Keep in mind that your presence at meetings and events is a form of service to other alcoholics! Through sharing your experience, strength, and hope at meetings and events, you contribute to and continue AA’s tradition of fellowship.
When you notice a newcomer at an AA gathering, make an effort to welcome them. Some AA groups have a custom of presenting newcomers with phone numbers of members in attendance. Participating in this, or reaching out personally to offer help and fellowship to newcomers, is also a crucial form of service.
The AA General Service Conference-approved pamplet “Questions and Answers on Sponsorship” states:
“Essentially, the process of sponsorship is this: An alcoholic who has made some progress in the recovery program shares that experience on a continuous, individual basis with another alcoholic who is attempting to attain or maintain sobriety through A.A.”
Among other forms of familiarizing a sponsee with the program of AA and the principles of living a sober life, a sponsor often guides their sponsee through the 12 steps.
If you think you might be ready to become a sponsor, we welcome you to read “Questions and Answers on Sponsorship” for guidance, in addition to asking for guidance from your own sponsor and other members who have sponsored.
A home group is an AA group in whose “group conscience” you wish to participate, by regularly attending meetings, being involved in group decisions, and being of service to attendees. Some of the ways to serve a home group include:
- Greet members as they arrive
- Set up and clean up chairs, literature, etc.
- Make coffee
- Chair meetings
- Become a group officer, or “trusted servant”
For more information about AA home groups, including how to begin a new group, refer to the GSO website page about The AA Group.
AA’s Seventh Tradition states: “Every A.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.” Members provide financial support through voluntary donations at meetings.
As a group Treasurer, a position elected by home group members, you manage a group’s donations and its banking and then direct funds to meet group expenses, such as meeting space, coffee, and literature.
When a surplus of funds exists, after covering essential expenses, group Treasurers also regularly donate to area and global AA service entities to support the work of AA at all levels.
- Heart of Virginia Intergroup
- Heart of Virginia District Service Committee
- Virginia Area Committee
- AA General Service Office (GSO)
Mailing addresses, phone numbers, and online giving links for these entities can be found on our Contact page. When making group contributions by check, please include your District Number (No. 9), Group Number and Group Name in the memo section.
As a Literature Representative, you ensure that your group has on hand AA literature for free distribution or sale at meetings, such as pamphlets on a variety of specific matters related to AA and alcoholism, and copies of the Big Book, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, Living Sober, and Daily Reflections. This is done in conjunction with your group’s Treasurer, in order to make use of your group’s self-supporting 7th tradition donations. If a separate Grapevine Representative does not exist for your group, as a Literature Representative, you might also consider taking on the responsibilities of that role. AA GSO provides a complete list of its literature for browsing and searching on its main website, as well as an online store for purchase of literature, display racks, and other materials for display at meetings, such as banners printed with the 12 steps and popular AA aphorisms.
As a Grapevine Representative (GvR), you ensure that copies of the AA Grapevine magazine are available and displayed at meetings of your group. AA Grapevine is the international journal of Alcoholics Anonymous, and spreads the message of AA and the experience, strength and hope of its members through a monthly subscription magazine. AA Grapevine also provides a number of other additional resources, such as a newsletter, a podcast, and a YouTube channel.
If your group doesn’t have a Grapevine representative, you can become one yourself by volunteering or getting elected to the position by your homegroup. GvRs may register online. Or they may register by contacting the GvR coordinator at the Grapevine office:
475 Riverside Drive,
New York, NY 10115
Phone: (212) 870-3018
Fax: (212) 870-3301
As an Intergroup Representative, a position elected by home group members, you are the voice of your AA Group Conscience at monthly meetings of the Heart of Virginia District Intergroup, the umbrella organization facilitating communication and coordination among district home groups.
Intergroup meetings are held at 7:00 PM on the first Thursday of the month via Zoom ( Meeting Link). Typically, meetings adjourn by 8:15 but may run longer.
