Note: this page was taken from a the original brochure, a link to a PDF of that brochure is included at the bottom of the page.
How To Get Involved
A willingness to help another human being suffering from our disease is the most essential requirement. It is also suggested you have a year of continuous sobriety.
|Emergency and Referral NumbersAll Emergencies911Community and Info Referral211Suicide Hotline1-800-631-1314|
After conferring with your sponsor, fill out the “12-Step” form here. These are available at most Home Groups, at your Central Office or online at buffaloaany.org. Be sure to include your name, phone number, email address and where you reside since all 12-Step calls are assigned by area.
Please fill out the online Volunteer form Here
A Brief 12 Step History
In 1935 Bill W. was desperately trying to stay sober. He thought that if he could talk to another alcoholic it might help. This thought turned into a fateful meeting with Dr. Bob and the rest is history.
“In spite of the great increase in the size and the span of this Fellowship, at its core it re- mains simple and personal. Each day, somewhere in the world, recovery begins when one alcoholic talks with another alcoholic, sharing experience, strength and hope”
(Forward to the Third Edition, pg xxii)
How A 12 Step Call Starts
Your Central Office maintains a 24 hour hotline manned by volunteers. An alcoholic in need can reach us anytime, day or night. There are many situations when a
call back from another alcoholic may be in order. If a caller is concerned about their drinking or has never been to Alcoholics Anonymous before or is new to the area and would like help getting reconnected, offer to have a member of A.A. call them back with more information and assistance. If
the caller is willing to receive a call back, the phone volunteer will get some information from them for the person who will call them back.
- First name.
- Telephone number.
- Zip code, city and cross streets.
- Date and time.
If the caller is drinking now/ current condition.
They will tell the caller:
A sober member of A.A. will call them back with-in 15 minutes.
That they should call back if not contacted by an A.A. member.
That they may call anytime, 24/7, especially before taking a drink.
Phone volunteers will never give a members phone number to a caller and will always assign a same sex 12 stepper.
When the caller is off the phone, their next step is to contact a 12 step volunteer from the 12 step list. The list is sorted by city and zip code. They will try to find a 12 step volunteer close to the caller’s location.
Once an available volunteer is found, they are asked if they can contact the person within 10 minutes. If they are willing the information from the caller is provided to the 12 step volunteer.
Going on a 12 Step Call
The 12-Step call is a vital part of our program of recovery ~ it is virtually the 12th Step. It is your personal way to help an alcoholic in need by
sharing your experience, strength and hope. Here are a few suggestions that experience have shown to be helpful. None of these are MUSTS, but each can make for a better 12-Step call. Please remember, ours is a program of attrac- tion rather than promotion.
- BE AVAILABLE to carry the message. If you cannot make this kind of commitment, please reconsider being on this list.
- CALL BACK PROMPTLY.
- When returning a call, press *67 before dialing to conceal your personal phone number.
- Sometimes a phone call is all that is wanted. Some people may wish to keep their residence private. Always offer to meet them in a public place or at a meeting if they prefer to not have people at their home.
- Twelfth Step when the prospect is sober or fairly
sober. Calls on intoxicated alcoholics seldom work because of blackouts. Wait for the end of a spree or a lucid interval when the prospect is still jittery.
- NEVER, NEVER, NEVER go alone. ALWAYS get someone to go with you, preferably someone with more experience, if possible.
- MEN with men, WOMEN with women, however in an extreme emergency a man/woman team may call on either.
- 12 step calls have been made to motel rooms, private homes and hospitals. If a prospect is currently sober you could arrange to meet them at a public place or at a meeting. In no case are 12 step calls to be made in bars.
- Look neat and presentable, you are representing
recovery in Alcoholics Anonymous.
- During home calls, try to talk to the prospect alone,
away from emotional family influences.
- Be patient, compassionate, and LISTEN. Share freely of your experience—especially your feelings of loneliness, hopelessness and confusion before AA.
- Explain the three-fold aspect of the disease (physical, mental and spiritual), stressing that
alcoholism is a PROGRESSIVE and often FATAL ILLNESS.
- Determine the willingness of the person to do some-
thing about his/her condition.
- Suggest taking action today. Suggest a time to take
this newcomer to a meeting.
- Remember – Safety First. If you or your 12th step partner are not comfortable with the setting or
situation of a call try to gracefully remove yourself from the meeting. Sometimes it is better to leave than to stay.
- Discuss with the family what AA has to offer, and suggest ALANON or ALATEEN. Leave literature and a meeting list.
- If you are willing, leave a meeting list and your
phone number and encourage them to call you.
- PLEASE don’t make any promises you can’t keep.
- Be familiar with Alcoholics Anonymous chapter
7, “Working with Others”. It contains a wealth of
practical experience in 12 step work.
- In case of EMERGENCIES—DT’s, convulsions, suicide threats or violence. CALL 911 and follow their directions—DON’TPANIC.
- Never give out names, telephone numbers, addresses or other personal information regarding any A.A. member.
- Never give medical advice.
Detoxing from long periods of
heavy drinking often requires medical supervision. Never recommend any specific treatment program or facility.
- Never engage or take sides in family disputes.
- Remember, we are Alcoholics Anonymous and nothing else, and as such we carry the A.A. message.
Understand that success means you are still sober. Practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as Intensive Twelfth Step work with other alcoholics.