Quarterly Report 2011 - Oct-Dec
Dear FA Members:
Please see your WSI contact, or go to foodaddicts.org, to view this quarter’s report from the World Service Board. The report contains details of the tremendous work accomplished by each committee during October, November, and December. Thank you to our entire fellowship for all that you do! If you are personally looking to do more service, please let the board know by sending an email to email@example.com. There is no shortage of ways to be useful!
YOUR ATTENTION TO THE FOLLOWING IS GREATLY APPRECIATED:
- The next annual FA World Service Business Convention will take place from Friday, June 1st through Sunday, June 3rd, in Danvers, Massachusetts at the Coco Key Water Resort. The hotel is now accepting room reservations at 978-750-7987. On-line registration on the FA website will begin February 1st. Please register as soon as possible. Food plans and refunds will not be available after April 30th.
- A reminder for each meeting to elect its World Service Conference member as soon as possible. WSC members must register on the website no later than March 1st. (WSC members must register twice, once as a convention attendee, and once as a voting member.) The new WSC Member Manual will be available on the website on February 1st. All WSC members are encouraged to read the manual to gain a better understanding of the role of the WSC member.
- If you have 7 years or more of continuous abstinence and are interested in serving on the WSB, please submit your completed application no later than March 1st. In 2012, we will elect the WSB chair and vice- chair, as well as chairs for the convention planning, connection, office, and traditions review committees.
- The Sample FA Meeting Format, has been restored to its original form, i.e. all changes made in October 2011 have been rescinded. The process for editing this document, including the rescinded changes, will be addressed and voted upon at the business convention in June. For your convenience the restored version is attached, if you wish to reprint the format at this time. The format will be circulated again in June, reflecting any/all changes decided upon at the business convention. In the meantime, meetings are welcome to use either format.
Again, many thanks!
With gratitude, Elissa P.
WSI CHAIR’S REPORT – Elissa P.
During this quarter, the board held monthly conference calls for two hours each on October 23rd, November 20th, and December 18th. General business at each meeting included the passing of minutes, the passing of each month’s treasurer report, and monthly check-ins from each member. Committee work was reported on in detail; board input was offered to provide clarity and insight when help was needed.
The IRC (Inquiry Response Committee) responded to 13 issues this quarter. The Finance Committee met regularly as well. The BMRC (Board Motions Review Committee) has received one motion so far and two or three others are pending. The Design Committee met in conjunction with the WSI Office Committee to create the new FA logo. The Personnel Committee met as needed and created a hiring document for chairs who are hiring paid employees or contractors.
WSI COMMITTEE REPORTS
Bylaws Committee (Sue H., Chair)
The Bylaws Committee has drafted three motions so far in preparation for the 2012 WSBC. A fourth motion is possible.
Chapter and Intergroup Support Committee (Misch E., Chair)
The Chapter and Intergroup Support Committee [CISC] supports three intergroups, three chapters and five pre-chapter areas. Work continues on the revision of the Chapter Manual; right now, under the direction of Diane O’H, the Chapter Manual Committee is beginning the actual rewriting of the manual. The Pre-Chapter Committee has been focusing on establishing liaisons for all pre-chapters areas. These are persons from the sponsoring intergroups who will work with specific groups and participate on the CISC call. Judie W. is currently working with Narahya J. and Rhonda P. [Western Area Intergroup] who are liaisons for Sydney and Melbourne, Australia.
The minutes of the CISC meetings have become informational documents, and the committee is happy to make them available for anyone who is interested in service at any level. An index may be received by emailing Norma Jean P. at firstname.lastname@example.org
connection Committee (Anna B., chair)
- The writers and artists guidelines have been updated. Please email email@example.com for the latest version.
- The connection Rep Network’s next conference call is Sunday, February 19th at 8.00 pm EST. Please make sure that your meeting’s connection Rep is registered (the Meeting and Web Directory Rep can check on the FA website).
- The connection Committee is continuing to streamline the production process with a new production manager and production calendar.
