Time Dollar Congress 2000 Time Dollar Institute 2nd International Congress Washington University School of Law St. Louis, MO, U.S.A. June 9 - 11, 2000
On June 7th, I departed Ottawa at 11:00 a.m. by Voyageur Bus. The cost of my ticket was $110 CDN to Windsor. With a stop in Toronto, a 2 hour hold over then onto Windsor, another delay was just outside of Chatham, Ont. A serious accident involving 3 police cars and an 18 wheeler that had collided with the police cars was being cleaned up. The outcome of the accident was that one lady police officer was killed and 2 others injured seriously. The bus I was on was rerouted so that brought me into Windsor after midnight. John was there to meet me as arranged. We spent that night at some good friends in Windsor, Mr. and Mrs. Brisson. The Brissons son Michel who has a flat on top of their home generously offered it to us. Michel is the youngest of the 22 children they had, 15 still living.
The following morning we departed to St. Louis, MO., approximately 600 Miles. We drove through Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, St. Louis, Missouri. The total mileage from Ottawa to St. Louis would be over 1,000 MILES. We made it all the way to St. Louis and stopped on the outskirts to put down for the night. The following morning we found Washington University without problem and John had informed me the night before that I would be the one attending. We were running short on funding, this particular congress was $100 American to attend.
I made my way to the Anheuser Busch School of Law, Main Hall to register. My first contact right after registration was David Boyle from England. We were talking when Edgar Cahn went to the information table. I had never met Edgar personally but I had just been talking to David about him. I saw David felt a little awkward to continue with Edgar being right their within ear shot. I excused myself and went over then to Edgar and introduced myself. I explained I had travelled here with John Turmel, my partner from Ottawa, Canada. That we wanted to talk about UNILETS and that L.E.T.S. and Time Dollars are indeed the same thing and we should be ready to link the two. He agreed that we were all working towards the same end. He was very nice. Some tours had been arranged for the participants. They were to return and the Conference Welcome would take place at 5 p.m..
Dr. Rodney Wead, Grace Hill Neighbourhood Services kicked it off. Grace Hill was being honoured for their work and dedication in setting up a Time Dollar System. The Grace Hill Neighbourhood Project in St. Louis started up in 1991. Last year the 8,000 members generated 75,000 Time Dollars. That is 75,000 hours of local people exchanging much needed services with other local people. A new development is that the Time Dollars earned helping others can also be redeemed for essential goods such as cleaning products and disposable nappies.
Members can also earn Time Dollars by attending classes at the neighbourhood college. These are real rewards for real work strengthening both families and community. The outcome is a healthier, richer and more sustainable quality of life for all. Edgar Cahn did the presentation of a plaque to the organizers. Following the presentation David Boyle acted as Facilitator and an hour of Storytelling went on. Participants were invited to tell stories about their personal groups, it was very good and gave the audience a feel of good air.
Just prior to this session I had been talking with Tony Watkins (email@example.com ) who was busy setting up equipment to record the whole conference. I asked if he would be selling the videos and he said he was doing it for a private client. But as we talked more and more, I could see this intelligent young man was not just making a video but he too just loved this Time Dollar subject and knew it well. I told him about some of John's accomplishments and some the pain we had suffered to get to this point. He was awed by it all and asked if it was possible that John could do a 1/2 hour interview with him. I said he would be delighted as he could not afford to come into the conference it would give him something to do.
Saturday June 10
Opening Plenary Session "No More Throw Away People: Time Dollars, The International Perspective" 8:45 a.m. Opening Remarks by Edgar Cahn
The Moderator was to be Dr. Richard Rockefeller but unfortunately a death kept him away. So Martin Simon from England took over and Panelists were Masako Kubota, David Boyle and Ana Miyares.
Martin Simon talked a little on the Media. He said that people who are really down, the only thing the Media was doing for them was isolating them. He felt that if people watch T.V. enough and the news of killings, riots only made people want to stay inside. That it is imperative that Trust be developed with such people. TRUST was a key word.
