(Crystal A. Proxmire, 1/13/2011)
The Ferndale TimeBank is all about people coming together in the community to help each out. Less than a year after the service-swapping group formed, they are up to over 30 members who routinely take advantage of being able to do tasks that others need help with. An online database allows users to put out requests for help, list what tasks they may be willing to do for others, and track their hours. The system means that swapping does not need to be one-on-one.
Every task earns members time, which can be used for the time of other members. Susan Sedlak earned time for sending in this story:
“I joined TimeBank a few months ago. I was interested in the concept of exchanging services for other services. I went on there and offered three services and requested three services. Within a month Lance Bowen offered to fix the loose floor board that I requested to be fixed. So I emailed him and thanked him for the offer. We then picked a day and time that fit our schedules. He then came over and fixed the loose floor board.
I was impressed with the job he had done. I no longer had to worry about myself or my friends tripping on it. A couple weeks later Lance again offered to help with one of my requests. This time it was to fix two holes in my living room wall. Again we picked a good day and time that would accommodate both our schedules. When he fixed the holes in my wall he spackled them and now – no more holes.
So within a couple months of being a TimeBank member I have gotten two of the three services that I requested. And I could not be happier with the quality in which it was done. In summary I would recommend the TimeBank to anyone who was looking to get some help around the house or in any other area. There are good kind people out there that want to help.”
Sedlak, Bowen and others are online and ready to help, along with about 30 others from Ferndale and the Ferndale Schools community. “The idea is really catching on,” said Ferndale TimeBank organizer Michelle Foster. She along with other volunteers learned about they system after hearing a presentation about TimeBanking in other cites.
For a small fee, mainly to make sure participants have a vested interest in being involved, volunteers can have access to the database and tracking system. For those who want to learn more there is an informational lunch from noon- 1:30pm at the Paper Street Building at 1511 Jarvis on Jan. 22.
There will also be a potluck on Jan. 30 from 3-5pm, also at Paper Street. And their latest group activity is a regular knitting club which will take place every other Wednesday starting Jan. 26. The knitting club will meet at Goldfish Tea in Royal Oak from 6-8pm.
For more information about Ferndale TimeBank, please go to http://www.ferndaletimebank.org.
The Ferndale 115 News also has a TimeBank section so you can keep up with the latest TimeBank stories, or read through the archives. Check it out at https://oaklandcounty115.com/category/timebank/.