The Answering Service: It Works, It Really Does

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I wanted to share with you all something I experienced last night that gave me joy and hope, and appreciation of all we do. In particular, District 16 trusted servants and GSR’S who make this all possible.

I was at the Friday night Home Free Group Zoom meeting, and we had a AA member with quite a few years from Cooperstown, who shared. He said he was in Olivebridge visiting his girlfriend, and wanted to attend an Online meeting. He had not done this before, so this was his first one. To find it, he called our Hotline, as staffed by Family of Woodstock, and they not only gave him the link info, but explained how it worked and what to do to get to the meeting. He joined us and expressed his gratitude for the online meeting.
He could have been a newcomer, and this was direct proof that what we are doing works, and can get newcomers, or anyone, desiring to attend an AA meeting directed to the right place.
Thank you to our Answering Service chair, Ryan O. for his work with the Answering Service commitment, and to Family of Woodstock for providing a place where people can go to get the help that need, especially these days. And to all you who do service for AA, as we know, it works if you work it…Thank you for giving your time and experience to carrying the message to the still sick and suffering Alcoholic.
 I’m so proud to be part of this fellowship!!! Allen V, DCM District 16
Read this overview about how this Service Work works. To volunteer to be on the list of Hotline Team of AA members who field the calls redirected from Family of Woodstock, contact Ryan O. or Mike C.

AA Answering Service: Hotline Support Needed

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Did you know that the Ulster County AA Hotline averages over 60 calls a month? But who talks to those people calling for help and more information about A.A. in our area? Nearly 60 men and women, currently sober A.A. members with a year or more of sobriety, comprise the Ulster County Answering Service team.

  • These volunteers work with Family of Woodstock who screens incoming calls, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. (Find out how to volunteer below.)
  • When a call comes into the A.A. hotline number, Family answers the call “A.A. Answering Service, may I help you?”
  • If the person is looking for a meeting, Family assists them in finding one by referring to the current meeting list we provide to Family. This meeting list is often mailed directly to the caller as well.
  • If the caller wants to speak with someone in A.A., Family takes the caller’s name & phone number and explains an A.A. volunteer will call the person back shortly. (Family does not give out volunteer information or phone number to the caller. You can also block your number prior to callback.)
  • Family then calls the A.A. volunteer next on the list – preferably one nearby the caller – and passes off the caller information to the A.A. Answering Service team member. On average, A.A. volunteers receive two calls per month.
  • The A.A. volunteer then calls the person back and answers questions about A.A., how getting sober works with our Program of Recovery, what A.A. is, and what A.A. is not. They also listen and share their experience, strength, and hope.

Are you interested in volunteering for the Answering Service team of men and women who carry the message of hope and recovery? It’s a relatively low-impact way to help with 12th Step work by carrying the message of Alcoholics Anonymous. Contact Ryan or Mike, District 16 and District 7 Answering Service chairs, to get started.

Requirements for AA Answering Service team members:

  • currently sober A.A. members with a year or more of sobriety
  • willingness to take calls
  • willingness to coordinate getting a newcomer to their first meeting
  • have a home or cell phone number