David Boyle from England's New Economic Foundation was talking on FAIR SHARES. Fair Shares and the New Economic Foundation in London, U.K. have been the main promoters of Time Money in the UK over the past 2 years. The project began in 1998 and national interest in Fair Shares has grown rapidly and other groups have been advised on how to set up their own time money projects. The need for a national organization to provide information and training on time money has become evident, and with this in mind, along with the NEF, a bid to Home Office funding to do just that. NEF was pleased to announce the bid was successful and they have been awarded funding to set up a national Time Money Network.
A promotional Fair Shares video was shown. It paints a very clear picture of Fair Shares and features a wide range of people including Lord Falkner, the Bishop of Gloucester, and many others demonstrating their involvement with the system. Sam Simon the producer did an excellent job.
The UK Time Money Network will Host the 1st Annual "Time Bank Convention" on Saturday, June 24th, 2000. The guest speaker at the convention will be Ana Miyares from Friend to Friend in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. You will be totally inspired by this dynamic lady. More on Ana in a minute.
If you wish to learn more about Fair Shares and/or receive materials their address is: Fair Shares, City Works, Alfred St., Gloucester GL1 4DF, Tel: 01452 541337, Fax:01452 541352: firstname.lastname@example.org Website www.fairshares.org.uk.
Publicity is very important when launching new programs and Fair Shares has had their fair share of great articles. Two in particular:
<< Gloucestershire Echo, Wednesday July 7th,1999 by Jonathon Porritt. Jonathon Porritt is Director of Forum For The Future, which campaigns for solutions to today's environmental problems. He lives in Cheltenham.
Article Titled: Scheme offers us real value of time.
Time is precious. And so it is. But it really bugs me that most people who trot out this old axiom are using 'precious' to mean financially valuable. As if every waking hour of every day had a money value attached to it, with the hidden message that we should be using those hours simply to make more money. But time is precious for all sorts of different reasons, in terms of relationships, relaxation, exploration, recreation and so on. Of all the new organizations I have seen popping up over the past few years, none has a better sense of the true value of time than Fair Shares. Based in Gloucester (with schemes in Newent and Stonehouse and plans for several more), Fair Shares brings people together using time as local currency. People who join the scheme volunteer their time and skills, which earn them 'fair shares' from others in the scheme, a record of these credits is kept in the scheme's Time Bank and people then use their credits to 'buy' help from others as and when they need it. It's all based on a successful US programme called Time Dollars, which has been highly influential in helping to rebuild communities in American cities for nearly a decade. It provides an extremely simple way of allowing people to support each other without formal, bureaucratic organizations getting in the way, and acts as a powerful reinforcer of mutual solidarity and community cohesion. By rewarding things that have no formal money value in the market economy (caring, child-rearing, volunteering, doing favours, fixing, helping out, etc) such a scheme "rewards human kindness and decency as automatically as the conventional money system rewards competitiveness and greed". It sometimes seems as if society's sharing impulse' has been driven underground in this high pressure, materialistic world of ours. Huddled round our TV's or computers, we seem to spend less time together anyway, and attach less value to that indefinable quality of life derived from being part of a mutually supportive community. So Fair Shares sounds to me like the cavalry arriving in the nick of time.
The Observer May 21, 2000, Special Feature-Ethical Lifestyles by Andrew Bibby Article Title: Time regained-and with profit report on a 'bank' for good neighbours.
Forget the euro-people in South-east London are trading in a completely new currency. For the past few months, residents in the Catford area have been able to earn and spend 'time' building up credit balances (or overdrafts) in the 'time bank' held at the neighbourhood health centre. The idea comes from America, where time dollars have become a familiar concept in urban community regeneration schemes. But what may seem like the latest wacky import seems to be working well in SE6. Hyacinth Thomas, for example, built up several hours of credit in the time bank by visiting an elderly blind woman in her area. She has recently been able to spend some of these savings "I've got a lot of garden furniture, but the garden shed was leaky. I have used the time I'd got from chatting to the old lady to get the shed done. The time bank is a very, very good idea.' Another member of the scheme, Mary Millar,is a wheelchair-user who has been spending time money to arrange to be taken out of her house on trips. In exchange, she has been busy utilising her baking skills to produce traditional sponge and butterfly cakes. David Boyle, an associate of the New Economics Foundation and author of a recent book on alternative currencies, Funny Money, sees time banks as potentially fulfilling, an important role in rebuilding community life. There are about a dozen pioneering time banks in Britain, The Catford one is a joint initiative of the New Economics Foundation and the local Rushey Green group practice. The practice will be evaluating not only whether time bank members benefit economically, but also whether their health is helped. Hyacinth Thomas's example suggests that this may be the case. She admits that the death of her mother two years ago and the break-up of her marriage left her very depressed: "I used to sit at home, just wake up and watch TV all day. The time bank is what brought me out" she says. Her life now includes participating in an Afro-Caribbean women's performance group which visits schools and old people's homes. Hyacinth says: "Long ago, neighbours would do things for one another. The time bank is about bringing back a friendly neighbour attitude." While time banks can be run informally, Boyle recommends that groups use the manual and software developed by Edgar Cahn. >>
In a special convention edition news Time Dollar put out by the Time Dollar Institute: Tony Blair's words:
<< Article Title: Why time dollars won't be taxed in England.
