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There Is A Solution!

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RA RA's Logo There Is A Solution! The E-Newsletter of Recoveries Anonymous; The Solution Focused Twelve Step Fellowship.
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R.A.’s Seventh TraditionRA
Every R.A. Group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions. RA
    This is the next in a series of articles about R.A.'s Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. Even though A.A. has granted us permission to adapt the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, Recoveries Anonymous is a unique Fellowship with a distinctive way of looking at and working the Twelve Steps and the Twelve Traditions. R.A.'s experience is that, when someone thoroughly follows the pioneers' "clear-cut directions," they will duplicate the pioneers' results. They will find the same recovery that the pioneers found.RA
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LquoteWithin Recoveries Anonymous,
we have a unique view...of what it means to be self-supporting.
Rquote
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    Within Recoveries Anonymous, we have a unique view of the Seventh Tradition. We have a distinctive understanding of what it means to be self-supporting. In R.A., we consider the entire R.A. Fellowship to be a single spiritual entity. Therefore, within R.A., we support each other. Individual R.A. Members help other R.A. Members to work with others. They support their R.A. Groups. They support their R.A. Meetings, which we call R.A. Discussions. They support the entire R.A. Fellowship. The R.A. Discussions, in turn, support their members. The R.A. Fellowship supports every level within R.A. It provides the resources that are needed to effectively work with newcomers. Everyone within R.A., supports everyone else within the R.A. Fellowship. In this way, we demonstrate that the entire R.A. Fellowship is self-supporting.RA
    R.A.'s Seventh Tradition also addresses finances. It describes the need for each R.A. Group to be financially self-supporting. In R.A., we recognize that this is not always possible. Therefore, it is permissible to get help from other nearby R.A. Groups and R.A. Discussions. They can give a struggling R.A. Group some temporary financial support when they are getting started. Once an R.A. Group is self-supporting through its own contributions, it can, in turn, help other R.A. Groups to get started.RA
    R.A.'s Seventh Tradition also mentions, "outside contributions." This is referring to contributions made by those who are outside the R.A. Fellowship. The people who offer these contributions usually expect to get something back in return. R.A.'s Seventh Tradition says that each R.A. Group should decline them. This allows each R.A. Group to maintain its integrity. This preserves the R.A. Group's focus on R.A.'s primary purpose. In addition, this prevents problems that can be caused by the pursuit of money, property, and prestige. In R.A., we believe that one part of the R.A. Fellowship helping another part of the R.A. Fellowship is not an outside contribution.RA
    In R.A., everyone should know the importance of supporting the meetings they attend. Many people do service for their meetings. Most people will make a financial contribution during the Seventh Tradition collection. They will also recognize that they need to support the entire R.A. Fellowship. To this end, R.A. members, R.A. Groups and R.A. Discussions make contributions to R.A. Universal Services. These are not considered outside contributions.RA
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LquoteEveryone within R.A. supports everyone else within the R.A. Fellowship. In this way, we demonstrate that the entire R.A. Fellowship is self-supporting.Rquote
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    The Seventh Tradition contributions sent to R.A. Universal Services are vital to the survival of the R.A. Fellowship. They are used to maintain R.A.'s office and to support all the essential services it provides. R.A. Universal Services responds to requests for information about R.A. from all over the world. It helps groups and members who may have program-related problems or questions. It deals with the general public. It creates and maintains R.A.'s web sites. It publishes R.A.'s Solution Focused Literature. It helps carry R.A.'s message of hope, sanity, and recovery to those who still suffer.RA
    If you have never made a contribution to R.A., or if you have not made one recently, please consider making one now. You can do this by going to R.A.'s web site. Then click on the "Contribute to R.A." button. We suggest that you make an automatically recurring contribution to Recoveries Anonymous. You can also make a one-time contribution. Your contribution will support all the vital functions that are necessary for the continued growth of our Fellowship. Please try to give in proportion to the recovery you have received, or hope to receive, from working R.A.'s program.RA
    In R.A., we recognize that not everyone is in a position where they can make a financial contribution. This is okay. There are other ways for you to contribute. For example, you can attend R.A. Discussions. You can do service at them by volunteering to read something. When it is your turn to speak, you can share a quote from R.A.'s Suggested Literature. You can share about R.A.'s spiritual solution. When you are ready, you can even volunteer to lead an R.A. Discussion.RA
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LquoteThere are never any dues
or fees for membership in R.A.
