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The Time Bank has a new office number: 484-928-0509
Melinda Izzo and Sally Hawk-Jones, Director of Activities and Volunteer Services enjoying Parkhouse's Aeroponic Garden.

Featured Exchange

Volunteering at Parkhouse

There are endless possibilities for Time Bank members to volunteer and get involved with the greater community. This issue features an exchange by Melinda Izzo, who has been involved in the Time Bank since 2015; she has helped the Time Bank as a former Board member, and by volunteering at many events.  She now works full time for one of the Timebank’s member organizations, Orion Communities.  Her background includes children’s mental health expertise and early childhood education.

Melinda started to volunteer at the Parkhouse Nursing and Rehabilitation Center about six years ago when she was looking for ways to help out in the community. 

Melinda was matched with Linda, a woman who is confined to a wheelchair and has resided at Parkhouse for 16 years. Volunteers at Parkhouse are frequently matched with residents according to their needs.  Their relationship has evolved into a friendship over the years.

Melinda assists Linda with a variety of tasks that Linda is unable to do for herself. As the seasons change, Melinda switches clothes for summer and winter, carefully storing them for easy access next season. When Linda first moved to Parkhouse, she said “the staff knew I was a secretary right away when they saw my clothes.”  While working as a secretary, Linda said that her wardrobe was very important to her, so she appreciates the care that is taken by Melinda. 

Linda has nine grandchildren, eight girls and one boy, ranging in age from 10 to 28.  Melinda has been invaluable over the years in helping Linda purchase Christmas and other gifts for her family.  Linda selects boxes, paper, and bows as Melinda wraps the gifts and prepares them to go to the family's traditional Christmas Eve celebration.  Linda has also connected with Melinda’s son and extended family and friends.  Visits and just talking are an invaluable part of their volunteering experience.  

Melinda said, “One of my favorite times is helping at Parkhouse’s special events, transporting residents to the multipurpose room or outside for concerts, bazaars, and festivals.  One time Linda and I even participated in ballroom dancing!”

Linda is proud to be a 7-year member of Parkhouse’s Peers Empowered Expert Residents Program.  She said, “We provide support to the other residents. This (Parkhouse) is their home and we protect the residents’ rights and make sure they are treated with respect.” The group also helps new residents transition from home to Parkhouse.  

“We need more volunteers,” Linda told us. “There are so many residents here who need help.”  Sally Hawk-Jones, Director of Activities and Volunteer Services, confirmed this.  Volunteers are needed to transport residents to special events from their rooms to other locations on the grounds.  Additional ongoing needs are helping in the Craft Room, participating in Pinochle club, maintaining Parkhouse’s Native Plant gardens in the warmer month, and sorting in-kind donations.  

Melinda posts volunteer opportunities on the Time Bank website.  Parkhouse is a member organization so Timebankers can log hours for the services they provide.  One-time volunteers can respond through the Time Bank website.  Ongoing volunteers should fill out an application and find out more about Parkhouse by calling or emailing Sally Hawk-Jones directly.  Her email: or by calling 610-792-2341. 

President's Message

An interview with Diana Baldi

When and why did you join PATB?
Bruce and I joined PATB Feb 2017, about six months after we moved to Phoenixville from a Chicago suburb.  We did not know anyone here, so it seemed like a nice way to meet nice people and be able to find fun volunteering opportunities.


How did you become President of PATB?
Professionally, I am a management consultant who helps companies refocus their efforts and processes to be more effective and efficient.  In January 2018, I volunteered these talents to PATB by facilitating the strategic planning session. That involved analyzing a lot of data on types and numbers of exchanges, membership activity, and benchmarking other TimeBanks.  We also analyzed the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to PATB in rotating small groups and then selected priorities. In April, I was elected President.

