FAQ

What is Time Banking?

Time Banking is a reciprocal service exchange network in which people provide help, support and services to one another by using time instead of money as the currency.  No matter the service being exchanged, one hour of my time is equal to one hour of your time–child care, re-potting plants, a ride to the doctor, a massage, or tax help—all of these skills are considered equal–always.    Every hour you spend doing something for someone in Onion River Exchange, you earn one hour; you then have an hour to spend on having someone do something for you.

  • Onion River Exchange (ORE) is a Time Bank.

How will Time Banking benefit me?

Time Banking provides you with an opportunity to become more active in your community.  Though every experience is different, you should expect to meet new people, give and receive services, learn new skills, and save money.  It enables not just living in community but provides a way to experience community.

Who can become a Member of ORE?

Anyone who lives, works, or is invested in Central Vermont is invited to join ORE.  Our Members range in age from 18-92.  If under 18, you will need to be affiliated with a family or group.  ORE is for everyone: Veterans, retired folks, students, artists, working folks, unemployed, new arrivals, people with disabilities, caregivers…truly, membership is open to anyone who wants to exchange skills and talents with their neighbors.  The more people that join, the more services that can be exchanged.  There are many other TimeBanks serving other parts of Vermont; check out our website for their contact info.

What is the time commitment?

You can participate as often, or as little, as you like.  A lot of the services provided represent everyday activities and can be something you already do on a daily basis.  Depending on what services you request from other Members, time banking could also save you time!  Exchanges can be as short as 15 minutes.  Starting in 2014, ORE requests that every Member put in 12 hours over the course of the year towards the sustainability of ORE.  This could be helping at the ORE tag sale, participating in potlucks, talking about ORE at the farmer’s market, referring new Members…these are all wonderful ways to support ORE!

Why is everyone’s time of equal value?

Equality is a core value of Time Banking and of ORE.  It recognizes that everyone is an asset and that every human being has something meaningful to contribute.

Can I receive before I give?

Yes, as an ORE Member you can receive service before you give service.  What is most important is that you participate in exchanges.  Each Member both gives and receives service.  Having a negative balance is not considered to be a bad thing—your account will fluctuate over time.

How do I keep track of my exchanges?

ORE uses an online timebanking software called Community Weaver (CW) to search for and keep track of your exchanges.  Members post their offers and requests on CW, as well as log any time earned from helping out other Members.  Every Member receives training on how to use CW and some assistance is available to help manage your CW account.

How does this differ from regular volunteer work?

Time Banking is about building community assets.  Instead of looking at the needs that every community has, we look to the strengths of individuals to help each other and in turn strengthen their community.  As opposed to volunteering, Members who participate in ORE earn time for the time they spend sharing their skills with others.

How can I become a Member of ORE?

Joining is easy.  Click on JOIN.

Orientations for New and Confused Members

See the ORE Calendar

Does it cost anything to be a Member of ORE?

$25 for individuals, $40 for households, $100 for organizations

Time banking beyond ORE