We are financially self-supporting
through the contributions of
R.A. members.
Rquote
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    Recoveries Anonymous is a program of attraction. Therefore, there is yet another way for you to contribute. You can help people learn about R.A. You can do this by going online. You can then search for Twelve Step program related forums, web sites, and blogs, etc. that accept posts from program members. You can easily find them by typing something like "Twelve Step program forums" into an Internet search engine. You can then look through the results. You will quickly be able to find some suitable locations where you can share about the positive experiences you have had while in R.A. However, please remember that R.A. is not a program of promotion. Therefore, please avoid making any negative comments about other programs in your posts. Each post needs to mention Recoveries Anonymous by name and include a link back to our web site: www.R-A.orgRA
    Just spending an hour a day doing this will be tremendously helpful to you, to those who still suffer, and to R.A.! The more posts you make to support R.A., the better. Posts from R.A. members play a vital role in attracting newcomers to R.A.'s Fellowship. Those who come to R.A. after reading your posts will find the solution they have been searching for. They will be able to follow the pioneers' original "clear-cut directions" by going through R.A.'s Step Presentation and fully working all Twelve Steps. They will recover.RA
    There are never any dues or fees for membership in R.A. We are financially self-supporting through the contributions of R.A. members. However, some people are not currently in a position where they can contribute to R.A. This is not a problem. You are still wanted here. You will always be welcome in Recoveries Anonymous. RA
    This is a preview of the chapter about the Seventh Tradition that will be in "R.A.'s Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions Revealed" which will be published in the coming year.RA
View an HTML version of R.A.'s Twelve Traditions!  Download R.A.'s Meetings Guide!
 
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We will be sorry to see you go!RA
Why do we think you may leave? Well, it's because we are going to talk about our Seventh Tradition. Like every other Twelve Step program, we depend upon contributions to pay our bills. Therefore, we are going to ask you for a contribution to help our fellowship. As strange as it may seem to those who do support our fellowship, whenever we write about contributing to R.A. an unusually large number of people unsubscribe from this newsletter. They leave. We pray you will not be one of them.RA
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R.A.'s Annotated Copy of the Multilith Big Book
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    Within R.A., it should be common knowledge that everyone who does service for R.A. is a volunteer. No one is paid for the effort or time they put into answering the many requests for help and information we receive. No one gets a salary for creating, writing, and editing this newsletter each month. No one receives a penny for designing and maintaining our web sites. To make this point crystal clear, everyone who does service for R.A. is a volunteer. No one is paid for his or her time and efforts.RA
    The people who leave apparently forget that contributions are needed to support all the vital functions that are necessary to keep our fellowship functioning and growing. They seemingly don't realize that, just like everyone else, R.A. has bills to pay. They seem unworried that, without contributions, we could not pay for the office supplies and equipment we need. They don't appear to be aware that the companies that host our web sites, and register our domain names, must be paid for their services.RA
    Some of the people who leave wonder why R.A. does not have printed, paper versions of R.A.'s Solution Focused Books. They apparently don't understand that our books are only available in PDF versions because we haven't had the funds needed to print the paper versions.RA
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R.A.'s The Greatest Thing In The World
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    We recognize that these are tough times. Therefore, on the R.A. web site, we allow people to make a contribution of their own choosing for the PDF versions of R.A.'s Solution Focused Books. Most people choose to contribute less than the suggested amount. Some people only contribute $1.00 for the books they want. Many people ask for, and get, these books without making a contribution. We are very happy we can provide these life-saving books to those who need them. Providing life-saving information to those who are in need is the reason we exist.RA
    A.A.'s Big Book could not have been printed without the encouragement and financial support of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. In the Big Book on page xviii, in the second paragraph, it says, "In the spring of 1940, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. gave a dinner for many of his friends to which he invited A.A. members to tell their stories. News of this got on the world wires; inquiries poured in again and many people went to the bookstores to get the book 'Alcoholics Anonymous.' " More detailed information about the extremely generous contributions made by Mr. Rockefeller and his friends to the early A.A. fellowship can be found throughout "A.A. Comes of Age: a brief history of A.A." published by A.A.RA
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R.A.'s Annotated Copy of the Multilith Big Book
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    We do have good news to share though. As this is being written, we are on the verge of being able to print the paper versions of our main books. Perhaps you know a philanthropist who can help R.A. as Mr. Rockefeller helped A.A.? Maybe you have a rich relative or acquaintance you can ask to make a contribution? We believe that having the paper versions of our books available will help us save thousands of lives.RA
    Since you are still with us, having read this article to this point, we are now going to ask you a question. "Have you ever contributed to R.A.?" If you have never made a contribution, or have not done so recently, please click on the link at the bottom of this article and make a contribution now. All contributions made through this link will go toward printing the paper versions of our books and paying for the vital services that allow us to continue helping others. It is okay if you are not in a position to make a contribution at this time.RA
    You are still, and always will be, welcome here. RA

RAMake a contribution in support of our efforts to help others and to print our books!
