2nd Annual Skill Share: January 2018


The information at the table for natural household and personal care products was just what I need.  I’m expecting a baby, so I’m very mindful of what I put on my body. —Elisa

I learned about hybrid seeds.  They don’t always grow into the same hybrid plant they came from.  Sometimes they can grow into the different plants that the hybrid was made from. —Diane

I learned about how marbled paper is made and also the A-B-Cs of bike mainentance:  Air, Brakes, Chain. —Madeline

At the frugality talk, she said keeping track of your spending is not about being cheap.  It’s about being honest with yourself and making sure you spend your money on what you really want.  I also went to the Fostering a Love of Reading table.  I have two very young grandchildren who already love to read, but I was curious to learn more strategies. —Emily  

Dale gave some good tips on paring down, like how to part with things that have sentimental value.   —Anna 

I learned the proper way to make a dog vomit if she has eaten something toxic – and that I shouldn’t do that if the thing she ate was caustic.  Also, I didn’t realize how much dogs like marijuana which is poisonous for them. —Dawn

I learned not to use WD-40 on my bike chain.  I made my first greeting card.  And I learned that the problem my monkey is having could be psychological or from an old injury.  —Paphil

If I want to save seeds from cucumbers and tomatoes, I found out that I have to break down the mucous membranes around the seeds first.  I stopped at the Mending Knits table, and I may ask her to help me repair my gloves through the timebank.  —Wendy

I was interested in the book one of the speakers talked about: Your Money or Your Life.  I already read How to Retire Happy.  It’s important to think about these things.  —Sue 

I found out how to recycle and save materials by using part of an old sock to patch another sock.     —Mei Mei 

I saw some homemade books at the Bookbinding table, and I would like to learn more about how to do that.  —Olivia

We already do home exchanges when traveling, but I was glad to learn about the other options – like Servas --  that Emily told us about in her talk.  —Jonathan 

I went to the talk on frugality where she shared tips, some of which I already do, like keeping track of every bit of money I spend.  I asked about a repair at the knitting table.  I have a nice sweater I want to give away, but it has a small hole on the front.  I hoped I could take wool from another part of the sweater and use it to patch the hole, but that wouldn’t work in this case.  —Kathie

The host traveling handout will be extremely useful.  I also learned that I can make my own detergent and deodorant.  It doesn’t seem so complicated, and it’s cheaper and healthier.  I also talked to Jessica who was demonstrating power tools.  She will help with some of my home repairs through the timebank.  When I learn how to use the tools, maybe I will invest in some of them myself.  —Oswaldo

I found out about the timebank today, and it really is a good idea.  Everyone has something to offer.  Today I went to the bike talk, and my wife attended the seed saving talk.  My daughter has rescued a few injured squirrels, so she was interested in the animal first aid presentation.  —Robert

Thank you to the Silver Spring Civic Building for offering us wonderful space to hold our second Skill Share!

Skill Share 2018 Promo Video

On January 21st, 2018 the Silver Spring Timebank will host our 2nd Skill Share! Learn more about what the event is like in our video below.

We have all NEW talks and topics for our January 2018 event. See below for the line up of speakers and experts:


2:00pm Mini Silver Spring Timebank New Member Orientation
2:15pm Dale Brown on Frugality/Living simply
2:45pm Dana Wise on Bike tune-ups
3:15pm Kathy Jentz on Seed saving
3:45pm Barbara Henderson on Animal first aid and CPR
4:15pm Emily Glazer on Host/Traveler opportunities in the U.S. and abroad
4:45pm Seth Canada on Bikepacking/Bicycle travel


Cooking instruction and meal preparation---Sam Rosenbaum
Tango---Charlotte Schoeneman and Eugenia Park
Fostering a love of reading and learning in young children---Vandana Purohit
Using power tools---Jessica Arends and Jeff Sutton
Tending and mending winter knits---Mary Campbell
Bookbinding and carving wood/lino blocks---Simon Mauck
Making a bamboo walking stick or cane---Win Allred
Techniques for making stand-out DIY greeting cards---Christy Batta
Home repair (all aspects)---Karl Kosok
Natural household products---Eve-Marie Devaliere
Make -it and Take-it fancy book marks---Tina Slater

Krav Maga, a self-defense system---Sandra Elvin
Timebank help desk---Connie Bevitt & Anne Hardman

To RSVP & learn more about presenters visit the Facebook event page!

