Westchester Putnam AIS now accepts online donations!
Lend your Talent and Time to AIS
Currently, we still need a permanent Chairperson, a Secretary, a Web Site Coordinator, and the AWSC Liaison. That may sound like a lot, but we do have a Phone coordinator, and Email Coordinator a Treasurer, a Post Office Coordinator, a Meeting List Coordinator, and a Newsletter Coordinator. We are continuing to recruit for membership on the web team; this is your chance to make sure it is designed for your needs. We also still need phone volunteers to do service for the call center. Send us an email or leave a phone message if you want to know more.
Our next AIS meeting is coming up soon. Please check the “Service Tab” at the top of the page for meeting dates and times. All are welcome. Officers, AGRs (alternate group reps) and ADRs (alternate district reps) get an official vote, but everyone can comment – and remember that we try to reach all decisions by consensus, as it says in our warranties, “that all decisions be reached by discussion, vote, and whenever possible, by unanimity.”
Service Meeting Schedules
Check the web site for all schedules: AIS, Districts, Areas. https://westchesterputnamalanon.org/12th-step/
We are launching this column with the goal of attracting Al-Anon members to service in their groups, districts, AIS and Area by sharing Service Stories.
Opening the Doors to Service
A Share from Ann Marie
I started doing service above the group level around 2013. At that time, I attended an AIS meeting that was a pizza party. The event was held to recruit new people into doing service for AIS. A few women I knew were going that evening, so I went knowing that I would meet new people and learn new things. I never imagined I would take on a service position that night. While there, I was speaking to someone who asked me if I knew how to check email. When I answered yes, I was told AIS needed an email coordinator and asked if I would I be interested in taking on this service position. The job seemed simple enough, I would be required to check email on a daily basis and reply if necessary so I volunteered to become the new Email coordinator for AIS. By doing that service I really strengthened my program. Not only did I get such a rewarding feeling by answering emails from newcomers, my knowledge of traditions and concepts also increased as well as my knowledge of the service manual. I learned about the various other AIS positions, who was in charge of what, and I also learned things from WSO and how other groups around the country handled things.
After my time as Email coordinator was finished I was reluctant to leave AIS because I had met so many new friends and was learning so much. We had some great discussions at AIS meetings about what could or could not be posted on our website based on the traditions and about the increase in people asking about drug addiction.
I attended the next AIS meeting as a visitor and in the meantime, I became a phone volunteer. In this position I would check the phone line once a week and returns calls if someone left a message. This again was extremely rewarding as I got to speak to newcomers and current Alanon members who had questions about things occurring in their own meetings. When, at the next AIS meeting someone was needed to be phone coordinator, I volunteered for that position and I choose to manage this job as the previous phone coordinator had done. That meant finding new volunteers to check the phone line every 6 months or so.
By being phone coordinator, I have again learned so much. I have the opportunity to meet new people and talk to them about sharing their knowledge of Alanon. I’ve learned to place “principles above personalities” and speak my feelings when necessary.
Through the years I have also been a Group Rep and Alternate Group Rep for diﬀerent groups. It’s great going to assemblies and district meetings. I get to meet new people and learn new things about Alanon. My knowledge and understanding of the traditions and concepts has definitely increased and I am no longer hesitant to talk about the concepts at meetings. I’ve also come to understand and appreciate what a great resource our service manual is.
So, I would encourage anyone to take on service above the group level. Not only will you meet many new friends you’ll also learn how Alanon functions above the group level
The next rotation for phone volunteer starts in December so I encourage people to consider taking advantage of this service. The position takes less than 5 minutes a week as you would just be required to call in and check the phone line one day a week and return any messages left. If interested, please email me at email@example.com or call 914-946-1748 and leave a message
Please send us your service stories
We hope you will be inspired by the stories of AIS volunteers to submit your story for the next newsletter. Please send your submission to firstname.lastname@example.org
- What motivated you to consider doing service at the group, district or Area level?
- What had been holding you back? Fear? Lack of time? Apathy?
- What is/was the service position you accepted?
- How did you take your first step through the door of service?
- What have you learned about your strengths? Your character defects?
- What have you learned about the Traditions and Concepts?
- What has been most rewarding? Biggest challenge?
- How has Al-Anon service helped you grow outside the program?
News From The Districts
District 24 – Southern Westchester
By Sue V., District 24 Rep
Greetings to all,
District 24 has been quite busy! In March we were able to arrange AMIAS training (Al-Anon Member Involved in Alateen Service) for members wanting to become Alateen Sponsors for the first as well as those seeking recertification. The training took place at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Harrison, NY on Sat. March 10, 2018. Our Area Alateen Coordinator, Gerry L., came up from Long Island and facilitated the workshop. Approximately 20-25 members attended. We are grateful to Gerry L. for his time and his service.
District 24 hosts a monthly Informational Al-Anon meeting at St. Vincent’s Hospital for the friends and family members visiting their loved ones in the rehab unit of the hospital. Each month a different group in the District signs up and then asks 2-3 members of the group to attend. We always try to get volunteers from different Al-Anon perspectives to attend the meeting such as someone who is the spouse of an alcoholic and someone who is the parent of an alcoholic, etc.
