Eastside Timebank

by Margaret Schwender

“Giving and Receiving Locally”

Have you ever thought about connecting and helping your fellow neighbors, and in return receiving an opportunity to bring balance in your life? This opportunity is available right in your Kirkland, Redmond and Bellevue neighborhoods through a program called Eastside Timebank.

It is like an old-time community where neighbors help neighbors, connecting through high-tech tools. Our time bank is based on the idea that each of us has unique gifts, talents, and resources to share, and we all have needs that others can fill.

What is Eastside Timebank?
Every hour of service that a timebank member provides to someone in the community earns one “time dollar,” which can be exchanged for an hour of service from another member. All services are valued equally. An online database makes it easy to see what skills and services your neighbors have to offer, and what services they need, so you can match your skills and needs with others in the community.

What kind of services are typically offered by Timebank members?
Time Bank services encompass many forms of services, skills, and assistance: animal care, life coaching, tutoring, teaching crafts and hobbies (knitting, fishing, etc.), running errands, cooking, reading aloud, housecleaning, sewing, taxi service, hair cutting, computer help, gardening, yard work, and more…

What are the benefits of joining?
Joining the Timebank gives you access to the talents, time, and skills of your Kirkland, Redmond, and Bellevue neighbors, while giving you an opportunity to help others in meaningful ways. It’s a great way to get connected with others in your community.

Joining Procedure
Once you have completed the orientation and the application, all Timebank applicants go through a basic level of screening, including a Washington State criminal background check through Washington State Patrol, and at least one personal reference is called at a minimum. Eligible members need to fill out an application form and attend an orientation. You can either fill out the application form ahead of time, or complete an application at one of their orientations. To do it ahead of time, you can download the application off their website www.Eastsidetimebank.org.  If you use the Word Doc version of the application, fill it out electronically, save it, and print it out. If you use the PDF version, you can print out the PDF, fill it out by hand, and bring it to the orientation meeting.

At the orientation you will learn about the Timebank process and database software. They ask that you bring a photo ID to the orientation and personal reference contact information if you have not yet filled out an application.

When is membership open?
Timebank potlucks and orientations are held on the 2nd Thursday of each month.  The location rotates between Bellevue, Redmond and Kirkland.  Please refer to their website (www.Eastsidetimebank.org) for upcoming orientation site schedule.