Krav Maga, a self-defense system---Sandra Elvin and Divya Mathew

Timebank help desk---Connie Bevitt & Anne Hardman

To RSVP & learn more about presenters visit the Facebook event page!

Holiday Swap: October 2017


  • I’m a glass artist. I found this jeweled ribbon, and I’m going to cut it up and make a pattern. Then I’ll take a photo of that and use it to make a screen so I can screen print it onto glass. -Sherry
  • I have a place for this -- these blinking Christmas lights – over the door going into the living room. And my wife has me holding this holiday tray for her. -Ray
  • I got two sets of red glass bird ornaments. I love birds. I also got this ribbon. I do baskets for family, and I like to change the ribbon out. -Wendy
  • I teach art to kids and always need multiples of stuff. So I was glad to find several packages of these glitter pom-poms. -Bertie
  • We got lights and wrapping paper and stickers, and a lion mask – and look at this Alice in Wonderland costume! -Karl
  • This Christmas sweater! -Ellie
  • Look at this. I can’t decide if this is hideous or cute. I like it. -Kathy
  • I major in Christmas, and I minor in Easter. So I just can’t start in on Halloween. I have to put this ghost back. -Wendy
  • I found these pink flamingo Christmas ornaments. I’m a Floridian, so it feels like home. -Karen
  • I got this tiny pair of Valentine’s underwear. I’ll put a magnet on it and put it on the fridge. -Tanya

Thank you to The Nora School for hosting the swap. All leftover items went to the National Children's Center.

Member Spotlight: Building Community

The Silver Spring Timebank involves getting to know people, not just using their services, member says.


By the logic of modern society, in which time is money, the notion of a timebank doesn’t make a lot of sense, necessarily.

After all, which is easier, if your favorite pair of pants springs a hole in the pocket: to drop it off at the tailor on the way to work and pick it up that evening at a cost of, say, $20? Or to search through the Timebank for someone who claims to do sewing, send them an email through the anonymous system and hope they write back and then, if they do, find out where they live and when you might be able to swing by?

It all depends on what you’re trying to achieve, according to Bob Kirk, a Silver Spring Timebank member, fiddler with things that can go wrong around the house and connoisseur of social structures from around the world.

“Depending on the thing you’re providing, it naturally happens, like when I’m teaching people handyman stuff,” said Bob, who served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Gambia, worked in international development in Ecuador and Guatemala and plied his skills as an IT geek for the State Department in four different embassies.

For example, he said, he once responded to a request from Timebank member Carrie Noel-Nosbaum, who had some blinds that needed fixing, among other household repairs.

Before leaving, he gave Carrie a list of tools that would be good to acquire to maintain her apartment, and so the two got to chat.

In contrast, he said, there was relatively little interaction when he provided services to another Timebank member.

“I was chopping wood for somebody and went over there several times,” he said. “One time, she was in another part of the yard doing some stuff, and the second time, she was just inside, so I’m just doing work in her yard. So aside from saying hello, it’s not a shared activity.”

And so if he had his druthers, Bob would institute an informal requirement that each Timebank exchange include some, well, informality.

“What I would like is maybe that you put something into it that part of the exchange is the sit-down-and-get-to-know-you part, like, each hour, do a 20-minute— give the person tea or coffee … so like when I’m dropping off someone’s sewing or picking up my sewing, that I have to make a connection— they have to be there, we have to invite each other in.

“I thought that was happening more, but there’s two types of exchanges, the ones that don’t have that built in and the ones that do,” he continued. “But having it out there …  like, you should bank on an hour exchange that includes the 20 minutes of socializing. …  That’s certainly my model, that I want to try and include that personal exchange, at least a little bit of who I am or what I’m doing and what your background is too.”

