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Everyone has something to offer!

One of the founding principles of Timebanking is that everyone has something to offer, regardless of age, education, or any other factor that you might come up with. The important thing is being willing to offer your time within your community; whether in terms of using your time to help others, or being the person that is helped. After all, it is well documented that helping others is good for your hauora/wellbeing as well as community building, but it does require people willing to be helped!

Speaking of research... Asset-Based Community Development is a growing movement that focuses on what is on offer within a community to help it help itself; rather than on a deficit model that focuses on the problems and tries to fix them externally. A key part of this is connecting the assets already in the community, which includes the gifts (skills and knowledge etc) of the people living in it. Remind you of anything?!

The gifts of people are broken down into three categories:

Gifts of the Head

Things we know something about and would enjoy talking about and sharing with others, e.g. art, history, movies, board games etc

Knowledge that can be useful to someone else as they navigate the same issues in life that you have e.g. what to look for in a solar power set up, deciding to live in an intentional community, planning a new business venture, where to find the best blackberry patch!

Gifts of the Hand

Things or skills we know how to do and would like to share with others, e.g., carpentry, sports, gardening, cooking. This could be doing it for others, or teaching them how to do it.

Gifts of the Heart

Things we care deeply about, e.g., protection of the environment, civic life, children.

Getting involved with local organisations as a volunteer, sharing our stories, encouraging and supporting others to give it a go

Timebanking is one way of bringing together organisations, institutions and individuals to share skills, knowledge and resources to meet the wider needs of the community. Being able to reach out and ask is so much easier when there is a framework in place to support that, and enable people to feel safe doing so. It might seem like a hassle when we ask lots of questions about who you are when you sign up as a member, and needing referees etc, but that helps our members trust the process and the membership, that it isn't simply some random stranger at the other end of the Offer or Request.

When we're able to trust it's much easier to reach out with our gifts of head, heart and hand, and be willing to receive them too. Do you have Offers and Requests listed on TimeOverflow? What could you put out there? What is there that you could respond to?

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