Fall Harvest Party

In the latest in a series of TimeBank Tales events, we recently hosted a Fall Harvest Party at the Red Morton Community Center in Redwood City. With the generous donation of this space from Redwood City Parks and Recreation, this event was intended not to only bring TimeBankers together, but also to celebrate our launch of the TimeBank service exchange program in the Redwood City community earlier this year. linkAges members, staff and volunteers all came together to enjoy an afternoon of seasonal food, crafts, games and fun in a festive atmosphere.

finger paintingTimeBank members Kent, Pauline and Wendy volunteered their time to demonstrate some of the arts and crafts they commonly offer as service exchanges to other members through linkAges.

Kent led participants through finger-painting and bottle art craft activities. It was quite striking to see the vibrant multicolored work people were able to create with their fingers– no brushes required! They say that there is a kid in all of us and this was apparent as members joyfully explored the tactile qualities of paint.

wendy pie demoWendy enthralled everyone with pie-making demonstrations, working the pastry expertly into perfectly- formed crusts and adding delicious fillings. Members absorbed every instruction, presumably anticipating opportunities to put the techniques to use in the upcoming holiday season.

 

flower demoPauline, a retired floral designer of 30 years, captivated the attention of several would-be-florists by assembling easy-to-make flower arrangements in mugs. You could see the delight as members created professional-looking arrangements quickly and with limited materials.

Under the watchful eye of game master and linkAges staffer, Dominic, guests tried their hand at ring-tossing and pumpkin-bowling. Under Dominic’s tutelage, members honed their hand-to-eye coordination to Olympic standards. Well, to TimeBank Tales standards at least.

Members contributed a lavish array of seasonal treats that included turkey, pies, salads, dips, cakes, vegetarian options and more. Few times of the year can match the fall for eating well, and eat well we did! There is also something to be said about eating a meal together. One of the earliest linkAges members, Clea Holdridge, captured this perfectly in our What Members are Saying video, “You cook a good meal and it’s fine…but if you share with it with somebody, it’s another feeling altogether.”

Want to get a glimpse of the fun? See the short Fall Harvest Party video here.

The TimeBank Tales program was created to promote community spirit, and to bring members together to enjoy activities and share stories about service exchanges and life in general. We try to select a variety of events that appeal to the program’s diverse membership. In the past we have featured Yoga, Bhangra Dance, Tai Chi and Pilates to name a few. For a list of upcoming linkAges events, please visit our website at https://timebank.linkages.org.

Making new friendships through TimeBanking

In June, linkAges TimeBank members welcomed the start of summer with a potluck hosted by one of their fellow members, Wendy.

Wendy is a retired home economics teacher who lives in Mountain View with her dog, Amber. Nowadays, she enjoys golfing, playing bridge, travelling and making new friends through the TimeBank. In fact, one of the main reasons why the TimeBank appealed to her was the opportunity to meet new people and exchange skills.

“I first heard about the linkAges TimeBank at El Camino YMCA, and I thought it was a great idea and a wonderful way to meet other people,” said Wendy. “I have a lot of skills that I like sharing with others, so [joining the TimeBank] seemed like a good way to do this.”

Wendy at red rock orientation
Wendy at her linkAges TimeBank orientation

Since she joined the TimeBank in fall 2014, Wendy has had many opportunities to forge new friendships.

Through the TimeBank website, Wendy met her first exchange partner, Gloria, and the two discovered that they were actually neighbors. During their exchange, Gloria helped clean out Wendy’s gutters and even offered to properly dispose of Wendy’s hazardous paint materials. In this same exchange, Wendy taught Gloria how to make a perfect pie crust, which is a recipe that Gloria still makes for her husband today.

More recently, Wendy connected with another member, Sidney, who had just moved to Mountain View from Taiwan with her father and sister. Wendy gives rides to Sidney’s father, who is taking ESL classes at a school nearby, and even offered to practice English with him. Wendy was also able to share one of her passions with Sidney and her father: playing bridge.

Besides doing service exchanges, Wendy enjoys connecting with other others at our monthly TimeBank Tales events. She has “caroled for a cause” at El Camino Hospital and brought her dog Amber along for a puppy playdate with other pet-lovers on the TimeBank.

Among her favorite event so far have been the technology days for older adults. As a new iPad owner, Wendy appreciated the opportunity to learn the tips and tricks of using a tablet from younger, tech-saavy TimeBank members and high school volunteers who were eager to share their knowledge with others.

