Yard work for Spanish lessons, a ride to the airport for homemade baked goods, pet sitting for a hair cut. With the help of local organization NOLA Time Bank, New Orleanians are able to swap services with other community members and groups.
Dissimilar to standard hourly wages that vary from task to task, field to field, value at NOLA Time Bank is entirely time-based; one hour of work entitles members to one hour of any service from another member. The thought behind the reciprocal system is that through mutual aid, the time bank will essentially strengthen community ties.
“I think that every single neighborhood all across New Orleans can be a hub of neighbors helping one another,” says time bank director Gretchen Zalkind.
James Williams, a film student in the Department of Film and Theatre at the University of New Orleans, speaks with Zalkind, as well as NOLA Time Bank members about the unique exchange system.