Convention Planning Committee (Adrienne P., Chair)
Plans for the 2012 FA Business Convention are well under way. The convention will be held at The Coco Keys Hotel and Water Resort in Danvers MA. June 1-3rd. Registration will begin online on February 1st and reservations for the hotel are now available. Please call 978-750-7987 for hotel reservations and give them the code FAB in order to get the group rate. The registration deadline for World Service Conference members will be March 1st and the deadline for all registrants will be April 30th, after which there will be no refunds or food plans available. WSC members must register twice, once as a convention attendee, and once as a voting member. If you have 7 years or more of continuous abstinence and are interested in serving on the WSB, please submit your completed application no later than March 1st. In 2012, we will elect the WSB chair and vice-chair, as well as chairs for the convention planning, connection, office, and traditions review committees.
We hope to see you there and look forward to a productive weekend filled with service, fellowship, and God’s grace!
Literature Committee (Jane M., Chair)
Accomplishments for Current Quarter FA Book
31 stories have been shaped and edited. A Book Design subcommittee has been formed.
Pamphlets and New Literature Requests
Four Spanish language pamphlets had banner language updated to reflect a more colloquial and less formal Spanish. All are in the process of being made into print ready format by the designer.
- Spanish Food Addiction: There is a Solution
- Spanish Some Thoughts on Sponsoring
- Spanish Are You Having Trouble
- Spanish Twenty Questions CDs
*Two new CDs published, one in German and one English speaking CD.
- German-Twenty Questions
- German-Some Thoughts on Sponsoring
Goals for Next Quarter
One remaining story to transcribe and edit. Finish introductory chapters by May 2012. Mid- July/August 2012 final rewrites and editing to be done, with hope to get professional editor to review over the summer. Final form by mid-September, with hope to be published by 2013 Business Convention.
Pamphlets and New Literature Requests
- German-Twenty Questions pamphlet – printer to publisher.
- German – Some Thoughts on Sponsoring will be reviewed and published.
- Spanish – Twenty Questions will be finalized and published.
- Spanish - There is a Solution will be finalized and published.
- Spanish – Some Thoughts on Sponsoring will be finalized and published.
- German Trifold (found under Eastern Area Intergroup (FA-EAI)/Meeting. Trifolds/German Trifold) will be updated to match the German-Twenty Questions pamphlet. CDs
- While preserving anonymity, the committee continues to develop CD subtitles to make it easier for FA members to distinguish between or identify with CDs. This project will continue for another year or so before it is ready for publication. 34 are complete, 45 are remaining to be done.
- Process CDs recorded at the Fellowship Convention in September 2011
- Identify 4 English speakers to record their stories at June 2012 Business Convention
- Spanish – Meeting Format to be updated to reflect updates in the English version
- Continue to work with PI Committee to update translation of the German website
Office Committee (Ruth M., Chair)
- We are continuing to work on the new website and plan to have it launched in the Spring of 2012.
- Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any concerns with the current website.
Public Information (Kris M., Chair)
Cision/Media Page/Articles/Press releases
Media Page: We posted more than 10 stories about FA -- from newspaper articles, TV coverage, radio interviews and online media ---on the FA website. Coverage included The Today Show, The Boston Herald, CNN Health, Erie Times Herald in Pennsylvania, KGO radio in San
Francisco, KAWL in Nebraska, Union Leader in New Hampshire, Frederick News Post in Maryland, Panama City News Herald in Florida, KPRC News in Houston, Canada’s version of USA Today, and Australia’s Mix 106.5 as well as the Northcote Leader newspaper in Melbourne, Australia, and numerous online publications.
Cision media list requests: We researched and developed between 30 to 40 media lists. Most of the searches were for small markets wanting to get the word out about FA. Some requests were for large metropolitan areas and some were to get the word out about public information meetings. News Releases: We distributed news releases about two events this year:
- The Fellowship Convention. Through Cision we developed a San Francisco media list. We emailed and followed up to the major newspapers and TV and radio stations in the area. We got the attention of numerous TV stations and newspaper reporters and talked to them about FA, but we did not get any coverage, unlike in 2010 where we had a local news report.
- The Thanksgiving Day Thank-a-thons. We wrote news releases and Public Service Announcements (PSAs) for Thank-a-thons in three markets -- San Francisco, Sacramento and Santa Clara and had public information committee members at Western Area Intergoup follow-up on PSAs and News Releases. PSAs ran on KGO (ABC) radio and KPIX (CBS) TV
in San Francisco. The John Rothmann talk show on KGO radio in the Bay Area interviewed two FA members for a live, call-in show on the Monday before Thanksgiving. The show talked about FA, food addiction and the numerous Thank-a-thons going on in the Bay Area on Thanksgiving day. In Sacramento, Infinity Broadcasting ran PSAs on their six radio stations in the market. As a result, one FA member was interviewed on a public service radio show that ran on all six stations.