British ministers have confirmed that time dollars earned at some of the 10 'time banks' that have sprung up in the UK since l998 will not be taxed. "We have taken steps to ensure that the Inland Revenue does not regard the benefits of time banks as taxable," the minister in charge of volunteering, Paul Boateng, told the House of Commons in London during a debate on time dollars. The understanding that time dollars are a social exchange, and not taxable, echoes a similar decision by the IRS in the USA. Boateng was responding to a debate in the British Parliament in Westminster brought by the Liberal Democrat MP Ed Davey, urging the government to back the idea with more support and to iron out welfare regulations that get in the way. Time Dollars are "a powerful currency," he said. Time banks are a good way to organize our individual time for the collective good to make our community a better place."
Time dollars have been backed by a report by the UK Cabinet Office about policy towards seniors, and the rhetoric of mutual volunteering has been used by the BBC and senior government ministers, launching a nationwide campaign called TimeBank-which has encouraged people so far to offer 345,000 hours of help in their local community. Tony Blair "As a nation we're rich in many things, but perhaps the greatest wealth lies in the talent, the character and idealism of the millions of people who make their communities work. Everyone-however rich or poor-has time to give...Let us give generously, in the two currencies of time and money." March 2nd, 2000.
The next speaker was Ana Miyares. Ana is an inspirational speaker and one of the key people in the American Time Dollar movement. She set up a very successful project in Miami and now spends much of her time traveling around the States helping and advising others on starting up projects. Ana introduced a video produced by Tony Watkins 'Friend to Friend' in Miami. Again, this was a wonderful video showing a community pulling itself out of the gutter. It showed the children working and earning in the community. Stuck at home moms contributing to a better life. The video was humorous and heartfelt. I got to talk with Ana the next day. I explained that L.E.T.S. and Time Dollars are one and the same. The only significant difference I found between the two were that people who had no immediate needs were able to bank them up with no pressure of spending. We talked about the teens that were leaving school but not yet prepared to enter the conventional work force. They want to take some time to themselves before starting their careers. When I mentioned to her about L.E.T.S. travel, the incentive that this group would get by earning Time Dollars and eventually being able to travel with them seemed to really delight her.
The last speaker was Masako Kubota from Japan. She brought to the Congress information on System of "Fureai Ticket" and the Nationwide spread. In Japan, now 321 groups of 1186 groups of residents who provide welfare service to elderly and disabilities at home" employ this system with some payment:
<< Forming a New Value Different from Market Value It is well known that there are various types of local currencies like Fureai Tickets in many countries: Time Dollar, LETS (Local Exchange Trading Systems) Volunteer bank, eco-money, etc. In such local currencies, these are formed by the "logic of love". >>
This system is expected to form a new value consisting of good relationship among people and this is very different from market value.
Masako also brought a video tape done in an area of Japan, where 40% of the population are over 65 years of age. The medium of exchange they used in this area was called DanDans. DanDans look just like poker chips. It is said that Japanese are not used to receiving free service from people they do not know. There are many elderly people who feel some repulsion for being served by the order of the government. Those people, who become eligible for welfare service as a result of uncontrollable circumstances, worry about how to show their gratitude to service providers. To avoid such a situation, the system of providing service knows that they are not doing this service just for the money. Thus, the system of time saving (or depositing) in stead of money was proposed. Through the courses of development, the system of "Fureai Ticket" with little payment was introduced. Again, this was an informative and delightful tape from Japan.
