- Spending 7th money on flowers for certain people?

Spending 7th money on flowers for certain people?




Discussion related to the 12 Traditions

Spending 7th money on flowers for certain people?

Postby Bern » Mon Aug 29, 2011 4:25 pm

Last night this motion was passed at our District meeting:

-Bereavement Policy Motion as presented: District X may spend up to $100.00 (flowers, family donation etc. Not for any outside interests) for any GSR, Alt.GSR, or Committee Member passing during their serving term and for 2 years after.

I suggested that we were creating a situation whereby "Special people are going to be given special treatment"

It came about because a well known member passed away and the ADCM sent flowers to the funeral on behalf of the district. He was asking the attendees at the district meeting for a vote to reimburse him from AA monies and also presented his "Bereavement Policy" motion.

It is my opinion that this does not conform with our traditions.

I don't believe we should be arbitrarily deciding how we will be using the monies collected from members during the "7th".

It is not our money, it is collected with the understanding that it goes only to the operating costs of AA, not for flowers for special people.

Lots of people give back and serve in AA, some from behind the scenes and some in more visible or public ways.

Are some peoples deaths more important than others?

Are some families more deserving of special treatment because of the visible nature of their deceased ones service?

I hope we can come to a mutually agreeable solution that will serve the greater good of AA in our District.

Referring to Tradition Two: "Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern."

I am not trying to "win" of be "right". The pamphlet "The Twelve Concepts for World Service illustrated" (General Service Conference approved) tells me "On as issue of grave importance the minority has the actual duty of presenting its views". I pray that my motives are right and good and not self centered.

I am looking for advice and opinions based on our Traditions and Concepts.
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Re: Spending 7th money on flowers for certain people?

Postby Toast » Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:35 pm

Hi Bern,

A bit late answering but i'm with you 100% on this one.

We have meetings here that will do anything with the money except pass it up the line to help the still suffering alcoholic. They send donations to help refugee's in war zones, help old peoples home's in the town where they hold the meeting, and a few years back one group even bought a greyhound with their spare funds and raced it on the local track! Anything but do what the money is intended for.

The guys with the greyhound dog were mad. They used to take it everywhere in the back of a small hatchback car. Even to pick up 12 steps and take them to there meeting. If the 12 step wasn't scared witless before he soon would be after sitting in the back of a tiny car with a mad dog trying to bite the back of his head off!

But if someone thinks a friend needs flowers at there funeral then they can dig in there own pocket and pay for them themselves. And as for special treatment i've been in groups where only the 'Queen Bee' got an eleborate birthday celebration. The other ladies had to make do with a card signed by the group members? I didn't stay long.

On the other hand i've seen well off members put there hand in the own pocket and pay all the funeral expenses for members who died without a penny. That's been a real humbling experience watching these guys do this. And it was all done anonymously, they never shouted it from the roof tops.

I've a friend who works in world service and he's always telling me they need money to have the Big Book translated into yet another foreign language and have it sent there free of charge to help them get AA off the ground. In some of the former Soviet states and the Balkans AA is less than 5 years old. By sending all the surplus money up the line we can still help the still suffering alcoholic wherever they may be, anywhere in the world.

Losing my thread here so i'll just leave it there.

Be well

John
Toast
 
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Re: Spending 7th money on flowers for certain people?

Postby Camel » Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:12 pm

As one Old Timer said in one of our Meetings on the same subject; "Don't buy me any flowers! I won't be there! Buy cookies and enjoy them................if I died Sober!" There endeth the lesson.

Hub
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Re: Spending 7th money on flowers for certain people?

Postby Toast » Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:30 pm

Good point Hub, well said.
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Re: Spending 7th money on flowers for certain people?

Postby Dallas » Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:47 am

I was raised to believe that 7th Tradition money is the AA Groups meetings money.
It goes for stuff like rent, lights, coffee, cake or cookies and candles for birthdays, newcomer chips, directories, and the basic stuff like that -- that's related to the meeting.

If there was money left over, outside of keeping a prudent reserve -- it could be used to include AA literature, and the rest of the left-overs were divided up w/ Central Office, then, Area Service, and then, World Services.

In larger meetings we'd have a literature fund separate from the 7th Tradition basket.
In November, we'd customarily pass a second basket, or put a can out -- and those donated funds were sent directly to Central Office to help w/ their expenses.

Anything else came out of our own pocket.

If an AA died, it was usually one of us, that got the card and flowers -- and just put a note on it "From your Mason & Lassen Street (the meeting name) Friends." Or, something like that. Then, when others wanted to pitch in w/ a donation to cover they cost -- they'd usually ask "who bought the flowers?" And, they'd offer to pitch in.

Usually, the groups decide for themselves how they want to do things. I do think that we can sometimes get carried away w/ getting too Orthodox in the Traditions to the point of getting complicated and legalistic and fussing over one right way versus another right way of doing something in AA. Boards, committees, and business meetings are places I like to avoid. :-)
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Re: Spending 7th money on flowers for certain people?

Postby Dallas » Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:58 am

I'm glad you guys re-visited this topic.

As I was sitting here thinking: My thoughts turned to a suggestion in the Big Book, where -- if the new person didn't have a copy of the Big Book, we're encouraged to "lend him/her our copy."

Many of us who do that know -- that we lend a lot of copies of the Big Book, and never get them back and never see the newcomer again. LOL.

Giving free stuff to an alcoholic, most often turns out to be a bad idea. But, I usually do keep with me a supply of Big Books, to give out to people who honestly want one, and can't afford it. Sometimes, I'll say "Here. I'll lend you my copy if you'll read it and then return it when you get your own copy." This way, it will already have my name and phone number in the book -- and, I encourage them to call me. :-) Or, I'll take some copies to the local rescue mission to be sure they have some laying around for those who might read one.

My home group's way of doing it was: We'd have the books available -- that the group purchased, and we'd sell them for our cost. If the new person couldn't afford the book -- we'd make payment arrangements for them. 50 cents a week or something like that. It wasn't so much a deal about the money as it was the principle of "accountability and responsibility" -- which every newcomer needs to develop -- if they are ever going to have a hope of staying sober.

For me -- giving the Big Books out to those that can and will read them, is part of my own price of freely giving and trying to help another alcoholic. It's a huge part of my sobriety. I first started doing it while I was still drinking, and I often wonder, if it was the "why" I got a second chance at sobriety.
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Re: Spending 7th money on flowers for certain people?

Postby Toast » Fri Aug 31, 2012 4:57 am

Hi,

Always thought it unwise to put a message in a card or flowers saying it was from an AA group. Many of the dead persons relations may never have know they were in AA and maybe that's the way they wanted it?

Was told early doors just to sign it 'from your friend John' or what ever.

Be well
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Re: Spending 7th money on flowers for certain people?

Postby Camel » Fri Aug 31, 2012 8:56 pm

I remember how I got my first Big Book. I still have it. Still has the date I wrote in it. June, 1981. Price--$4.65. In a meeting in Canton, Ohio, broke, sick, alone, unemployed, and unemployable. This nice man, (I can't remember his name, but I remember he worked for Hoover Vacuum Cleaner Co.), gave me that Big Book, and said, "I want you to have this. If you follow the instructions in this Book, you will never have to take another drink. When you get better, don't forget where you came from, and do the same for another drunk." I do that today, at every opportunity.

Hub
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