"We know that people in hard times are relying on neighbors," said Schlakman. "This is a way to do things a little more formally."

"You can't really pay your rent with the time bank, but you can save some money on other things," said Wenger.

Also a member is Jerry Raitzyk, of Hampden, who is in his 26th year as owner of the Chesapeake Juggling Institute. Raitzyk foresees being able to offer classes for things he needs, such as a ride to a doctor's office.

"It's all reciprocal," he said.


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Raitzyk spent Saturday afternoon, Sept. 15, juggling and promoting Baltimore Time Bank at a DIY (Do It Yourself) Festival at the St. John's United Methodist Church in Charles Village.

"People here are trying to think outside the box," he told a reporter as he juggled for children.

Intrigued by the time bank was DIY Festival participant Zenobia Taylor-Weiss, 23, of Baltimore Food Swap, which enables people to trade homegrown foods.

"I think it's a neat idea," she said of the time bank, "but I don't know too much about it."

Urban farmer Don Barton, of Hampden, co-founder of the Hampden-based Baltimore Free Farm, said he signed up for the time bank and is trying to get more involved in it, "but I don't have a lot of time."

Jason Woody, of Bmore Clubhouse, a membership group for the mentally ill, has a budding relationship with the time bank.

"Part of our goal is to get members out in the community using their skills. It's a perfect partnership," said Woody, 30, of Patterson Park.

Woody, who travels a fair amount, would like to use the time bank personally to get rides to and from the airport, he said.

One who is not signed up yet is Schlakman's wife, Vanessa Holub, 31.

"I really want to sign up and I want my mom to sign up," Holub said. "She doesn't have a car. She cat-sits for people."

As for Holub, "It's hard to think what I can do," she said. "I write fiction, so I could probably do that. I play piano. I sing."

Said Raitzyk, "You can come to my grandson's bar mitzvah."