In addition to attending meetings, representatives
- participate in discussions and votes on behalf of their home group;
- to the extent possible, obtain advance guidance from their home group about matters to be considered at Intergroup meetings;
- report back to their home group about the meetings and upcoming Intergroup events and activities;
- and, to the extent possible, participate in Intergroup committees and activities.
A comprehensive description of an Intergroup Representative’s roles and responsibilities are enumerated in the Heart of Virginia Intergroup Bylaws.
General Service Representative
As a General Service Representative (GSR), a position elected by home group members, you are the voice of your AA Group Conscience for the Heart of Virginia District, the Virginia Area Committee, and the AA General Service Conference, which is held in New York each April. Through your elected District Committee Member (DCM) and the Virginia Area Delegate, you are the link between your group and the world of AA as a whole. You and your fellow GSRs all over the world are the key to AA unity.
GSRs represent their home groups at Heart of Virginia District Service Committee meetings, which meet at 7:00 PM on the second Monday of the month via Zoom (Meeting Link).
A comprehensive description of a GSR’s roles and responsibilities are enumerated in GSO’s pamphlet about the General Service Representative and the Heart of Virginia District Service Manual. If you have any questions after reading these, please ask your DCM.
Answer the Phone Hotline
Heart of Virginia District Intergroup is responsible for a local AA Hotline (434-293-6565), sometimes the first contact a suffering alcoholic has with AA. We prefer that one of our members, rather than the answering service, answer the phones whenever possible.
Volunteers answer the phone in the Central Office, located on Emmet Street in Charlottesville, or can have calls forwarded to their personal phone, handling live 12 Step calls, community service referrals, and/or directions to or times of local meetings.
Typically, volunteer shifts occur every week for two-hour time periods, but if a weekly obligation is too much for you, volunteer for rotating weekend on-call phone Coverage. This runs from 4:30 pm Friday afternoon through 9:00 am Monday morning and falls to you once every 2 or 3 months, depending on the number of volunteers in the weekend pool.
Take a 12th Step Call
If you can’t commit to a scheduled time for answering the phone hotline, consider having your name and number added to the 12 Step Call List (one each for men, women, or Spanish-speaking) to talk with a suffering alcoholic or provide them with a ride to a meeting.
Either the answering service or a phone volunteer will screen incoming calls, and if a 12 Step conversation is requested, they will contact you. You can control the hours you’re available for calls, and whether you want to give rides or not.
Intergroup / District Committees
Needs help planning and arranging picnics, dances, celebrations and other events. We are always happy to see more volunteers!
Needs help collecting and documenting records, documents, articles, memorabilia, newsletters, and group histories for our local and Virginia Area Archives.
- Public Information / Cooperation with Professional Community
Needs help providing information about AA: what it is and isn’t to professionals who are in contact with alcoholics and to the general community. Volunteers are always needed with health fairs, talks and much more.
- Correctional Facilities
Needs help working with local corrections institutions to carry the message of AA and bring meetings into local jails and prisons. We have four facilities within our district, including Albermarle County Regional Jail, Dillwyn Correctional Institution, Fluvanna Women’s and Blue Ridge Juvenile Detention Center. In particular we have a strong need for volunteers in the Juvenile facility. Read the attached flyer How Can I help the Alcoholic in Jail or Prison for more details. New volunteers must attend an orientation at the prison.
- Grapevine / La Viña
Become a Grapevine Representative for your group. You will inform the general A.A. community of the amazing availability and benefits of the Meeting in Media! Sign up at http://www.aagrapevine.org/get-involved. When asked for specific regional information. please supply District 9, Area 71
- Hospitals and Institutions (aka H&I)
Needs help coordinating delivery of information and meetings to area hospitals and treatment centers. Volunteers are needed to help take meetings into 5 East at UVa Hospital and the Wellness Center. Help also is needed in carrying the message to local nursing homes and hospice to those with special needs.