tapping into the abundance of human resources to meets people's needs and promotes well-being for all of our communities. We’re measuring success by the number of registered active members.