The Kent Community Timebank is celebrating its 7th birthday with an Offers Expo showcasing members’ offers on Friday, April 7, 2017, from 5:00 P.M. to 6:30 P.M. at the United Church of Christ, 1400 E. Main St., Kent.

The public is invited to attend, learn about timebanking, and stay for appetizers and birthday cake.

A timebank is a community service exchange, where members offer their skills, knowledge, or help to another member. Every hour offered equals one time credit, which are used to request help from another member.

The Kent Community Timebank has 400 active area members and hundreds of offers. It is a “community within a community,” a network of friendship as well as an exchange of hundreds of services. Approximately ten members live in Garrettsville.

The purpose of the Offers Expo is to show samples of members’ offers. For example, there will be a computer tutor who demonstrates “going paperless” and basics of computer communication. Also to present: Preparing End of Life Directives, Help with College Financial Aid Forms, Making Perfect Pie Crust, Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking, Home Coffee Roasting, Mushroom Growing, Spanish language lessons, “Effective Listening for Parents,” sewing machine use, and machine embroidery.

“Help with the System” offers help to people find local helping agencies and aid, such as Medicare, Medicaid, property tax breaks, the Agency on Aging, protection for disabled children, and other hard-to-navigate problem solvers.

Portage County legend, Ray Aeschliman, will demonstrate how to fillet bluegills, a skill he has brought to Portage for 40 years. For now-popular survival skills, best practices in canning jams and jellies are presented by Melissa MacDonald of Atwater.

The Kent Community Timebank is a member of the Crooked River Alliance of Timebanks, a network of four regional timebanks, (Kent, Ravenna, Twinsburg, and Cuyahoga Falls). Combined, 1200 members have exchanged 60,000 hours total, averaging 17 exchanges daily.

The Kent Community Timebank also exchanges time credits with 48 local organizations and 16 Kent area businesses.

“We do group projects like the Kent Theater, Haymaker Market Bridge, Miller Community House, Freedom House for homeless veterans, and individual yard clean-ups, and whole house cleaning.” said Abby Greer, coordinator of the KCTB and executive director of the Crooked River Alliance of Timebanks. “We even have 365 members willing to give an emergency ride for that time your car breaks down.”

“This OFFERS EXPO is our birthday present to ourselves and to the public from Stow to Garrettsville,” Coordinator Greer said. “It’s an amazing, much-needed concept, one that reaffirms what we can believe in—ourselves! We hope the public will come, meet members, have appetizers and birthday cake, and see what can be done for time—not money.”