Have you ever heard of a Charity for Time?

Have you ever thought about the idea of a “charity” for time? What would one of these be like if one did exist? We have charities for people who are down on their money and charitable organizations that provide meals and other non-profit services. What if we had charities for people who needed time? I suppose when people volunteer their time as for Habitat for Humanity, it is a form of time charity. Wikipedia has the following to say about the word charity:

“The word “charity” entered the English language through the Old French word “charité” which was derived from the Latin “caritas”. Originally, in Latin the word caritas meant preciousness, dearness, high price. From this, in Christian theology, caritas became the standard Latin translation for the Greek word agapē, meaning an unlimited loving-kindness to all others.”

The thoughts contained in this definition are very beautiful: Preciousness, dearness, kindness, can you think of any better words to describe a donation of ones time. Sometimes, we hear the word “pro-bono” applied to a donation of time by lawyers and consultants. Again, in Wikipedia we find the following:

“Pro-bono publico (often shortened to pro bono) is a phrase derived from Latin meaning “for the public good”. It is used to designate legal or other professional work undertaken voluntarily and without payment.”

We can find many examples of people and organizations volunteering their time through some form of official channel, but we still do not find structured “charities for time” where anyone can go who needs time. A time charity could either lend you time or ask you to replace any time borrowed with a commitment of your own time at a later date. If you simply needed your lawn cut and did not have time to do it, you would call the “time charity” and say “I need some time.” The exchange would not involve money, but rather a simple donation or exchange of time later. In a society where time is so short and precious, it would be interesting to see some group who could coordinate on a large scale the donations of time.

Have you ever needed time and not had enough money to buy help? Would you volunteer to be a member of a time charity if you could repay the time given later? Can you think of anything better to donate than time? Is money as good a donation as time? Do you volunteer your time now as well as your money to help others?

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