The bartering system is alive and well in the valley. But instead of exchanging goods, members of the hOUR Economy Timebank exchange services that fit their individual skills.
Norm Shafer is a photographer by trade with a talent for editing, but his passion is farming. Anne Buzzelli is a dietician and nutritionist. So how is it that this farmer is helping this nutritionist with some audio issues on a personal project? It's the hOUR Economy Timebank.
Christina Cain, executive director of the Staunton Creative Community Fund, explains the purpose of hOUR Economy. "To help people connect resources and tools and talents available in our community without spending any money," she said.
No money; just time. Members list their skills and talents on the timebank website. They also outline what they might like help with.
"So far I've done photography, pet sitting, weeding," Shafer said.
Shafer, along with his wife, owns and operates Geezer Farm. Two years in, Shafer says farming is a big job, so he has a plan.
"To save as many hours helping other people and then when I need help on the farm I'll be able to put a request out and will be able to get people to come help me plant or weed or shovel mulch or harvest or whatever I need," he said.
And Shafer believes everyone has something to offer.
"It can be as simple as sitting with an elderly neighbor. People have done cooking for other people, house cleaning, chopping wood. Everyone can offer to help their neighbors and that's what the whole hOUR Economy is about is just connecting with your neighbors and helping each other," he said.
hOUR Economy members already have a variety of skills, but they say they would like to see some hair stylists, accountants and mechanics jump on board.