WHAT IT IS
Catskills Time is a time bank: a community-run, free and fair labor-exchange network.
Part of a decades-old international tradition, time banking is now experiencing a renaissance all over the country and abroad. In simple terms, time banking allows members to perform services for other members in exchange for hours, which they can then “spend” by having other members perform services for them. Unlike traditional barter, time banking is not restricted to a pair of people directly trading with each other: by “banking” hours and being free to spend them later, the possibilities of useful labor-exchange are multiplied.
Time banking is built on the idea that each of us has unique gifts, talents and resources to share, and that everyone’s time is of equal value. One hour of labor is equal to one hour of labor, no matter how the marketplace normally values the labor in question (in the time bank, a doctor’s hour is worth the same as a babysitter’s hour or a janitor’s hour). Catskills Time aims to encourage systemic social change, economic equality, and also to get those things done that plague us individually, but are easily accomplished as a community. An elegant, concise history of time banking can be found here.
Catskills Time holds monthly potluck meetings, which prospective members are encouraged to attend.
The Catskills Time Bank (or Catskills Time) is a local exchange system designed to inspire trust and reciprocity. A collective of individuals working toward empowering the community by facilitating cooperative trade, we aim to serve as a bridge between people from different backgrounds by providing the opportunity for interaction through the exchange of services.
Now a global movement more than a quarter-century old, Time Banking was inspired by concepts developed by Edgar Cahn, a civil rights attorney and champion of social change, who had a vision of how communities could empower themselves by looking within to meet one another’s needs. There are now active Time Banks in 22 countries on six continents. Inspired by pioneering Time Banks from Woodstock to Echo Park, from Temple City to Austin, Catskills Time aims to bring this innovative community service to Delaware County and its environs in the Catskills region of New York State.