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Donation Baskets

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  • M.Eaton
    In the Toronto Area, we traditionally leave a donation basket by the coffee pot at hospital meetings and detox center meetings and do not pass it around. As a
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 1, 2007
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      In the Toronto Area, we traditionally leave a
      donation basket by the coffee pot at hospital
      meetings and detox center meetings and do not
      pass it around. As a result, most of the time
      there is never enough collected to pay for the
      coffee and/or literature and these meetings do
      not have the tools to help the suffering
      residents who ask for books or literature.

      I started passing a donation basket and was
      soon able to help not only the one meeting
      but many others in the area.

      I was ordered to stop by our DISTRICT because
      this is against the Traditions and the Principles
      of Service as set down by New York.

      Is this accurate historically?

      Murray E.
    • John J. Clark
      From: John J. Clark (johnnyjclark at sbcglobal.net) Murray, Ordered to stop? No one can order anyone to do anything in
      Message 2 of 3 , Jul 4, 2007
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        From: "John J. Clark" <johnnyjclark@...>
        (johnnyjclark at sbcglobal.net)


        Ordered to stop? No one can order anyone to
        do anything in Alcoholics Anonymous. I fail
        to see how this is a Tradition violation.
        You're passing the hat in an AA meeting for
        an AA meeting. I am assuming that no other
        money goes to the facility but for rent?
        This scenario is no different than an AA
        group paying rent to a clubhouse. Clubs
        aren't AA pre se. Here in Cleveland we pass
        the hat at ALL AA MEETINGS except correctional
        facilities. And I'd pass one there too if
        I thought a con might pull a "fin" out of
        his shoe.

        Maybe I am missing something about the "beef"
        your district office has about your 7th
        Tradition activities?

        Johnny (Cleveland)

        - - - -

        From: "John Seibert" <quasso@...>
        (quasso at mindspring.com)

        I don't know what your district says, but
        each group is autonomous except in matters
        affecting other groups or AA as a whole
        (Tradition 4) and if you pass a collection
        can according to the dictates of your group
        conscience then I can't see that it would be
        a violation of any of the other traditions

        John S.
        Nashville TN

        - - - -

        From: James Blair <jblair@...>
        (jblair at videotron.ca)

        Meetings held in institutions such as
        hospitals, detox centers, prisons do not
        require contributions b/c they do not pay
        rent and literature and other supplies should
        be provided by the Area Committee. In
        Montreal we have an Institutions meeting
        once a month where we pick up literature
        and supplies.

        No rent = No contributions.


        - - - -

        From: "seamus0803" <seamus0308@...>
        (seamus0308 at hotmail.co.uk)

        Here in Ireland we would say 'Yes'

        We only pass the basket at closed AA meetings.
        At Open meetings where there are non AA members
        present or Hospital meetings the basket is
        not passed because

        a) it violates Tradition 7: 'Every group ought
        to be fully self-supporting, declining outside

        b) at an Open meeting is also violates Tradition
        12: 'Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of
        all our traditions...' because AA members would
        contribute and therefore would be breaking
        their anonymity.

        I only wish that someone had told be about
        this before I acted as secretary at 2 open
        meetings for my own home group!!


        - - - -

        From: pvttimt@...

        ???? In 29.5 years, in California, Colorado,
        New Mexico, Arizona and Pennsylvania, I've
        never been to a meeting that did not pass
        the basket, except in detoxes, shelters and
        the like where the folks don't have any money
        to contribute.

        ???? Nor have I ever heard of the "rule" or
        tradition of which you speak.

        - - - -

        From: "Joe Nugent" <joe-gent@...>
        (joe-gent at sympatico.ca)

        Hi Murray,

        Institutions meetings such as jails, detoxifi-
        cation units and hospitals are supported by the
        district, supplying coffee, literature, big
        books, the room is free to the people putting
        on the meeting as well.

        District 9
        Area 86

        - - - -

        From: Sober186@...
        (Sober186 at aol.com)

        I doubt that anyone on this site wants to be
        the A.A. police. It is unclear from your email
        which tradition the trusted servants of the
        district might be referring. However you
        write "I started passing" etc.

