Everyone has something to offer when they’re feeling led to give to others and their community. For most volunteers, their time is their most valuable currency. Think about how many aspects of our culture focus on the financial type of giving only. Time banking turns the concept of financial giving around to focus on the value of individuals giving their time. Time is the currency.

A time bank can be independently started in your own local community today. However, there are many national and international time bank network resources online that can help you get started and put your local time bank on the map. Two of those resources are hourworld.org and timebanks.org. If you want to dive in and get started, we recommend these resources as a great place to start.

Time banking takes into account the reality that individuals have something unique to offer with their time. An hour of time for a gardener working in the soil is equal to an hour of time for a caretaker for the elderly. Through this equal exchange, all members can contribute based on their individual talents and charity.

There is also a “pay it forward” spirit in time banking because the environment is ripe for inspiring others with the virtue of giving as well as motivating each other to take that first initial step. Sometimes the most difficult part of volunteering is taking that first step, and time banking is a great way to get the attention of others that are new to it.