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Brattleboro Time Trade – Using Community Currency

btt_logo300By Abigail Mnookin

Brattleboro Time Trade’s mission is to create strong  networks of support by connecting people who use their energy, time and talents to help each other and their community. The time banking model allows for the exchange of “Time Credits,” a type of community currency that anyone can earn by helping another member of the Time Trade.

Each hour of service provided to another Time Trade member earns one Time Credit. Members can spend their Time Credits on services provided by any other member of the Time Trade. All services are valued equally, regardless of the market value. An hour that a teenager babysat is treated the same as an hour of wiring completed by a retired electrician.

While I’ve been home part-time with my daughter, I’ve become increasingly involved with the Time Trade. As a Time Trade member, I’ve provided rides to the bus station, weeded gardens, loaned my kayak and food dehydrator, and baked sweet treats for fundraisers. I’m now one of the coordinators. In return for these services, I’ve had curtains sewn, a chair re-caned, firewood stacked, and my dog walked. I’ve received childcare, borrowed a pick-up truck, obtained a carpentry consultation, and soaked in an outdoor hot tub.

The Time Trade brings people together from different walks of life. It provides an alternative to day care centers, senior centers, after school programs and fee for service exchanges. Because there is substantial research that shows the correlation between social support and health, it can be said that the Time Trade grows healthy communities.

The Brattleboro Time Trade is accepting new memberships to their current 300-member list, from WindhamCounty and beyond, extending to a 30-mile radius from Brattleboro.

Join online, or learn more at www.brattleborotimetrade.org, stop by our office at 15 Grove St (M 9-6, W 12-6, F 9-4) or call 802-246-1199. . . Together, we can make our community stronger, more equitable, and better connected. Happy trading!

Abigail Mnookin is a co-coordinator of the Brattleboro Time Trade. Listen to her VPR Commentary about the Time Trade online at http://digital.vpr.net/post/mnookin-time-trade

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