By Jeanette Origel
A group of residents from Jamaica Plain and neighboring parts of the city gathered at First Church on Eliot Street Thursday, January 15, to launch the JP Time Exchange.
In a Time Exchange, members share skills and provide services for each other in exchange for time. These services range from, but are not limited to cooking, gardening, carpentry, pet care, and much more. When you provide an hour of service, you are credited with one “Time Hour” in your online account. You can use that Hour for services you need or want, that other members are offering.
Experienced Time Exchangers joined us for the launch, but for those who may have never heard of it before, JP NET staff provided them with a skit showing what a time exchange is and how to make their first encounters go a lot smoother with their neighbors.
They acted out a real life situation for the audience; from the first encounter online, to meeting in person for the first time to go over what they would like to get out of the Exchange. The audience then gave their feedback and were able to ask questions.
The remainder of the evening, neighbors were able to share their needs, gifts, and wants with one another, giving everyone a better idea of what each person has to offer to the local Time Exchange community. This also allowed residents to meet people from their community as well as others near by.
“We’re in a new house and there’s lots of painting and fixing,” said Mary Harman. “[My husband] is a fixer, so it is really obvious to us that there’s stuff to share. I think it will be great!”
The night ended on a great note, introducing everyone to the site and taking them step by step through the online sign-up process. Experienced Time Exchangers contributed to helping new members better understand how it all works.
“I’m pretty excited. I think it’s cool that all of the skills have equal value,” said Jessica Petriello. “It’s kind of ‘I need help with this, this person needs help with that, now let’s work together.”
Those taking part in the JP Time Exchange can look forward to many new interactions and skills. Among the offered services were: web and graphic designing, mentoring, financial advising, and tutoring for kids. Medical professionals among the group even offered to accompany people to dentist and doctor appointments and contribute their knowledge and support “as patient advocates.”
Taking part in the JP Time Exchange means saving money on these services, gaining new skills and meeting neighbors.
To read more and join the JP Time Exchange, visit http://jptransition.org/time-exchange.