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An advertising agency that helped market the blockbuster painkiller OxyContin will pay $350 million to states ravaged by the nation’s opioid crisis. Attorneys general from multiple states alleged that Publicis Health developed “unfair and deceptive” marketing campaigns aimed at persuading doctors to prescribe the addictive drug for longer periods of time and at higher doses. The company’s client was Purdue Pharma, the Connecticut drugmaker accused in lawsuits of helping ignite the epidemic through aggressive marketing and sales of OxyContin. Publicis, a subsidiary of French ad giant Publicis Groupe, settled with 50 states and D.C. Under the agreements, Publicis Health will stop accepting work related to prescription opioids and must release thousands of internal documents chronicling its dealings with companies such as Purdue. It is the first settlement with an advertising agency connected to the opioid crisis, according to the New York attorney general’s office. “Publicis was responsible for creating advertisements and materials, such as pamphlets and brochures that promoted OxyContin as safe and unable to be abused, even though this claim was not true,” according to a news release from the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James. Drug overdoses killed nearly 110,000 people in the United States in 2022, a record high, according to federal death statistics.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.
Over the past week thousands of pages of court documents relating to late paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, have been made public after US judge Loretta Preska ordered the release of filings in a lawsuit brought by Virginia Giuffre against Ghislaine Maxwell. The documents named scores of prominent figures including, Prince Andrew, Bill Clinton, Donald Trump and Victoria’s Secret boss Les Wexner. Being identified through the court documents does not mean that the individual was involved in or aware of any wrongdoing by Epstein. The final batch of documents, released on Tuesday, included depositions from Ms Giuffre, Maxwell and Epstein. In Epstein’s deposition, he was questioned about his campaign of abuse of young and underage girls. He pleaded the Fifth over 1,000 times. In Maxwell’s deposition, she was confronted with disturbing messages left for Epstein – one of which referenced what appeared to be code for procuring an underage Russian girl for Epstein. “She is two times eight years old. Not blond. Lessons are free and you can have your first today if you call,” it read.
Note: Read about the new evidence suggesting Epstein ran a sex blackmail operation for intelligence agencies. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein from reliable major media sources.
Internal US Bureau of Prison (BOP) documents obtained by The Grayzone under Freedom of Information laws raise extremely serious questions about whether Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged first suicide attempt on July 23, 2019 in fact happened, and suggest the Bureau distorted evidence to attribute his death to suicide before his autopsy had even been completed. Officially, Epstein was found to have died in his cell at New York City’s Metropolitan Correctional Center on August 10, 2019, with a medical examiner ruling at the time that he had taken his own life by hanging. The ruling was aggressively contested by Epstein’s associates and widely disbelieved. Epstein’s legal team publicly declared available evidence on his death was “far more consistent” with murder. On August 9 ... regular checks on [Epstein] ceased. Three CCTV cameras nearby apparently malfunctioned. Two on-duty guards fabricated records to hide how they allegedly flouted their legal duties to surf the internet. And the next day, the prison’s most infamous inmate was dead. In the immediate wake of Epstein’s death ... BOP suicide prevention coordinator Robert Nagle visited the Metropolitan Correctional Center to initiate a “psychological reconstruction” of Epstein’s last moments. His resultant report recorded that a video of the “significant incident” was confiscated by the FBI before his review began. He was also prohibited from conducting formal interviews with prison staff.
Note: Read about the new evidence suggesting Epstein ran a sex blackmail operation for intelligence agencies. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein and prison system corruption from reliable major media sources.
Since the rollout of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, experts and academics from around the world have been raising numerous short-term and long-term safety concerns. One of these deals with the spike protein that the human cell is instructed to generate as a result of the shot, and how it differs from the spike protein that’s generated from a natural infection. A “pseudouridine” molecule has been added to the mRNA to give it a longer half-life than normal mRNA. Therefore, the production of spike protein within the cell, of those who have been vaccinated, is not being turned off. This is concerning because multiple studies have shown that the vaccine induced spike protein can leak outside of the cell and enter into the blood- stream. This is one possible mechanism of action in which vaccine injuries are occurring. During an autopsy of a vaccinated person who had died after mRNA vaccination, it was found that the vaccine disperses rapidly from the injection site and can be found in nearly all parts of the body. Looking into these concerns is important to figure out why so many COVID vaccine injuries around the world have been reported compared to previous vaccines. Approximately 50 percent of vaccine injuries reported to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) in the last 30 years have all been from COVID products. Concerning autopsy results have also been published. It’s quite clear something very serious about these shots is and has been ignored.
