project leader
Alice B
6900 McGraw
(Southwest Detroit)
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the project

Unity in Our Community TimeBank is a network of neighbors, local businesses, and community organizations that is creating a better world through relationships based on need and reciprocity, rather than profit.  A community of members who exchange services and skills without exchanging money, we were founded in 2009 to help strengthen neighborhood connections in our diverse Southwest Detroit community.

Since 2009 our 760 members have exchanged more than 28,000 hours of service, filling each other's needs from carpentry to rides to the doctor, pet sitting, housework, and more. TimeBanking allows people to access services they may not be able to afford, while also giving them a greater sense of the worth of their own time. The TimeBank acts as a matchmaker, bringing together those who have skills—or simply time—with those who need them. It records and honors the time spent doing traditionally unpaid work. When a member spends an hour doing something for someone in the community, s/he earns an hour that can be spent to take a class, attend a workshop, or have someone else perform a service for her. Our database/website lists the offers and requests that everyone is making and keeps track of hours. We also build social connections and solidarity through multicultural cooking classes, social events, and workshops.

Over the past 3 years we have grown a lot, thanks in large part to going from an all volunteer organization to having part time staff. Our paid coordinator helps us put on events, work on special projects, connect with other organizations, and broker exchanges. The unrestricted funding from this campaign will help us to pay our basic operating expenses, including a base level of staff time, so we can spend our time concentrating on connecting neighbors.

In our first year with a staff person we more than doubled the number of exchanges between members, increased the number of people receiving services by 96%, and increased the number of people providing services by 37%. The stability from this fundraiser can help us to accomplish similar goals in the next year.

the steps

This funding will allow us to keep our part time staff person and continue some of our most successful events over the next year. These include our Annual Skill Share Fair, fall trip to an apple orchard, 3-4 cooking classes in collaboration with Welcoming Michigan, monthly Family Game Night, and monthly Happy Hour.

We will also be able to work with other neighborhood organizations to bring the tool of TimeBanking to the work they are doing. 

Finally, we'll be connecting our members and facilitate service exchanges. Most important and time consuming is reaching out to members who may have difficulty using the TimeBank due to unfamiliarity or lack of access to technology, lack of transportation, language barriers, or other challenges.

why we're doing it

Too often when charities and non-profits try to address problems in our neighborhood they concentrate on what is lacking, this sets up toxic relationship where the people in our neighborhood are only seen as "takers" rather than valuable assets. TimeBanking addresses problems of poverty and disempowerment of marginalized communities by changing the conversation. As opposed to asking what is lacking in our communities we concentrate on what skills, talents, and resources are already present and how we can connect those assets to needs. Our money economy fails to value the important work of building community, establishing relationships, caring for children and seniors, and helping neighbors.


These will be unrestricted funds to help with basic operating expense for our TimeBank. The majority will go towards staff time to plan events, work with members to match their needs with other member's skills, do outreach to the community, and help with special projects.


Project Subtotal                           $10,000.00

ioby Platform fee:                               $35.00

ioby payment proceessing fee(3%)  $300.00

Project Total:                                $10,335.00  


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