The following story is written by Janettee McCrary, a member from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA. Janettee is a proud and caring mother of two. On top of caring for her own children, she is always looking for ways to help others in need and is currently trying to start a non-profit to channel her helpful nature.
Simbi was suggested to me as a way to create a system of bartering in a parenting group I created. As I researched, I found myself thinking of all the possibilities of this amazing site, including making it possible for parents to trade services such as childcare. For example, without having to figure out the complexities of whether one parent only needs one hour for their 5 kids and another needs three hours with 1 kid.
It allows parents to find desperately needed services such as housecleaning, food prep, cooking, and pet care during the exhaustion of recovering from childbirth, without having to scrounge up money for doulas and maids.
In addition, I realized that this could be a key component in reducing poverty. There are so many people in my area who are struggling financially. I help as much as I can by donating food, clothing, toys, and books, and would love to donate money, but I’m not very well off myself. I don’t have a lot of spare time outside my home as a parent of two toddlers, so I can’t really help by providing a lot of time and money saving services either. But, I can give simbi to someone and let them find someone with plenty of spare time and the ability to get out of the house whenever they are needed. I can use someone else’s services to help me with something I need and provide them simbi to find other services they need, or so they can give someone else simbi to help them get their needs cared for.
This could even be a key to reducing depression. One key reason people are depressed (outside of clinical depression) is lack of motivation and purpose. This site gives you a purpose. It’s not REALLY about being paid. It’s about helping others. That’s not something that we have a lot of opportunities for in the real world. And not everyone is able to get out and volunteer. People have jobs and responsibilities, or maybe they have a fear of leaving their home, or social anxiety, or communication issues. So in-person volunteering may not be possible, but EVERYONE can participate on the internet. Also, it’s encouraged to post “services” that aren’t really JOBS, but encouragement and morale boosters– like sharing what makes you smile, what you define happiness as, what your strengths are, etc. These types of “jobs” help those who might be depressed or needing a smile. They also help those who may not exactly have a lot of marketable skills to earn simbi. It’s pretty awesome that there are also posts that allow you to “pay it forward”, thus allowing you to make someone smile without it costing you anything.
I could see this becoming even more valuable to the community if businesses are encouraged to join and share their products and services in exchange for promotion or other non-cash payment. Or perhaps charities/other groups and organizations could find volunteers and unpaid workers here. After all, it costs them nothing in terms of donations, so why not give a few simbi to thank new volunteers, unpaid interns, etc?
Simbiotic Stories are real anecdotes told by you and other Simbi community members. Tell us about your Simbi deals and experiences with other members. If your story is published, we’ll credit your account with 150 simbi. Submit your entries by starting a conversation with us via this link.