From the July 2010 magazine.

Basket case

A former binge drinker contributes more to his group's Seventh Tradition collection, and doesn't hide it

I HAVE yet to be at a meeting that didn't pass the basket. It has come at different moments during the meetings but it has always come. In most meetings the first line of the Seventh Tradition is read as a brief explanation of the purpose of the expectation: "Every AA group ought to be fully self-supporting. . . ." However, it does not say AA groups should be struggling for financial survival, as is happening currently to one of the largest and most influential groups in my area.

When I last joined AA, 21 years ago, everyone was dropping a dollar in the basket. No amount was mentioned or suggested; it just seemed that the most common rate was a buck. In the last decade or so some groups have taken to making a suggestion of $1 and, more recently, $2.

-- BRAD S.

Miami, Fla.

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