At this point a short break for 15 minutes.
11:30 a.m. Co-Production Audits: "A New Frontier in Social Change" Panelists: Edgar Cahn and new wife Christine Gray. Congratulations all around. This document which was passed out to all participants, describes: What is a Co-Production Audit? Module One Co-Production - The Bottom-Line Question... Forms of Engagement-The Tell-Tale Signs A Test: Four Core Indicators of Co-Production Module Two-Co-Production Core Value: Assets... Case Study- Question and Answer Format A Test: Five Core Indicators of Co-Production Asset-Based Approach Module Three-The Give-Away Question Set One: Immediate Impact Question Set Two: Broader Issues Module Four-Co-Production Core Value: Reciprocity Three Real World Examples of Reciprocity Present and Not Present From One-Way Transactions to Two-Way Transactions Distinguishing Two-Way Reciprocity from Social Reciprocity Time Dollars and Social Reciprocity Using Obligatory Contributions or Payback to Generate Reciprocity Walking the Talk A List of Resource Requirements for Co-Production A Test: Eight Core Indicators of Reciprocity Module Five-Getting to Reciprocity-Co-Production as a New Approach Dealing with Likely Objections to Co-Production Pitches for Co-Production Overcoming Resistance Working on the Inside to Embed Reciprocity in Agency Practice Working from the Outside-Competition of Dialectic
Edgar and Christine took us through this document step by step, unfortunately time did not allow us to complete it but it is all there for us now to use and learn. If anyone reading this would like a hard copy or information you can contact: The Time Dollar Institute, 5500- 39th Street N.W., Washington DC 20015 Tel: 202-686-5200, Fax: 202-537- 5033 email:email@example.com , http://www.Timedollar.org This document is well worth having and it will answer a lot of questions I am sure not only I had but many of you might have.
That concluded the morning session, we returned at 1:15 p.m. to continue, yes, it was an action packed day.
Afternoon session"No More Throw Away People: Time Dollars, The U.S. Perspective" Moderator Steve Plumer Panelists: Mashi Blech, Rita Epps, Auta Main, Betty Marver, and Calvin Pearce. Each one of these next bunch of speakers, brought amazing, feel good stories: Calvin Pearce, Volunteer Director, firstname.lastname@example.org and brother Curtis Pearce, Region Director, email@example.com . I had spoken with Curtis earlier on in the day and he told me about the program he was involved with. I was in complete awe of what had been done in 5 years. Their story: Time Dollar Cross-Age Peer Tutoring Program is an elementary after-school tutoring program that pairs older students with younger students. It is now being hailed as a showcase for the "10,000 Tutors Initiative" launched by CEO, Paul Vallas and his team, after taking over management of the Chicago Public Schools. Chicago Public Schools has funded time Dollar Tutoring for five straight years. Demands for the program have spread. The program started with five schools and has currently expanded to twenty-three. They have placed twenty-two hundred computers in disadvantaged households over the last four years. They focus on schools with a 90% free lunch program poverty rate. This will bring them to a total of 3,225 households with computers. These households might never have been able to purchase a home computer. Time in a school computer lab and visits to a community center is no match to compete with other children spending 3-4 hours a night on a home computer. Time Dollar Cross-Age Peer Tutoring is a part of the U.S. Department of Education Chicago Neighbourhood Learning Network Challenge Grant. See www.CNLN.net
<< Program Overview: 1. After School Tutoring 2. Time Dollar Service Credits 3. Children Take Computers Home 4. Child's Family Connected On-Line Tutoring runs 4 to 6 hours a week for 28 weeks. One hour in tutoring equals one time dollar. Children and parents earn 100 Time Dollars to purchase an IBM compatible computer donated to Time Dollar Institute loaded with New Deal Office software. (word processing, spread sheet, database, graphics, home finance, communications and web browser. The hard drives of donated computers are completely purged of information through the use of OnTrackDosUtils software. (comprehensive program that fully erases stored data): Both tutor/tutee