An A.A. answering service offers a local gateway to reach Alcoholics Anonymous. The service receives inquiries from those seeking help and may refer callers to a nearby A.A. group or may have a twelfth stepper contact them.

In the past, the A.A. answering service provided a listing for Alcoholics Anonymous in the local telephone directory. As technology has changed, A.A. members providing this service have found new avenues for problem drinkers seeking help to find A.A. – for example, getting the answering service number listed online with A.A. websites, Internet directories and local community websites.

Like any other A.A. service, the primary purpose of those involved in archival work is to carry the message of Alcoholics Anonymous. Archives service work is more than mere custodial activity; it is the means by which we collect, preserve, and share the rich and meaningful heritage of our Fellowship. It is by the collection and sharing of these important historical elements that our collective gratitude for Alcoholics Anonymous is deepened.

Part of Bridging the Gap between a treatment program and A.A. is the Temporary Contact Program, which is designed to help the alcoholic in an alcoholism treatment program make that transition. As you know, one of the more “slippery” places in the journey to sobriety is between the door of the facility and the nearest A.A. group or meeting. Some of us can tell you that, even though we heard of A.A. in treatment, we were too fearful to go.

A.A. is considered by many professionals to be a valuable resource for alcoholics who want help. When there is a good working relationship between A.A. members in the community and paid alcoholism workers, the sick alcoholic is the winner —he or she gets the help needed from both. We are not in competition with these non-A.A.s; we have our separate functions. A.A. is not in the business of education, research, medicine, counseling, treatment, prevention, or funding. We simply have a message to carry about a program of recovery for alcoholics—a program that works for hundreds of thousands who want it. The professional can reach out to alcoholics—by education, counseling, and rehabilitative treatment— and can also be of aid through making the community aware of the millions still suffering from the progressive illness of alcoholism.

The purpose of a corrections committee is to coordinate the work of individual A.A. members and groups who are interested in carrying our message of recovery to alcoholics behind the walls, and to set up means of smoothing the way from the facility to the larger A.A. community through pre-release contacts.

The Grapevine, “your meeting in print” is also your meeting on the Web. Why not share? We’re always accepting submissions of art or text, and you need no prior publishing experience. All it takes is a little willingness and a desire to share.