Word about FA is slowly reaching more journalists and healthcare professionals. Last year, 579 emails, and 93 letters were sent to media authors, healthcare professionals, and other pertinent contacts regarding information about FA. Response has been positive – many healthcare professionals are aware of FA already, and some have stated that they regularly refer their patients to the program. Many articles have been written about FA over the past year, and some have been written as a direct result of MediaWatch efforts. We now have an informational blog comment containing a brief description of the program to post on appropriate blogs and/or comment sections of on-line articles. Last year, we posted comments in 17 different places.
We sent information to the producers of Oprah’s show “Addicted to Food.” We also contacted the treatment facility featured on the show called “Shades of Hope.” We received a response back from the Executive Director stating that several of the staff are also FA members and that they also refer clients to FA. A link to our website was place on the show’s website.
Cynthia McFadden on ABC’s Nightline did a segment regarding food addiction titled “My (Extra) Ordinary Family.” Shades of Hope, an eating disorders treatment facility, was featured on the show. We sent information to them a few months ago when they were seen on Oprah’s show “Addicted to Food.” ABC’s on-line version of the Nightline segment lists FA as one of the resources.
A member sent in an article titled “Binge Eating Often Overlooked in Men.” MediaWatch responded to the Executive Director to the National Associated of Men with Eating Disorders, and as a result, he placed a link to FA on their website.
Through the HealthcareWatch sub-committee, we participated in the following national conferences:
- BEDA- Binge Eating Disorder Association National Conference- sent trifolds for a “take- one” table
- ICED- International Conference on Eating Disorders- sent trifolds for “take-one” table
- MEDA- Multi-service Eating Disorder Association - sent trifolds
- NAATP- National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers- sent trifolds or bag inserts
- NCAD- National Conference on Addiction Disorders- sent trifolds for bag inserts
- Childhood Obesity Conference - had one member attend who was already there for work, had a poster in the poster presentation room
- We also participated in Walks for Obesity in multiple locations, including Los Angeles, New York and Charlotte.
- The sub-committee sent emails and letters to 150 doctors, 34 NFL physicians, and 11 treatment centers.
Anonymity Letter to the Media
A first draft of FA’s Anonymity Letter to the Media was approved by AA for use and will be uploaded to the FA website once approved by the board.
Paid Classifieds Statement
The paid classifieds statement for guidelines on when and how to pay for paid placement in advertising vehicles such as newspapers and outdoor advertising was submitted to the board for approval and will be posted to the FA website.
Social Media policy
The first draft of a social media policy was developed by the PI committee.
PI Cheat Sheet
- The PI Cheat Sheet for PI representatives was finalized, approved by the Board and submitted for posting to the website.
- Public information sessions continued to be posted to the FA calendar, and evaluations were sent in following information sessions to provide statistics on attendance and feedback about the events.
The PI committee developed sample verbiage for members to use when posting Craigslist announcements about FA meetings and information sessions. Tests ran in Sacramento, Denver, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Weblinks signed on new colleges and connected links to organizations such as: Addictions and
Recovery.org, Alta Mira Rehab, American Self-Help Group Clearinghouse (Self-Help Group Sourcebook Online), Elk Grove Congregational Church, Fat Boy Thin Man, Lee County Virtual Employee Health Faire, National Association for Males with Eating Disorders, Network of Care for Behavioral Health (55 counties in California have a link to FA on the Network of Care for Behavioral Health), Obesity Action Coalition, Oprah Winfrey Network - Addicted to Food (listed among other 12-Step Programs for food).
Schools and colleges linked during 2011:
American River College, Sacramento, Cal State Monterey Bay, Kansas State University, Louisiana State University, Skyline Jr College, University of California, Davis; University of San Diego, Southwest Texas University, Folsom Lake College (FLC) - internal website for employees only.
Schools agreeing to post FA Link but have not yet done so: Chabot Jr. College, Solano Community College, Fairfield, San Jose State University, Sonoma State University, Santa Rosa Jr. College, University of Michigan, Long Beach City College, University of San Diego, California.
A first draft of a German homepage on the FA website was submitted to the website committee for posting. Outreach tool
The Outreach Tool for use in reaching out to healthcare and other professionals was finalized and posted.
