Great tips for alternative gift-giving

For all of my adult life, I’ve been on a tight month-to-month budget.  Combine this with having a big family and an aversion to shopping, and you can see why the Christmas season always leaves me feeling pretty inadequate.  HOWEVER… all is not hopeless, even if I have very little money to spend!  I can still offer hand-made gifts, vouchers for my own services, AND vouchers for services that are being offered on the Austin Time Exchange Network!

Brandi of the AustinEcoNetwork has put together a truly fantastic article listing lots of great ideas and resources for environmentally-conscious holiday gift-giving.  Check it out!  Also, join ATEN today, and stay tuned (to your inbox) for when and where we will be getting together for a holiday service swap!


Next Orientation and Potluck…

Come find out what it’s all about!  Meet people who want to give their time and also need help with things!

Sunday,  June 12th : Orientation @ 4; Potluck @ 5

Soma Vida – 1210 Rosewood Ave. 78702

We will also soon be advertising the time and place of our next Open Board Meeting.  Stay tuned for more details…

December Gift Market and Orientation

Member Mary Kraemer is hosting a Holiday Market Gift Party at her home and garden on Saturday, December 11th, from 4 until dark.

At this event, you are invited to bring any and all vendor items such as crafts you make or sell, extra gifts you have around your home, or gift certificates for services you provide — sell or exchange your items and shop amongst the goodies for your loved ones.  This is an opportunity to use your Exchange Hours OR money to purchase beautiful things, so tell all your friends.  (You can come early if you have things to set up.)

At 4:45, we will hold a new member orientation, so you can actually join ATEN at this event!

Location is 2405 e 2nd St. — RSVP to or in the Forum.
Mary's backyard labyrinth!


P.S.  Here is another great piece about Time Banking…

A Great Time for Involvement

If you think you might have some time to volunteer for ATEN, this is a great time to step up.  Just as the squirrels are all busy gathering acorns before the cold winter comes, we can all be scurrying to warm up the human-powered engine of our organization!  Come out to the 2nd annual Harvest Soiree: Sunday, November 14th at 5pm, and stick around after for a volunteer meeting.  If you are not yet a member, you can come earlier, for an orientation at 4pm.  We will gather at our usual spot, Soma Vida (1210 Rosewood Ave. 78702).

Did you know that the time banking concept can be found all around the world?  Check out this great video from Wales:

Hope to see you soon!

Good reads + upcoming Events

As green leaves uncurl and grow big, so does A.T.E.N.!

Many new people have joined so far this year, and even more are expected at our next New Member Orientation on May 16th at 5pm. Don’t forget to regularly check out the “People” pages to see all the amazing human resources we have in our network and what they would like to give and receive.

There are whispers on the wind of a June Birthday / Fundraiser Party that is going to be a lot of fun.  Think dunking booths, raffle items, and a diverse musical line-up… think about participating!  Anyone who wants to attend the next planning meeting for this event should also come out on the 16th at 5pmNo soirée this month, just orientation and taking care of business; because next month we are going to fête it up!

(Location: Soma Vida 1210 Rosewood Ave. 78702)

Lastly, a link to an article that you may find informative and inspiring:

The transformation of community activism into economic activism and the revival of cooperatives in the U.S. by Bernard Marszalek.


The Austin Time Exchange Network (ATEN) is a local program that enables individuals to provide and receive skills and services within a network of people and organizations in Greater Austin. Similar to concepts expressed in bartering and alternative currency systems, this grassroots initiative lets members exchange labor and assistance without using the U.S. Dollar. Launched in April of 2006, ATEN currently has over 300 members and invites new participants to join by attending any of our upcoming introduction meetings.

ATEN values equality and compensates each of its members uniformly for the time and work they provide to others in the network. When an individual completes an hour of service for another member, they earn one Exchange Share, the unit of credit used within the network. All hours of service provided by members of ATEN are considered to be of equal value regardless of the type of skill offered in the exchange. The Exchange Share earned can be spent on receiving an hour of service from any other member of the network.

The Austin Time Exchange serves a significant purpose for Austin on several levels and in many areas of life. It is a common-sense, practical, and useful system that not only theorizes about the way communities should interact, but puts in place the methods and tools to make it happen. It provides an alternative means for its members to meet their everyday needs through promoting a complementary, local economic system. ATEN also creates a web of interaction and support that includes people from different areas and diverse backgrounds in its membership. The Austin Time Exchange has the promise to promote social change and encourage economic self-sufficiency through rebuilding a sense of community and opportunity in Greater Austin.

To learn more or become involved in the Austin Time Exchange, please attend an informational meeting.