Author Archive: alanostjoe

12 Promises of Debtors Anonymous

The 12 Promises of Debtors Anonymous

In the program of Debtors Anonymous, we come together to share our journey in recovering from compulsive debting. There is hope. In working D.A.’s Twelve Steps, we develop new ways of living. When we work D.A.’s Twelve Steps and use D.A.’s Tools, we begin to receive these gifts of the program:

1. Where once we felt despair, we will experience a newfound hope.

2. Clarity will replace vagueness. Confidence and intuition will replace confusion and chaos. We will live engaged lives, make decisions that best meet our needs, and become the people we were meant to be.

3. We will live within our means, yet our means will not define us.

4. We will begin to live a prosperous life, unencumbered by fear, worry, resentment, or debt.

5. We will realize that we are enough; we will value ourselves and our contributions.

6. Isolation will give way to fellowship; faith will replace fear.

7. We will recognize that there is enough; our resources will be generous and we will share them with others and with DA.

8. We will cease to compare ourselves to others; jealousy and envy will fade.

9. Acceptance and gratitude will replace regret, self-pity, and longing.

10. We will no longer fear the truth; we will move from hiding in denial to living in reality.

11. Honesty will guide our actions toward a rich life filled with meaning and purpose.

12. We will recognize a Power greater than ourselves as the source of our abundance.

We will ask for help and guidance and have faith that they will come. All this and more is possible. When we work this program with integrity and to the best of our ability, one day at a time, a life of prosperity and serenity will be ours.

Signs of Compulsive Debting

From Debtors Anonymous

Signs of Compulsive Debting

If you think you might have a problem with money and debt, look over these Twelve Signposts on the Road to Compulsive Debting, If you can recognize yourself in 8 or more of the descriptions below, you may be a compulsive debtor, and DA can help you.

1) Being unclear about your financial situation. Not knowing account balances, monthly expenses, loan interest rates, fees, fines, or contractual obligations.

2) Constantly “borrowing” items such as books, pens, or small amounts of money from friends and others, and failing to return them.

3) Poor saving habits. Not planning for taxes, retirement or other non-recurring but predictable items, and then feeling surprised when they come due; a “live for today, don’t worry about tomorrow” attitude.”

4) Compulsive shopping: Being unable to pass up a “good deal”; making impulsive purchases; leaving price tags on clothes so they can be returned; not using items you’ve purchased.

5) Difficulty in meeting basic financial or personal obligations, and/or an inordinate sense of accomplishment when such obligations are met.

6) A different feeling when buying things on credit than when paying cash, a feeling of being in the club, of being accepted, of being grown up.

7) Living in chaos and drama around money: Using one credit card to pay another; bouncing checks; always having a financial crises to contend with.

8) A tendency to live on the edge: Living paycheck to paycheck; taking risks with health and car insurance coverage; writing checks hoping money will appear to cover them.

9) Unwarranted inhibition and embarrassment in what should be a normal discussion of money.

10) Overworking or under earning: Working extra hours to earn money to pay creditors; using time inefficiently; taking jobs below your skill and education level.

11. An unwillingness to care for and value yourself: Living in self-imposed deprivation; denying your basic needs in order to pay your creditors.

12. A feeling or hope that someone will take care of you if necessary, so that you won’t really get into serious financial trouble, that there will always be someone you can turn to.

Debtors Anonymous To Meet At Alano

Last fall the Board approved an agreement for Debtors Anonymous to meet at Alano.  We were contacted yesterday and that group now has their sanction from the WSO of Debtors Anonymous.  They will begin meeting at Alano this Saturday at 5:30 PM in what is called the Al-Anon Room.  Their rent will be the minimum start-up charged by Alano – $25.00 per month – beginning in June.

NEW GROUP AT ALANO:

DEBTORS ANONYMOUS

5:30 PM Saturdays

Location:

401 S. 11th

St. Joseph, Missouri

Alano Club of St. Joseph

(meeting in the Al-Anon Room)

 

Alano Has a New Caretaker

The Board interviewed and chose Raymond Shaw as the new Caretaker at the regular monthly Board meeting on April 24, 2016.  Ray gave a three minute presentation on why he believes being Caretaker would be good for him and for Alano.  Everyone was impressed.  His presentation was followed by about ten minutes of questions from Board members.

The Executive Committee of the Board is also the personnel committee.  We shall review the current caretaker contract with Ray and tailor the contract to Ray’s abilities and our needs.  This is not to say that anything will be compromised – it is to say that every caretaker comes with strengths and weaknesses.  Our intention is to focus on the positive.

Alano has operated for sixty-seven years with an all-volunteer work force.  In every case we seek the positive attributes and minimize the negative.  This is in keeping with our Mission of helping others.

