We’re in that Report To The Board time of year. Here’s what we’ve been up to in 2017.

We have seventy-nine current members. Forty-five enrolled in the last 12 months.

Activity: Forty-one exchanges took place in the last month. That’s ~500 exchanges per year. We’re going to keep track of this number month-by-month in future to gauge seasonal use. I’ve been match-making full-on this year, making sure each Request gets filled, if possible. It’s made the TB much livelier.

Classes: Bokashi Compost, Graywater, How To Install a Community Cupboard, Home Maintenance Skills, Monarch Butterflies, Kombucha Making, Cyber Security, Beekeeping, Bike Repair, Advance Directives.


The TimeBank holds a lot of talent. Our members are artists and musicians. Nurses and electrical engineers. Teachers, social workers, therapists, body workers. We have a veterinarian and a veterinarian nurse. A horse trainer.

We have several of those skillful home repair people who can fix just about anything. We have quilters and salsa dancers and writers and graphic designers.  We have folks who love to cook. (They prepare meals for other members.)

We have people with nonprofit admin and human resources skills. People who help you declutter. Who post your notices to community bulletin boards. Who teach art, French, crochet and how to make chocolate truffles.

We love to showcase what our members do in the greater world.

Here is an example: Cellist Aude Castagna of the Paris String Quartet is CELEBRATING WOMEN COMPOSERS OF THE PAST with two upcoming concerts.

Peace United Church,  Thursday Nov 2, 2017 at 7:30 pm

Christ Lutheran Church,  Sunday Nov 5, 2017 at 3:00 pm

Tickets are $25, children/students $10


What do we really know about social capital. The TimeBank’s goal is to grow it. But how do we quantify it? And what is its value?

I’ve noticed recently that we each have a certain store of social capital within the TimeBank itself. Let’s call it a Social Capital Quotient. I suppose it’s determined by the contributions a TimeBanker makes to the organization as a whole - participating, coming to events, sharing skills, being a member in good standing.

This is a measurement wholly different from the number of TimeCredits accrued or exchanged.

TimeBankers also have SCQs with other members. There may be a history of exchanges, a growing acquaintanceship. There may have been challenges that caused the Quotient to sink.

I’m becoming aware that TimeBankers also have SCQs with me, the Director and Coordinator. I’ve noticed that a SCQ (on a scale of 1-10, say) can soar to great heights or it can dip into the negative double digits. A SCQ is a fluid animal in the ecosystem of human dynamics.





The TimeBank is seeking sign up a few new members with a couple of specific skills: We especially need someone who can do tech support for Mac users. And we need someone with a truck who is willing to do dump runs and the hauling of heavy objects. Members need to be available to each other three hours per month.

We’re currently signing up lots of new elders in their 80s and 90s who need a helping hand. Are you available to give occasional rides to appointments, errands, to the library? Could you do some light housekeeping and laundry? Please step up. If everyone does their bit, all needs can be met.

Can you cut hair? Do massage, teach yoga or Tai Chi? Do you know how to make salves and lotions, candles, wreaths, quilts, preserves? We’re always looking for resourceful folks with practical skills to share.


Let’s talk about kinship. Do you have a sense of kinship with others? Who does it extend to? Those who are lovely as well as the despicable ones? Where does your heart draw the line? I think it’s a fundamental question.

When I first started working as a community organizer ten years ago, I was quite the recluse. I didn’t even like to hang out in my front yard because, horrors, I might be compelled to make small talk with a passerby.

Now I have a Little Library and Poetry Box at my curb as well as the TimeBank’s FarmStand and the Community Cupboard. These resilience building devices draw people to the edge of my property, to the edge of my awareness.

I’ve gotten better at small talk: I’ve learned to weather interactions with all manner of folks. More significantly, however, these hedgerow activities (as permaculture would call it) have changed how I perceive myself. Now I’m known in my neighborhood. I belong. I am a factor, a feature, an actor in an ecosystem. Because this hedgerow culture generally creates goodwill, I feel protected.



The TimeBank has been nominated for the Volunteer Center’s Be The Difference Award along with 50 other local individuals, nonprofits and businesses. The celebration includes a luncheon at the Cocoanut Grove on October 27. They tell us that ‘our story is powerful, inspirational and vital to the health of our community.’ We hope so; we’re just doing our bit.

Timebanking is all about collaboration. We love reciprocity. Collaborating with trusted community partners is the smart way to go: it’s essentially a best use of resources.

