East End Exchange – A Time Bank in Richmond’s East End

What is a Time Bank?

A Timebank is a way for neighbors to help neighbors and for strangers to become friends.  By trading time and talents through a timebank, community members help rebuild the core economy of family, neighborhood and community and are rewarded for it – in time.  For every hour of time you give providing a service for another timebank member, you receive one time credit.  You can exchange your time credits when you need a service from someone else, or you can give them to another member, or save them to obtain products and services from the Timebank Store.  You give your time to others, doing what you want to do, and you gain the opportunity to get help for yourself when you need it.  You also gain the satisfaction of strengthening your community, one hour at a time.

East End Exchange (E3) Mission

The Mission of the East End Exchange (E3) Timebank is to strengthen the fabric of the community of the East End of Richmond and Henrico by connecting the individuals, families, neighborhoods, businesses and organizations of the East End in service to each other. The ultimate goal of E3 is to create a village mentality in the East End that engages all the villagers to help one another in a collective effort to enhance the overall quality of life in the East End. E3 is named for the Richmond community it serves and for a trailblazing timebank set up in Portland Maine in the late 1990’s.

E3 Core Values

  • Co-Production: To be successful we must enlist and engage those we are trying to help in every step of the process.
  • Assets: Every human being is a miracle with something of value to contribute.
  • Redefining Work: Work must be redefined to include whatever it takes to raise healthy children, make neighborhoods safe and vibrant, care for the frail and vulnerable, make democracy work, advance social justice, and make the planet sustainable.
  • Reciprocity: The impulse to give back is universal.  Wherever possible, we must replace one-way acts of largesse in whatever form with two-way transactions.  “You need me” becomes “We need each other”.
  • Social Capital: At its core the goal of a Time Bank is to build community in neighborhoods, to connect neighbors, to build trust, alleviate isolation and to build a social infrastructure of support and caring.
  • Equality: The heart of the time banking system is equality.  One hour of service equals one credit, regardless of the service.  All people are valued equally.

E3 Services Exchanged

A timebank transaction is an exchange of SERVICES between two or more time bank members. If an exchange requires parts, materials, supplies or gasoline, it is the responsibility of the recipient to pay for these items. Examples of services that can be exchanged through E3 include:

Help Around the House

  • Electrical, plumbing, carpentry, masonry
  • General home repair, house cleaning, decorating, closet organization, heavy lifting
  • Landscape and garden design, composting, yard work, watering plants
  • Cooking lessons, meal preparation, party planning, clothes washing/ironing
  • Car and machine repair and maintenance, tool sharpening,
  • Pet sitting and care, dog walking, chicken consultation

Education/Enrichment

  • Tutoring – ESL, language, writing, math, science, adult literacy
  • Internet and social media consultation and training, Amazon/Ebay instruction
  • Desktop publishing, writing and literary skills, editing, audio/photo/video services
  • Children’s story telling, tutoring for elementary/homeschoolers
  • Computer literacy, online search skills, genealogy research

Health and Wellness

  • Massage, yoga, fitness training, sports training/coaching, fishing lessons
  • Child care, elder care and support, caregiver consultation, companionship
  • Assistance with health care process – insurance, Medicare
  • Medical advocacy, resources for aging, telephoning, medical monitoring

Financial and Legal

  • Financial literacy, tax preparation, filling out forms, budgeting, organizing, advice
  • Assistance with wills and other legal documents, child custody, legal referrals

Arts, crafts, music, personal

  • Lessons – music, arts, crafts, dance, sewing, knitting, photography, writing, magic
  • Sewing machine instruction, seamstress services, jewelry making, DJ services
  • Walking and biking companion, bicycle repair and service, haircuts, translation services
  • Transportation – for shopping, to the airport/train station, to the doctor, running errands, designated driver, emergencies, deliveries

E3 Store

The E3 Store is a virtual marketplace offering East End Exchange members with a variety of product and service alternatives for “spending” the time credits they have accumulated.  Examples of the products and services that will be available in the E3 Store include:

  • Retail Gift Certificates – Restaurants, Clothing, Shoes, Books, Office & School Supplies, CD’s & DVD’s, Furniture, Toys, Cell Phone Minutes, Travel Accommodations
  • Personal Services – Gym Membership, Spa Services, Barber & Hair Salon, Landscaping, Pet Care
  • Professional Services – Doctor, Lawyer, Accountant, Financial Planner, Banker
  • Tickets – Sports, Theater, Movies, Music, Museums, Festivals & Events
  • Equipment – Computers, Laptops, Printers, Office Equipment, Music, Photography
  • Classes – Sewing, Art, Exercise, Cooking, Gardening, Photography

E3 – Getting Started > January 2017

The East End Exchange (E3) timebank has been a seed of an idea for many years, waiting for the right and opportune moment to germinate.  It appears that the new year of 2017 is the Kairos moment for E3 to begin enhancing the quality of life in the East End and across Richmond.  Trust is an important component of every successful timebank and trust in the E3 timebank concept must be earned in a smaller setting before it can expand across the East End of Richmond and Henrico.

So, in an effort to nurture the process and provide a model for growth, E3 will start operating in January 2017 within the caring environment of the Neighborhood Resource Center of Greater Fulton (NRC).  The fuel for launching this new social support network is a generous donation of time from local Capital One employees designed to teach the concept of timebanking and to provide a time investment for E3 to use to grow.  As a model and an example, it is hoped this effort will help the East District Family Resource Center (EDFRC) and Peter Paul Development Center (PPDC) do the same.

Specifically, E3 will begin with an offer to the entire community served by the NRC – Capital One volunteers will offer you an hour of work for every hour you are willing to offer the NRC in return.  For instance, if a NRC constituent benefited from 2 hours of help getting to the doctor and back, that constituent would agree to offer 2 hours of volunteer support to the NRC.  Multiplied over many people and categories of support, the concept of timebanking will be taught by experience.  The plan is to create similar energy nodes at EDFRC and PPDC and then connect the 3 into one timebank called E3.

The East End Exchange (E3) is an initiative of the East End Community Collaboration.