 
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Self-supportingRA
There are several misunderstandings about the Seventh Tradition. The first misunderstanding is common among the many people who have come to R.A., from other programs. They often do not know that there are two versions of this tradition. Some people do know that there are two versions. However, they sometimes do not know that both versions are still active. They do not know that the long form of this tradition is at the back of both the current Big Book and A.A.'s 12&12.RA
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LquoteThe A.A. groups themselves ought to be fully supported by the voluntary contributions of their own members.Rquote
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    The long form of the Seventh Tradition was first published in April 1946. It says, "The A.A. groups themselves ought to be fully supported by the voluntary contributions of their own members. We think that each group should soon achieve this ideal; that any public solicitation of funds using the name of Alcoholics Anonymous is highly dangerous, whether by groups, clubs, hospitals, or other outside agencies; that acceptance of large gifts from any source, or of contributions carrying any obligation whatever, is unwise. Then, too, we view with much concern those A.A. treasuries which continue, beyond prudent reserves, to accumulate funds for no stated A.A. purpose. Experience has often warned us that nothing can so surely destroy our spiritual heritage as futile disputes over property, money, and authority." RA
    R.A. has graciously been granted permission by A.A. to adapt their Twelve Traditions. Therefore, in R.A., we completely embrace this version of the Seventh Tradition. In R.A., we have found that it is very helpful. It can be used to correct many other misunderstandings that are common to this tradition.RA
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    One of the other misunderstandings about the Seventh Tradition is that some people believe that it says each group has to be self-supporting as soon as it starts. This is not what is says in the long form of the Seventh Tradition. The pioneers tell us that they, "think that each group should soon achieve this ideal." It is often not practical for a new group to be self-supporting right from the start. Until they became self-supporting, A.A. accepted outside contributions and loans. They were given the equivalent of hundreds of thousands of dollars in today's terms. Most of this money came from John D. Rockefeller Jr. and his friends. Charles B. Towns, the owner of Towns Hospital, along with many other nonmembers, also helped.RA
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LquoteIt took ten years for A.A. to reach the point where they were self-supporting.Rquote
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    It took ten years for A.A. to reach the point where they were self-supporting. During this time they asked for, and accepted, contributions and loans from people who were not members of the fellowship. If A.A. had not done this, the fellowship would never have survived. After ten years, A.A.'s income from book sales and members' contributions had grown to the point where they could be self-supporting. It was only then, after their finances were in good order, that they decided to turn down future outside contributions. More details about the very generous contributions made to the early A.A. fellowship can be found throughout "A.A. Comes of Age: a brief history of A.A." This book is published by A.A.RA
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    There is yet another misunderstanding. It is also common in other programs. Some people do not know what is meant by an "outside contribution." They do not know that this refers to accepting money from individuals, companies, and organizations that are outside the fellowship. The pioneers learned that these contributions often come with strings attached. These would then compromise the group's focus on its primary purpose. In R.A., this might hinder the group's ability to carry R.A.'s message of hope, sanity, and recovery to those who still suffer.RA
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LquoteWithin R.A., we do not
believe that one part of R.A. helping another part of R.A. is
an outside contribution.
