Time Bank of the Rockies
Time Banking for the Holidays

[December| By Erin Berge]

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(Graphic, Kathryn R. Burke)

During the Christmas holidays, many of us may begin thinking how we can be of help others and share our time and talents. Time banking may be the answer for those who are looking for new and innovative ways to spread cheer.

A time bank, also known as “time exchanges”, are about people helping other people in a system where everyone’s skills are equally valued and where everyone benefits. One hour spent helping another creates a time credit, which can be used to get help or “purchase” goods available from other members. Time credits can also be donated to friends, family, or charities who are members.

Some holiday examples of time bank exchanges could be Christmas tree cutting and hauling, putting up outdoor decorations, driveway or sidewalk snow removal, firewood chopping, rides to and from airports, crafting assistance, holiday food baking, letter writing, or gift-wrapping.

There are many possibilities to explore that do not have to be limited to personal needs or uses.  Professionals can also exchange time.  A small business owner may choose to offer so many hours of their services (i.e. computer repair, yoga instruction, massage therapy, tax preparation) in exchange for something they deed useful to their personal or professional goals and needs.

Courtesy image. Photographed pre-Covid, so no mask-wearing.

Time Bank of the Rockies (TBR) is a local time bank that offers a community network of members willing to complete a variety of exchanges.  TBR is located in Montrose, Colorado and currently serves Montrose, Delta, San Miguel, and Ouray Counties with the “time exchange” economic model.

Time banks are not charities: all members share their unique skills and earn the same time credits. TBR believes that all talents are equal and therefore all-time should be equal.

Through shared experiences and the sense of being useful to your community, people feel empowered and more engaged. They become part of a vibrant and caring group and gain friends. At the same time, they also earn time credits, which they can spend to improve their lives and have fun experiences.  These good feelings can arrive just in time for the holidays by becoming a member.

About 270 time exchanges exist nationwide; memberships range from a few dozen to several thousand. Models vary, but all time banks rely on the collective power of members who deposit and withdraw hours from a central account, typically managed through an on line web portal.

TBR currently boasts 160 local members and a total of 33,929 hours exchanged. To become a member or learn more, visit  https://timebankoftherockies.com/

Join Time Bank of the Rockies

Now, with the forced isolation from Covid, more than ever, we need to help one another, providing safe services and companionship. Time Banking offers both.

For more information about Time Banking with Time Bank of the Rockies, or to join, please see our website  or call Executive Director, Cynthia Harwood at 970-209-6886 or email contact@timebankoftherockies.com.