Cheney Free Press -

By GRACE POHL
Staff Intern 

Community 'time banking' coming to Airway Heights

Night out against crime potluck is also on Aug. 7

 

August 2, 2018



Airway Heights is in the initial stage of planning a community time bank with health program specialist Heather Wallace leading the way.

A time bank, which was developed in the 1980s, is an organized way that people can trade their skills based on units of time. For example, if one person teaches how to crochet for an hour, they earn a credit and can “spend” it on having somebody mow their yard.

“It is an idea of exchanging skills one-on-one, regardless of what it costs,” Wallace said. “Time bank has shown to help people connect in their communities. Everyone has value and they can offer to somebody else their skills.”

It is not a bartering system since everything is valued on time, keeping costs low for everyone. The software that tracks the time has a small cost, but joining the program and the events held are all free.

The way the system works is through email or a cellphone number. It will be a closed membership, so everyone on the list has to be part of the program to receive and send out messages.

“We are trying to get the word out about it right now,” Wallace said. “We are hoping to have community meetings with information about the program.”

People use Facebook to post about needing a ride or having somebody come over to do yard work, and often mention that while they don’t have money to pay, but will exchange it for another skill. Time banking is a way to do that in a more organized way and help neighbors get to know each other more.

“It really gets people thinking about what skills they can offer,” Wallace said.

In other events, the Neighborhoods Matter Program is also hosting a “Night Out Against Crime Community Potluck” at Shorty Combs Park from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 7. This is a free event that features games and activities for the whole family.

“We will bring and grill the hot dogs and everyone else can bring a side dish or a dessert,” Wallace said.

This is the second time that the event will be held as about 100 people showed up last year.

The fire department will be there with their truck along with the police department, who is in charge of grilling the hot dogs. There will also be a handful of vendors at the event including safety kits being handed out to families. The library will also be there to host some games.

The event is geared towards the mobile home parks south of Yokes, but everyone is invited to join at the park.

“It is meant to be fun and a way to connect with your neighbors,” Wallace said. “Everyone is welcome to come.”

Grace Pohl can be reached at grace@cheneyfreepress.com.

 

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