Continuing our partnership with the awesome Austin Sustainable Swap, we will be returning to Hot Mama’s Cafe on Saturday, March 16th and giving an orientation at 1:30. SXSW madness will be in full effect, so party atmosphere may prevail as we network on the sidewalk and swap… We shall see! In the meantime, please check out their website.
In late March, rustle up some grub and bring it to the Austin Time Exchange Network’s potluck! Time and place t.b.d. (will be updated very soon).
If you need an early April orientation, we’ve got you covered there: First Sunday, 12:30pm, Vuka Coop.
**Sunday, Mar. 3rd; 12:30pm; @ Vuka Coop – 411 Monroe St. 78704
Attend an orientation and join the ranks of happy members such as these who are giving and receiving help in our network
“We teach 4 Citizen Gardener Courses each spring and each fall. We have 8 hours of hands-on instruction outdoors building and planting and learning. To make this flow smoothly and seem easy, a great deal of prep and gathering of materials is necessary – probably 10 – 20 hours. It’s a tough, extra-curricular job to get all of this done in the week before the class – along with regular work, home life, etc.. One can be exhausted and almost cranky by the 1st class day.
This past class, it dawned on me to use ATEN to help me out. [Elton/ATEN] came to my rescue. We did the heavy stuff together – 12 bags of soil, 8 bags of wood chips; building the bulky raised-beds. I spent 10 of my ATEN hours, did the work in less than half the usual time, and had a good, social time doing it. Gone was the drudgery of late night and isolated activity.
Thanks, ATEN. You are awesome. I’m going to ask your help in several other areas about which I’ve been procrastinating.” — Dick Pierce
“I really appreciate how versatile ATEN is! I’ve used it for everything from tutoring to building design and know I will continue to rely on it more for all the interesting things I want to know more about/be able to do, but am just not ready for DIY quite yet. Thanks for being here!”
The orientation this weekend (July 1st) will be at 1:15 inside Soma Vida. (Please see details in post below!)
Two weeks later, there will be another new member orientation at Soma Vida: Sunday, July 15th at 4pm, and it will be followed by a Potluck / Organizational Meeting for any and all members interested in planning efforts to expand ATEN’s services and effectiveness.
Hope to see you there!
P.S. — ATEN was recently mentioned in this blog. Cool beans!
*** NEXT NEW MEMBER ORIENTATION: SUNDAY, May 12TH, 2012*** 4PM sharp – 5pm) at SOMA VIDA – 1210 Rosewood Ave. 78702
This year holds some exciting opportunities for the Austin Time Exchange Network to grow and flourish, and it may be the right time for you to get involved!
Leadership Within the next 4 months, we would like to fill at least one seat on the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors is a consensus-based group and it’s purpose is to keep the organization focused on its mission, which is to “[provide] a complementary currency that enables members to build community through the exchange of services.” In addition, Board members are actively engaged in the various tasks of running the organization. Ideal candidates for the board will be active in the network and/or exquisitely suited to ATEN’s purpose, and have skills in one or more of these areas: public relations, event coordination, outreach, technology, grant-writing, or their own unique contribution.
Running and growing this organization requires help, which can roughly be divided up into these categories, or committees:
Recruiting – Talk up ATEN to your friends and associates, neighborhood or activity groups, to other organizations you’re a part of, to service providers you go to, etc. This could also involve disseminating literature (a.k.a. “fliers”).
Outreach/Organizational Liaising – To function at our top capacity, ATEN needs to have regular opportunities for many people to earn hours at once. This can be achieved through partnerships with organizations and projects which need lots of volunteers. Liaisons would help make those connections with the organizations needing help and organizing the opportunities to earn hours, as well as working with the org to plan how they can even out their ATEN balance.
Orientations – Learning to lead an orientation is pretty simple, and very needed! Just show up to an orientation to observe, then become empowered to activate new members. You could start a regular orientation in your part of town, or within another group you are a part of, etc.
Event organizing – Think up ways of rallying community spirit, or even just getting people together socially, all in the interest of encouraging exchanges… the sky’s the limit!
Content – Writing, researching and documenting are all skills that we are need of for blog and newsletter content. Let’s be a team!
Our membership is in the hundreds, but our organization is teeny-tiny… let’s work together to support ATEN’s growth. Contact the board members at email@example.com to get involved.
** (Next new member gathering: Sunday, March 11th – 4pm @ Soma Vida – 1210 Rosewood Ave.)**
Bridging the Gap
by Bill Crumley
When I was a youngster with a dollar bill I could get a school lunch, a haircut, a bus ride, and a candy bar. And I still had twenty cents left. Several persons have told me: “We were poor then but we didn’t know it. In terms of the amount of money they had, they were poor. In terms of their ability to obtain necessary goods and services they were not poor. That is the truth that “time banks” recognize. One of these “time banks” is the Austin Time Exchange Network (ATEN) in Austin, Texas. The stated goal of ATEN is “to serve as a bridge between people from different economic, social, and ethnic backgrounds by providing the opportunity for interaction through the exchanging of services. All of this aims to encourage systemic social change, economic equality, and community empowerment in Austin.”
The goal of ATEN is not to increase the money supply. The goal is to serve as a BRIDGE between people from different economic, social and ethnic backgrounds. The reason for building the bridge is not simply exchanging services. The Network is founded to help bring about social change. This change is to help create economic equality. The basic unit of exchange is a not a dollar which is a debt. The basic unit is an hour of service which is an asset, not a liability. Rather than a dollar which is created by a central bank, the hour of service is created in the local community by the members of the community. The members create their own currency. This greatly empowers the community.
ATEN and other “time banks” are possible because of rising costs and lower income. In addition to these obvious difficulties people were also aware that they were taking less care of one another. There was a breakdown of families and of neighborhoods. There was less personal contact. Truly they are more than barter networks. They are “time banks”. The time we invest in bettering ourselves and our community is the real wealth of any community.
It’s so exciting to be involved with the Austin Time Exchange Network at an administrative level because I get to see how many new people are joining all the time.
And what amazing people they are, too. I have to say that since I have been a member of ATEN, I have come to see the make-up of my adopted town in a whole new light. The talents and expertise all around me and the wealth of different perspectives residing in my fellow Austinites is truly astounding and inspiring.
Bring your own awesomely unique background and come meet some new people — folks who are aware that there is a kinder, fairer economy available to those who want it — at our next monthly gathering:
Sunday, July 10th : Orientation @ 4; Potluck @ 5 Soma Vida – 1210 Rosewood Ave. 78702