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Gratitude in Action – Volume 3

Twelfth Step and PI Committees

Vol. 3 – Autumn 2004

“Gratitude should go forward, rather than
backward, in other words, if you carry the
message to still others, you will be making
the best possible repayment for the help
given to you.”
As Bill Sees It, p.29


We are pleased to bring you the third edition of Gratitude in Action, your quarterly newsletter from the GSO Twelfth Step and Public Information (PI) Committees.  This is a resource for Twelfth Step and PI activities. This is also where the Long Distance Sponsorship List is now printed and distributed. 

We welcome your feedback.  Any questions or comments contact us through Maggie M., the Twelfth Step Committee Chair at the FA GSO office in Malden.

The GSO 12th Step and PI Committees

Public Information (PI) Committee FAQ’s

  1. I understand that I will be helped by doing service. Why? 

    Our program of recovery teaches us that we do service to keep and enrich the abstinence and serenity that we have been blessed with.  We have found that service can help lift inappropriate hunger and anxiety, bring us closer to others with this disease, and can help serve the food addict who still suffers.
  1. A member at one of my meetings just had surgery and can’t go to meetings for a few weeks. How might I help?

    Check with the member or their sponsor.  Do they want a meeting at home?  If yes, ask them for several times that might work.  Try for a time when there are no other regularly scheduled meetings in your area.  Call some fellows who know this member and tell them about the plan for a home meeting, and ask if they are willing and able to do some service.  Meet at the member’s home.  Do your best to set up the room in FA style.  Bring a copy of a format from one of your meetings, and choose someone to lead the meeting and qualify.

Excerpts from stories about taking a meeting to homebound members of FA 

“I went along with several other FA members and took a meeting to a new member who is unable to go out…[this person] was another victim of food addiction and weighed over 400 pounds…[this person] sat and listened to each of us sharing about how grateful we were to have a solution to a permanent problem.”

- Anonymous

“Taking a meeting to a shut in is like a bucket of cold water for me. Every week I get reminded of how grateful I should be for the place that I’m in despite my own struggles.”

- Jim A. Massachusetts

“Taking a meeting to someone who is a shut in is very rewarding. It always fills me with gratitude. There is no doubt in my mind that I too could be immobile because of this disease.”

- Lisa F. Massachusetts


"Our Twelfth Step — carrying the message — is the basic service that the A.A. Fellowship gives; this is our principal aim and the main reason for our existence. Therefore, A.A. is more than a set of principles; it is a society of alcoholics in action. We must carry the message, else we ourselves can wither and those who haven't been given the truth may die."    A.A.'s Legacy of Service by Bill W.


In the next issue we will concentrate on Outreach.  Please send us a brief description of a positive outreach experience.

To get you thinking, here’s one from Maine.

Reaching out to State Employees

In the fall of 2003, we started a new FA meeting in Gardiner, Maine, just outside the state capitol of Augusta.  At the same time, the husband of one of our members, who works for a state agency, discovered that the human resource directors of each state agency meet to promote employees’ wellness.  

His wife (who has lost over 100 lbs.) shared her story and photos with his HR director, and put her in touch with our local PI committee chair.  We agreed to attend “brown bag” lunches at three of the agencies.  At each, two or three FA members shared their experience, strength and hope and distributed meeting directories and brochures. 

Between 10 and 20 people came to each session, and we have since continued to get new members who heard about the program this way, or through the brochures left at each agency.  It was a very uplifting experience, and successful in reaching out to the suffering food addict in this area of the state.  This model may be helpful in reaching corporations with these programs, as well as state government.  For more information, call Patty at .

FA-GSO Long Distance Sponsor List

FA members appearing on this list meet the following requirements:

  • At least one year of continuous FA abstinence while members of FA, and the completion of at least one FA AWOL.
  • Willingness to respond to a caller who is looking for a sponsor within 48 hours, and to help the caller to find a sponsor if they themselves do not currently have time available.

The Long Distance Sponsor List is updated quarterly.  To receive an updated list or be added to the list, please contact the FA-GSO Office.

Name                  City, State               

Anne S               Leomister, MA         
Beryl                   Roxbury, MA            
Courtney G        Natick, MA               
Cynthia R           Malden, MA             
Dan B                 Chicago, IL               
Deirdre H           Tewksbury, MA        
Eve P                  Framingham, MA      
Fran M                Boston, MA              
Galit                    Arlington, MA          
Gary                    San Francisco, CA     
Grace                  Colorado                   
Janet                   Wilder, VT               
Jean F                 Arlington, MA          
Joshua P             Arlington, MA          
Kathleen W         Sandwich, MA          
Kendra                 Lynn, MA                 
Kesaya N             Meriden, NH             
Lisa F                   Everett, MA              
Lucky                   Wayland, MA           
Melanie                Beacon, NY              
Melinda M           Charlotte, NC      
Teresa C              Norwich, VT       
Terry L                 Plymouth, MA      
Tricia                   Arlington, MA      

"Tact and good judgement must be used…as no publicity is far better than bad publicity that might harm AA or rob it of dignity and appeal.  In all public relation contacts our principle of anonymity should be thoroughly understood. It is our obligation to see that it is respected.”  

The Little Red Book, p.137