District 24 also received a request to start an institutional meeting for the women inmates at a Correctional Facility in northern Westchester. Since the prison is outside of our District we are collaborating with our Westchester-Putnam AIS to explore how members of both counties can work together to make this happen.
I drafted a letter to groups without GRs in our District and revisions were made at our last District meeting. The changes will be made before the letter is finalized for distribution. It is my goal to encourage more groups in District 24 to elect GRs who will serve to connect these groups to the worldwide fellowship by attending District and Assembly meetings.
Another development in District 24; we are reaching out to Spanish groups in our District. I will be attending a meeting this month with another Spanish-speaking member from the District.
District 24 is also looking to build upon our momentum gained in 2016 and 2017 and plan another District Workshop for 2018. Presently we are seeking a Chairperson. Details to follow.
Finally, District 24 continues to spread the word about our District bank account and Post Office Box which is helping our District be fully self-supporting. Groups make checks payable to District 24 AFG and mail them to: District 24 AFG, P.O. Box 441, Bronxville, NY 10708
District 25/26 – Northern Westchester, East & West
Yours in service, Margaret C., DR, Districts 25 and 26
In anticipation of this year’s World Service Conference, members of districts 25 and 26 gathered together the weekend before to make love gifts to send to our delegate. We met on April 14th at Soundview Prep School, following the morning Al-Anon meeting, and shared breakfast and fellowship as we prepared our contribution to the WSC.
Love gifts are small trinkets made by members that are sent to their delegate, who brings them to the World Service Conference and exchanges them with love gifts from other areas. The delegates then bring love gifts from around the country back to their areas and share them with their fellow members. Our delegate, Taaj, spread out a display of love gifts at the New York Southern Assembly in June, and members took home a bag of gifts to share with their fellow members at meetings.
Why do members make and share love gifts? What is the significance of a bookmark or a pin or magnet made by someone you may never meet? My experience is that these small trinkets can be left in my home, my car, my office, my purse, and serve as a reminder of how my fellowship functions. Al-Anon is a “we” program, and even if I haven’t met the member who shared a bookmark with me, I know that somewhere across the country, someone took time and love to make this gift and share it with me, and I can be connected to members without meeting them.
With that in mind, I was pleased to gather with about 20 members from districts 25 and 26 to make love gifts that were inspired by one I received several years ago. We assembled small gift boxes that held slips of paper with the Al-Anon slogans written on them, we labeled them “Serenity in a Box” and put a small label that said it was from our districts. The boxes were then delivered to the hotel in Harrison that was hosting the conference the following week, and our delegate shared them with the delegates from across the country. We hope that our gifts will bring some joy and recovery to our fellow members.
In Al-Anon there is as much joy in giving back as there is in receiving, and this was a wonderful opportunity to give back to our fellowship. I hope to continue this next year and that you will join us!
District 27 – Putnam
District 27 is still in need of a DR (District Rep) and other district officers for the new rotation cycle. Please let AIS know if you might be interested and we will try to facilitate a district meeting.
The Al-Anon Logo at the Baltimore Convention Center
Many of us attended the Al-Anon International Convention in July in Baltimore, meeting over 4 thousand of our Al-Anon friends from around the world – and of course, we ran into many people we knew from New York South and AIS Westchester-Putnam. There were numerous workshops and guest speakers throughout the 4 days. And, as ever, we took home lessons that help us. A high point was the Pioneer Luncheon where some of the longest time members in all of Al-Anon were honored including Joan, a former NY South delegate who we still see at Assembly meetings.
Each day was filled with workshops and an evening program with speakers. One interesting workshop was “Working the Steps in 15 minutes!” No, it was not a quick study program for the steps, but a tool for working the 12 steps with a partner to help solve a specific problem you might have by asking how each of the steps apply. It was led by our new executive director, Vali F. We also had several speakers that touched on what a “higher power” meant to them, with comments from traditionally religious members to an atheist, all of whom found a way through the steps and reminding us that this program can work for anyone, as we say in our introduction, “of any faith or of none.”
After each evening program, we could all gather in the hospitality suite, and I got to play the stacking game pictured nearby with Al-Anon family from all over the world.
And don’t forget about our own New York South 2018 Discovery Convention August 24 -26, 2018.
The photos in the PDF are from your editor, Bob A. Al-Anon has taught me to stop more often and to appreciate the world around me and to let it bring me serenity. The Al-Anon tools have enabled me to be a better observer of people and the world, which I have tried to put into my photography.
Your artwork and photos are also welcome, but remember no identifiable faces to preserve anonymity. – try to send us something that brings you serenity.
Contact us at: email@example.com or (914) 946-1748
Let It Begin With Me
June 2016, Volume 1, Number 1
November 2016, Volume 1, Number 2
June 2017, Volume 2, Number 1
October 2017, Volume 2, Number 2
March 2018, Volume 3, Number 1