© The A.A.
Grapevine, Inc., June 1948
growth continuing, the combined income of Alcoholics Anonymous
members will soon reach the astounding total of a quarter
of a billion dollars yearly. This is the direct result
of AA membership. Sober we now have it; drunk we would
contrast, our overall AA expenses are trifling.
instance, the AA General Service Office now costs us $1.50
per member a year. As a fact, the New York office asks
the groups for this sum twice a year because not all of
them contribute. Even so, the sum per member is exceedingly
small. If an AA happens to live in a large metropolitan
center where an intergroup office is absolutely essential
to handle heavy inquiries and hospital arrangements, he
contributes (or probably should contribute) about $5.00
annually. To pay the rent of his own group meeting place,
and maybe coffee and doughnuts, he might drop $25.00 a
year in the hat. Or if he belongs to a club, it could
be $50.00. In case he takes the AA Grapevine, he squanders
an extra $2.50!
the AA member who really meets his group responsibilities
finds himself liable for about $5.00 a month on the average.
Yet his own personal income may be anywhere between $200
and $2,000 a month -- the direct result of not drinking.
some will contend, "our friends want to give us money
to furnish that new clubhouse. We are a new small group.
Most of us are still pretty broke. What then?"
am sure that myriads of AA voices would now answer the
new group saying: "Yes, we know just how you feel.
We once solicited money ourselves. We even solicited publicly.
We thought we could do a lot of good with other peoples'
money. But we found that kind of money too hot to handle.
It aroused unbelievable controversy. It simply wasn't
worth it. Besides, It set a precedent which has tempted
many people to use the valuable name of Alcoholics Anonymous
for other than AA purposes. While there may be little
harm in a small friendly loan which your group really
means to repay, we really beg you to think hard before
you ask the most willing friend to make a large donation.
You can, and you soon will. pay your own way. For each
of you these overhead expenses will never amount to more
than the price of one bottle of good whiskey a month.
You will be everlastingly thankful if you pay this small
reflecting on these things, why should not each of us
tell himself: "Yes, we AAs were once a burden on
everybody. We were 'takers.' Now we are sober, and by
the grace of God have become responsible citizens of the
world, why shouldn't we now about-face and become 'thankful
givers'! Yes, it is high time we did!"
© The A.A. Grapevine,
Inc., June 1948