“I take iPad classes at the Apple Store and the Mountain View Senior Center, but sometimes they go too fast for me. I learn all this stuff, and then I forget it,” Wendy said. “Although my technology skills are still limited, I really appreciated how patient the [volunteers] were at these tech events.”

Wendy receiving tech help from TimeBank member, Mark
Wendy receiving tech help from TimeBank member, Mark

After a year of exchanging and engaging as a member, Wendy wanted to give back to the TimeBank community by hosting a potluck at her home.

“I really enjoy having people over,” said Wendy, “I love potlucks because you get to eat so many different things. I always encourage potlucks with my friends because they’re so much fun and an easy way to entertain.”

Over 25 TimeBank members and their family and friends came to the event in June. One member also brought their dog over to keep Amber company! Guests sipped on fresh strawberry lemonade and sangria as they helped themselves to a delicious spread that included chow fun, zesty quinoa salad, vegan avocado potato salad, queso, chili, crustless artichoke quiche, and more.

Wendy and her canine companion, Amber
Wendy and Amber, her canine companion, hosting a member potluck at their home

Wendy’s favorite part of the potluck was seeing old friends, like Sidney, and meeting new friends who are now potential exchange partners.

“I made lots of new connections at the potluck,” said Wendy. “I even got a card from one of the ladies thanking me for having everyone over,”

For additional event photos, check out our Facebook page.

linkAges TimeBank celebrates launch in City of Palo Alto

On June 18, approximately twenty-five linkAges TimeBank members and local residents came together at Bol Park to celebrate the launch of linkAges TimeBank in Palo Alto. In addition to a festive summer picnic, fun and games, guests enjoyed visits by stuffed donkey and city goodwill ambassador Palo Alto Perry, and the real Barron Park Donkeys, Pericles (Perry) and Niner.

generations

This event was a great opportunity for Palo Alto residents to meet current TimeBank members and learn more about the linkAges TimeBank, while enjoying the great weather and beautiful location.

Since its city launch in March, more than 75 people in Palo Alto have signed up for the TimeBank, either independently or through organization partners, such as Beth Am, Palo Alto YMCA, and the City of Palo Alto Utilities Department and Zero Waste Departments. Local TimeBank members shared their experiences with guests and made new social connections by playing a get-to-know you bingo game and posing for photos with our donkey friends.

We are planning launch parties for all of the new communities in which we deploy the TimeBank. It’s our way of welcoming new members and showing appreciation for the residents of the diverse cities which make up the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. Be sure to check the linkAges TimeBank website, Facebook and Twitter pages for updates about launch parties in your area.

You can find more photos from the event on our Facebook page.

Spring into Summer Cooking Cafe Event

“You cook a good meal, and it’s fine. You eat by yourself, and it’s fine. But if you share it with somebody, it’s another feeling altogether.” – Clea Holdridge, TimeBank Member

Cooking-related offers and requests remain highly popular on the linkAges TimeBank, so we wanted to host an event that brought people together around a mutual love for food. Nearly 100 TimeBank members and community members gathered at the Historic Adobe Building in Mountain View on April 28 for our “Spring into Summer” Cooking Cafe. The event was a wonderful opportunity for people to connect with their neighbors and meet fellow foodies as they learned and sampled summer-inspired recipes from seven TimeBank chefs.

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TimeBank chefs were invited to share a beloved recipe that had meaning to them, either because it was a family recipe or a dish they had learned from their travels abroad.There were two rounds of cooking demos and each demo was 30 minutes long.

Cooking demos featured the following homemade recipes:

Greek Stuffed Grape Leaves (also called dolmades or dolmathakia) from Chef Pat Blumenthal

Pat, an avid traveler and foodie, has visited Greece many times and even offers Greek travel advice on the TimeBank!

Strawberry-Banana Kefir Smoothies from Chef Judith Kondo

Guests enjoyed kefir, a fermented drink with many health benefits, in the form a healthy strawberry-banana smoothie. In addition to her TimeBank offer on how to make kefir smoothies, Judith also offers help on urban beekeeping.

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Adzuki-Beet and Lentil-Pecan Pates from Chef Patty Evans

Patty was inspired to share these pate recipes by her recent “Holistic Holiday at Sea” cruise, which was a weeklong trip that consisted of talks and cooking classes led by world experts on whole foods plant-based diets.

Chinese Chicken Salad with Peanut Sauce Dressing from Chef Stacey Urauchi

Stacey, another linkAges advocate, shares this refreshing salad that she learned from her mom. The peanut sauce dressing adds a unique flavor thanks to its secret ingredient: ramen seasoning!

