Dear Marina Dock Members
The gods were smiling on us financially in November we had a
couple of people step up to the plate to help us out, thus making
it possible for us to meet some serious financial deadlines,
we love you. It's never easy talking about money but like riding
a bicycle once you get the hang of it, it's a breeze. A Texas
oilman once said, "money is like manure, " spread
it around and it makes things grow let it pile up in one place
and It begins to smell. I like this one from Colonel Saunders,
"There's no reason to be the richest man in the cemetery,
and you can't do any business from there."
Incidentally on the
subject of donations to Charitable Trusts. A recent article
in the Wall Street Journal, "How to Give Away Your Money"
may be of interest to some of our supporters? This year, as
part of the summer's pension-reform bill, an array of rule changes
are being implemented that encourage philanthropy, while also
cracking down on abuses of the system. One of the most important
new incentives: older individuals can now donate as much as
$100.000 a year to charities directly from their individual
retirement accounts, enabling them to avoid paying income tax
on those sums. On the other hand it's becoming more difficult
to give away non-cash property whether it is dingy old clothes
or a pricey work of art. Dropping off garbage bags full of bell-bottoms
and other missecellenous relics, from the tumultuous summer-of-love,
will no longer cut it with Uncle Sam. Too many people it appears
were overestimating the value of such items, having said that,
if you have a Caravaggio or a Titian lying around in your attic?
We are definitely interested.
Stock Market Windfall
Thanks to the red-hot
stock market " A lot of people are funding charities with
appreciated stock. One tip suggested by Robert F. Sharpe Jr.
President of Sharpe Group, a financial advisory firm for nonprofits
in Memphis, Tenn. "One tip: Mr. Sharpe suggests that individuals
looking to give to charity this year should consider donating
shares of a stock that has made big gains, then turning around
and using cash, say a year end bonus-to buy new shares of the
same stock. Giving away appreciated shares generates an income-tax
deduction while also avoiding capital-gains taxes. At the same
time, by rebuying the shares with cash, you can still maintain
your position while lowering the future capital gains bite."
Hang on to receipts: One major change going into effect January
.1, you won't be able to deduct cash contributions or other
monetary gifts unless you can show a bank record or a written
receipt from the charity. The law didn't specify what exactly
counts as a "bank record." So in the meantime make
sure you get a receipt. The Marina Dock will be sending out
a financial statement, to everyone who contributed in 2006,
with the January 2007 newsletter. If you have a question or
a query on your statement feel free to contact us and we will
correct any errors. You can also pick up a receipt from the
counterperson as a backup anytime you make a donation.
Alive & Free
Tips for preventing
the holiday blues, staying sober Most people know the holidays
can be a period of emotional highs and lows. Loneliness, anxiety,
happiness and sadness are common feelings, sometimes experienced
in startling succession. The bad news is the holiday blues can
trigger relapse for people recovering from alcoholism and other
drug addiction. The good news is the blues can be remedied by
Why do the blues
hit during this otherwise festive season? Doing too much or
too little and being separated from loved ones at this special
time can lead to sadness during the holiday season. Many recovering
people associate the holidays with memories of overindulgence,
perhaps of big benders that resulted in relationship problems
or great personal losses.
feelings of melancholy, sadness and grief tied to holiday recollections.
Unlike clinical depression, which is more severe and can last
for months or years, those feelings are temporary, says Sue
Hoisington, a licensed psychologist and executive director of
Hazelden's Mental Health Centers. Anyone experiencing major
symptoms of depression, such as persistent sadness, anxiety,
guilt or helplessness; changes in sleep patterns;
and a reduction in energy and libido, should seek help from
a trusted mental health professional, she adds.
Whether you're in recovery or not, Hoisington suggests developing
a holiday plan to help prevent the blues, one that will confront
unpleasant memories before they threaten your holiday experience.
Your plan should include improved self-care, enhanced support
from others, and healthy ways to celebrate. Hoisington offers
a few suggestions to achieve a happy, sober holiday season:
Good self-care is vital. Remember to slow down.
Take some quiet time each day and work on an attitude of gratitude.
Plan relaxation and meditation into your day, even for a few
minutes, no matter how busy you are. Relax your standards and
reduce overwhelming demands and responsibilities.
Don't overindulge. Go easy on the holiday sweets
and follow a balanced diet. Monitor your intake of caffeine,
nicotine and sugar. Exercise regularly to help maintain your
energy level amid a busier schedule. Don't try to do too much.
Get plenty of sleep. Fatigue is a stressor. Maintain some kind
of schedule and plan ahead; don't wait until the last minute
to purchase gifts or prepare to entertain.
Enhance your support system. Holidays are a
good time to reach out more frequently to your therapist, sponsor,
spiritual advisor, or support group. If you're in recovery,
spend time with fellow recovering people. Let others help you
realize your personal limits. Learn to say "no" in
a way that is comfortable for you.
Find new ways to celebrate. Create some new
symbols and rituals that will help redefine a joyful holiday
season. You might host a holiday gathering for special recovering
friends and/or attend celebrations of your Twelve Step group.
Avoid isolation and spend time with people you like who are
not substance users. Don't expose yourself to unnecessary temptations,
such as gatherings where alcohol is the center of entertainment.
If there are people who have a negative influence on you, avoid
Release your resentments. Resentment has been
described as allowing a person you dislike to live in your head,
rent-free. Resentments that gain steam during the holidays can
be disastrous for anyone, especially recovering people. The
Big Book of "Alcoholics Anonymous" refers to resentment
as the No. 1 offender, or the most common factor in failed sobriety.
Holidays may also be a time to evaluate your spirituality and
find a personal way to draw support from the spirit of the season.
Return the holidays to a spiritual base, and stress the power
of unselfish giving. Recovery is serious work, but it is also
important to have fun. Laugh a little. Start seeing the humor
in those things that annoy you. Take from the holiday season
what is important for you and leave the rest.
Alive & Free is a health column that provides
information to help prevent substance abuse problems. It is
created by Hazelden, based in Center City, Minn.
Have a great holiday
season and thank you again for your ongoing financial support.
The Marina Dock relies exclusively on the generosity of its
supporters. Remember during the busy holidays season there is
ample parking at the Moulton Street public parking lot and it
cost about the same as the street parking meters. The Moulton
street lot is accessed on Webster Street between Lombard and
Greenwich Street. Our vehicle donation program is really making
a difference every month seems to be better than the one before,
if you have a business where we can post our car donation sign
let us know, it pays to advertise. We also invite participation
from our readers if you have a good recovery story email me
and we will put it in the newsletter.