and parents earn Time Dollars. Parents are required to participate 8 hours in the Program for their children to qualify for a computer. Parents earn 2 time dollars for attending a LSC meeting (Local School Council). Parents earn another 2 time dollars for attending a CAPS meeting. (Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy). Calvin explained you cannot imagine the wonderful feeling when they have a Computer Distribution Graduation Celebration. As a matter of fact one is coming up on June 17th at the Kennedy King College International Hall, 6800 South Wentworth Avenue, Chicago. One Thousand and twenty five children (1,025) will receive computers to take home. A day of celebration has been planed, games, goodies, key note speakers, Special Guests and Presentations. Bravo! Calvin and Curtis. Further inquiries can be made at Time Dollar Cross-Age Peer Tutoring, P.O. Box 436964, Chicago,Illinois 60643-6964. Phone 773-233- 4442 Fax 773-233-4124 www.timedollar.org >>
Mashi Blech, MA, Director of Community Services, 6323 Seventh Avenue, Brooklyn, New York ll220-4711, Tel: 718 921-7909, Fax:718-921- 7962 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org . Mashi brought Elderplan to the table. Some other ways volunteers assist "aging in place". Faith in Action taps into the charity of church volunteers. Churches create volunteer networks that serve elderly persons. Senior Companion Program, one of the oldest such programs, is run by the federal Corporation for National Service. This cuts down on the high cost of institutional care. Senior Companions of Decatur, Alabama estimates that its volunteers save taxpayers more than $2 million annually by keeping 60 seniors out of nursing homes. The $3,800 Time Dollars paid to each volunteer is less than a tenth of the cost of a year of nursing home care. Nationally, some l3,000 senior Companions serve 35,000 elders. That kind of math has led to a proposal, currently under consideration at the White House, to substantially expand the unheralded national service program. Elderplan is Seniors helping Seniors and again we were presented with many stories on how this program enhances seniors lives. I just loved it.
Auta Main, co-ordinator of the Maine Time Dollar Network gave us the history of how she got going. In 1994 Dr. Richard Rockefeller helped finance the setting up of Maine. She brought slides of the structuring and stories, social bartering building community. We are all volunteers and we are all recipients. (RECIPROCITY)
Each one of the speakers had great presentations. This is where I saw that in Brooklyn, one senior earned several thousand timedollar Hours over the years but had not been spending them into the community. She was stricken down and became a wheelchair-user and started to draw on a large store in time dollar bank to get services she most desperately needed.
From 3:45 to 7:00 p.m. a break then a number of rooms were set up with different subject titles you could choose from. At 7:00 p.m. Book Launch Party, goodies had been set out in the Student Commons/Lounge and this is where Edgar Cahn spoke to us about his book. He read special passages. Afterwards he presented us all with a book "No More Throw-Away People" ISBN 1-893520-02-1 plus an extra copy of his first, "Time Dollars," by Co-Founder of the National Legal Services Program Edgar Cahn, PH.D.,J.D. I was thrilled when I saw what he had written into my book, "To Pauline, Champion of another vision of what is possible. In Tribute, Edgar."
Sunday June 11, 2000
9:00 a.m. "What Next for Time Dollars? Moderator Edgar Cahn Panelists: Christine Gray, David Boyle and Steve Plumer. Edgar had agreed to let John speak during the Participant Remarks time.
We first had Ken Komoski (Co-founder of LINCT Coalition) he had written a Happy Blues song to celebrate the publication of Edgar Cahn's "No More Throw-Away People" book. Ken handed out copies of the song to everyone and then we all joined in the lyrics. It was a catchy tune and we had a lot of fun with it. One part of the song: "We can use time dollars for more than before, 'cause now there's a WEB-TIME-DOLLAR-STORE."
This leads me into IVERB (International Volunteer Equity Reserve Bank) President Sherry Lynn Weber, President, iverb.org, mailing address 5988 Mid Rivers Mall Dr., St. Charles, MO 63304, Telephone 636-926-3400, Fax 636-926-3978.
