Adult Children of Alcoholics World
Service Organization, Inc. (ACA WSO) is an organization of volunteer
members elected to serve in the capacity of corporate trustees according
to the laws of the State of California.
ACA WSO maintains a telephone line, and
postal, Internet, and e-mail addresses as a stable communication base for
the ACA program. ACA WSO committees prepare the literature for conference
approval, prepare the monthly newsletter (the ComLine), and protect the
copyright interests of the organization.
The primary purpose of the Adult Children of Alcoholics program is to
carry the message of recovery to all who suffer from being raised in an
alcoholic or dysfunctional environment (Step 12). ACA WSO is a connection
between these individuals and ACA meetings, Intergroups, and Regions. Its
sole purpose is to serve the fellowship of Adult Children of Alcoholics
by maintaining service for those who might be seeking, through ACA, the
means for recovering from being raised in an alcoholic or otherwise
How We Carry the Message
ACA WSO receives direction from the delegates at the Annual Business
Conference (ABC), phone calls, letters, e-mail, and the ACA fellowship
(Regions, Intergroups, meetings, and individuals). Tasks that the
organization now performs include hosting the ABC; answering phone calls,
letters, and e-mail; publishing literature, a list of worldwide Regions
and Intergroups, a monthly newsletter (the ComLine), and a web page;
making sure such items as program chips and Conference Approved
Literature are available to the membership; and maintaining a current
database of Regions, Intergroups, and meetings. The establishment of an
e-mail address and an Internet web site by ACA WSO has created an
overwhelming response from members requesting information regarding
meetings and literature.
Who Uses These Services?
Anyone needing information about ACA uses these services, including
individuals, ACA Regions, Intergroups, meetings, therapists, students,
and authors. Individuals who contact ACA WSO are looking for meetings in
their area, answers to policy questions, literature, general information,
or just want to be heard.
What Does ACA WSO Do for Me?
ACA members may benefit directly from ACA WSO-generated literature,
newsletter information, recovery sharing, and the announcements of
Conferences, Workshops, Dances, or the Annual Business Conference.
How Far Does ACA WSO Reach?
ACA began in the USA and spread to other English-speaking countries,
probably because the literature was in English. The advent of electronic
media has opened new avenues of outreach worldwide. We began to hear of
meetings in Canada, England, Scotland, Ireland, Spain, France, Sweden,
Denmark, Norway, and Iceland. Now, meetings have begun in South Africa,
Kenya, Korea, China, Japan, New Zealand, and Australia. ACA members in
Sweden are translating the literature into Swedish and are creating their
own "12-Tradition" pamphlet. ACA WSO is also working on a "12 & 12"
The ACA WSO Literature Committee has completed the ACA Fellowship Text
(Steps & Traditions book), which, when published, the French-speaking
contingency in Eastern Canada has offered to translate. We are evolving
How Many People Does ACA WSO Reach?
ACA WSO maintains a database of about 1,500 meeting locations, with
each meeting representing two or more people. The meetings, however, do
not maintain attendance records.
Who Runs This Operation?
The ACA WSO Board of Trustees manages the day-to-day operations. Any
ACA member who is willing to give time and energy in service may serve on
the Board of Trustees, or as a volunteer or committee member. All ACA
members are invited to participate in the work of ACA WSO. Doing service
work is helpful to all ACA members and accelerates personal recovery.
How Does ACA WSO Operate?
The Bylaws outline the basic structure of the ACA WSO Board. In
addition, ACA WSO has an evolving set of operational rules called the
Operational Policy and Procedures Manual (OPPM), which has been collected
and printed since 1984. Each motion that is presented to the Board of
Trustees, and approved by consensus, is added to this policy guide. If,
indeed, group conscience as influenced by our Higher Power is our guide
(see our Traditions), then these guidelines represent the divine
inspiration of our fellowship.
If Meetings Are Autonomous, Why Is ACA WSO Needed?
ACA WSO provides a sense of common purpose, stability, and continuity
for meetings, Intergroups, and Regions. It encourages similarity in
meetings, and unity through affiliation and literature. The organization
coordinates meeting information worldwide. It is one place where
students, therapists, schools, institutions, families, and individuals
find information, literature, and locations of meetings.
Where and When Does the ACA WSO Board of Trustees Meet?
The ACA WSO Board of Trustees' corporate business meetings are on the
second Saturday of each month from 11:00 a.m. to noon, Pacific Time (USA)
by teleconference. ACA WSO also holds one "in person" meeting to discuss
ACA business on the Friday evening of the ABC weekend.
Can Members Listen in on an ACA WSO Business Meeting?
Yes. The Chair asks that visiting ACA members state their names, and
identify themselves as visitors at the beginning (and perhaps at the end)
of the meeting. Listening is the key word, however. Since ACA WSO is a
worldwide organization, its monthly meeting is held on a one-hour
teleconference. All of the ACA business scheduled on the Agenda must be
covered during that hour. It is not possible, therefore, to devote time
to interact with visitors. Trustees can be reached by telephone or e-mail
to answer questions or receive ideas or suggestions.
How Is ACA WSO Supported?
As a 12-Tradition program, ACA WSO's entire support comes from
membership donations. Regions, Intergroups, meetings, and individuals
send in their monthly contributions. Members occasionally send bequests
and personal donations for natal and recovery birthdays, and celebrations
of milestones in recovery. Others contribute according to their growing
sense of responsibility in gratitude for their emotional and economic
recovery. When members request literature, information, or the newsletter
(ComLine), they usually donate money to cover the costs involved in
printing and shipping.
How Does a Member's Program of Recovery Benefit from Service in ACA
We go from hurting to healing to helping. Giving service---at the
meetings, Intergroups, Regions, and ACA WSO---aids individual recovery.
The more involved we became, the more we meet people who are seriously
working a program. Being around people actively working their recovery
constantly reminds us to work on our own. We hear of methods that we find
useful. We talk about recovery, and think about recovery. The personal
support system this creates is extensive. Service is an important part of
active recovery in ACA.
How Does a Member Get into Service with ACA WSO?
ACA members can become delegates from their meetings, Intergroups, or
Regions, and come to the ABC held the last weekend in April. There,
members may share questions, concerns, experience, strength, and hope
with the ACA WSO Board of Trustees, and each other. ACA WSO looks to the
ABC to give it direction for the coming year.
Any concerned member of ACA may become a committed member or volunteer
to assist in the operations of ACA WSO. An ACA member may join the Board
of Trustees as an elected representative of a Region or an Intergroup, or
as an individual, taking on the responsibilities of any available
openings. The ACA WSO Bylaws and the OPPM are guides for the board
members. ACA WSO can always use help.
ACA members can make their meetings aware of ACA WSO's
responsibilities and offerings by: ordering and distributing ACA
literature and chips, sharing the ComLine newsletter, announcing monthly
what ACA WSO is doing, encouraging their meetings to send in excess 7th
tradition donations each month to support the work being done,
encouraging individual or group participation in this work, and
announcing the e-mail address and the URL of the ACA WSO web page.
We invite all ACA members to join in the important work of ACA