Gary Messinger has been the Community Outreach Coordinator with the Dane County TimeBank for the past 10 years, and has been involved in community building work for over 23 years. Having previously been doing community work with adults with developmental disabilities, he was initially attracted to the TimeBank because of its recognition that everyone in our community is of value and has something to contribute to others. Many of the connections he's seen through the TimeBank have been life changing. As Gary states, “Timebanking is by far the best community building tool I've ever come across. The very nature of it knocks down the various walls that typically separate us, truly recognizing that we're all equal partners.”
After living in Madison for more than 20 years, Gary's family moved to their dream farmette 9 years ago. They enjoy the peace and quiet, connection to nature, their animals, and endless gardening. They like meeting neighbors at their roadside stand where they sell home grown flower bouquets and eggs. Their two children have moved out, so it's just Gary and his wife, Marie now. Well, that along with their 2 dogs, 3 cats, 33 chickens, 4 goats, 2 sheep, horse, and cow....and whatever surprises Gary may come home to!
In his spare time Gary enjoys spending time close to nature, rustic furniture making, photography, playing softball until they drag him off the field, exploring the night sky with his telescope, and is also an avid blues harmonica player.
The Dane County TimeBank is an exchange system for neighbors helping neighbors. People help each other and receive credits for their service. Anyone who helps another member earns one TimeBank Hour for each hour of help given, which they can then spend on an hour of service from anyone else in the network. Everyone's time is valued equally, no matter who they are or what they do. Instead of exchanging money, we exchange our time with each other.
Timebanking is a way to value the work we do for others in our community and the work we do in building that community. It's time for us to use the many wonderful assets of all residents of our communities, matching unmet needs with unused resources. We each have talents and skills that someone else values. By sharing them, we can create community one hour at a time.
To learn more about the Dane County TimeBank visit www.danecountytimebank.org, or call our office at 608-663-0400.