Northern Nevada Neighbor Network

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Ana Daksina is an artist on the Central and Downtown Reno Neighborhood Councils. She tried out the N4 community village to learn more about the group and share her experience with Reno Sparks Neighborhoods. Neighbor Network of Northern Nevada uses time banking to manage a barter system between members. They created a unique opportunity to connect with your neighbors and live life in community. As they grow, we hope to have more members in common to further integrate all the beautiful volunteers within our region. In addition to the traditional nonprofit mission within their organization, they rely on one another to increase each member's quality of life.

N4 Time Bank Evaluation for Reno Neighborhood Network

By: Neighborhood Identity Artist, Ana Daksina 

In a societal context in which one man can quite commonly meet the eye of another and declare with the impunity born of full cultural sanction that the value of his own time is fifty times greater than the time of that other, it must be clear to any thinking and feeling person that in the light of evolving human understanding the economic imbalances of that culture require reevaluation and realignment.

Rather than moving in the direction of redress in this arena, a swiftly increasing avalanche of statistics indicates that entrenched authority is hurrying us in its opposite.

It's up to us.

However, we no longer have free enterprise to work with, and haven't for a long time now. Our first generation of corporate robber barons, astonishingly many of whom came up via beginnings as tramp shoestring salesmen, made the pricing of this path in fees, licenses, taxes and legally mandated expense far out of the range of the truly common man a primary order of business upon accession to sufficient power to do so.

What we have now instead I like to call "expensive enterprise", with the fee for a single one of these requirements totalling a sum hundreds or thousands of times greater than the entire startup budget of those original shoestring enterprises -- which, historically, as often as not stretched to all of one set, the sale of which financed the next until two could be bought together, and so on.

What to do?

Enter the global village and time bank movements. In Reno, that means N4 - the Neighbor Network of Northern Nevada - and its personable, enthusiastic, inspired and inspiring head, Amy Dewitt-Smith.

In this network, if you currently are making ends meet at an income anywhere below double the nation's poverty level your annual dues are paid in full by the time bank itself.

In this network you are given the dignity of trust to provide that information accurately. Documentation is neither necessary or requested.

In this network, your hour spent assisting your fellowman to unclog his toilet or fix his cabinets is worth exactly one hour of any other service in trade, from grantwriting to petsitting.

In this network, cheerful accommodation is made for any and every challenge an applicant faces. Not online? They'll do the data entry for you. Trouble with understanding how it works? There are tutors and helpers available. Need a ride, but down on trade hours? There's a ride service built into the volunteer program.

Don't know what you have to offer? They're absolutely sure that you're very good at something, and they have a whole asset-based evaluation system in place to help find it. Eligible for public services but not aware of it? They've been busy developing liaisons within that system, and are ready with referral information with regard to it.

In this network, they start you off from the plate with a balance of two hours to your credit -- on the stated assumption that you will find a way to gift those two hours back into the network somewhere at some time.

I simply can't express my appreciation and enthusiasm for this effort enough to really do it justice. You're just going to have to experience it for yourself.

Right now, N4 is just getting off the ground. It's still tiny -- 20 members counting myself -- hence, the range of services offered, for instance, is yet very limited. Web presence has not been established, nor does the site itself yet do the organization justice.

That's why they need you -- especially if you are a humane person of quality -- along with others just like you.

Portland's time bank, for instance, is now 2000 members strong, and by this has been enabled to put its annual membership fee entirely on a donation basis. So it does.

Everything about this movement speaks to me of human dignity, worth, equality and freedom -- the principles on which after all our nation was founded -- and everything about Reno's coordinator speaks of enthusiasm, initiative and ability.

So, do you want to become a member?

Oh, yes.

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About the Author

Reno Sparks Neighborhoods consists of volunteers who team up with other groups in person and use the cloud to collaborate on community building projects.

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