<<Article from Time Dollar News Article Title: Time dollar online shop opens on internet. How do we distribute refurbished computers and other goods to time dollar networks so that members can 'earn' them by helping out and building local trust? Answer: set up a bank-but a bank with a difference. Actually, it isn't really a bank at all, says project manager Sherry Lynn Weber, but it uses the same idea. The new international Volunteer Equity Reserve Bank, or IVERB, will bank donated products and goods and make them available to individual timedollar networks in return for time dollars. The system is going through its final tests and has already responded to a request from Grace Hill - the innovative St. Louis Time Dollar program - and provided them with six computers donated by MCI WorldCom. The website is already up and running-though it isn't finished - but it will shortly be available for time dollar programs all over the world. IVERB will work like this. Time dollar programs can go online to put in their requests - or mail or fax them if they want. IVERB will then provide them with what they need if they can, or approach corporate donors if they can't - and organize the paperwork for the donors so they can offset the donation against tax (TAX CREDIT). IVERB customers will include a range of non-profits, but also local community groups. They will have to pay an enrollment fee-either $200 or $500 a year depending on their size - and pay for shipping and handling costs, so that the organization can keep going. Time Dollar stores are already a familiar feature of St. Louis, places where time dollar earnings can be exchanged for emergency food or basic household necessities. >>
Personal note: All Food Banks, Snowsuit Fund, Thrift Shops would be an ideal start to enlist Time Dollars, all recipients should be ask to earn time dollars to use these facilities, in doing so it will give back dignity and integrate these people back gently into the community. They could have an account opened up when receiving their goods, they would be asked to earn their Time Dollars by working in such establishments or doing something within their own community. Arrange park cleaning groups, recycling, many ideas come to mind, these are just a couple of examples.
And last I have one more wonderful article from Time Dollar News. When doctors prescribe time.
<< Doctors in south east London have hit upon an alternative treatment for isolated people or people with mild depression-they refer them to their in-house time dollar project as an alternative to anti- depressants. The Rushey Green Time bank is the first time dollar project in a health center in Britain. It has already attracted more than 50 regular participants since it opened in the Rushey Green Group Practice, a health center serving one of the more deprived London suburbs. It also means that doctors can prescribe seniors a weekly visit or a lift to the shops just by writing them a note for the time bank. Rushey Green was set up by the New Economic Foundation with help from the King's Fund. It is the tenth time dollar project in England, set up only two years since Time Dollars Institute founder Edgar Cahn took his message to the UK for the first time. Participants earn time dollars for doing the jobs they love doing, from yardwork, escorting, befriending housebound people or phoning. "They are all work that money can't buy," says time bank co-ordinator Liz Hoare. "But they keep people in touch, trusting each other and - above all - keep them healthy. It puts neighbours in touch with each other and uses people's skills and imagination, building a broad network of neighbourhood support. The time bank has received widespread local publicity, especially since their launch with poetry and songs - all carried out in the doctor's waiting room while patients were waiting for appointments. They have also linked up with the local radio station FIRST LOVE to appeal for people to help in difficult requests. For more on this you can contact email@example.com >>
Organizers: Tina Thonnings-Peninsula, OH and Pat MacMaster - Norfolk, VA put together a beautiful Newsletter for this Congress. The theme of The Time Dollar Way was a Beatles song -
<< Help, I need Somebody Not Just Anybody. HELP! When I was so much younger than today, I never needed anybody's help in any way. And now my life has changed in Oh, so many ways..." >>
This was brilliant, thank-you Tina and Pat. I wish to thank all that organized and helped in pulling this Congress together, it was an inspiration to me personally.
Finally, John got to talk to the audience about UNILETS and asked for support in the United Nations Petition. He did a great presentation bringing out key topics of interest and Tony Watkins was on the video camera, and at one point a lady said "Oh isn't this wonderful" and I recall Tony turned to her and smiled. I have no doubt he thought so too.
And as always I would like to put down some inspired words for all you movers and shakers. I have chosen Nelson Mandela, Inaugural address @ yes the UNITED NATIONS, 1995.
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate; our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous. Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us...it is in everyone. And, as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
Think in terms of solutions not problems, problems are lessons we have to learn. God Bless, I may a second report later, but I felt this was especially important to get out immediately.
Videotapes of event available from Tony Watkins at firstname.lastname@example.org
Send a comment to John Turmel