Note: VAERS only captures a portion of vaccine injuries and deaths. Vaccine adverse event numbers are made publically available, and currently show 2,579,111 COVID vaccine injury reports and 37,100 COVID Vaccine Reported Deaths (out of 47,290 Total Reported Deaths from all vaccines). Read our in-depth report about this concerning trend, and how the VAERS system presents an incomplete picture of vaccine injuries. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on COVID vaccines from reliable major media sources.
Military strategists believe that a "coronavirus bioweapon" may lurk on the horizon. This possibility is one of several outlined in a new report sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense. The report “Plagues, Cyborgs, and Supersoldiers: The Human Domain of War Research” delves into how CRISPR gene-editing technology, mRNA vaccines, brain networking, and other technological advancements could unleash new forms of military conflict. “We see a complex, high-threat landscape emerging where future wars are fought with humans controlling hyper-sophisticated machines with their thoughts” and “synthetically generated, genomically targeted plagues” that cripple the American military-industrial base,” the report warns. At the same time, authoritarian states might ... brutally suppress "anti-vaccine populists" and enforce compliance. The report claims this could hinder the U.S. due to its more relaxed regulatory environment that values individual liberties, where such crackdowns and forced vaccinations are more difficult to deploy. The report takes aim at Congress, criticizing the recent repeal of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for service members. It urges lawmakers to resist "anti-vaccine populism" to ensure military readiness. Simultaneously, the report urges the Pentagon to consider using genetic screening to find qualified military recruits and develop clear plans for integrating bioweapon warfare capabilities.
Note: Learn more about emerging warfare technology in our comprehensive Military-Intelligence Corruption Information Center. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption and microchip implants from reliable major media sources .
In 2012, according to FBI data, 2,774 violent crimes were reported to the Flint Police Department. In 2022, 985 were reported. Like other “legacy cities” that have experienced significant economic decline and population loss, Flint, [Michigan] is still struggling. But now, through the Genesee County Land Bank’s Clean & Green program, Ishmel and hundreds of other residents have been mowing vacant lots. Greening projects like these maintain abandoned spaces, either by mowing them or converting them into gardens and parks. But these projects don’t just make the neighborhood feel safer. Researchers who have been studying the effects of greening in Flint; Philadelphia; Youngstown, Ohio; and other legacy cities have shown repeatedly that it actually reduces violent crime. “It is one of the most consistent findings I’ve ever had in my 34-year career of doing research,” says Marc A. Zimmerman, professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. A review of 45 papers found that the presence of green spaces, including parks and trees, reduces crime in urban areas. In Flint, Zimmerman and his colleagues compared streets where community members maintained vacant lots through Clean & Green with streets where vacant lots were left alone, over five years. The maintained ones had almost 40 percent fewer assaults and violent crimes. One study found that while simply maintaining vacant lots reduced burglaries, turning them into gardens reduced assaults.
Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.
Jimena Cordero is chopping up vegetables and fanning them out onto trays. Cordero is the farm manager at Ollin Farms, not far from Boulder, Colo. — she's put together bright pink and purple radishes, apple, fresh turnips. At the meeting with about a dozen local farmers, two state representatives, and the Colorado commissioner of agriculture, [Cordero's father Mark] Guttridge will explain how Boulder county has made creative investments in his farm that could be scaled up to the state or even national level. Before the meeting, Guttridge shows me one of those investments. A dozen sheep mill about in a field bordered by a simple white fence. Around the field is a special moveable type of fencing that Ollin Farms bought using grants from the Boulder County Sustainability Office. It allows them to move the sheep from one field to another, fertilizing as they go. The goal of these investments is "really building up our soil health," he explains. "That relates directly to the nutrient quality and nutrient density of the food — healthy soil grows healthy food." The county also makes an effort to get that healthy food out to different communities to be able to boost public health. That's where the Boulder County Public Health department comes in. It created a coupon program that low-income families — many of mixed immigration status — can use to get free fruits and vegetables from Ollin Farms' farm stand.
Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.
Many studies have shown that people living in greener neighborhoods have several health benefits, including lower levels of stress and cardiovascular disease. But new research indicates that exposure to parks, trees and other green spaces can slow the rates at which our cells age. The study, published in Science of the Total Environment, found that people who lived in neighborhoods with more green space had longer telomeres, which are associated with longer lives and slower ageing. Telomeres are structures that sit on the ends of each cell’s 46 chromosomes, like the plastic caps on shoelaces, and keep DNA from unraveling. The longer a cell’s telomeres, the more times it can replicate. When telomeres become so short that cells can’t divide, the cells die. [Study co-author Aaron] Hipp and his colleagues looked at the medical records (that included measures of telomere lengths from biological samples) and survey responses from more than 7,800 people who participated in a national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey conducted between 1999 and 2002. The researchers connected that information with census data to estimate the amount of green space in each person’s neighborhood. They found that a 5% increase in a neighborhood’s green space was associated with a 1% reduction in the ageing of cells. “The more green the area, the slower the cell ageing,” said Hipp.
Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.
United States officials fought to conceal details of arrangements between US spy agencies and private companies tracking the whereabouts of Americans. Obtaining location data from US phones normally requires a warrant, but police and intelligence agencies routinely pay companies instead for the data, effectively circumventing the courts. Ron Wyden, the US senator from Oregon, informed the nation’s intelligence chief, Avril Haines, on Thursday that the Pentagon only agreed to release details about the data purchases, which had always been unclassified, after Wyden hindered the Senate's efforts to appoint a new director of the National Security Agency. “The secrecy around data purchases was amplified,” Wyden wrote, “because intelligence agencies have sought to keep the American people in the dark." Pentagon offices known to have purchased location data from these companies include the Defense Intelligence Agency and the NSA, among others. Wyden's letter ... indicates that the NSA is also “buying Americans' domestic internet metadata.” Wyden's disclosure comes amid a fight in the US House of Representatives over efforts to outlaw the purchases. Members of the House Judiciary Committee attached legislation doing so ... to a bill reauthorizing a contentious surveillance program known as Section 702. Biden administration officials and members of the intelligence committee staged a campaign against the privacy-enhancing measures.
Note: Learn more about mission creep in our comprehensive Military-Intelligence Corruption Information Center. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.
Mental health apps have become increasingly common over the past few years, particularly due to the rise in telehealth during the coronavirus pandemic. However, there's a problem: Data privacy is being compromised in the process. In 2023 the Federal Trade Commission ordered the mental health platform BetterHelp, which is owned by Teladoc (TDOC), to pay a $7.8 million fine to consumers for sharing their mental health data for advertising purposes with Facebook (META) and Snapchat (SNAP) after previously promising to keep the information private. Cerebral, a telehealth startup, admitted last year to exposing sensitive patient information to companies like Google (GOOG, GOOGL), Meta, TikTok, and other third-party advertisers. This info included patient names, birth dates, insurance information, and the patient's responses to mental health self-evaluations through the app. Overall, according to the Mozilla Foundation’s Privacy Not Included online buyer’s guide, only two out of the 27 mental health apps available to users met Mozilla's privacy and security standards in 2023. A December 2022 study of 578 mental health apps published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that 44% shared data they collected with third parties. A February 2023 report from Duke University found that out of 37 different data brokers that researchers contacted ... firms “were ultimately willing and able to sell the requested mental health data.”
Unmarked trucks packed with prison-raised cattle roll out of the Louisiana State Penitentiary, where men are sentenced to hard labor and forced to work, for pennies an hour or sometimes nothing at all. They are among America’s most vulnerable laborers. If they refuse to work, some can jeopardize their chances of parole or face punishment like being sent to solitary confinement. The goods ... prisoners produce wind up in the supply chains of a dizzying array of products found in most American kitchens, from Frosted Flakes cereal and Ball Park hot dogs to Gold Medal flour, Coca-Cola and Riceland rice. They are on the shelves of virtually every supermarket in the country, including Kroger, Target, Aldi and Whole Foods. It’s completely legal. Enshrined in the Constitution by the 13th Amendment, slavery and involuntary servitude are banned – except as punishment for a crime. With about 2 million people locked up, U.S. prison labor from all sectors has morphed into a multibillion-dollar empire. Almost all of the country’s state and federal adult prisons have some sort of work program, employing around 800,000 people. Altogether, labor tied specifically to goods and services produced through state prison industries brought in more than $2 billion in 2021. “Slavery has not been abolished,” said Curtis Davis, who spent more than 25 years at [Louisiana's Angola] penitentiary. “It is still operating in present tense,” he said. “Nothing has changed.”