Ray has been one of the regular volunteers helping with the restoration of our building.  We are quite familiar with his work.

A few things are likely to change with Ray as Caretaker.  In the past the 12 Step Groups were expected to clean their room.  Some do better than others.  Because we meet in the historic Hax mansion at 401 S. 11th Street, we have unique maintenance needs.  For instance – our parquet wood floors are original with the 1886 mansion.  These floors require specific and regular upkeep.  Ray will likely be tasked with making sure the floors are well maintained, including in the Group meeting areas.  This means regular sweeping and mopping with specific cleaning products.

If you see Ray give him a high five – or a hug – whatever your preference.  We welcome Ray with great hopes for the future of Alano.

Alano is Looking for a Caretaker

 

The Alano Club of St. Joseph is looking for a Caretaker.

 

The Caretaker lives in the Alano building at 401 S. 11th.  We offer a large bedroom, full bath, a shared kitchen, and plenty of fellowship.

The responsibilities are negotiable but generally include locking and unlocking  the main entrance – thus maintaining building hours, keeping the kitchen and bathrooms clean, some floor cleaning in group rooms (sweeping and mopping), routine yard work like cutting the grass and shoveling the walks, and a full time presence at Alano.

This is a great opportunity for someone in recovery and perhaps on disability.

The last caretaker paid $100 per month – but that is negotiable depending on other responsibilities.

 

Please send inquiries by letter to: Alano Club, 401 S. 11th Street, St. Joseph, Missouri, 64501; or by email to glclark4750@gmail.com.  Be sure to leave contact information.

Also, I am generally at Alano (401 S. 11th) on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 4:30 to about 6:30 – come by if you would like to chat.

Gary L. Clark

Alano Club President

Community Service At Alano

Alano has never positioned the organization to accommodate general community service.  Community Service, in this sense, is service to a not-for-profit to fulfill some obligation – like education or terms of probation.  We have, on rare occasion, offered Community Service opportunities for individuals in specific circumstances.  Those circumstances are judged on a case by case basis.

At present there is a person performing eighty hours of community service.  She will be around for the next month or so.  The circumstance was that she needed the service hours for a traffic violation and we had specific projects in which she is uniquely qualified.  These projects are negotiated by both the President of Alano and the Property Manager.

We are not on the list of Community Service providers at Missouri Probation and Parole or on the list at the St. Joseph School District. There are several reasons:

  • We do not have organized on-going projects that we can easily plug someone into on a Saturday morning – or any other time.
  • We do not have a contact phone number for those organizations to reach us and schedule workers.
  • We do not have a property supervisor on duty to manage and regulate the hours or the work.

We do have several volunteers working in the building who are not obligated to any community service – they work in order to serve others.  One lady in particular has taken on the kitchen as her challenge.  She has done a deep cleaning and has hung new curtains.  She supplied the curtains.

Spring is upon us.  There is work to be done on the landscape.  There are weeds to pull and flowers to transplant.  These jobs are not suited to outsiders doing Community Service.  The kitchen lady has adopted a section of the landscaping by the fence.  She will be working at her leisure to keep her area pleasing to the eye.

One of the 401 Group members has volunteered to cut the grass until we can install a new Caretaker.  This is no small thing – we are committed to being a good neighbor and we must maintain our property at the level expected in a Neighborhood Association.

We are talking, and talking, about forming a Property Committee – a group of able bodied men and women who want to help with our routine maintenance needs.  FYI – all of the work restoring the walls and ceilings and new blinds falls under the category of routine maintenance.  The idea would be for these folks to meet once a month or so and identify small projects -for instance:

  • An emergency light with a failed battery.
  • Storm windows in need of repair.
  • Windows sealed shut with duck tape.
  • Weather stripping around windows and doors is a constant need.
  • Gutter drains around the base of the building.

There is much to do and we cooperate with other organizations as we are able to get this work done.

March Alano Board Meeting Rescheduled to March 20th

The regular March Board meeting falls on Easter.  We are rescheduling to Sunday March 20th, at 5:30 PM.

Some items on the agenda:

  • Burglary of NA.
  • Caretaker replacement.
  • Building security
  • Keys to the building
  • Silent Auction
  • Alanon may want to add a Sunday meeting.

Burglary At Alano – NA Rent and Literature Money Stolen

Please help restore NA Rent and Literature money.  Send $10 – $50 dollars to Alano NA Fund, 401 S. 11th Street, St. Joseph, Missouri, 64501.

The Narcotics Anonymous safe was broken into today, probably between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM.  About $500 in cash was stolen.  This was money to be used to pay the March Rent and to restock literature.

