Non-Profit Corporation

The Marina Dock Newsletter DECEMBER 2006

Dear Marina Dock Members and Patrons:

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 planning ahead.

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.

People experience 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 them.

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.

--Published December 2, 2002

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.

With Gratitude,



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