UpLIFT Credit Exchange

Frequently Asked Questions About Our Timebank

What is hOurworld?

hOurworld is an open source, co-operative backed online platform that helps us to keep track of all our participants and their exchanges, including offers, requests, groups, and attributes.

What if I don’t have access to a computer? Can I still join the UpLIFT Credit Exchange?

Yes, you absolutely can. You may be able to use hOurworld on your smartphone, but if that doesn’t work you can come to the St James Town Community Co-op office space at 325 Bleecker during drop in hours, and use our community computer station to register and maintain your account! LINK

What qualifies for credits in the UpLIFT Credit Exchange?

There are numerous ways to earn credits through both other individuals and UpLIFT Credit Exchange affiliated organizations:

Individual to Individual: you as an individual exchange with another individual in the neighborhood.

Individual to Organization: Organizations can post offers and requests that individuals can respond to.

Organization to Organization: Organizations can make exchanges with one another.

There are many ways to earn credits through work with us, and our partner organizations. If you respond to the St James Town Community Co-op’s offers and are able to support with community events, farming, gardening, office support, co op working groups, or committees or if you attend our educational sessions, wellness workshops, or strategic planning and annual general meetings you can report your hours on hOurworld and be credited accordingly.

Starting in fall 2023, if you are paid as a project lead or for a specific role, either through contract or honoraria, that is your compensation for your time and efforts. If you are a contracted staff and you do things outside of your job description, you are eligible for time banking credits.

What are my UpLIFT credits good for?

Credits can be redeemed within the community for various offers. The St James Town Community Co-op often has offers posted on hOurworld for discounts and extra goodies in our Good Food Buying Club (link), for educational sessions and wellness workshops (link), and for field trips and retreats with some of our partner organizations. 

The co-op is in the process of creating opportunities to redeem hours for more discounts and access to special events and programming.

Keep your eye out for other offers and let us know if you have any suggestions!

How will the discounts with the Good Food Buying Club work?

The St James Town Community Co-op will put additional discounts up in our online store (link) that members of the UpLIFT Credit Exchange have exclusive access to. As a member of the credit exchange, you can claim these offers in exchange for your time bank hours. These may be in the form of food boxes, special items, or discount codes for additional dollars off your online order.

How do references work?

In order to vet new members to the UpLIFT Credit Exchange, we use a reference system. Two references from people you’ve known for at least 2 years are required when you create an account on hOurworld. There are some exceptions to this: 

If you are a longstanding member of the co-op, and have previously volunteered or worked with us, you may list two co-op staff members as references. Because we can easily confirm the reference with other staff members, they do not have to write out letters of reference. 

If you are a new member of the co-op, and have attended orientation, you may list one member of co-op staff, and please also provide one additional reference (a family member, partner, friend or colleague) with a short letter. 

However, if you are not yet a member of the St James Town Community Cooperative, then you must provide two references, and they both must submit a short write up about their relationship to you. They can also include aspects of your character and why you might enjoy time banking.

References should be approximately 500 words, or two large paragraphs. Once you submit your references as part of your application on hOurworld, they will be reviewed and we will follow up with you if there are any additional questions or information required.  

Are there risks to participating in the UpLIFT Credit Exchange?

In order to make sure people within the UpLIFT Credit Exchange (UCE) feel safe and confident when participating in exchanges, we at the Co-op take a few important steps.

We ask for and check everyone’s references upon application, and we take the time to meet, talk to, and get to know each participant in the UCE. We also host events, which give participants the means to meet their neighbours and become familiar with other participants and/or co-op members, which helps to foster deeper relationships and trust in the community. 

Many members of the UCE are also members of our Co-op. All members of our Co-op sign a membership agreement, which they are bound to. You can review this document here. (link) These agreements extend to our time bank, and help to ensure people are behaving with the good of the whole community in mind. 

That said, we are not able to guarantee people's safety when liaising with other individuals in the UCE, so please use good judgment about accepting offers or requests from people you don’t know well yet. Offer to meet in public spaces, and trust your instincts if something is feeling uncomfortable to you. 

Why should I become a member of both the St James Town Community Co-op and the UpLIFT Credit Exchange?

Because it is in your best interest! This is the easiest way to stay informed on all of our exciting offers and requests, and access special discounts and advantages through our Co-op. 

If you are not yet a member of our co-op, you can apply to become one here.

Who are the UpLIFT Credit Exchange affiliated organizations?

The St James Town Community Co-op has many meaningful working partnerships with other organizations, including farming collectives, wellness centers, youth based initiatives, and more!  

Some of these partnered offers and requests will be made through the St James Town Co-op account, but many of them are also participants in our time bank and post their own offers and requests.

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