In tough economic times, people go back to the earliest stages of obtaining goods and services. Sure enough, free sites like craigslist and auction sites like eBay have fostered and promoted the sharing, exchange, trading and bartering of goods and services for years now.
In fact, many neighborhoods around the United States are finding like-minded folks who wish to share the wealth and chip in for everything from snowblowers to childcare, from paint sprayers to garden hoses, fences, manure and even vehicles.
Websites promoting the concept of sharing, trading, bartering and auctioning are springing up everywhere as well. A recently-born website advertising spare rooms, couches and even comfy floors of private apartments and homes as an alternative to expensive hotels and motels gives weary travelers not only a place to stay where they can save money, but also an opportunity to possibly meet someone and make a friend, rate that person's hospitality when they're done, and offer a review for the next person taking advantage of a cozy couch.
In fact, if you can believe it (and I'm personally just beginning to not only believe it but itching to take part) there are places in San Francisco and other cities in which you can actually share cars with others, using a big truck for a day of hauling or an SUV to take the kids and their friends out for the day, a sports car for your hot date or, well, you get the picture.
A Connecticut man with an incredibly generous neighbor, one who was always around to help and created a sense of community spirit in his neighborhood decided to start a company called 'Davezillion' named after the amazing neighbor who, sadly, passed away too soon and, of course, was named Dave. The Connecticut man missed his friend and the unusual capacity and gift he had for bringing people together, with no money involved, to help one another out. This company has had great success in continuing Dave's legacy, helping more people, perhaps even a zillion people, to become more like Dave in their attitude and actions toward their neighbors and loved ones.
So while we're by no means out of the woods in terms of our economic crisis, we may be heading toward a very, very uniquely interesting part of the forest. Perhaps it is a part of the forest which smells of hom- cooked lasagna ( I cook them for our neighbor across the street) or old, perfectly worn leather recliners (neighbor subsequently gave three to us when he was about to sell them or toss them) or maybe this part of the forest looks like your friend shoveling your driveway for you when you're at work while you feed his child supper and let him spend the night.
Edited by Jody Smith
Aimee Boyle is a regular contributor to EmpowHER.