New York has paid out the most of any state in the US to people wrongly incarcerated, according to a new study. High Rise Financial ... analyzed data from the National Registry of Exonerations, a database on exonerated people in each state. New York state has paid out a total of $322m to those wrongfully incarcerated. The state has awarded 237 claims for wrongful imprisonment out of 326 exonerated people. Such payouts cost New York taxpayers $15.97 per person, also the largest per-capita payment out of any state, the study found. Texas, Connecticut, Maryland and Michigan were the other states in the top five that paid out the most to exonerated people. Texas paid out the second highest amount, awarding a total of $155m to 128 people out of 450 people exonerated. The most recent study comes as the amount of exoneration has steadily increased in recent years, according to Maurice Chammah, a journalist with the Marshall Project. Chammah added that getting compensation for a wrong conviction can be tough in some states. In Texas, where lawmakers have paid out large sums to exonerees, legislators have also placed “really harsh limits on accessing that money”. “You sometimes need to be declared actually innocent by a court in a way that is like a very high and difficult barrier to meet,” Chammah said. Overall, Chammah noted that such figures could prompt legislators to pass bills that could limit wrongful incarceration in the first place.
I was moved on to unit 1EE on the south compound inside New Jersey State Prison a year ago. On the floor just above me is 2EE, which is known as “the crazy unit”. This unit is where incarcerated men throughout the state are sent when they experience mental health difficulties. Men are stripped down and given “turtle suits”, thin vests that barely keep them covered. There are no pillows, blankets or sheets. In the United States, roughly 40% of people in state prisons and local jails have a history of mental illness, but less than half of those folks receive treatment. Individuals with signs of mental health issues can face additional risks and discipline while inside, including prison misconduct charges, longer solitary confinement periods and barriers to accessing medication. As a juvenile, a kid might try to get out of being locked up by saying they were going to kill themselves, so they could get sent to a psych unit where they might be treated better. They don’t realize that it will put them on the special needs list forever. As an adult, at least in New Jersey State Prison, a person can get labeled special needs for complaining that they can’t sleep. A special needs designation means that you’ll be at the mercy of the mental health department. It can land you in a bad spot. The side-effects of medication they might give you could be crippling. Some guys get hooked on the drugs and never wake up again.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on prison system corruption from reliable major media sources.
Amid a raft of U.S. strikes targeting Houthi rebels in Yemen, the Pentagon has boots on the ground in the country — a fact the Defense Department has recently refused to acknowledge. “A small number of United States military personnel are deployed to Yemen to conduct operations against al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula and ISIS,” the White House told Congress ... on December 7. This month, the U.S. began its military campaign against the Houthis for attacking shipping vessels in the Red Sea. As the U.S. began to attack, defense officials suddenly became more reticent about the American military presence in Yemen. In a press briefing on January 17, Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder was asked if he could give assurances that the U.S. had no troops on the ground in Yemen. “It’s possible that U.S. forces are spread so widely around the globe that not even the professional tasked with knowing that can keep track of it all,” said Erik Sperling, the executive director of Just Foreign Policy, who worked on Yemen as a Capitol Hill staffer. “But it’s also possible that, given the dramatic expansion in US presence in the region in recent months, he is trying to skirt the question to avoid greater scrutiny.” The U.S. has conducted eight rounds of strikes on Houthi targets in the past month alone. On December 18, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced the creation of a U.S.-led coalition to defend ships against Houthi attacks.
Note: Learn more about war failures and lies in our comprehensive Military-Intelligence Corruption Information Center. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.
