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Columbia Community Exchange of Howard County

CCE Circle of Giving


Time Banking: Offering a way to lend a hand and get help

Time Banking is neighbors helping neighbors through a mutual exchange of services.

Time Banking values the time spent together rather than the specific skill exchanged.  

People offer and request services ranging from rides to the airport to math tutoring.

Membership is free and follows a simple formula: one hour of helping a member earns a Time Dollar, which can be spent on an hour of help from another member.  What can you do?

Do you love to:                                        

  • Bake cookies?  Talk on the phone?  Work in the yard?  Make kombucha?  Help around the house?  Solve math problems?

Can you:

  • Write a simple will?  Take photographs?  Work on computers?  Drive to airport or train? Design a garden?  Do data entry?   

Read about some of our members' experiences with Time Banking.

  • Sandra Holt is an attorney by trade but has also picked up a bevy of home repair skills from owning and doing maintenance on a couple of rental properties. She started time banking by offering simple electrical work but has branched out into other household help as well — installing light fixtures, addressing malfunctioning outlets, installing doorknobs and mowing lawns as well.  She’s received help in several ways, most recently with mulching her flower beds, which she said was a huge job requiring about five hours of help from two people. Holt said she helps someone via time banking about once per week, finding various tasks to complete through the website.  “I just feel like I am more part of the community; I get to meet people I might see later,” she said. “I get to help people with things they don’t necessarily know how to do. I also like to teach them how to do it so next time they can do it on their own.”


  • Elaine Ritchey found time banking through an introductory tea held at Columbia Art Center and focuses most of her efforts on helping others with their gardens.  While she has strong gardening skills, Ritchey said her computer skills are a little lacking. So when she gets help, it’s usually with her computer. But she’s also done more than trade skills through time banking — she’s also met some friends through their similar interests.  “There are a couple of other people in time bank who share my love of gardening,” she said. “I’ve found some friends with the same interests, whether it’s gardening or cats — fellow animal lovers — we like to have a tea once in awhile or just catch up when the different functions happen.”

We invite you to join us!  For information about CCE, email CommunityExchange@ or call 410-884-6121.