This post is by guest blogger and CTX member Elaine Wagner
Chicago Time Exchange has proved useful and helpful on many levels over this surprising and challenging past year. Last October, I lost the capacity to drive my car, work at my job, and do many household tasks for two months due to an injury. In order to not burden friends and neighbors excessively during this time, I decided to sometimes ask for help within the CTX community, repaying people with some of my accumulated time dollars, many of which Jami Garton was generous enough to transfer to my account from my previous participation in another Time Bank several years ago.
I was hesitant at first to ask for help from CTX. Would people respond? If so, would they be gracious? Would they be resentful? My CTX experiences during this painful and problematic time were overwhelmingly positive. People responded out of kindness, generosity, and a sense of shared community with rides to the surgeon in Niles, shopping errands to Whole Foods and other stores, rides to my office in Edgewater, where I was able to catch up with some of my vast backlog of work, help bringing my car to the gas station, picking up mail at the post office, and more.
Today, I feel thankful to many people for the new kind of community I have experienced with CTX. And as if all the above were not enough, thanks to CTX, I now have several mended wool sweaters, and another one on the way.
I also have had the opportunity to share some of my skills, such as flower essence work and chi gong instruction with people who were interested in learning from me, and hope to share more skills and give more to CTX in the future.