Category Archives: General VTT News

Valley Time Workshops being held

from the Belchertown, Granby & Amherst Sentinelpeople-helping-people-graphic

Thursday, March 2, 2017
BELCHERTOWN – The Belchertown Senior Center will be hosting two Valley Time Trade orientations in March.  VTT is part of an organized exchange system where members help others by providing services and then are paid in hours, or time credits. With those credits they can “buy” hours of services they want or need.

Time trading is not bartering. It’s not tied to a cash value and is based on the currency of time. Generally, members don’t exchange, like bartering, with the same member, but among a network of people. One hour of service earns one hour of someone else’s time, no matter what the service. Everyone has something to offer and everyone’s hour is worth the same.

Those interested in joining the time bank can find the application form at Potential members fill out an application, attend an orientation and then are granted access to the secure time bank website where members post service requests, review offers and track hours. For those people who are not computer savvy, they should still attend an orientation and a computer buddy will be assigned to help.

Lisa Aiken, of Belchertown, said that VTT members span the length of the Pioneer Valley with the largest concentration in Hampshire County.  Aiken, who is part of the VTT organizational team, feels that every individual has valuable skills and experiences to contribute.

“It’s a way to connect people and unmet needs with untapped resources. It’s a way to build a healthy community and provide an alternative currency.”

Aiken hopes that VTT will draw lots of interest in this area making more options for trading locally.

The two orientations, Wednesday, March 8th at 6:30 pm and Wednesday, March 22nd at 10 am, will take place at the Belchertown Senior Center at 60 State Street in Belchertown.

Comments Off on Valley Time Workshops being held

Filed under General VTT News, Information Sessions & Meetings, Time Banking Movement

Valley Time Trade provides services without cash


For The Recorder

Thursday, July 21, 2016

When Jennifer Rau asked a community member what she wanted for her 80th birthday, she received very specific instructions: strawberry shortcake and face paint for all the kids.

Rau, 36, was able to give the woman the birthday she wanted without spending money, thanks to Valley Time Trade. Using the mutual aid network, she found someone to paint the children’s faces.

The organization is an exchange system that allows community members to trade services, paying for them with time rather than currency. One community member will do something for someone — weed their lawn or give them computer help — to “buy” hours of service they want in return. This Saturday, the time trade will be holding a free orientation for new members at 2:30 p.m. in the meeting room at Green Fields Market, 144 Main St. in Greenfield.

“For me, it’s a way of connecting to this place, to the valley, more deeply,” said Rau, an Amherst resident who’s been participating in the organization as a trader for around five years. “It’s a way to connect to the community and places differently than if I were to go to places and pay.”

Now, Rau works as an organizer for Valley Time Trade, although she said the role isn’t incredibly taxing because the group uses sociocracy, or dynamic governance, to split up tasks and responsibilities. Since March, the time trade has adopted this new organizational structure, which splits coordinators into three separate “circles” — administrative/development, membership and IT/data. The method, Rau said, allows for an equivalence of voices and more transparency and effectiveness.

The group offers orientations once a month in both Greenfield and Northampton to primarily show new members how to interact with the web interface they can use to peruse services being offered. The orientation on Saturday will also address beginners’ fears of getting started in Valley Time Trade, Rau said; many people join but are intimidated by the anonymous nature of the online postings.

The organization has about 950 members, according to Hilary Caws-Elwitt, who assists with Valley Time Trade software. But only 300 of those members arecleaning active, meaning 650 members haven’t logged on in the past year.

Valley Time Trade is working on creating a buddy system for new members, Rau said, to encourage them past that tough first stage in integrating with the community.

Member Susan Hackney, who earns some of her hours by helping at orientation sessions, said while the anonymity of the website isn’t a deterrent to her, it is to others.

Hackney said she joined the organization in 2012, but wasn’t very involved until more recently. It was never at the forefront of her mind at first, but once she began to meet more traders and build relationships in the community, she became more involved.

“The more I meet people that I might trade with, then the more I trade,” said the Bernardston resident.

Because of this, Hackney said Valley Time Trade social events are imperative to retaining active users.

For now, Rau said the time trade will focus on making the organization smoother and livelier for those already registered. Her personal goal, she said, is also to draw in members of diverse economic statuses, races and ages.

“We want this to be more thriving, more community building, more and more active members,” Rau said.

Comments Off on Valley Time Trade provides services without cash

Filed under General VTT News, Uncategorized, VTT Media Spots

Software change – members, please log in if you haven’t yet

  • Your username is your email address. You will need to reset your password
  • Then log in here (you can use the address
  • Please check your profile and update your bio
  • Click My Profile/My Public Page to see what it will look like to other logged-in members
  • If you have requests and offers posted, please review them for accuracy
  • Add more offers/requests and start trading!
  • Need help? Watch a video (it was made for Hour Exchange Portland, but same software) or send an email to

The new system is being improved all the time and is in use by a rapidly-growing number of time banks. There are some quirks, so thank you for your patience as we all learn together!

Comments Off on Software change – members, please log in if you haven’t yet

Filed under General VTT News