To the editor:
I wonder how many people my age (in their 70s) know about a local resource called the Cape Ann TimeBank.
The TimeBank is a system for exchanging services based on donated time. An hour spent helping another person (whether as a lawyer or as a lawn mower), is kept in the bank so it is not direct barter. The TimeBank is growing a terrific sense of old-fashioned community here in Cape Ann, and I experienced the warmth and generosity of it recently.
When I moved to Gloucester two years ago, I wasn't sure how easy it would be to build a circle of friends and a support system which I yearned for as I got older. I joined the TimeBank hoping that I might find community there. This fall I was scheduled for an operation.
My family of origin lives in Philadelphia, so they were not going to be able to support me through my recuperation. My husband is older. Taking care of me on his own was going to be too much for him to handle.
Enter the Cape Ann TimeBank. A young TimeBanker named Caitlin Featherstone offered to coordinate the preparation and delivery of meals. For two weeks, delicious meals were delivered to my home. Because of the TimeBank I did not feel lonely; I felt concern and even affection and was fantastically well fed.
In return I have hosted a time bank event, and I have visited with another member for lunch. I plan to earn additional time dollars by working with the Leadership Team to help the TimeBank grow and develop.
If this sounds good to you, you can find out more about it at www.capeanntimebanks.org, or you can contact one of the coordinators, Cheryl Davis (firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-454-4682) or Jane Keddy (email@example.com or 978-281-5634).
It's hard to express the depth of gratitude I feel for this local circle of people who want to provide care and support for people like me. And it feels especially good not to be regarded as a passive recipient of this largesse, but to know that the resources that I have to offer are valued, even expected, in return.
The simplest things count, as they often do in life.
marY ann wenninger