Welcome Betsy and Sharon!

NQTB warmly welcomes our two new coordinators, Betsy and Sharon!

Betsy Ames is a resident of Wendell, "a vibrant community" that she "looks forward to getting to know better." Her background includes fundraising, theater, and assistance to elders with disabilities.

Betsy avidly follows the global economic crisis, which she believes is an ongoing issue for our times and the future. She is passionate about finding alternative economic systems and organizing at the local community level. Organic gardening and collecting rainwater are some of her most recent steps towards energy independence and sustainability.

The new Time Bank coordinator closely follows Chris Martenson's blog. She encourages others to check it out. "Martenon provides a behind-the-scenes view of the economy, particularly how the economic future--the next 20 years--may well be far different than the last 20."

What excites Betsy most about working for the Time Bank? "Creating a sustainable, widely used alternative currency for our region," she answers immediately. She sees bringing new organizational members on board, finding ways to trade Time Dollars for tangible goods like food, and earning and spending Time Dollars herself, as key steps to attain this goal.

For her offer: "I love eBay and I'd like to teach people how to buy and sell." And what will she request? "Help building a yurt!"

Also from Wendell is Sharon Wachsler, whose coordinator role will focus on the communications aspects of the Time Bank, from editing and writing content for this website to launching a monthly NQ Time Bank newsletter.

"I'd really love a fun, evocative name for our newsletter to kick things off," Sharon muses. "If any member wants to write for the Time Bank or has an idea for a title that screams, 'Read Me!' they should definitely send me an email."

Sharon's background includes providing information and referral to people with disabilities, teaching self defense, and editing a literary journal. But her passion is dog training, especially clicker training, which she's used to train her own service dogs. "Clicker challenges both the trainer and learner to be creative. It's the most fun you can have with a handful of liver," she jokes.

Sharon hopes to spread the joy of clicker training with her trades. What would she like to do with the Time Dollars she earns? "I'm behind the times with Twitter, Flickr, and MySpace. I need a social networking tutor."

Sharon loves the community-oriented nature of NQ Time Bank. "Being disabled can be extremely isolating. The Time Bank breaks that isolation."

Her disability-rights background also colors her perspective on the Time Bank: "Time swaps as alternative forms of currency can be really valuable to people with disabilities, many of whom are very low income. We have a lot to offer, but it's not always something there's an obvious market for." On the flip side, many people with disabilities need assistance with chores around the house or yard that others might take for granted. That's why Sharon will be working on making the Time Bank more accessible to members with disabilities. "I just think the Time Bank has so much to offer. I want everyone to be able to take part!"