        Would it be more in line with all the traditions
        if the group had first held a group conscience
        to determine how the group wants to collect the
        funds? You might also recommend to the group
        members they read over the pamphlet, "The A.A.
        Group" before the group conscience is held.

        I would also be guided by "Tradition #4 -- "With
        respect to its own affairs, each A.A. group
        should be responsible to no other authority
        that its own conscience."

        The traditions do not state how that money
        is to be raised but do give some guidance in
        Tradition 7--"The A.A. groups themselves ought
        to be fully supported by the voluntary contribu-
        tions of their own members."

        One thing that makes A.A. tolerable to many
        of us is that there appear to be no hard and
        fast rules.

        I hope this helps.
        Love and serve.

        - - - -

        From: michael oates <moates57@...>
        (moates57 at yahoo.com)

        read traditions how it developed pamphlet,
        it states we are not concerned with
        small contributions from non members

        Michael S. Oates

        - - - -

        From: "David Stack" <davidrstack@...>
        (davidrstack at bellsouth.net)

        Seventh tradition: Short form -

        "Every A.A. group ought to be fully self-
        supporting, declining outside contribution."

        If the meeting you are referring to is a
        closed meeting of A.A. then I see no problem
        with passing the basket. The A.A. members are
        supporting the group through voluntary

        However if the meeting is an open meeting,
        non-A.A.s may be putting money in the basket
        which is a violation of our traditions. The
        "group" is receiving money from outside
        sources if you will (non-A.As) and is not
        fully self supporting by its own members.

        David R. S.

        - - - -

        From: Edie Stanger <edie.s@...>
        (edie.s at tx.rr.com)

        I don't know how to respond to whether it is
        accurate historically.

        In my group, the hospital meetings are 12th
        Step work by our group members who attend
        the meetings.

        "We are self-supporting" refers to my home group,
        not to the alcoholic in the hospital where we
        are carrying the message. The people in the
        hospital are not "members" of my home group,
        unless they later elect to attend regular group
        meetings. My home group pays for all literature
        and desire chips we take to the meetings.

        Alcoholics Anonymous receives enough negative
        propaganda (cult, religious affiliation, etc.)
        without the basket being passed at hospital
        and treatment center meetings.


        - - - -

        From: "Kimball ROWE" <roweke@...>
        (roweke at msn.com)

        The use of 7th tradition money for literature
        is forbidden (at least that's the way I interpret
        it). Each group should be self-supporting.
        Each individual should also be self-supporting.
        How many groups in our district get around that
        is by passing a separate basket for the purchase
        of literature. This second basket is passed
        after the 7th tradition basket has made the
        rounds. I can also think of three other groups
        that have book raffles after the meeting with
        the proceeds going to literature. And finally,
        money for literature for inmates is collected
        in pink cans left in the open (usually near
        the coffee pot). At no time do we use the 7th
        tradition money for literature for newcomers,
        whether they be in a meeting, a treatment
        facility or in prison.

        I don't see a problem with collecting monies
        for literature for newcomers - provided that
        it is clear to all those who donate that it
        is separate from the 7th tradition monies and
        does not affect the operation of the group.

        Inmates can not enter into a financial arrange-
        ment with a prison volunteer (in this state).
        Thus they can not pay for their books. So we
        pass the "pink" cans.

        People who pay $30,000 or more for a treatment
        center can surely afford $30,006.50. However,
        we do pass a second basket for those unable
        to afford literature.

        see Concept 12, Warranty 2, page 67 of the
        AA Service Manual.

        - - - -

        From: spebsqsa@...
        (spebsqsa at att.net)

        If your district "owns" the hospital and detox
        meetings, then it will be picking up the cost.
        Problem solved. :-)

        - - - -

        From: Bill Kain <billyk4444@...>

        This program and a guy named Vince got into
        my face and told me the truth about himself
        and then me .... Then he told me the good
        news -- that I could change if I wanted to.
        The District and New York had nothing to do
        with it. I leave those people who "interpret"
        AA alone. They can interpret a cow's butt
        as far as I am concerned. And maybe, they do
        some good. But for me (and I speak only for me)
        "when anyone, anywhere reaches out for help,
        I want the hand of AA to be there, and for
        THAT, I am responsible." This program saved
        my life. I will do anything to give back.