So why is it so hard for groups to work together? You’d think our common goals would make collaboration a no-brainer. Maybe it’s because we’re still in the survival mode of the hunter-gatherers. Local nonprofits compete rather than collaborate. We compete for funding, press, prestige, volunteers. It makes you weary how much we compete. Isn’t there a better way?


Here’s what TimeBankers have done for each other in the last ten days:

Mended clothing. Located and repaired an improperly installed splice in home wiring. Fixed email problems. Gave a ride for grocery shopping. Worked at the Restore. Consulted on a toilet repair. Rotated a mattress. Disassembled a gazebo. Hosted the Fall Expo. Helped put together a Little Library. Gave a compost lesson. Made soup for the Expo. Gave an elder rides. Taught at the Expo. Sewed on a button. Picked up  Rxs and fixed dinner for an elder. Cleared an elder’s garden beds for Winter. Consulted on a declutter project. Drove an injured member to and from an appointment. Replaced a toilet.

New Requests Posted: Help with iPad and iPhone. Replace Outside Light Fixture. Add videocard to computer. Little Library Caretaker. Needlepoint Blocking. Vine Trimming. Dump Run. Clean On-demand Water Heater. Clear Brush. Soup Made. Garden Weeding and General Cleanup.

New Offers Posted: Used Bike Buying Help. Voice Lessons. Local Bike Paths Advice. Spanish Lessons. How To Dry Persimmons. Advance Health Care Directive Assistance. Local Rides.


TimeBank Santa Cruz held its Fall Reskilling Expo yesterday at the West Side home of Gary Moro where a bunch of members presented brief demos of their skill sets.

Robin MacDuff, a retired UCSC facilities manager gave a detailed presentation of Electrical Wiring including GFIs, electrical tool use and how to insulate safely. Professional Barb Roettger, a bodywork professional, showed how Cranio Sacral massage works on Azra Simonetti. Alice Rink explained the Advance Health Care Directive process. Alice is a retired nurse educator.

Quentin Hancock, a San Jose State writing instructor gave a demo Reiki treatment to Mamoura Slike, an avid biker. And Ev Sharp, a concierge veterinarian, brought her spinning wheel to teach how wool is spun into yarn while Gary Moro sorted dried Black Turtle bean seeds for the TimeBank’s Seed Library..

Aude Castagna, cellist and MFCC therapist, presented cogent Personal Resilience practices for mid-life and Mamoura Slike led an in-depth Life Questions session: ‘What makes you feel happy?’ and ‘When do you enjoy helping people?’ were two questions pursued.


Activity since Sep 9: Rides for an elder. Moved some heavy plants for an elder. Picked up a Rx for a homebound member and paid a visit. Gave an elder a ride home from an appt. Repaired two purses. Ride to SJC. Garden chores for one member. Garden chores for another. Major fence repair advice. Ride to an appointment.

Our Demographics: of our 82 members, 56 own their homes. 26 rent. 14 work full-time. 24 work part-time. 43 are retired or not working. 10 are young professionals. 6 are disabled. 10 are scraping by. 5 are stay-at-home parents. 7 are caregivers for a relative. 13 are elders.

New Requests: Meal Prep. Loan of a TIG Welder. Labor. Garden Help. Light Switch/Socket Replacement. Decluttering and garage organization. Airport Rides. Sewing: Creating a Cover-up Skirt over Pants. Firewood Assistance. Shorten and Hem Curtains. Hot & Spicy Dairy-Free Soup.


The Fall TimeBank Expo is coming up next weekend. (It’s for TimeBankers and seriously prospective members.) We’ll have two Demo Stations. Station One: Salsa Dance. Kombucha. Advanced Directives. Bangs Trims. Personal Resilience Practices. Ingredients of Emergency Kits. Favorite Wellness Practices.

Station Two: Basics of Electrical Wiring. Reiki Treatments. Tool Sharpening. Publishing Your Book. Essential Life Questions. Sewing&Mending.

TimeBankers bring electrical cords and lamps and other broken items for repair. Knives, scissors, garden tools to sharpen. Clothes that need mending.

It’s a Skill Share, a Knowledge Commons and a Potluck. It’s a Reskilling Expo, really, but on a small scale and members only. Why? Because building new economic institutions requires a bit of commitment. It require reciprocity. And that’s what TimeBankers do: they reciprocate.

September 17, 2017