Rquote
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    In other programs, there is another problem. They misunderstand what it means to be "self-supporting." They think that the Seventh Tradition prevents one part of the fellowship from helping another part. Within R.A., we do not believe that one part of R.A. helping another part of R.A. is an outside contribution.RA
    Within R.A., for example, it is common for one R.A. Group to hold several meetings. We call them R.A. Discussions. In R.A., we believe that, if support is needed, it is proper for one R.A. Discussion to help another R.A. Discussion. We also believe it is permissible for one R.A. Group to help another R.A. Group. These are not considered outside contributions.RA
    In addition, R.A. members, R.A. Groups and R.A. Discussions make contributions to support the entire R.A. Fellowship. They do this by sending money to R.A. Universal Services. These are also not outside contributions.RA
    This is a preview of the chapter about the Seventh Tradition that will be in "R.A.'s Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions Revealed" which will be published in the coming year.RA
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  A page from R.A.'s Journal Of Recovery.
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The Miracles Revealed:
R.A.’s Journal of Recovery
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The page to the right is from R.A.'s second book, "The Miracles Revealed: R.A.'s Journal Of Recovery." This book will give even the most experienced person a fresh look at the program. You can read it like a daily journal, or you can read it straight through. R.A.'s Journal will help everyone come to a deeper understanding of our program of recovery. If you enjoy this sample, please visit R.A.'s web site and download a copy of "The Miracles Revealed: R.A.'s Journal of Recovery."RA
A Story of RecoveryRA
Our experience is that the stories in the original Multilith Big Book were written to validate the pioneers' "clear-cut directions" for working the Twelve Steps. To help your recovery, we encourage you to visit R.A.'s web site and get "The Original Way Out Revealed: R.A.'s Annotated Multilith Big Book" and read all of these original stories. The following passage is from the story "RIDING THE RODS." In R.A.'s Annotated Multilith Big Book, in the personal story section, on page PS61 it says:RA
RA"Helpless, without faith in myself or anyone else, entirely doubtful that the fellow really had something, I began to ask questions. I had to be interested or go crazy.RA
RA" 'How do you go about this — where do I have to go?' I asked.RA
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" 'You don't have to go anywhere,' he said. 'Someone will come to you.' He didn't go into any detail, just told me that much and little more. I did some thinking that afternoon. Calling one of the nurses I asked her to get in touch with my wife and have her come to see me that evening.RA
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LquoteFor the first time I saw a fellowship I had never known
in actual operation. I could actually feel it.
Rquote
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"She came during visiting hours. She expected, I know, to hear me plead for instant release from the place. I didn't talk about that. In my lame way I told her the story. It made little impression.RA
RA" 'It doesn't sound right,' she said. 'If this plan — and for the life of me I don't quite get it from what you've told me — if this plan is successful, why is this fellow back here himself?'RA
RA"I was stumped. I was too ignorant about the thing myself to be capable of explaining it clearly to her. 'I don't know,' I said. 'I'll admit it sounds queer, the way this fellow is and all that, but somehow I feel there's something to it. Anyhow, I want to know more about it.'RA
RA"She went away skeptically. But the next day I had a visitor, a doctor who had been himself an alcoholic. He told me little more about the plan. He was kindly, didn't offer any cut and dried formula to overcome my life-long difficulty. He presented no religious nostrums, suggested no saving rituals. Later he sent some of the other ex-alcoholics of the group to see me.RA
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LquoteToday I have achieved, through all these things, a measure of happiness and contentment I had never
known before.