Police were notified.  They took a report and about fifty photos of the crime scene.  The safe is locked in a closet.  That closet is located in a locked room.  The lock to the room and the lock to the closet were pried open.  The safe was breached using some heavy pry bar.  The Group money was stolen.

We gave the police the names of primary suspects.

In the past six months the Board has chosen to prosecute criminal behavior at Alano.  One person has been prosecuted for property damage.  We have also chosen to enforce our Codes of Conduct.  Six people have had their privileges restricted.  Those six were hanging out at Alano and not attending meetings.  This action was taken because small thefts were occurring – like a lamp was stolen from the Al-Anon room.  We believe the lack of a caretaker has attracted some unsavory characters.  This incident reinforces a need to be serious about enforcement of conduct policy.

The next Board meeting will likely result in more restrictions, and perhaps a locking of the facility between meetings.  Sadly, this sort of action is counter to the safe and serene recovery community we are trying to build.

Please help NA by sending $10 or $20 dollars to Alano Rent Fund, 401 S. 11th. St. Joseph, Missouri, 64501.  We are trying to raise $500.00 to pay the NA rent and to restock their literature.

 

Silent Auction, Speakers, Fish Fry – June 4th

Alano Club of St. Joseph fund raiser

Four Speakers!!!

Silent Auction!!!

Fish Fry!!!

June 4th (Saturday) 2016

Speakers – 30 Minutes each at

1:00 PM
2:00 PM
3:00 PM
4:00 PM

Fish Fry at 4:30

Bring a covered dish

Close Silent Auction at 6:00

Alano Club of St. Joseph
401 S. 11th Street

Mark your calendars – stay tuned,  more information is coming….

Kitchen Furnace Repair

A&M Heating and Cooling 001A& M Heating and Cooling came to our rescue.  On Wednesday, about 3:30 PM, we heard a loud screeching sound – as if someone was dragging a metal desk across the floor.  Then silence.  After a few minutes we thought we smelled something like an electrical fire.  There were three people, Gina, Doc, and Gary C., all of questionable repute.  They all agreed on the odor.  They searched the building and could find nothing.  Because we treasure the building and choosing to error on the side of caution, the fire department was called and asked simply to send someone to help us locate the problem.  No need for big trucks and sirens.

One fire unit was sent with two men, one was Jeremy Howery.  They were extraordinarily professional and pleasant.  We finally isolated the problem to the kitchen area furnace.   The blower would not come on.

alano stuff 028On Friday Gary C. and Brian L. tackled the furnace.  Neither of these men is a furnace aficionado- so several cups of coffee were required in the planning phase of the maintenance project.  After about an hour of actual work the blower squirrel cage fan and motor were removed.  This was when we were able to actually see what had happened.

One or more of the blades came loose and destroyed the whole unit in a high RPM clash of metal against metal.  The photo at the left was taken at A&M after the A&M technician Dale had removed it from the cage.

alano stuff 031We actually took the whole assembly to Ragdon – that has been our go-to place with furnace motor problems in the past.  He referred us on to a furnace place on north third – nope, they did not have those parts, but they sent us to a place on north fourth.  No luck there but they sent us to A& M on south 4th street.  We were graciously accepted before they even knew who we represented.  They could readily see that we were not professionals and had little knowledge of what we were asking.  No matter – they quickly began looking around their shop for a replacement fan.

We learned today that these fans are not kept as a part of regular inventory at Heating and Cooling companies – but A&M had some parts from previous ventures.  Dale found one that almost perfectly fit our need.  While Dale was working I explained that the furnace was at the Alano Club of St. Joseph.  The office lady, whose name I sadly cannot remember, Lori I think, asked a few questions about our operation, checked with the owner Mike Anderson, and informed us that the cost of the fan would be ten dollars, including installation on the motor and in the cage.

alano stuff 029When it was time to pay I found I had only seven dollars cash on me so I offered a credit card.  “No,” she said, “Seven dollars is enough”.  She also informed me that she had been talking with the owner, Mike Anderson, about donating two free furnace checks a year (an eighty dollar value).  These folks are great people to work with.  I just cannot say enough about them – the Alano Club has been around for sixty seven years because of people like this.

We are a public health organization working to make St. Joseph and the surrounding area a better place for all.  We host about 36 sanctioned meetings every week and have nearly 2,000 individual visits to our building every month.  This work happens through the generosity of people like Mike Anderson of A&M Heating and Cooling.

With a repaired fan in tow, Brian and Gary returned to Alano where more coffee was required to plan the re-installation of the fan and motor.  After a couple of hours the work was done.  People were showing up for the 5:30 AA and Al-Anon meetings and the building was cozy warm.

We live  in a great community of people helping each other – each of us contributing in our own way to the public health.

This has been a great day and for that I am forever grateful.  The people who receive help at Alano are forever grateful.

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