International Time Banking Days!
March 23rd and March 26th
Each year March 26th is recognized as International Time Banking Day. For those who are a member of a time bank (like you reading this article, hopefully!), it is a day to reconnect with the meaning of time banking, and the value your time bank provides in your community. It is also an opportunity to raise awareness about what time banking is, and how it can benefit everybody!
Time banking re-establishes the "village economy"- a system we all rely on, whether we know it or not, though some of our villages are better networked than others. Although our lives today are vastly more connected to information than in the past, we are less connected to each other, and that leaves a gap when we need help that can't come from the internet. We call on our village to help out in an emergency, to coach us through rough patches in life, to lend a hand when we're overwhelmed or can't do something ourselves, or just to have someone to do something fun with. Time banking fills that gap for people who've just moved to a new place, for those living far away from family, for those whose lives are too busy to do it all, and for those who feel isolated, whether physically or otherwise.
Pretty genius, right?! The concept of time banking was coined by Dr. Edgar Cahn, who throughout his life and career passionately and effectively advocated for justice. A graduate of Yale Law School, he started his career in government as special counsel and speechwriter for Attorney General Robert Kennedy; he spearheaded the first national campaign against hunger; he and Jean Camper, his late wife, created the National Legal Services program in the Johnson administration; he founded the Citizens Advocate Center as a watchdog on government; and he and Jean were pivotal figures in founding the concept and practice of public interest law after they saw first-hand that those who could not afford attorneys lacked access to justice. They later formed their own law school and institute to train new public interest attorneys.
Their school grew and moved to Washington DC. However, in 1980, Cahn had a massive heart attack and decided to step away from practicing law. It was then he came up with the concept of time banking. According to Timebanks.org, the organization he founded, "this new form of currency viewed human worth and time as our most valuable resource, and provided a system for community members to provide and receive services from one another thereby helping individuals and communities build community resilience and overcome the debilitating effects of isolation."
Dr. Edgar S. Cahn || March 23, 1935 - January 23, 2022
Dr. Cahn passed away on January 23, 2022 at the age of 86. In honor of his life and legacy, Washington, DC named March 23rd (his birthday) as Edgar Cahn day. This day has become a second International Time Banking Day, which is why both March 23rd and March 26th are celebrated as International Time Banking Days.
To honor Dr. Edgar Cahn and the legacy he left the world, let's pay him tribute by sowing seeds of change.
Send us an email or post on Facebook about what time banking means to you. Maybe there is a memorable exchange you'd like to share, or an opportunity you had because of time banking.
Think about what you can offer your community based on who you are as a person, and consider posting your offer on Community Weaver.
Donate to your local time bank! (Although time dollars are our currency, we still have bills to pay!)
Try time banking now with a free 60 day membership! Click here for more information.
“There is a value in just ‘being’ who you are that systems do not create, cannot define or control, and may not necessarily satisfy what one wants. The freedom ‘to be’ is at the heart of those so-called inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Exercising those rights may need protection. But ‘to be’ means that one matters, that one’s existence makes a difference.”
- Dr. Edgar Cahn