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RA"A few days later my fellow-alcoholic was released, and shortly afterward I was allowed to go home also. Through the man who had first told me of the plan I was introduced to several other members of the group of former alcoholics. They told me their experiences. Many were men of former affluence and position. Some had hit even lower levels than I had.RA
RA"The first Wednesday evening after my release found me a somewhat shame-faced but intensely curious attendant at a meeting in a private home in this city. Some forty others were present. For the first time I saw a fellowship I had never known in actual operation. I could actually feel it. I learned that this could be mine, that I could win my way to sobriety and sanity if I would follow a few precepts, simple in statement, but profound and far-reaching in their effect if followed. It penetrated to my inner consciousness that the mere offering of lip-service wasn't enough. Still ignorant, still a little doubting, but in deadly earnest, I made up my mind to make an honest effort to try.RA
RA"That was two years ago. The way has not been easy. The new way of life was strange at first, but all my thoughts were on it. The going was sometimes slow; halting were my steps among the difficulties of the path. But always, when troubles came, when doubts assailed and temptation was strong and the old desire returned, I knew where to go for aid. Helping others also strengthened me and helped me to grow.RA
RA"Today I have achieved, through all these things, a measure of happiness and contentment I had never known before. Material success has mattered little. But I know that my wants will be taken care of.RA
RA"I expect to have difficulties every day of my life, I expect to encounter stops and hindrances, but now there is a difference. I have a new and tried foundation for every new day."
 
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A Newcomer AsksRA
Q"When I was in another program, there were four meetings that met in the same room on different days. The Saturday meeting was very large. The other three meetings were smaller. I could only attend one of these meetings regularly. It happened to be the smallest of the four. It was also the poorest. When we passed the basket for contributions, people would only put in their loose change. There would be pennies, nickels, and dimes, along with a rare quarter. On occasion, someone would put a dollar bill in the collection. Attendance was down, and we were short of money to pay the rent. I covered the shortfall a couple of times, but this was hard for me to do. So, I went to the other meetings and asked for them to help us out for a brief time until attendance picked up again. They said that each group had to be self-supporting and would not help. The meeting had to close. I thought that this was wrong. I thought that everyone involved was being selfish and self-centered, so I left that program. Now, I have found Recoveries Anonymous. So many things I have read about the program in R.A. make more sense than the things I was told in that other group. However, I still have some questions. Why are people so stingy when it comes to supporting the program? Why do they call it 'passing the hat' when we actually pass a basket? What is R.A.'s position on one group helping another?"RA
QWe are glad that you have found Recoveries Anonymous. The answer to your first question is simple. The pioneers of the program tell us that most of us are in a Twelve Step program because we have been spiritually sick. They also tell us that one of the symptoms of our spiritual malady is that we are selfish—self-centered. They even think that this is the root of our troubles.RA
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LquoteThe pioneers of the program
tell us that most of us are in a
Twelve Step program because
we have been spiritually sick.
Rquote
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RATherefore, the behavior of the people we meet in the program should not surprise us. Many of them are only going to be thinking of themselves. They will not care that newcomers might not find a solution for their problems or behaviors if a meeting closes. They will not be concerned if the fellowship is not around to provide the vital services that we need to effectively work with others.RA
RAThese attitudes have existed since the earliest days of the program. Bill wrote an essay about the Seventh Tradition. In A.A.'s 12&12, on page 160, starting in the second paragraph, Bill says that the Seventh Tradition was one of the most difficult to write. He says that, when the program started, everyone in it was poor. He says that the pioneers had originally expected that people would generously give money to the program. He then shares that they soon learned that this was not the case. The pioneers found that people thought that the program should pay its own expenses. Bill says that the program stayed broke because it had no other option.RA
RAIn the next paragraph, Bill says that members would privately spend their money when they were working with others. However, he says that they refused to give money to the program to cover expenses. In the next paragraph, Bill says that the pioneers were very surprised that the members were as "tight as bark on a tree." He says that this was true even after some members began to do well financially.RA
RAIn A.A.'s 12&12, on page 163, starting in the first paragraph, Bill shares a personal experience. He says that he was at a meeting. The treasurer announced that they were about to be evicted by the landlord because they hadn't paid the rent. The treasurer asked for the members of the group to be more generous with their contributions that night.RA
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Lquote...in the early meetings,
they would pass around a hat
to collect the money that
was needed.