Researchers have long known that any single antidepressant drug is little more effective than a placebo in the majority of trials, shown to be less effective than a placebo in some studies, and generally found to be “clinically negligible” with respect to depression remission, while often resulting in severe adverse effects; for example, resulting in a higher percentage of sexual dysfunction than depression remission. However, for nearly twenty years, psychiatry and Big Pharma have told us that while one antidepressant may not work for the majority of patients, in the “real world,” doctors provide patients who have been failed by their initial antidepressant with another antidepressant, and if that fails, still another; and that this real-world treatment is successful for nearly 70% of patients. The problem with this “nearly 70%” story is that the research that has been used to justify it, a 2006 report on the results of the Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D), has long been disputed by researchers. Moreover, a recent reanalysis of previously undisclosed data reveals that STAR*D, owing to scientific misconduct that dramatically inflated remission rates, may go down in US medical history as one of its most harmful scandals. Even [STAR*D's] fabricated 67% depression remission rate should never have been celebrated. 85% of depressed individuals who go without somatic treatments spontaneously recover within 1 year.
Note: Read more important news articles we've summarized on medical and scientific corruption regarding antidepressants. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.
After poking and prodding [Doyle] Hamm with needles for almost 3 hours, prison officials gave up as Mr. Hamm lay strapped to a gurney in a pool of blood. They called off the execution because they were unsuccessful in gaining IV access to administer the lethal injection. This was a risk Mr. Hamm’s attorney had predicted given Hamm’s advanced cancer and long history of IV drug use. At the time, ADOC Commissioner Jeff Dunn did not provide details to reporters about what happened. “I wouldn’t characterize what we had tonight as a problem,” Dunn said. Hamm’s attorney later released photos and examination notes showing that prison employees had punctured Hamm’s bladder and an artery causing him to urinate blood. The state ... privately agreed to never try to execute Doyle Hamm again. Counternarratives about death row can be found in the 2023 book titled Ghosts Over the Boiler: Voices from Alabama’s Death Row. The book is a collection of writings previously published by Project Hope to Abolish the Death Penalty, or PHADP, the nation’s only nonprofit formed on and operated from death row. The organization ... has a goal to educate the public about capital punishment and the features of inequality that define it, while advocating for an end to the death penalty. All of the featured writers have been convicted of murder, although based on the rate of death row exonerations, some are likely wrongly convicted.
Note: The current system often puts innocent people to death. Over half of all wrongful convictions are the result of government misconduct. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on prison system corruption from reliable major media sources.
A Chinese researcher who first submitted the genetic sequence for the SARS-CoV-2 virus in late December 2019, around two weeks before China disclosed the deadly virus to outside scientists, was on the payroll of Anthony Fauci’s institute at the time, according to a grant awarded to EcoHealth Alliance, a nonprofit operated by Peter Daszak. The disclosures call into further question what officials at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) knew about research they were funding in China where the pandemic began. “The grant doesn't work on SARS-CoV-2,” Daszak [said], when the NIH was forced to review the grant in the summer of 2020. “Our organization has not actually published any data on SARS-CoV-2. We work on bat coronaviruses that are out there in the wild and trying to predict what the next one is.” NIH officials refused to respond to multiple requests to explain how much salary they provided to Dr. Lili Ren, a scientist at the Beijing-based Institute of Pathogen Biology, who wrote a letter in support of Daszak’s grant application to Fauci’s NIH institute. Ren first uploaded the COVID virus sequence to the NIH’s GenBank on December 28, 2019—two weeks before scientists celebrated China’s release of the genetic sequence on January 11, 2020. Fauci’s NIH grant also paid for Ren’s expenses, including travel to the United States to meet with Daszak as well as her collaborator Ralph Baric at the University of North Carolina.
Note: The author of Disinformation Chronicle on Substack is Paul Thacker, an American investigative journalist who served as an investigator in the US Senate, focusing on financial ties between doctors and pharmaceutical companies. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on COVID-19 from reliable major media sources.
