Ask, and you shall (probably) receive

At today’s Hedgerow Theatre event, the subject of “requests” in the Timebank came up. A very good point was made;  people don’t seem to be asking for things (we have fully 1/2 the number of requests as we do offers.)  And the requests that are there seem not to ever be fulfilled. Let’s discuss this…

I’m going to take the latter part first.  People can, and often do, leave requests up even after they have been fulfilled for many reasons. Either it is an on-going situation OR the ad stays up to give the provider of the service the proper avenue to record hours (if the service is an ongoing thing.) It is true that some requests have been fulfilled and just not taken down yet, but many are on-going needs that people have. If you can give your time for a request, and find that it has been already fulfilled, don’t be disheartened! The system is working. People’s needs are being met.

The first issue is a little more complex. Why don’t people ask for more things within the Timebank? Surely every single one of our members has needs, right? This is a problem for MANY timebanks all over the country. People want to give their time to others, but feel sheepish asking for help. That is one part of this tough nut. There are other issues surrounding requests as well…people looking around at what is being offered as a service don’t see anyone to help them with, say, housecleaning, so they assume no one wants to do it and don’t ask. PLEASE, for everyone’s sake, don’t do that! Ask. Think of your needs and post them, even if they seem trivial or silly, out of line with offerings, or impossible to fulfill. Ask. You never know what someone has up their sleeve  and who can easily help you with your needed task. For instance, I have a crazy day on Tuesdays and often don’t get home until almost 7 pm. My family is trying to eat out less, so often on Tuesdays we don’t eat until 8 pm. That isn’t working for me. I put out a reqeust, which seemed kindof crazy at the time…”Cook my family a meal once a week…pretty please…”  And wouldn’t you know it, someone offered to do it for me. I give them the food, they cook and deliver it to me. I pay them timedollars. It will make dinnertime on Tuesday so much less complicated to have it delivered to us as we arrive home. Thank goodness for the Timebank. No one was offering professional chef services. I just took a chance and it panned out.

What do you need? Can you think of one or two things, and just put it into the database? You may be surprised at what you can accomplish with Timedollars.


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