About OTB

Our Time Bank Background

Our Time Bank was founded by Melissa Minkin in 2009. We introduced our new Leadership Model in 2012 and have become a member-led TimeBank. OTB is open to all people who live, work, or attend school within our boundaries. Our membership has grown fast, but we are still small and working on building community. We are planning continued growth in 2022, hopefully at an even faster growth rate than in 2021! Unfortunately, Covid-19 has thrown a wrench into our plans to grow the membership since 2020. 

TimeBanks Development and Formation

The concepts of social justice, community health, co-production, neighborhood fostering, hunger management, well-being of indigenous peoples, self-help, social welfare, equality, and alternative currencies are altogether abiding concerns for the rights, welfare, and dignity of the disenfranchised. These ideas were fused together by the late law professor, author, and civil rights activist Edgar S. Cahn, Ph.D., who used them to form the model for TimeBanking and who founded what is now TimeBanks.org.

Our Mission

To nurture and expand a movement that promotes equality and builds caring community economies through inclusive exchange of time and talent.  We are working with members and local communities to strengthen and rebuild community, foster a network of skill sharing, and use TimeBanks, Sharing Economies, and our Repair Café to achieve wide-ranging goals such as social justice, bridges between diverse communities, and local ecological sustainability.

About Time Banking

At its most basic level, Time Banking is simply about spending an hour doing something for somebody in your community. That hour goes into the Time Bank as a Time Credit. Then you have a Time Credit to spend on having someone doing something for you. It’s a simple idea, but it has powerful ripple effects in building community connections.

Our Time Bank is an organized way to share our knowledge, skills, and services with each other.  Instead of dollars, we bank hours.  Each member has an account from which they can spend hours and to which other members can pay hours.  Members post requests for help and offers of services.  All transactions are of equal value, an hour for an hour.  Each member receives 5 hours when they join, posts the skills and services they can offer, and shop for services they want from other members... for an additional 5 hours (total of 10 hours).

Timebanking is designed to build an alternative economy based in the belief that each one of us is equally valuable.  In order to make this a reality, TimeBanks provide the power to redefine work, encourage reciprocity, build community, and foster respect.

Each Time Bank has a website where you list what you would like to do for other members. You look up Time Bank services online or call a community coordinator to do it for you. You earn Time Credits after each service you perform and then you get to spend it on whatever you want from the listings.

With Time Banking, you will be working with a small group of committed individuals who are joined together for a common good. It connects you to the best in people because it creates a system that connects unmet needs with untapped resources. To see what happens each week when you are part of a Time Bank is deeply fulfilling, especially if you are helping to make it run.

Please watch this short (and very sweet) video to learn about TimeBanks  

Lathrup Village TimeBank


Core Values

Time Banks exist to promote exchanges that honor the following five core values.

Assets – We are all assets.
Every human being has something to contribute.

Redefining Work – Some work is beyond price.
Work has to be redefined to value whatever it takes to raise healthy children, build strong families, revitalize neighborhoods, make democracy work, advance social justice, and make the planet sustainable. That kind of work needs to be honored, recorded and rewarded.

Reciprocity – Helping works better as a two-way street.
The question: “How can I help you?” needs to change so we ask: “How can we help each other build the world we both will live in?”

Social Networks – We need each other.
Networks are stronger than individuals. People helping each other reweave communities of support, strength & trust. Community is built upon sinking roots, building trust, creating networks. Special relationships are built on commitment.

Respect – Every human being matters.
Respect underlies freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and everything we value. Respect supplies the heart and soul of democracy. When respect is denied to anyone, we all are injured. We must respect where people are in the moment, not where we hope they will be at some future point.

The Economies That Hold Our Society Together

We are all very familiar with what the economy is. Or at least we think we are. It’s where we earn and spend the money we use to get essential things like food and shelter. The economy is so familiar to us that, like fish in water, we hardly even see it for what it is. What we don’t always recognize is that the money economy we have created is just one part of the way we organize our affairs. There is another, invisible economy that we take part in every day of our lives. It is the economy of home, family, neighborhood and community. We don’t think of it as an economic system—but it is. It is so important that it deserves the name that economist Neva Goodwin gave it when she called it the “Core” economy.

Why should we be concerned to know that home, family and community form an economy? Most importantly because many of our social problems can be traced back to the fact that the Core Economy has been damaged by the money economy. Recognizing that fact, Co-Production calls for a more healthy and mutually supportive relationship between the two kinds of economy.

Our Time Bank supports the Co-Production movement, learn more about Co-Production here:

Co-Production Principles

Its The Core Economy Stupid  

Visit the Co-Production Network web site for additional details.  

TimeBanking in the News:

  • KPFK (Ralph Nader Hour) Interview with Edgar Cahn - January 10th, 2015 (approx 58 minutes) download the 14MB MP3 audio file at bottom of page.
  • Please view this 2014 ABC World News show 
  • Forget Bitcoins, what about time as currency?  Aljazeera
  • Please see this 2012 article in US News
  • Read this LA Times article about the Echo Park Time Bank, which also provides an excellent overview  of timebanking.
  • Here is an article in Yes! magazine by Edgar Cahn, the founder of time banking, about the philosophy behind time banking.

Interesting TimeBanking Facts 

  • Time Banking is world wide and getting more and more popular.
  • 38 countries on 6 continents have active TimeBanks.
  • The UK holds the record with over 31,075 active members across 300+ TimeBanks.  There are over 30 TimeBanks in the City of London alone.
  • The US has 800+ active TimeBanks in 43 states.  The State of California has the largest concentration of TimeBanks with almost 70.
  • California's largest TimeBank is the Bay Area Community Exchange in San Francisco with 2500+ members https://timebank.sfbace.org/  or  https://sfbace.org/
  • The largest US TimeBank is over 3200 members. It’s the New York Visiting Nurse Service TimeBank
  • The 3rd largest US TimeBank is over 2000 members. It’s the Dane County TimeBank in Madison, Wisconsin. 
  • Probably the largest time exchange in the world is the Fureai Kippu in Japan. Fureai Kippu (“Caring Relationship Tickets”) was created in 1995
  • The TimeRepublik is a new world-wide TimeBanking concept that can work for some.  It has over 10,000 members internationaly TIMEREPUBLIK 
  • It costs only $25 to start a trial TimeBank, up to 25 members, at TBUSA website
  • PBS talks about TimeBanking in their Documentary “Fixing the Future”. View Documentary ​ 

Start Your Own New TimeBank?