What efforts are you leading?
Initially, I did a deep dive into the purpose and mission of PATB to be able to help the new marketing and communications committee.  This led to questions as well as answers,

so I re-read the original ByLaws, Articles of Incorporation, and other legal submissions. For the past six months, I have focused on two fronts: 
  1. Strengthening our relationships with our organizational partners (including Orion, Ann’s Heart, Camphill Soltane, and Parkhouse), and
  2. Revising our ByLaws and establishing a compliance calendar to help PATB be sustainable. In December, PATB received a grant from Quest for the Best Foundation for legal services. Their research on TimeBanking and guidance on the ByLaws and other required policies has already been extremely beneficial.
How can others get involved?
  • PATB is holding a retreat from 10 am to 2 pm on February 16th to discuss the key feedback from Quest for the Best Foundation and identify next priorities.  If you would like to participate, contact Diana. 
  • Consider joining a committee (membership, events, community relations, marketing, etc.)
  • Consider joining the Board.  We are seeking nominations for the April elections.
  • If you love document management, we are in the midst of project to organize and transfer our PATB records according to the Quest guidance.  Fun indeed!
  • If you have a talent for finance, we are seeking someone to learn the ropes from our Treasurer this year.
Any last thoughts?
I love the idea of TimeBanking and want to see PATB thrive in the communities we serve. There is so much potential to do good work and build relationships!  It would be thrilling to see more of our members involved in exchanges and helping to sustain PATB. 

Around Phoenixville

Time Bankers Run First Phoenixville Bed Race

Not everyone has a warm bed at night.  Ann’s Heart (Code Blue), The House Women’s Shelter and Good Samaritan Services provide sleeping spaces and rely on community support and donations.  Together they sponsored the inaugural Bed Races on November 3rd to raise awareness and provide a fun community activity.

Ann’s Heart is an organizational member of the Phoenixville Area Time Bank, so we rose into action to support this fun awareness campaign.  

Not only did we build our own bed to race and a spare for another team, we also led the Procrastinators workshop to help four other teams assemble and decorate their beds. Seventeen organizations rose to the challenge to race in paired “heats” by pushing their self-made beds on wheels down the street on Third Avenue near Reeves Park and back. The teams were diverse, using their self-made beds on wheels with a theme and decorations to match the teams’ spirit or hopes and dreams. The PATB bed theme was based on the TV Talent Show ‘America’s Got Talent…and Time’ and highlighted the many talents of PATB members that they can share. The PATB bed was built and decorated the weekend before at Anne’s Heart by PATB members Diana Baldi, Greg Cindric, and Bruce Baldi.

PATB bed pushers included Diana Baldi, Rodney Platt, Bruce Baldi, and Reetu Shah, with Sue Gagen riding the bed holding on for dear life.  

This inaugural bed race was a great success for all as the community came together for a fun event that supported several worthy community groups.  Phoenixville mayor Peter Urscheler got in the fun as the race starter.  Phoenixville Area Tme Bank was well represented as a race participant by giving it their best in a valiant, though losing, effort where a good time was their prize. 

Firebird Festival

Pictured above: (L-R) Diana and Bruce Baldi, Henrik Teglbjaerg,
Joanne Gardocki,
and Dan Piombino  at the Pasta Party

On December 8, 2018 the town of Phoenixville celebrated its namesake, the Phoenix bird, by the annual burning of a wooden Phoenix sculpture at the Firebird Festival of 2018.  Henrik Stubbe Teglbjaerg, a PATB member, has led the design, directed the building, and coordinated the Firebird Festival for 15 years. This year PATB raised awareness of the need for volunteers by forming an Activity Group for the festival.  Volunteers were needed for hands-on building, preparing meals for the workers, and working the day of the festival. The sculpture was the handiwork of many volunteers from the Phoenixville Area, including the following Time Bank members:  Joanne Gardocki, Rebecca and Alexandra Bricklin, Bruce and Diana Baldi, new members Susan Bauer, and Jonathan Winberg, and a past member, Dan Piombino. 

Building of the bird started in the warmth of September and finished in the cold of December.
Every weekend work progressed, from the tearing apart of pallets for wood planks, to framing the skeleton, to layering the wooden feathers on the skeleton. Then on the night of the burn the townsfolk were treated to fire dancers, live music, and vendors of crafts and food for the festival at Veterans Park. The highlight of the night was the lighting of the bird and then the crowd watching the Phoenix being engulfed in flames until only embers remained glowing in the night air.

The PATB members who helped with the Firebird Festival 2018 had great fun and enjoyed the event from start to finish.  The coming together of the town for the build and the burn was a great opportunity for the time bank to be part of this iconic celebration of the spirit of Phoenixville. Plans are already underway for the 2019 Festival, which will have more opportunities for volunteers from PATB.  

