How much is my serenity worth to me? Great question! I ask myself that and instantly and somewhat painfully, I remember how much my ‘control’ to fix or get the addict out of a jam has cost me. Wow, a lot! Not only did I pay with my wallet, but with my emotions, mentally and physically, in ‘helping’ them.
When I put money in the hat, I’m repaying for that ‘life saving’ help I received. The groups need money to pay expenses, buy Nar-anon literature, and obtain the critical information for the beginning, bewildered, future member, newcomer (me, lest I forget) just arriving, as Nar-anon refuses any outside contributions. It must in order to be totally independent from any actual or implied restrictions.
I ask, with your consent please, to share an excerpt from Bill W., co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, because I feel that same compassion for my fellowship, Nar-anon Family Groups, Inc. I hope you can agree?
In November 1957, AA´s Co-founder Bill W. wrote an article entitled “Respecting Money,” in which he juxtaposed outside contributions and self-support: “Our spiritual way of life is safe for future generations if, as a society, we resist the temptation to receive money from the outside world. But this leaves us with a responsibility—one that every member ought to understand. We cannot skimp when the treasurer of our group passes the hat. Our groups, our areas, and A.A. as a whole will not function unless our services are sufficient and our bills paid.” Ten years later, as if in conclusion, Bill wrote, “Both these principles we understand: that A.A. wants no charity; that we support our own services. We understand—but we sometimes forget.”
Some ideas to keep ourselves refreshed about this ‘way of living’ is maybe, to personally help support Nar- anon services worldwide, we can personally contribute (tax exempt) to Region or WSO on our Nar-anon birthday / anniversary, two dollars or more for each year of serenity. The group, if we wish, could be credited for our donation! Fund raisers are a great source of income to compile funds together! An extra ‘hat or can’ marked ‘Literature Fund’ is helpful. Hey, how about making February “Self-Support Month” with all donations be sent ‘outside the group’ to the Nar-anon entities? — Pick a particular date during the year and have a drive for each group member to donate $4.00. You might call it “Fellowship Day.”
Yet, another very vital means of self-support doesn’t involve money. It involves a personal sacrifice of time and energy invested at the group level, 12th Step level, and/or a Regional servant on one of the many committees including the web-site conveniently from a central (home/office) location. I feel so much gratitude inside when I’m being of service. It affects so many others positively along as with myself in strengthening my growth in recovery. I must give it away to keep it! What? Sounds kind of goofy, but after seeing it in action, along with experiencing it, I now know that it’s a ‘nugget’!
Now, I not only have encouraged myself, I hope I have challenged you to say, “YES, I can make a difference”! Thank you for your ‘self’ support of me, the Central Region, as well as WSO!
Humbly, Rick…………Central Region Treasurer and Wapakoneta, H.O.P.E. Group self-supporting member