Since the dawn of time and particularly since the advent of formal currency, people have been finding ways to share services or goods without exchanging cash through bartering or simply neighbors helping neighbors. But there is now a formal structure around this age old concept with a view to getting more people involved and offering more services. Daniel Ziskin and Jan DeCourtney are co-presidents of Time Bank Boulder whose vision is “to create a social environment founded on a sharing economy that facilitates connection and cooperation; sharing of time, talent, skills, and resources.”
Ziskin says Time Banks are actually expanding on the neighbor helping neighbor idea and making it even more powerful.
“In the old days when it was neighbors helping neighbors it involved reciprocity…what I can do for you and you can do for me, and that kept things even. In our system, it’s much more of the community supporting itself…I do something for one member and receive from a totally different neighbor and so in that way the whole community is participating in that neighbor helping neighbor and makes the concept that much more powerful.”
In Time Banks, the currency is one hour of work. Hour World keeps track of the hours logged and the credits that members of the Time Bank accrue. DeCourtney says that a time dollar represents one hour of service, no matter what service is being provided “the hours are all equal, everybody’s service is equal. ”
Anyone aged 18 years or older is eligible to join the Time Bank and offer their services. Current services on offer in the Boulder Time Bank include: language classes, transportation, driving and errands, help in the home such as organization, moving help, editing and writing.
TimeBank Boulder is having a pot luck on Sunday August 6th at Vista Village Meeting Room, 5000 Butte Street in Boulder. They hold regular new member orientations as well as Spanish conversation groups.