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Everyone has something to offer

Publication: Manhattan Times

Jane Hidalgo remembers feeling helpless.

After major surgery in July 2014, she faced a lengthy recuperation period. She was fitted with a neck brace and was rarely able to leave her apartment.

“I couldn’t do much — getting groceries, exercise, anything,” said Hildalgo. “If it wasn’t for the program, I would have been lost.”

The “program” Hidalgo was referencing is TimeBank, a unique community resource where participants receive free assistance from volunteers, and reciprocate by providing aid of their own.

TimeBank members assist each other with food shopping, getting to doctor visits, English and computer lessons, cooking, picking up prescriptions, home repairs and more.

During Hidalgo’s recuperation, Marlyn Álvarez helped her reach medical appointments and brought fresh groceries to her door.

“We’ve built a community,” said TimeBank’s Director Mashi Blech.

“She was with me almost every day,” said Hidalgo. “I don’t know what I would have done without her.”

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