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Who Is

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 dysfunctional home.

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" in English.

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 and growing.

How Many People Does ACA WSO Reach?

ACA WSO maintains a database of about 2800 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 WSO?

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 WSO.

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