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RA In the next paragraph, Bill says that he clearly heard this request for help. He says that, when the hat they were using to collect money came to him, he found a fifty-cent coin in his pocket. He says he quickly put it back and found a ten-cent coin, also called a dime. He placed this in the hat. RA
RAContinuing in the third paragraph, Bill says that he then realized what he had done. He shares that, just that morning, he had bragged about how generous he was. He had given someone who slipped five dollars. However, he was now doing the same thing as the members who had not sent in money to support the fellowship. He realized that spirituality and money had to mix. Bill says that the place for this to happen was "in the hat." RA
RAThis passage also provides the answer to your question about the phrase "pass the hat." Today, most meetings pass a basket or envelope for their Seventh Tradition collections. However, in the early meetings, they would pass around a hat to collect the money that was needed. This was easy to do because, in those days, almost everyone wore a hat. Therefore, a hat was nearly always available when it was time for money to be collected.RA
RA Within Recoveries Anonymous, we help people to fully work all Twelve Steps. We do this by guiding them to follow the pioneers' original "clear-cut directions" from R.A.'s Multilith Big Book. Once they do this, they are restored to sanity. They learn their "real purpose" in life. They realize that they need to fit themselves to be of "maximum service to God and the people" around them. Then, they often begin to contribute to the program sanely and appropriately according to their circumstances.RA
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LquoteSupporting each other
within the R.A. Fellowship is one way we demonstrate that we
are self-supporting.
Rquote
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RATherefore, the answer to your question regarding R.A.'s position on one group helping another is not complicated. Within R.A., we have a unique view of what it means to be self-supporting. We think of the entire R.A. Fellowship as a single spiritual entity. Therefore, if help is needed, we believe that one R.A. Group should help another R.A. Group. Each individual R.A. Member should help other R.A. Members to work with others. Every part of the R.A. Fellowship should help every other part of the R.A. Fellowship. This support does not come from outside the R.A. Fellowship. Supporting each other within the R.A. Fellowship is one way we demonstrate that we are self-supporting.RA
RAR.A. is also financially self-supporting. Everyone within R.A. knows the importance of the Seventh Tradition collection. They know that this is how they can financially support the R.A. meetings they attend. They also know that they need to financially support the entire R.A. Fellowship. They know that they can do this by making a second Seventh Tradition contribution. This one is specifically for R.A. Universal Services. RA
RAYears ago, the pioneers used hats to collect the money they needed. However, R.A. has a more modern way for you to contribute financially. You can simply visit R.A.'s web site and click on the "Contribute to R.A." button. Your financial support will ensure that R.A. will continue to be here for those seeking a solution for their problems and behaviors. You are vital to fulfilling the goal of R.A.'s Seventh Tradition. With your help, R.A. can be financially self-supporting through our own contributions.RA
    This is a preview of the chapter about the Seventh Tradition that will be in "R.A.'s Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions Revealed" which will be published in the coming year.
 
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R.A.’s “How To Begin…” GuidesRA
To find out more about our Twelve Step Fellowship, and how you can get started working the Twelve Steps of our Solution Focused Program of Recovery, we suggest that you visit our web site and Download R.A.'s "How To Begin…" guides. This includes R.A.'s Newcomer Guide, "How To Begin Living In The Solution."

R.A.’s Solution Focused BooksRA
Move up to the next step in your search for recovery by downloading and reading the PDF versions of R.A.'s Solution Focused Books. We do not charge for the PDF versions of our books. Instead, we give the passwords needed to open our books to thank those who support our efforts to help others. You can show your support by making a small, one time, tax-free contribution to R.A., or, if you truly cannot afford to make a contribution at this time, by filling out our Feedback Form. RA
    If you are reading this, you have probably spent a lot of time and energy trying things that did not work out the way you hoped they would. Doesn't it make sense to invest a little more time and energy in this time-proven method of finding the recovery you've been seeking? As the pioneers promise in the Multilith Big Book: ''It works—it really does. Try it.''

R.A. Is Self-supportingRA
If R.A. has helped you, please consider making a contribution in support of our efforts to help others.

Recoveries AnonymousRA
For more information about our Twelve Step Program Of Recovery visit our web site at www.R-A.org

 
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