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   The Los Angeles Skills Pool
A Brief History
In 1975 Richard embodied these ideas in a new group within Mensa, the high-IQ society, under the name FREE SIG [SIG for "Special Interest Group"].

Controls were instituted to make sure that members were never overburdened
providing service, but could rely on promptly receiving service.

FREE SIG grew rapidly, exceeding 100 members within the first year. Then in April of 1977, FREE SIG became an independent organization, FREE FOR ALL The Skills Pool.

Now over 35 years later as, we're better than ever. One out of five members has been with us ten years or more. We have
an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.


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In mid-1960s New York, Richard Johnson* first encountered the idea of skills sharing, in the form of an organization called The Labor Gift Plan. The Labor Gift Plan was a step beyond barter, in that members used as many services as they needed, without regard to how much their own services were used. In other words, there was no balancing of services used against services received.

Although the New York Labor Gift Plan was not to last more than a few years, its concepts stayed with Richard, who with his economics background saw their advantages over both ordinary buying and selling, and conventional barter.

When Richard relocated to Los Angeles, he carried those concepts with him. Southern California, he felt, was the perfect environment in which to give folks the opportunity to share their abilities, talents, and interests, without the usual commercial hassles.
*For a current photo of Richard Johnson by a photographer, click here.