By Jillian E.
I was going through a difficult divorce and one of the principles I have learned in A.A. is to do more service when I am feeling shaky. The Big Book says, “Practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics. It works when other activities fail.” I knew that one way to see more newcomers in my life was to join either H&I or Teleservice. The first commitment to cross my path was as a Teleservice Rep for my home group. The responsibility of the meeting rep is to not only make a weekly announcement about what Teleservice is, but to also attend the Teleservice business meeting in order to learn how Teleservice works and bring pertinent information back to my group.
I began attending the business meeting monthly and found an amazing group of committed people serving the still-suffering alcoholic. They were living the Responsibility Statement. (“Whenever anyone, anywhere reaches out for help, I want the hand of A.A. always to be there.”)
At that first meeting, I took a couple of volunteer phone line shifts and have never looked back. In my years as a phone line volunteer, I have talked to alcoholics from all over the United States. One time, I helped a woman find a meeting near her home in Detroit (using my computer, she didn’t have one) and in another call I talked to a man from somewhere near Dallas and also helped him find a meeting near his home. I have also helped countless people find meetings in Marin and San Francisco. Sometimes potential volunteers tell me they are afraid they won’t know what to say if they take a shift. I say, “Treat them like you would if you met a newcomer at a meeting”. I have the 20 questions available because I always ask a caller, “Do you think you have a problem with alcohol?”
Since my early inception in Teleservice, I have been a daily volunteer coordinator, the orientation coordinator, the 12-Step worker list coordinator (where I taught a workshop on how to do a 12-Step call) and the Chairperson for the Committee. During the pandemic, the Teleservice committee has continued to be a lifeline for alcoholics as we became instrumental to helping people find and navigate the Zoom meetings and that continue today.
Teleservice has really changed the depth of my sobriety and has also been a very straightforward and simple commitment. It takes very little time and is unbelievably rewarding to know that I am helping, as The Big Book says, when no one else can. I can secure the confidence of another alcoholic when no one else can. My life has, in fact, taken on new meaning.
Teleservice and all the other San Francisco and Marin Intergroup committees are in need of more volunteers. There are many to choose from: Sunshine Club, the Tech Committee, The Buzz, The Point, Archives, Fellowship, HelpChat and many more. Take a chance, be brave, be bold, deepen your recovery by volunteering for an Intergroup service committee that fits your life and your schedule.