Hour for Our Community group grows, seeks more people to barter time

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BENNINGTON >> On Saturday, at the Bennington Free Library, several people were introduced to a program called, "Hour for Our Community."

According to Rose-Marie Pelletier, the Hour for Our Community program is a group that exchanges goods and services amongst its members through a system of "time credits" as opposed to money.

The idea is that when someone fulfills a service for someone else in the program, the worker gains credits for the hours worked, which the member can then spend on other services.

This Bennington based branch of the program is part of a much larger network that all share the same software system used to manage a member's time credits. It's called "Hour World" and online known as as, "hOur World."

The Bennington program began four years ago, and now boasts 128 members with more than 1,300 hours exchanged between them.

Services such as cooking, lawn mowing, and child care can be traded.

The group also hosts an equipment loan program, allowing members access to seasonal equipment such as snow blowers, without the financial investment.

Pelletier said that while Hour for Our Community is there for the exchange of things people may need, its primary goal is to connect people.

"The greatest benefit of membership is the wonderful people with whom you connect through the exchanges," she said.

To be a member, one must be at least 18 and either pay an annual membership fee of $25 plus two time credits or just four time credits. Pelletier said however, that the $25 dollar option will help to further staff the project, and pay a new program manager to assist with coordinating services and events.

The Hour World website (hourworld.org) not only leads one through the steps to join, but contains further details on the program as well as information on similar programs internationally. Pelletier encourages new membership and hopes the community will take note.


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