Lancaster, Pa. – Pa. based social service agency is addressing poverty by making funds available to help families make ends meet. As disposable income declines, some 76% of Americans have a hard time and struggle to pay for their needs. Community Clearinghouse Agency is launching a new voucher program designed to provide funds to help women and families pay for their needs. CCA partnered with the Trade Exchange Network who will provide their members with the funds they need to pay for things they want. The unique feature is that rather than cash, Credits serve as currency. Each member gets a free checking account to write checks to pay for goods or services from other members. Checking accounts are monitored using the credit and debit system. Unlike the old barter system where each person had to have what the other wanted with the same value, a hard match to make. The Exchange offers a pool of members that can trade with one another using credits as money.
Programs called LETS (Local Exchange Trading System) with 200 in the U.S and 1,500 in 39 countries offer mutual credit or complimentary currency, allowing members to trade goods or services without the use of cash. Because of a poor economy, Greece and Spain currently use this system, trading for food and household needs. Members earn Credits by selling goods or services; they can also purchase virtually anything within the Network. The idea, according to Dale Vega, CCA executive director is to provide funds enabling families to afford what they need. Families can purchases vouchers in any amount they choose, the Exchange subsidizes it based on a 5-1 ratio.
CCA is a volunteer based 501-C-3 social service helping Abused Women, Seniors, Veterans and Families in need in Lancaster County since 1995. Vega said “We anticipate that the new partnership will benefit thousands of families and CCA too. The Exchange serves as a no cost community service designed to help families get what they need. After quarterly operating expenses, the Exchange will donate the balance to the CCA charity to continue community services. Sponsors are invited to purchase a voucher in any amount and donate it to CCA for distribution to families that lack funds to pay for one.
An information kit and application are only available by mail. The charity asks for ten dollars to defray postage, printing and expenses, the Exchange will credit it to your account. Requests can be mailed to CCA P.O. Box 8361 Lancaster, Pa. 17604-8361. Inquiries by telephone or email are not accepted.