abby greerPosted by Stacey Jacobsohn on behalf of Abby Greer, from Kent, Ohio

Getting up the energy to go to a potluck is difficult for many of us. Often, we are tired from a week’s worth of work, maybe we aren’t feeling very social or maybe it’s just too dang cold outside.

I find myself feeling that way as well. Not only that, I have to lug two huge plastic tubs, my own dishes and be thinking about the “meeting” part. But the moment I unlock the church, flip on the lights, crank the iPod, something magical takes hold. I begin to smile and hum while I prepare the room. I begin to feel the strength of my community.

Smiling, genuine, caring, kind, funny and sweet people begin to filter in the door. Almost everyone starts helping in one way or another. Everyone dons a name tag out of habit and the buffet table begins to fill up.

The room, too, begins to fill and by 7:00 I look over the tables and realize that I am amidst the most pure of all the people I know. Each and every person has an understanding of life and love and community. Each and every person accepts every other person…whether they are tired, grumpy, good mood, bad mood, happy, sad, etc. Truthfully, I’ve often thought before, these are the kind of people you want to have at your bedside if you were to be ill.

Last night, Paula and Jules surprised us with a whole and beautifully roasted turkey, stuffing and gravy! Comfort food to the max! I love that she offered to pay Art time credits for carving it, which he did!

Possibly my favorite part of last night was listening to Levi (age 11) introduce the core values and mission statement reading. Levi and his sister, Lucy, give me so much hope for the future.

Finally, I was so moved by the little exercise we did last night called “matchmaking,” We are learning in the timebank that the best way to get someone to help you is to straight up ask. Pick up the phone, send a text, write an email, or come to the potluck and ASK. In about a 15 minute period Tina found someone to cut a new drawer in her kitchen, Cathy will get help with a pull switch and a sink leak, I found people to make phone calls for the Youth Club AND people to help plan next month’s birthday party, Diana got some Go Daddy website advice, Natasha found a 10p.m. ride, Mary Ann found someone to go to a local store and ask for fabric remnants, Carol found a dorm sized fridge and Alba said, “What I want is impossible to ask for: I WANT THE SUN.” But Diane quickly offered to take her to the zoo next week where they will bask in the sun with the animals!

Nothing is impossible in the timebank. All we have to do is ask.

Abby Greer is the Founder, Executive Director, and Coordinator of Kent Community Timebank, Inc., and Founder, Executive Director of the Crooked River Alliance of Timebanks, Inc.