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Washington Voices

Group starts time bank

Thu., Jan. 19, 2012

A group of Spokane residents is starting a time bank.

The idea behind a time bank is pretty simple: Members volunteer skills, and every hour volunteered counts as a deposit into the time bank; members may then withdraw a similar number of hours by getting help from other members.

“It involves no goods and no money so in many states it’s not taxable,” said Carrie Anderson, who is among the project leaders. She’s known to many as the Tree Lady because of her work to reforest Spokane.

The project began in West Central but is intended to cover all of Spokane, once things get up and running. About 45 people showed up to the group’s second meeting last week.

“We are still in the storming and forming part of the process,” Anderson said. “Right now, we need people who have experience working on boards and setting up associations.”

The Spokane Time Exchange Project is also looking for an umbrella 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and an office.

Bethany Haynie, a West Central resident, said she went to the first Time Exchange Project meeting in November because she wanted to learn more about it. Since then, she’s been doing research on other time banks and some of the software they use.

Haynie said the group behind is a major inspiration and has offered to share its software with the Spokane Time Exchange Project for free.

“You log on to the website, and the system tracks hours you deposit and receive on your account,” said Haynie, explaining that the bank also functions like a social network. “We have a huge collection of services already, like bread making, welding, clothing design, astronomy and tutoring.”

The Spokane Time Exchange Project may go online as early as May.

The group plans to have a booth at the 2012 Peace and Economic Justice Action Conference on Feb. 18 at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Spokane, at 4340 W. Fort George Wright Drive.

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