Louis Armstrong, his wife and a diplomat from the US embassy were out for dinner in a restaurant in what was still Léopoldville, capital of the newly independent Congo. The [musician] was in the middle of a tour of Africa ... organised and sponsored by the State Department. What Armstrong did not know was that his host that night in November 1960 was not the political attaché as described, but the head of the CIA in Congo. “Armstrong was basically a Trojan horse for the CIA,” said Susan Williams ... author of White Malice, a new book which exposes the astonishing extent of the CIA’s activities across central and west Africa. Armstrong's host, CIA station chief Larry Devlin, and other US intelligence officers posted to Congo used the cover of the musicians’s visit to get access to the strategically important and very wealthy province of Katanga, which had recently seceded. There was much of interest to the CIA in Katanga, ranging from senior officials with whom they could not otherwise meet to crucial mining infrastructure, with 1,500 tons of uranium and vast potential to procure more. The CIA in the Congo, led by Devlin, was trying to kill the Congo’s first democratically elected prime minister, 35-year-old Patrice Lumumba, fearful that he would lead the country into the Soviet camp. A mile or so from where Armstrong and Devlin had dined, the charismatic Lumumba was being held prisoner ... by soldiers loyal to Joseph-Désiré Mobutu, the young military chief with a close working relationship with the CIA, who had effectively seized power some weeks earlier. Within two months of Armstrong’s tour, Lumumba was murdered in Katanga. Devlin later claimed that the CIA was responsible, telling a US Congressional investigation “that the coup of Mobutu … was arranged and supported, and indeed, managed, by the CIA”.
Note: Read how the CIA used modern art and other cultural figures as weapons during the Cold War in our Military-Intelligence Corruption Information Center. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources.
On the outskirts of Austin, Texas, what began as a fringe experiment has quickly become central to the city’s efforts to reduce homelessness. To Justin Tyler Jr., it is home. Mr. Tyler, 41, lives in Community First! Village, which aims to be a model of permanent affordable housing for people who are chronically homeless. In the fall of 2022, he joined nearly 400 residents of the village, moving into one of its typical digs: a 200-square-foot, one-room tiny house furnished with a kitchenette, a bed and a recliner. Eclectic tiny homes are clustered around shared outdoor kitchens, and neat rows of recreational vehicles and manufactured homes line looping cul-de-sacs. There are chicken coops, two vegetable gardens, a convenience store ... art and jewelry studios, a medical clinic and a chapel. In the next few years, Community First is poised to grow to nearly 2,000 homes across three locations, which would make it by far the nation’s largest project of this kind, big enough to permanently house about half of Austin’s chronically homeless population. Many residents have jobs in the village, created to offer residents flexible opportunities to earn some income. Last year, they earned a combined $1.5 million working as gardeners, landscapers, custodians, artists, jewelry makers and more. Ute Dittemer, 66, faced a daily struggle for survival during a decade on the streets before moving into Community First five years ago with her husband. Now she supports herself by painting and molding figures out of clay at the village art house. A few years ago, a clay chess set she made sold for $10,000 at an auction. She used the money to buy her first car.
A time bank does with time what other banks do with money: It stores and trades it. “Time banking means that for every hour you give to your community, you receive an hour credit,” explains Krista Wyatt, executive director of the DC-based nonprofit TimeBanks.Org, which helps volunteers establish local time banks all over the world. Thousands of time banks with several hundred thousand members have been established in at least 37 countries, including China, Malaysia, Japan, Senegal, Argentina, Brazil and in Europe, with over 3.2 million exchanges. There are probably more than 40,000 members in over 500 time banks in the US. Many time banks are volunteer community projects, but the one in Sebastopol, [CA] is funded by the city. “Every volunteer hour is valued around $29,” Wyatt calculates. “Now think about the thousands of dollars a city saves when hundreds of citizens serve their community for free.” The Sebastopol time bank has banked more than 8,000 hours since its launch in 2016. Five core principles ... guide time banks to this day: First, everyone has something to contribute. Second, valuing volunteering as “work.” Third, reciprocity or a “pay-it-forward” ethos. Fourth, community building, and fifth, mutual accountability and respect. “What captured me is that people are doing things out of their own good heart,” Wyatt says. “Many years ago, a woman ... said to [civil rights lawyer] Edgar Cahn, ‘I have nothing to give.’ Edgar Cahn listened and finally responded, ‘You have love to give.’ And the whole room just went silent.” Every hour of service is valued the same, no matter how much skill and expertise a task takes, whether it’s an hour keeping someone company, helping them file their taxes or repair a roof. Through a simple online platform, every member can offer and request services and then register the hours they served or received. Especially during and since the Covid pandemic, the bank has also been an antidote to the epidemic of loneliness. >
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