Co-Op: Services

If we are to become a community, we need to be looking out for each other, offering a helping hand when we can.  At the same time, noone should be a burden on others.  We've got tools, equipment, space and people to work with.  Let's examine some ways we can use them to help.

Flat tires, dead batteries, locked out, stuck in a ditch.  Been there, done that, and it usually sucked.  When the car craps out it's not the end of the world, but it sure does mess up the afternoon.  There's people in the world that don't know how to replace a flat tire, and some of them will be us.  Maybe the spare tire is flat or the jack is missing or broken.  Maybe someone borrowed the jumper cables and forgot to bring them back.  What does one do when they are locked out and don't have a phone book around to call a locksmith and the phone is going dead fast.  It's a hundred bucks to call a tow truck.  There is no tire, no locksmith, it's 10 below and the kids are in the car freezing.  Having someone to call can save the day.  We may not be able to solve your toubles, but we can get you a ride home before your groceries warm up.

Car pooling can be arranged between people in the group.  A bulletin board and website forum make this project easier to coordinate.  Ride sharing for college students on the way to and back from college during breaks fits in here in the same way.  Scheduled transportation may spring up as a cottage industry.

Boats, RVs, Jet Skis, and campers are fun to have and use, but storage can be a problem.  We would have some space available which could be used to store these items.  Self-storage sheds can be constructed for personal items.  If we have an investment in the infrastructure to enable this project, there would be a charge involved.

Every year more and more goods are ordered online and shipped to the buyer.  If nobody is home, the package is left on the doorstep, presenting the risk of theft and weather damage.  We could serve as a location to receive these shipped goods.  Several items on a UPS truck being delivered may move us up the priority list, getting the product dropped off earlier in the day.  There would be someone on site to sign for the delivery and take photos of the condition of the package.  It's out of the rain and temptation is removed by locking it away.

We've got scores of families involved.  Some of them will surely be using daycare services from time to time.  It makes good sense to look at a means of redirecting that spending to ourselves.  It may not be a project to include as a part of the Co-Op business, but can be modeled after the plan.  As the Co-Op grows, it may encounter a situation where a suitable structure is available for lease to a daycare provider.  Having daycare services available can enable some folks to make a greater contribution to the co-op.


Cooperative Enterprise, Plan Outline