Cowry Collective

Cowry Collective Timebank is a network of individual and organizational members engaged in a reciprocal exchange of services where the unit of currency is an individual's hour of time. Cowry Collective catalogs individuals' and organizations' strengths, skills, and willingness to help others, and then connects these individuals and organizations with each other to assist them in meeting their respective needs. It is a money-free pay-it-forward network.

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Address: P.O. Box 28954
St. Louis, MO 63132
Phone Number: 314-879-4105
We are a unique timebank whose name reflects the ancient practice of exchanging with currency that predates our current use of paper dollars and metal coins. Cowry shells were used as currency for centuries across the world throughout Africa and in China and continue to be used ceremonially among indigenous peoples of North America.

We offer Timebanking 101 classes where you will learn about the history of early trade of barter, the history of timebanking in St. Louis where the first timebank was established in 1981 and the history of the Cowry Collective - the only active timebank in St. Louis!

Timebanking has given me a healthier frame for thinking of value. Through timebanking, I am able to do the things I actually love to do, and see that those things are valuable to people in my community. I see that having a collective member cook me meals or help me with a project for cowry feels a lot better than heading to Qdoba or trying to do it alone. The community built through exchanges is something even billionaires can't get with US dollars.

- Tara, Cowry Collective member

quote-characterOur current economic system values the work and contribution of some people to society more than the work and contribution of other people. But the Cowry Collective values all skills and abilities equally and everyone's contribution matters even from the smallest hands.

- James, Cowry Collective member