Each quarter the Primary Coordinator (that’s me!) has the special obligation of selecting the winner of the Primary Coordinator’s Award. This first quarter of 2017 was a particularly easy choice.

Ashley Dorris attended her New Member Orientation on December 21, 2015 and thirteen days later she made her first exchange – providing a service to another member. According to Ashley, what she enjoys most about being a member of Time Bank Boulder “is the opportunity to meet new and interesting people. I have met many new members through the new member orientations, through exchanges, and through the potlucks.”

In her 13-months of membership she has maintained that energy and enthusiasm in numerous ways. She helped out at two Farmer’s Markets and enjoyed her own NMO so much that she decided to help run them for others. She said, “Conducting New Member Orientations has been a wonderful opportunity to get to know new people, learn about what they have to offer and what kind of services they need in their life. I get to learn about members at a deeper level – when was the last time you asked a stranger what hobbies they enjoy most or where they went to school? And it is never awkward, because it is part of the enrollment process.”

She earned 41.65 hours doing NMOs.

In 2016 Ashley provided services to 14 members, including dance, music, weeding, yoga, cleaning, shopping, moving, organization, sewing, transportation, and Access to the Arts tickets, racking up 48.4 hours. She spent 18.7 of those hours with seven members obtaining language lessons, mechanical bike help, music lessons, plumbing help, fitness help, massage, spirituality, and produce and plant swaps.

Ashley finds many things to love about TBB, including regularly being “astounded to learn about the interesting activities and hobbies people have and the time bank members never fail to fascinate me with their life stories. It is also gratifying to be able to help a fellow member in a time of need and know that if the tables were reversed, the recipient would help me out. I have very few family members in Colorado, and they all work 60-70 hours per week and live at least an hour away; hence, I actually get to see TBB members more than own family! It is comforting to know that in a time of crisis, TBB will be there to help you out – and they have been there for me already when crisis hit. You’re probably thinking, Ashly has an independent income and lot of spare time, right? Wrong. Her full time job as a software test engineer often requires a lot of overtime.

I ask every recipient of the PC Award to suggest any changes and/or improvements for our time bank. Ashley said that, “As time bank members, we all tell our friends and coworkers about the time bank; however, I think that we could all learn how to market the time bank better and spread the word. Marketing does not come easy to me or most people and while the Meetup site and the Farmer’s Market have definitely drawn in some new members, I sense that there are more people who would be interested in TBB, if we could only reach them. The movie nights, Spanish language events, and potlucks are working very well to keep current members connected, but we could improve the way we spread the word and market our time bank to new people we meet. When I talk about TBB to friends, I sometimes hear that they don’t have time. Time banks can work for people with little time! It doesn’t take long to share errands, give rides, exchange equipment, etc. I try to make people envision how TBB can work with their lifestyle and remind them that exchanges are completely voluntary and often rewarding.” Excellent advice indeed, for all of us!

It gives me great pleasure to give the PC Award for the first quarter of 2017 to Ashley Dorris, one of the shining stars of the membership class of 2015. Thank you Ashley for all you do