• Unique time exchange in Austin (in Chicago)

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Time Exchange Project

It's About Time!
A New Chicago West Side 

The Time Exchange Project offers a simple approach to solving the big problems of our time (like crime and jobs disappearing). Big problems that stem from lack of money and social isolation.

How can we solve these problems? By using a second currency that is based on TIME.
Time exchanges offers meaningful work in which people help one another. While they don’t offer traditional jobs paid in dollars, they do offer countless opportunities for people to serve and be served, to learn and to teach, to repair and produce, and to care for one another.  (While jobs paid in dollars are being automated, outsourced, and becoming ever-harder to find, people need each other more than ever in the face of our turbulent times and growing inequality.)
Simply put, time exchanges are a matchmaking tool that brings together people who need each other.
A time exchange has the blessings of "Pay-It-Forward” and is used among members of an organization like a church. And it has the accountability of a credit card.  When I help you for an hour, I credit my account that hour and debit yours.  I can spend the hour I earned by asking someone for help. You can clear the hour you owe by helping someone.
Churches, not-for-profits, and other organizations can use these time exchanges wherever needed.  Examples: 
  • Run programs
  • Raise funds and expand your base of support (asking for hours and/or dollars)
  • Strengthen applications for grants and public dollars (eg, dollars received can be used to stimulate time exchanges)
Here are four vital areas where they can transform our community —
1. Food. People are growing gardens — planting seeds, watering, weeding, and harvesting fresh food. They’re canning, cooking, serving, and cleaning. In winter, you see plants growing in windows.
2. Tramsportation. New ways of getting around and services are appearing — bicycle taxies, church buses and vans, and Jitneys (that follow a rough service route).  Bicycles and cars are repaired and shared. Uber-like apps appear.
People are able to get to food sources outside their neighborhood, eg, vans bring people to Costco to buy food for themselves and/or others.
3. Learning & teaching. Folks teach each other — one-on-one and in groups. Sample topics are:
  • Healthcare (blood pressure, home remedies, homeopathy, nutrition, growing food)
  • Safety & security
  • Computers
  • Leadership (organizing, planning, passing on wisdom)
  • Traditional skills (sewing, cooking, fixing, story-telling)
  • Caring (for oneself & one’s things, and for neighbors and community)
4. Distribution of essential stuff. Eg, food, clothing, over-the-counter medical supplies, household items, and heaters.
Exchanges can be facilitated in our online Chicago West Side Marketplace & Time Exchange where time transactions can be recorded and free ads placed. 

Bring time exchanges to your church or organization.
It's free and makes us less dependent on scarce dollars.

JOIN the Time Exchange Project


Need more info? –



Date / Memo Hrs Credited (+) / Hrs Debited (-) Balance

JoAnne Willis
3-19-21, 11:42am
Preparation for meeting on 3/19/21
+1:00 -10:30

Steve Robinson
2-2-21, 10:02pm
Focus group discussion
-2:00 -11:30

Steve Robinson
7-3-20, 10:25am
June 2020 For TEC analysts and support with Barry
-9:18 -9:30

Many of our big problems - locally & nationally - are caused by money. Eg, poverty, jobs disappearing, environment, and growing inequality.  

Money is also a simple, pragmatic solution, but a new (and ancient) money based on time.  

Here's how it works.  When I help you for an hour, I credit my account for that hour and debit yours.  The hour I just earned helping you I can spend by asking someone to help me.  The hour you owe you can clear by helping someone.

We are organizing time exchanges within churches, not-for-profits, and...

Friday, September 22, 2017 - 9:53pm

Jobs disappearing and crime have ravaged Chicago’s West Side. Lack of money is a key cause of the devastation.

By funding programs (like tutoring, sports, and providing meals), time exchanges offer a simple yet profound way to solve urgent problems and revitalize...

Wednesday, May 31, 2017 - 11:11pm

Watch the video to see a detailed description of how timebanking was used with remarkable results in a neighborhood where a Black gang and an Hispanic gang were at each other's throats.  See 12-minute segment: 32:50 to 44:55. 

Friday, March 17, 2017 - 5:59pm
Time Exchange Project - a simple solution to solving the big problems our communities face
Tuesday, March 1, 2016 - 12:00am

Please join us at our 2nd Annual INDOOR Holiday Impromptu Tennis PartySat., Dec. 19th, 5:00 to 8:00 pm

  • Membership at the tennis club is not required and you are welcome to bring guests. 
  • $15/person for two hours of tennis + pizza time.
  • Location: Tennis & Fitness Center, 301 Lake St (at Ridgeland), Oak Park. (708) 386-2175.

We’ll have round robins where everyone plays everyone else. 

If you like, you can also play pickleball.  You can rent the...

Saturday, December 5, 2015 - 4:22pm

They were warm summer days In the Austin neighborhood of the Chicago west side.

Circle Urban Ministries' Afterschool program wanted to introduce tennis to 14 of their kids.

Rather than scarce dollars, we used time exchange.  Each parent or guardian "paid" 2 hours of time for their child to participate in the program. 14 children times 2 hours...

Wednesday, October 21, 2015 - 1:02am

Welcome to the amazing world of time exchanges (or TimeBanking).  Here are the five core principles and some guidelines for time exchanges.

Monday, May 4, 2015 - 5:20pm

“Try it, you’ll like it! “ Develop strategies to increase the use of TimeBanking:  It’s time for us to use the many wonderful assets of all residents, increasing sharing of unmet needs and unused resources.  A time bank can help us do that.  

A time bank is a tool that matches individuals who have something to share (which is everyone) with individuals and organizations that have needs. 

Join us to explore the assets and needs in OPRF that can be matched through TimeBanking and encourage residents to try it.


Saturday, April 25, 2015 - 2:35pm