IMG_3240Shanghai Style Wonton Soup from Chef Stefanie Kong

Stefanie is one of our linkAges advocates and enlisted the help of her mom for the demo. In fact, her mother was the one who taught her this wonton soup recipe. Fun fact: To prep for her demonstration, Stefanie and her mom made nearly 400 wontons!

Sizzlin’ Fajitas with homemade Honduran Salsa from Chef Libby Boatwright

Libby learned how to make Honduran salsa from villages in Bella Vista, Honduras where she served as a missionary. She describes her salsa as healthy and full of Vitamin C and veggies. Sabroso y rico, indeed!

Cajun Deviled Eggs from Chef Erica Gibson

Growing up in Louisiana, Erica has developed a deep appreciation for cajun and creole dishes. She was more than happy to share this family recipe with guests, who enjoyed listening to her stories as she demonstrated.

After the demos ended, attendees helped themselves to an assortment of dishes from the community buffet table. TimeBank chefs made extra portions to share so that all attendees – even those who were unable to attend their demo – could try their dish.

cheers

In the true spirit of timebanking, guests were given mini cookbooks (featuring all the recipes from the event) to take home, so they could practice the skills they learned and try these recipes on their own!

For more Cooking Cafe photos, please check out our Facebook page.

TimeBank Tales: Let the Games Begin!

Members during an intense game of Scotland Yard.
Members during an intense game of Scotland Yard.

For our March TimeBank Tales event, we recently hosted a board game night at Sunnyvale Art Gallery & Cafe.

TimeBank members engaged in some friendly competition as they faced off against each other in various board games. From timeless classics like Clue, Scrabble and Racko to more obscure favorites like Hey, That’s My Fish! and Scotland Yard, there was something for everyone.

pick a card

Throughout the evening, members formed connections as they bonded over their favorite board games and taught each other how to play. It was a friendly and positive group, encouraging each other along the way.

The inspiration for this particular TimeBank Tales came from TimeBank member Ruby, who has shared her love of “Euro-Style” board games with others in her community through the linkAges TimeBank.

Games have become a popular exchange with many of the linkAges TimeBank members. For Ruby and others, these board games serve as “brain exercise.”  It’s a great way to develop new connections, relieve some stress, stimulate the brain, and engage with other members who are looking for some company – all great for your health and well being!

For more event photos, check out our Facebook page.

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A great ending to a good game.

TimeBank Tales reflect the monthly events where TimeBank members and guests from the community come together to share stories, laugh, learn and have fun. With the generous help of community partners, these diverse events help promote neighborly connections and shared interests.

 

 

Caroling for a Cause

caroling at ECH
Carolers are warmed up and ready to go! (Photo courtesy of El Camino Hospital)

More than 25 linkAges TimeBank members and their families and friends brought holiday cheer to patients and staff at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View during our Caroling for a Cause on December 10. The caroling group visited hospital hallways to sing popular holiday favorites and hand out peppermint treats to hospital staff. A few patients even invited carolers into their rooms for a special performance.

Members enjoyed a holiday potluck after caroling
Members enjoyed a holiday potluck after caroling

The group ended the night with a festive feast at the home of fellow TimeBank member Libby B. Members shared holiday stories over a delicious spread which included spinach souffle pies, quesadillas, turkey meatballs, holiday cookies, hot chocolate and hot cider.

This event was also special because for each person who participated, our team donated one hour to the linkAges TimeBank Community Fund. Community Fund hours go directly towards supporting members with additional needs, such as a member who is recovering from a surgery or a fall.

In total, carolers and their friends and families contributed nearly 30 hours to the Community Fund.

30 TimeBank hours were donated to the Community Fund – a gift that keeps on giving

Thank you to our hosts and to everyone who brought their singing voices and holiday spirit to the event.

View more caroling event photos on the linkAges TimeBank Facebook page.

TimeBank Tales reflect the monthly events where TimeBank members and guests from the community come together to share stories, laugh, learn and have fun. With the generous help of community partners, these diverse events help promote neighborly connections and shared interests.

A linkAges TimeBank Thanksgiving

TimeBank Tales reflect the monthly events where TimeBank members and guests from the community come together to share stories, laugh, learn and have fun. With the generous help of community partners, these diverse events help promote neighborly connections and shared interests.

In November, more than 20 of our linkAges TimeBank members and their family and friends, gathered to share a meal together during the week before Thanksgiving. The engaging conversation, laughter and joy of a shared meal reminded all of us how the TimeBank can bring people together in a meaningful way. Continue reading