To some extent, Bob says, the Timebank recognizes this non-formal aspect— hence the quarterly social events where people can simply hang out and talk.

“[People are] trying to go from the formal to the informal, but how do you make that transition, how do you not keep track of hours?” he said.

Carrie, the recipient of Bob’s tools-to-buy list, is grateful for Bob’s services, including fixing an oven drawer that had come off its rails.

“He kind of figured it out while I was watching and then showed me, so if it happened again, I would know how to fix it,” she said.

In fact, he suggested she get her air ducts cleaned before he left— something Carrie said would not have occurred to her.

‘It wasn’t like, ‘Just come in and do the job,’” she said. “It was, ‘How can I help make sure you’re taking care of your place the best that you can with the knowledge I can give you?’”

But for Bob, there’s something larger at stake—something that goes beyond sharing skills and imparting knowledge, important as those are. 

For example, the Timebank has a Community Time Chest for people with personal emergencies— in fact, Bob was the first beneficiary.

“I gave a kidney to a woman in California,” said Bob, who lives with his wife and three children in East Silver Spring. “So I was home for six weeks afterwards— it’s an abdominal wound, so you’re not supposed to lift things, and so I had people come by and bring meals, was the main thing.”

In addition, Bob said, timebanks can help restore something that has been lost in the definition of friendship.

“When you build that next level, of doing things for each other,” he said, “it’s a deeper friendship than, ‘We just enjoy each other’s company, and I would never ask you for help, and you would never ask me for help.”

In short, Bob said, a timebank is more than a credit-exchange mechanism— it’s a way to get to know people even if the services those people offer also could be obtained simply by picking up the phone and calling a plumber, for example.

“I think that’s part of the challenge, is we’ve got to get used to … this older concept of friendship,” he said. “You have to accept some inefficiencies but realize those inefficiencies are part of the benefit you get.”

Thank you to SSTB member Mark Sherman for writing this Member Spotlight article.

Office, Art and School Supply Swap: August 2017


I'm getting a lot of art supplies for my four-year-old daughter -- so much
that she may need to become an artist. -Olga

A person we serve at SEEC sews by hand. I just found a handheld sewing
machine here, and she may like to try it. -Kathy

This is just the sort of thing our community needs. -Edgar

I got some paints for a class I'm teaching. -Heather

I am so happy to find something as simple as a ream of paper. It was on
my list to go to Staples for paper, so I have saved myself a trip. -Suzy

I got special paper for making tattoos to share with my nieces who love
them. I also got stickers of Frida Kahlo quotes for a friend who loves her.

I found a few things for making posters and banners by hand -- a hobby of
mine. I work in the school system and with homeschool kids, and this is
something nice for them. -Latoya

I'm taking more than I brought, and I wanted it to go the other way
around. -Songbae

I've never used watercolors from tubes before. I'm so excited to find them
here and try them. -Christy

This is like being in a candy store. An Art Supply candy store. I wish
my girls were here! -Yasmine

i'm here with my mom, helping her get stuff that she needs for her job.

I'm from the Create Arts Center, and I'm so excited. I'm finding scissors,
pencils, and a whole assortment of art supplies. -Lauren

All I can say is, this is amazing! I'm getting index cards and notebooks
and dividers -- and other things. I'm... amazed by this. -Wendy

I'm finding pens, pencils, and pretty much everything else I need. -Keisy

I found some miniature vegetables in the craft section that I like a lot.
i'm teaching a woman English, and these will help her learn
vocabulary. -Tanya

I found cardstock, pretty paper, markers, and a huge backpack. I don't
have big plans for them... yet. -Julia

I'm an amateur watercolor artist. I've been looking for an easel I can lie
flat for watercolors and stand up for other things. This one is perfect!

I'm getting datebooks and folders and glue sticks, and I donated all my
glass-painting materials. So I brought a lot, and I'm taking some other
things back. -Diane

Thank you to Third Space Wellness for hosting the swap.  All remaining items were donated to Silver Spring Creative Reuse.