The PI committee worked with the WSI board chair to help update the trifolds, developed instructions on how to use them and had them posted in simpler places across the website.
Traditions Review Committee (Dan B., Chair)
Process for Consideration of Traditions Issues:
- Issues and concerns are submitted in writing, by email, to email@example.com by individuals, meetings, chapters, intergroups, or the World Service Board.
- The Traditions Review Committee (TRC) has adapted their procedure this quarter and will now meet on a quarterly (or as needed) basis to review and discuss how the Twelve Traditions might guide consideration of issues and concerns and respond to those who have sent inquiries.
- Issues will also be reviewed over email, where appropriate.
- A summary of issues and responses is sent to the general fellowship, when appropriate, through WSB quarterly and annual reports.
Sample Traditions issues reviewed this quarter:
- Issue – A member heard a radio show broadcast where another member was interviewed and was concerned about the content of the interview being seen as promoting FA.
- Response – The TRC members listened to the interview and came to a consensus that the caller was not promoting FA or conflicting with the traditions. From a public information perspective, however, it is recommended that at least two members with longer term abstinence are there to represent FA when interviewed by the media, particularly on live radio or TV. More details on this recommendation can be found in the Public Information Kit on the website.
- Issue – A member asked the TRC how to address a situation at their meeting where a member was burning incense near enough to the meeting room so the smell was noticeable within the meeting room, during the meeting.
- Response – The TRC commented that that there are Traditions related issues with this practice and recommended that the group let go of burning incense in or near the meeting room. Tradition 5 says that each group has but one primary purpose, to carry its message to the food addict who still suffers. The incense may impact the ability to reach some newcomers. Many people have strong views and reactions to the use of incense. Newcomers may visit the meeting and assume that FA itself is connected with outside religious/spiritual practices and leave. A secondary issue is the strong smell itself which can be distracting and nauseating to more sensitive people.
- Issue – A member received an e-mail and trifold from someone starting a new FA Meeting and was asked to distribute it and announce the meetings at her meetings. Some of the meetings on the trifold were referred to as “Inclusive.” When the inquiring member asked for clarification of what an “Inclusive” meeting meant the following was the response from the trifold author: “It means that people on medication, vegetarians, etc. are supported at this meeting and directed to AWOL’s that will include them.” The inquiring member is Secretary and WSI Representative of another meeting and is looking for guidance as to whether or not it is acceptable to list these three meetings in their trifold.
- Response – The TRC believes that there are Traditions related issues with listing, labeling or naming meetings in this manner and would recommend that the group stop this practice. The following comments detail the TRC rationale. Tradition 4, 5, 10 and 12 were considered in the discussion. This meeting’s decision to use this language on their trifold affects other FA meetings and FA as a whole because the trifold uses the FA logo and lists the FA website. Without the definition provided, members of the TRC would have not known what “inclusive” means, it could be interpreted as “closed” and newcomers may decide not to attend. All FA meetings that follow the standards, requirements, and guidelines of FA should be considered equivalent. Introducing controversy regarding outside issues is contentious and could be detrimental to the potential for a newcomer’s recovery. The trifold is not notifying people of an AWOL, the trifold is to inform the public about FA meetings. Based on the Traditions, meetings do not discriminate or exclude people on medication or vegetarians because these are also outside issues. AWOLs are not part of FA and are not governed by the Traditions. AWOLs are a sponsor/sponsee decision.
- Issue – A member asked the TRC to comment on a meeting practice where a second basket was passed to collect funds for the meeting’s World Service Conference Member (WSC Member) to travel to the 2012 business convention and “represent” the meeting and local area. This second basket is being passed around at the same time the 7th tradition basket is passed. The meetings want to change the wording in the format to reflect the passing of the second basket. One concern is that the second basket is confusing and looks exactly like the 7th Tradition basket. The only difference is it is labeled as money for sending the WSC Member to the convention. People are not sure which basket to contribute to so some split their contribution to both baskets instead of the whole contribution going to 7th radition. Others are so confused they put their entire contribution in the wrong basket thinking it was the 7th Tradition basket. A second concern is the perception the meeting has that the WSC Member is to vote as a representative of the meeting or area.
- Response – The TRC reviewed the inquiry and recommended that the group stop this practice for the following reasons (applicable Traditions are listed in parentheses):
- Selection of the WSC Member: When individual meetings fund WSC Members, personalities rather than principles come into play, feelings can be hurt, and meeting unity is affected (1 & 12).
