Sunday, November 6th, 12:30pm Eastern USA
[Note that the clocks will ‘turn back’ that day.]
Volunteer Day will introduce you to the ACA World Service Organization (WSO) - its committees and volunteers. We hope to inspire you and your meeting friends to volunteer, as you see fit. This will ensure our organization continues to grow.
To join a WSO committee, we recognize our abilities and desires. We also see the needs of the organization. Our wants meet group needs as we strive toward our primary purpose: to carry the message of recovery to all who suffer from being raised in an alcoholic or dysfunctional family.
If you would like to ATTEND the Volunteer Day, answer 3 questions here: https://forms.gle/hFbepjHUnea5Lqfs7
If you would like to HELP at the event, and be of service, fill out this form: https://forms.gle/U6xNJUnKkceJ72UP9
For complete information about Volunteer Day, go to: https://acawso.org/vrc/
THE REWARDS OF SERVICE:
An Interview Exploring the Service Journey of Brad L.
One goal of Volunteer Day is to inspire participants to consider volunteering by listening to the experiences of others.
Recovery in ACA may often be reflected in our relationships with other people. Participating in service, in all levels of the fellowship, from the meeting to World Service, provides a safe opportunity to discover ourselves while working with others toward common goals.
The following excerpts are from a written conversation that I had with Brad L, who has volunteered with WSO.
[Jim R] Brad, thank you for taking the time for this interview. When you began in ACA, what were some initial ways you were “of service" to your meeting?
[Brad L] I began with basic tasks, such as the setup and cleanup of the room, being a keyholder - opening the church, and offering to read. After a while, I took positions like treasurer and meeting secretary. And this led to serving as the representative to our intergroup and then as the group delegate to the Annual Business Conference.
[JR] So how did you become aware of the ACA structure, beyond the group level?
[BL] Well, I looked into the intergroup out of frustration - they did not take credit cards for their event contributions, only checks. I suspected they needed some tech help. I became the intergroup tech chair for 2 years. Then the intergroup chair for 2 years.
[JR] Any other reasons for providing service?
[BL] Well, so many other ACAs have aided my recovery journey. I like to give back in small and big ways. Sometimes small, like offering to read. Sometimes larger, like being a sponsor or building web pages.
[JR] Have you attended recovery workshops? Have you helped produce them?
[BL] Yes, I attended the ACA World Convention in Toronto, in 2018. I have helped produce multiple events–Intergroup in-person recovery day events and online workshops focused on the inner child, on shame, and on service.
Events take lots of planning, triggering my desires for perfection and to make everyone happy. It was a great opportunity to work on that with my sponsor and talk with my fellow intergroup members and in my meetings.
[JR] Have you witnessed personal growth through service?
[BL] Lots of growth. I’m able to talk with fellow members about my self judgment; unique opportunities, when working with ACA’s. Outside of ACA, it is usually not safe to be so vulnerable.
[JR] When did you begin service at WSO?
[BL] I started less than 2 years ago in WSO. I believe I first joined the Ballot Prep Committee. I helped write the ballot form. Soon I also joined IT, where I took on the project of upgrading the Seventh Tradition page, researching what software to use. Later I created new voting systems for the ABC. Very exciting, yet scary should it not work. Working my recovery allowed me to focus more on the process, less on the results.
When I began in WSO, I was excited but a little lonely and unsure of myself. I felt that I needed to impress people to get them to like me. However, I was able to release a lot of that while working with my sponsor. And I made some good connections and friends through service.
[JR] Describe your experience with business-like committee meetings?
[BL] I enjoy most business-type meetings. At first I was much more outcome focused. Now I am more process focused and I surrender the outcome.
Most of the committees I attend are highly functional. When things do get challenging, I see an opportunity to work on why I’m being triggered, not having to fix things. And now I’m more self-directed. I can leave committees if I’m uncomfortable.
[JR] What personal lessons have you learned, regarding working with others?
[BL] Don’t rescue or fix everything that’s not going right. Celebrate process, instead of just outcomes. Greater respect for people's different styles.
I have many good relationships with WSO volunteers. Some have become close friends. I’ve learned a lot about pacing. Sometimes a slower than normal pace is needed, to give everyone time to learn new things. Working with others in challenging situations helps my recovery.
[JR] What does service mean to you?
[BL] It’s an opportunity to give back to the program that gave me so much freedom, and to work my program, and the chance to practice some of my recovery skills.
On Volunteer Day you will hear more testimonials like the one offered here.
[JR] Thank you, Brad!
The practical tools and techniques we learn in service can be applied to our daily functioning, beyond the spaces of ACA. Personal qualities of self esteem, empathy, and playfulness can be nurtured by learning better ways to listen, to participate, even to speak. The world of relationships may be given new clarity and perspective.