Kent State University’s Department of Sociology is partnering with the Kent Community TimeBank to host an event that will feature Edgar Cahn, Ph.D., founder of TimeBanksUSA.
Cahn and his wife, Christine Gray, will visit Kent today and present on the topic of timebanking, alternative currencies and social justice. The event is free and open to the public, and will take place at 4 p.m. at the United Church of Christ, 1400 E. Main St. A potluck dinner will follow at 5:30 p.m.
There will be time for exploration and questions from the audience. Attending will be local and regional TimeBank leaders, active Kent Community TimeBank members and residents interested in learning about the movement.
Timebanking is an alternative currency system and a system of exchange where individuals and groups with needs and wants are answered by members with services, skills and resources for the purpose of building community. The Kent Community TimeBank was founded in 2010 and has more than 500 members.
“As is the case with the university as a whole, Kent State’s Department of Sociology is committed to encouraging good relations between the city of Kent and the university,” said Kent State associate professor of Sociology Susan Roxburgh, Ph.D. “We are providing support for the Cahns’ visit to Kent because our discipline has a long history of commitment to social justice issues. Because of its role in increasing the quantity and quality of community ties, the TimeBank is of particular interest to faculty in our department.”
Since inception, the Kent Community TimeBank has made 6,645 exchanges totaling 17,310 hours or time credits. The TimeBank also has created an alternative currency storefront called hOUR Share in Kent, where goods may be obtained by donating time credits or offering a cash donation.
“Timebanking offers our members many values and benefits,” said Abby Greer, executive director and founder of the Kent Community TimeBank. “Timebanking creates social networks that have been lost over time, builds trust in neighbors and community, saves members cash money as the currency is time, allows members to learn new skills and build old ones, gives businesses and merchants an avenue for growth and helps people feel validated and valued in society.”
Cassandra Pegg-Kirby, assistant director for Kent State’s Women’s Center, has only been a member of the Kent Community TimeBank for a few months, but she has benefited from the community in many ways. Pegg-Kirby had the opportunity to share perennials she did not need with other community members and was able to use her time credits to obtain about 40 bike tires from a fellow timebanker for her flower bed.
“The TimeBank is the fabric that brings all these amazing people in the community together in a way that is beneficial to all,” Pegg-Kirby said. “Whether it is through the exchanges, the social engagement at potlucks and group projects or the way something like this has us all thinking about our value and the gifts of others in a very different way. We all have something to contribute and to be thankful for, and the TimeBank nudges us to that awareness.”