Since childhood we’re always told to help our fellow man, assist other people in their time of need and treat others as you’d like to be treated. Hour exchange is the embodiment of these things. The concept is to offer an hour to help someone else, and eventually that hour will be returned to you through another service. The consensus is everyone’s hour is worth the same.
If you go by example of the Hour Exchange Portland the idea is to help a neighbor in reed, and earn a credit for each hour of service. There are hundreds of different services other members offer to spend your credits on.
A huge advantage of this system is the way community networks and relationships are strengthened. It gives a sense of comradery when you know you can depend on someone for something, and you know your efforts will be rewarded.
“An hour is always an hour.” The reason this system can work is the accepted ideal that an hour equals an hour. There’s no discrimination regarding what was done or the level of physical or mental labor. General business deals are characterized by the want of money. By eliminating payment from the system it’s more likely people will help to help, and receive compensation through services in the future.
Imagine this implemented into your neighborhood. You mow a few lawns, paint a fence, help someone grocery shop and come out of it with 5 ‘hours’. Depending on the exact way the system in your community works you could trade those hours you completed for services you’re in need of. Help with your taxes, painting your living room or mowing your own lawn during an injury. The benefit members receive and the feeling of being able to rely on your neighbors is a huge benefit.
Some have argued that living in suburban society has but distance between us. People don’t interact as they used to. With the help of hour exchange, it brings members of a city, neighborhood, church, or school closer together. It’s a great lesson for kids when they see reliable people helping each other out when they need it.
The hour exchange is a growing practice in the current economy, many people are relishing the opportunity to help others and be helped without throwing money around. In this way you can help your fellow man without having to worry about the financial aspect. You can also be sure that during your own time of need or help you’ll be repaid for your own work.