      • Arthur S
        From Arthur S. and Shakey Mike G. - - - - From: Arthur S (ArtSheehan at msn.com) Hi Murray The GSO of the US/Canada will uniformly and
        Message 3 of 3 , Jul 6, 2007
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          From Arthur S. and Shakey Mike G.

          - - - -

          From: "Arthur S" <ArtSheehan@...>
          (ArtSheehan at msn.com)

          Hi Murray

          The GSO of the US/Canada will uniformly and
          historically go out of their way NOT to order
          or imperiously issue any so-called "principles
          of service as set down by New York." Their
          long-established and persistent practice is
          to simply offer information on how other groups,
          districts, areas, etc. have previously handled
          the matter under discussion.

          Sometimes an all-too-sensitive alcoholic may
          perceive a well intended suggestion from a
          service committee representative as taking
          the form of an imperious directive. When in
          doubt go to AA literature. It has no axe to
          grind, is unemotional, has no agenda, gets
          rigorous Trustee and Conference Committee
          scrutiny and has withstood the test of time.
          I do believe you'll get much better and more
          thorough information from AA literature
          sources rather than from extemporaneous
          replies to your inquiry.

          AA literature that can provide you with
          information on Treatment Facilities (TF)
          committees, common practices associated with
          TF meetings as well as a list of suggested
          "Do's" and "Don'ts" related to the TF service
          function are: (1) the "Treatment Facilities
          Workbook" (2) the AA Guidelines titled
          "Treatment Facilities Committees" and (3)
          the pamphlet titled "AA in Treatment

          There is a distinction defined in the TF
          literature between a "group" and a "meeting"
          that is not a semantic triviality. Unless
          there is an AA group physically located in the
          treatment facility (which does not appear to be
          the case in your citation) meetings taken into
          the facility are called "treatment facility
          AA meetings" and not considered "regular" AA

          Treatment facility AA meetings are usually
          only open to residents of the facility and not
          to AA members in general. These meetings do
          not constitute a "group" and as such need not
          be self-supporting.

          The literature will also inform you that
          expenses associated with carrying the message
          into treatment facilities (and corrections
          facilities as well) are usually absorbed by
          service committees sponsored by Areas,
          Districts, Intergroup Central Offices or
          directly by groups. These entities (and their
          activities) are self-supporting through AA
          member (not treatment facility patient)
          donations. These entities will also often
          donate literature to be taken into treatment
          facilities for distribution to the patients.

          Please refer to the AA literature items noted
          above. It can be obtained from your local
          Toronto Intergroup Central Office. According
          to their web site they also sponsor a Treatment
          Facilities Committee and can also offer
          information on TF services. You might consider
          giving them a call.

          I'm not sure if you are referring to the
          Toronto Central Office as your "district"
          (which is part of the General Service
          structure). If not, then your Area Delegate
          is also vested with the responsibility to help
          clarify and resolve Traditions matters and
          I'm sure would be happy to discuss the
          matter with you.


          - - - -

          From: Shakey1aa@...
          (Shakey1aa at aol.com)

          The meeting, you told me, is given out by
          the hospital and institution committee of
          the district. That committee probably has
          guidelines that are given out to the members
          that take the commitments. The committee
          makes the guidelines. If you don't want to
          adhere to the guidelines of that committee,
          you have two options:

          1. don't take the commitment

          2. ask your home group's GSR to discuss it
          at the district meeting and then have the
          DCM taken it to the area meeting as a concern.

          There is no reason to get upset about this.
          Pray about it. Talk to your service sponsor
          about it. Remember that an informed group
          conscience with substantial unanimity will
          finally decide what is best.

          Shakey Mike Gwirtz
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