Time Bank Connects People in Berks

The adage “time is money” is put into action with the recently formed Time Bank, an initiative managed by Barrio Alegria. The Time Bank is a type of barter or exchange system where time is the currency.  The initiative connects people in need of help, like assistance with grocery shopping or transportation, with others who can provide the help.

The exchanges are coordinated through the Time Bank’s website where Individuals register and the needs and/or offerings are listed. For example, an individual may seek transportation to an event, while listing a skill they will provide, such as baking, music lessons, car detailing or yard work. When a person provides an hour of skill or service, they receive a unit of time in return.

United Way of Berks County provided a grant to the program earlier this year, aiming to boost options and opportunities around transportation, which is often a key need in both urban and rural areas of the community.

“Everyone has something to offer,” says Jose Garcia, Time Bank coordinator. “The program assigns equal value to each person and promotes a sharing economy and community.” Garcia reports over 100 members have registered via the website to-date, with 134 exchanges having occurred since its inception. “The Time Bank links people together, provides help and can help build a stronger community,” adds Garcia. “Especially during this time of increased needs, those who can help others make a big difference in someone’s life.”

The local service is part of The Good Neighbors Time Bank, a regional program serving communities in Southeastern Pennsylvania. To learn more, visit Good Neighbors Time Bank or contact timebank@barrioalegria.org