What a great concept- Volunteer your time, keep a record of the time spent, and cash it in for help, services or products!
Milwaukee is just starting up a Time banking system. I'm extremely excited about the project. Need pet sitter? Check the time bank! Need a wall painted or to learn to knit? Check the time bank! Chances are that someone is offering to do those things. The beauty of time banking is that you don't need to be able to provide the skills your helper is looking for in exchange- they get time hours for the time they spend helping you, which they can redeem for the help THEY need. Time is exchanged on an hour for hour basis- my hour is worth no more than your hour. The catch, of course, is that you have to spend an equivalent number of hours helping someone else.
Organizations can sign up as well- Your PTA, School or Church can list services that they need to have provided, and you can earn time hours helping out! Earning too many time hours? there's no way you can use them all? donate some back to the church, school or your favorite charity!
There is no lower age limit, either- what a great way to get kids excited about volunteering! If your ten year old wants piano lessons, they hire a time banking teacher, and work off the lesson raking leaves or pulling weeds for your neighbor!
I'm offering Doula services via Timebank, and Baby Signs classes as well.
When I was signing up today, I listed a need for help organizing and cleaning the house, and got a response before I left the co-ordinator's house!
Interested? check out http://www.mketimeexchange.org/