gHood Timebank History
For those that don’t know me, my name is Tammy Maloney and I served as President of the Tuxedo Park Community Association from 2013 – 2016. When I got involved with the community association in 2011 as a volunteer at events, I never had any intention of becoming President. But when I ran into Shannon, the current GM, on the bus that fateful day in 2013 and learned they couldn’t find anyone else to step up, I became excited by the opportunity it represented for me to increase the impact of the work I was already doing to bring people together to make our city a better place.
My excitement got the best of me, I leapt before I looked, and I soon discovered we seemingly had no money, no paid staff, our accounting was three years behind and we were in danger of having our Casino License revoked and not having our License of Occupation with the City of Calgary renewed. All of this meant that the majority of my time was spent running the business of a community association and not on my passion for creating stronger relationships between neighbours.
On the bright side 😊 I was able to do a few events that filled my heart with joy.
The first was held on the inaugural Neighbour Day, June 21, 2014. It was called, “Share with Your Neighbour Day”. The highlight of our event was a Share Board where neighbours shared their Needs and Offers and then networked with each other to find matches. We also encouraged people to sign up with www.streetbank.com, a free online platform to share and lend your things to your neighbours. Mayor Nenshi was in attendance at our event and he told City Council at the following Council Meeting that our Share Board was one of the coolest things he saw during his 17 Neighbour Day stops. It was our hope that we could continue to collect needs and offers from people in our neighbourhood and continue to make connections between them. Unfortunately, other priorities took precedence.
In September 2014, we launched a Clothing Swap. Unlike typical clothing events at community halls, ours wasn’t a give away, it was an exchange. To better market these events based on a principle of giving and receiving in equal measure, I branded the events as yycShares, built a website, and created @yycshares facebook and twitter pages.
In October 2014, we held a Share With Your Neighbour Potluck. Here we had neighbours verbally share needs and offers and a few great connections were made instantly.
To stimulate the conversation of how to grow sharing in our neighbourhood, we invited Sam Hester, a local artist, to create a graphic recording of our event.
During the spring of 2015, using the input we obtained during the potluck, we launched an email-based Sharing Circle where we tracked things on offer with a spreadsheet and sent updates to the group monthly. This initiative ended in November 2015.
On Neighbour Day 2015, we did a Front Yard Party Crawl where we gave people the freedom to share anything they wanted with their neighbours in their own front yards. In addition to an amazing lemonade stand, we had a few neighbourhood businesses such as the Tuxedo Park Soap company sell their wares in their front yard.
In March 2016, I stepped down as President so I could focus my community work on my passion for bringing people together to create a stronger, more self-reliant neighbourhood economy.
It has taken me over a year, but I believe I have finally figured out how I can best be of service to our neighbourhood. At all of our yycShares events, I could feel that people are craving connection and are looking for an easier way to share what they love to do with their neighbours. In addition, over the years, I’ve met so many people in our neighbourhood that could use just a little extra support. If you combine these two things with the state of our economy, I think now is the ideal time to launch a timebank in Tuxedo Park.