Going to local markets is often the place where the best produce and handcrafted goods can be purchased. You can spend the day out in the sunshine trying delicious, fresh foods and peruse hand-crafted jewelry, art and soaps. One minute I taste spicy Ethiopian, washing it down with a fresh smoothie and the next a delicious French crepe with a hot latte. There is so much variety in one place, but good food and good soap are not the only reasons to visit your local markets. It’s also a great way to get involved in your community.
Tampa Bay Time has a booth at the Saturday Morning Market in St. Petersburg. Their mantra is, “Connecting untapped resources with unmet needs.” Tampa Bay Time is essentially a bank that logs service hours rather than money. For example, I can offer two hours of math tutoring in exchange for my lawn being mowed. My tutoring can be logged in the bank so that any member of my community in need of this service can look into the bank and offer an exchange. Everything is done using an hour of service as the unit of measurement.
This group brings the community together to find fellowship by sharing their personal skills. For many people, this is an opportunity to get the services they need even if they are restricted by their finances. This idea highlights the unique abilities of individuals and allows them to share that within their community; everyone has value.
On their flyer, they write, “We extend trust, reciprocity across economics, ethnic and linguistic lines, in the process creating a local economy of abundance. The more we participate, the more wealth our community has.”
The flyer also states that, “Tampa bay Time is a member of Time Banks USA, an international network that is flourishing in 22 countries across 6 continents.”
The group is founded on five values: assets, redefining work, reciprocity, social networks, and respect. By getting involved in the Tampa Bay Time Bank, you are also reinforcing the idea that every member of society can be a valuable one.
If you would like to get involved in the Tampa Bay Time Bank, the link to their website is here.
Here is the calendar for their Upcoming Events.
There are other booths like these at the market. Booths and tents that are there to get the market goers involved in their local community. It is important to buy locally and it is also important to get involved.
Next time you come out to enjoy your fresh empanada, make sure you take a look around some of the other tents. Most markets also allow nonprofit organizations to represent themselves there. There are often animals there from local shelters, birds from rescue and conservation sites and opportunities to get involved in charitable functions. It’s worth taking look at.