- Impact on 7th Tradition & FA as a whole: The TRC feels that this question is not a matter of group autonomy because this practice affects the welfare of FA as a whole (4) on a number of levels. If multiple groups began this practice, it would substantially reduce the amount of 7th Tradition funds otherwise available which would impact FA’s primary purpose to help reach the still suffering food addict (5). Rather, this practice helps one recovering addict attend the convention without personal financial responsibility. If a recovering food addict wants to attend the convention, they may apply for assistance through their Intergroup. In addition, saving small amounts of money on a monthly basis goes a long way toward personal recovery in the area of financial responsibility (7).
- Recommended alternative: WSC Members who are unable to carry the entire financial burden of travelling to the convention may apply to their Intergroup for funding towards their trip costs. The Intergroup applies a unified and objective policy of funding across all members and meetings based on principals rather than personalities. It should be noted that funding at the Chapter level may cause problems, depending on the size of the Chapter (1 & 12).
- World Service Conference Member Role: If the meeting expects that the person elected as WSC Member is to vote on behalf of the meeting or area this can give rise to the issue of principles before personalities (12). It is the WSC Member’s responsibility to serve FA worldwide. After hearing all points of view and becoming fully informed during convention discussion, the WSC Members vote in the best interests of FA as a whole. Therefore, WSC members are primarily the servants of FA as a whole, and only in a secondary sense do they represent their respective meetings or areas. The WSC Member is expected to cast their votes in the World Service Conference according to the best dictates of their own judgement and conscience at that time.
If the TRC receives inquiries that are not specifically related to the Twelve Traditions, the committee reviews the issue or concern and decides to which WSB committee, intergroup/chapter board the inquiry and the resulting TRC comments should be forwarded. Often the inquirer is encouraged to review the FA Meeting Guidelines & seek group conscience at their business meetings.
Twelfth Step Committee (Jim S., Chair)
Gratitude in Action, FA’s e-newsletter with stories of FA news and service, is sent to every FA member who is registered on the website: www.foodaddicts.org. The December 2011 edition included highlights from the FA Fellowship Convention and messages from the Convention chairs.
The Frontier Phone List is sent monthly to members with no FA meetings and to FA WSI contacts for distribution on meeting literature tables. Frontier status has been defined as 100 miles/161 km from a meeting. The email to members on the Frontier contains a monthly message that supports abstinence without meetings. These messages included:
- Suggestions for thoughts, actions, and tools that some FA members have found helpful to stay abstinent during the holidays;
- Suggestions on using the tool “Easy Does It”, and information on Thank-a-Thons across the U. S.
- Suggestions that being on the Frontier is not intended to be a permanent state, and actions that can be taken to form new meetings on the Frontier.
The Frontier Sponsor List is being sent quarterly to members with no FA meetings and to FA WSI contacts for sign-up on meeting literature tables.
The Universal Language List is being sent quarterly to WSI contacts for distribution and sign-up on meeting literature tables.
The Meeting Effectiveness, Accessibility, Safety and Effectiveness Sub-Committee is meeting to discuss inquiries on meeting guidelines and requirements and other meeting issues, and to support and encourage the Intergroup’s monthly meeting health messages. These messages included:
- Do you weigh and measure the time you spend chatting with friends before the meeting and during breaks – using that time instead – to talk with Newcomers or someone who may be sitting alone? (EAI);
- Are you waiting to get to the front of the room before you begin to speak?” (WAI);
- Do you find yourself engaging in “side conversations” (i.e. whispering with the fellow next to you) during meetings? Or, do you focus on the speaker and help maintain quiet, so that everyone can concentrate. (EAI);
- When reading or sharing, do you speak in a loud, clear voice so that everyone can hear you? (SAI);
- When you qualify, do you keep an eye on the clock and end at the time designated in the meeting format? (EAI)
- When sharing at a meeting, do you avoid using elaborate details to describe certain foods and instead simply just refer to it as a flour or sugar product? (SAI);
- Are you remembering to reach out to newcomers at the break as well as before and after the meeting? (WAI);
- Do you stay for the monthly business meetings for your committed meetings and take on service positions as able? (SAI).
Conversations between the chairs of the three Intergroup 12th Step Committees are encouraged and facilitated.