I am responsible. . .

When anyone, anywhere,

reaches out for help, I want

the hand of A.A. always to be there.

And for that: I am responsible.

-Responsibility Statement

What Does A.A. Service Mean?

Service is the third legacy of AA and the Principle of Step 12. AA service is strictly volunteer, with the exception of office workers or other special jobs (Tradition 8). Service in AA means participation at any level:

  • making coffee or setting up chairs

  • participating in a meeting

  • calling another alcoholic

  • giving someone a ride

  • answering phones

  • speaking at a Speaker's Meeting

  • joining a committee or board

We can't keep our sobriety and serenity it if we don't give it away.

The three legacies of AA

How Can I Help?

Every meeting and group needs someone to open the meeting place. This responsibility typically rotates among individuals. Volunteers may commit to running a meeting for a period of months. The Central Service Office can always use volunteers to answer phones when alcoholics call in for help. Shifts are typically 2 hours long. The Bridge program hooks up volunteers to folks coming out of incarceration or treatment programs for a ride to meetings. Some volunteers answer phones at night, or take meetings into jails, treatment centers, or institutions. Volunteers also help with dinners, conferences, and other local events. Speaker meetings need speakers. Clubs need members and people to run the counter. Some jobs require a number of months of sobriety. Ask your sponsor or the group you are committing to for specific information.

How does the CSO fit into the General Service Structure?

The Central Service Office cannot be found directly inside the AA inverted pyramid service structure; however, it is 100% a part of Alcoholics Anonymous. Central offices and intergroups have been established over the years to carry out certain functions common to all local groups that would be impractical for each group (or district) to do on its own (ex: print meeting booklets and provide 24 hour phone support). You can imagine that the Puget Sound Central Service Office exists just off to the side of the inverted pyramid between the District Committees and Area Assemblies levels. See the G.S.O.'s article A.A. Guidelines for Central or Intergroup Offices for more information.