Time Bank Outreach

Operation Phoenixville Elves

Time Banker members put on their Santa hats to contribute to Operation Phoenixville Elves' annual drive for area families in-need for the holidays. Time Bank Elves sewed up a (snow) storm, producing over 75 sets of warm hats, scarves, and gloves for stocking stuffers. They also showed up to help wrap gifts.

Santa sends his thanks to: Katya Wieber, MaryCatherine Lowery, Melinda Izzo, Patty Blank, Denise Martin, Jeanne Reese, and Diana Baldi.

Code Blue

The Phoenixville Area Time Bank (PATB) is proud to be a community partner to the Ann's Heart, Code Blue Overnight Emergency Warming Centerin Phoenixville. 

This season Time Bank members have rolled up their sleeves and volunteered during shifts, performing tasks that are critical to the functioning of the Code Blue Center.   

We have PATB members involved on our various Code Blue Volunteer Support Teams (VST) including:
  • Linen Exchange - Phoenixville Hospital provides linens and also launders them for Code Blue use. This once per week volunteer opportunity has been supported through the efforts of Jeanne and Tom Reese, who started this year. 
  • Bagel Slicing Team! - We receive bagels from the Muffin Store, but they need to be sliced in half and individually bagged. Wanda Stiller and Jan Sandbach help with this important project every Monday.
  • Guest Linen Sets Team - Each Thursday, Wanda Stiller, Lila Rhodes, and Sean Brennan make life easier for other volunteers by gathering laundered linen’s into sets for efficient distribution.
  • Special thanks to Diana and Bruce Baldi for donating and delivering a spotless refrigerator, and to Lila and Sean for cleaning out another one!
Sean says: ""Lila and I had a fun and warm time cleaning this donated refrigerator for code Blue. Maria Galarza set us up with everything we needed, and we shared many laughs. What's being created at Code Blue is an important community resource. Lila and I love working there and do it whenever we can!"

We are currently seeking an additional Cleaning Team. Look for a Time Bank posting soon. Since Code Blue is a resource-intensive community program, Ann’s Heart welcomes all forms of help and contributions.  

For more information about volunteering or donating to Code Blue, contact Maria Galarza.  

Destination Imagination

Destination Imagination is a non-profit organization that builds creative problem solving skills in students. 

In November, a group of PATB members, teachers, and parent Team Managers joined together to prepare supply kits for the student teams.  Counting paper clips, pipe cleaners, and other supplies can be boring!  Doing this as a group allowed us to share stories, network, laugh, and get 80 kits completed. 

Thank you to Jan Sandbach, Patty Blank, Jeanne Reese, Diana Baldi, and teachers from Renaissance Academy and a family from Plumstead Christian School.

For Time Bank Members

Pie Anyone?

Thank you so much for your expert instruction - I am no longer afraid of baking a pie and I know how to make crust now -  your method is not like anything I have seen anywhere before!  Tina

It was “bring your own filling” for a pie workshop a few days before Thanksgiving. Time Bank member Denise Martin organized the baking blast for members wishing to up their pastry game in time for the holidays. 

Cara Graver, Tina Carrigan and Diana Baldi joined in the tip-sharing session with scrumptious results!

Coming Up

Soup to Nuts Potluck

January 27, 2019

Home of Wanda Swiller
474 Willann Dr, Phoenixville 19460
Bring side dishes and deserts
Soups provided

Annual Meeting
 April 28, 7:00 pm

Edgar Cahn, the founder of time banking and Chris Gray, Executive Director of TimeBanks-USA, will join us this April, 28th at 7:00 pm for the Time Bank's Annual Members' Meeting.  Don't miss this great opportunity to hear from the visionary who started it all.  Location is yet to be determined. Stay tuned and save-the-date.

Welcome New Members
The following members joined our TimeBank in October, November, and December 2018:

Susan Bauer
Sue White and Dave Blackmore
Sean Brennan
Megan Connolly
Suzanne and Frank Frederick
William Garvin
Katie Glinski
Janelle Mehan
Jan Sandbach
Wanda Siller
Sue Tyson
Jonathan Winberg

Copyright © 2019 Phoenixville Area Time Bank, All rights reserved.

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