- Last Updated on Saturday, 11 July 2015 09:39
- Written by Vonnie G
ACA members accepting the call of service work provide the energy we need to do the good work of ACA around the globe. There could easily be 300 million adult children in the world, so the work ahead remains steady. But we make progress each day. p.536
THE PURPOSE OF MEMBER AND PUBLIC SERVICES IN ACA IS TO SUPPORT ACA MEMBERS IN BECOMING RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR OWN WELL-BEING THROUGH ACA-RELATED MATERIALS
AND TO PROVIDE INFORMATION FOR THE PUBLIC AND PROFESSIONALS BY PROVIDING ACA-RELATED RESOURCES AND SERVICES.
(I make this report on March 22, 2015.)
This has been a great year in MPS. Those who know me know that I signed up for this 2 year commitment in order to fulfill my Step 9 Amends to "Society in General". Before I found ACA, I did a lot of awful things out there and this is my way of repaying my debt to society. Believe me, if I had been caught for everything, I would have done a lot more time than 2 years, I am a felon and I've done time. I am an adult child and daily I "do the work" on my childhood effects; because if I don't, my childhood effects "do the work" on me. This service has rocketed my recovery in a way I never could have imagined and I am so grateful for the opportunity to have done it for free. I don't know I would have passed the criminal background check.
Since March 26, 2014, the fellowship sent in 5006 requests from all over the world. In this year I sent 8399 emails. In this 2nd year of using Vonage voicemails, we received 612. The grand total in the GoDaddy box since the first day is--Inbox: 18,137 Sents: 17,730 and Voicemails 1478 (in this count I included all, inaudible/spam etc just for recordkeeping). This year was different for me because MPS had committee members Jude and Nastya who sent and received emails giving me great support and the chance to have special projects of my own. There were a few members who worked for a while in MPS who I want to thank: Bonnie, Roe, Laura, Nicole.
International connections made:
Argentina Australia Austria Bahrain Belgium Bolivia Brazil Bulgaria Canada Chile China Columbia Costa Rica Czech Republic Denmark Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt Estonia Fiji Finland France Germany Greece Grenada Guatemala Haiti Hungary India Ireland Israel Italy Japan Kenya Korea Latvia Lithuania Luxembourg Mauritius Mexico Netherlands Nicaragua Norway Panama Philippines Poland Portugal Puerto Rico Russia Saudi Arabia Serbia Slovenia South Africa Spain St Maarten Sweden Switzerland Taiwan Tanzania Thailand Transylvania Turkey Uganda UK Ukraine Venezuela Virgin Islands Zaire Zambia
This year we worked with many people around the world to encourage them to turn the ACA Light on. The 26 countries above that are underlined represent a person who we worked with to plant the seed of encouragement to start a meeting when the time is ready. We get them literature, we find them phone or internet meetings to attend, they then 12th Step themselves by doing their Step work and when they arrive at Step 12 they have a message to carry in order to Light the first Light in their country.
The ACA Light was turned on for the first time in
Grenada St Maarten Luxembourg
The “Lights On” program grandfathered New Meeting Starter Kits to
Zambia Turkey Thailand Kenya
Remarkable events 2015:
-----------AROUND THE WORLD: We got requests from St Maarten Grenada, Mauritius Fiji Haiti Virgin Islands Philippines Egypt for the first time. Lowering the cost of shipping all over the world was repeatedly asked and many programs were tried and are in use now. Overseas members vacationing in the US arrange with the office to send literature to their hotel so that they can pack their literature and carry on the plane. MPS got many international requests to help translate literature. I spotlighted my focus on a few countries this year. First Africa, because I saw that the entire continent had only 3 meetings. But now, they have grown. Members in several African countries are keeping in touch with a contact sheet I made, we’ve got African meetings growing and doubling and turning on lights. I spotlighted Turkey and we worked together to get them literature, to clean up the website, and they are helping now in translations. I spotlighted Israel working with a member to help her get her literature to get ready to serve down the road. I spotlighted Panama to see their status and announce a new meeting. This year I reached out to 14 countries on our Website because they showed 4 or less meetings. I asked how they were doing and what WSO could do to help. I received wonderful reports on many countries that way. Good news, when a country gets help from WSO, they pass it on; this year Taiwan's 1st meeting reached out and helped Nicaragua, Poland, and Spain. There was an event held this year in Russia and the US concurrently that was connected and broadcast via Skype live. Anticipating my rotation, I asked Ines if she would take Spanish speaking countries. Majbrit added Russia and Turkey to her already long list of almost 50 countries. The breakdown is here: EU@acawso.com gets Greenland Iceland Faroe Islands Norway Sweden Finland Estonia Latvia Lithuania Ireland UK (Scotland is part of UK) Germany Poland Netherlands Belgium Luxemburg France Switzerland Austria Liechtenstein Czech Republic Hungary Moldavia Slovakia Romania Bulgaria Serbia Montenegro Slovenia Croatia Bosnia Herzegovina Macedonia Albania Greece Italy Monaco Malta Andorra Portugal Spain Cyprus Gibraltar Turkey Ukraine Belarus and Russia. Ines has México Colombia Argentina Perú Venezuela Chile Ecuador Guatemala Cuba Bolivia Dominican Republic Honduras Paraguay El Salvador Nicaragua Costa Rica Puerto Rico Panamá Uruguay and Ecuatorial Guinea. Ines did a great job telling Argentina how to turn on the 1st light. The European countries reported that they are working towards forming an ACA Region.
-----------InterGroups: The bylaws committee worked and submitted a document for Intergroup guidelines and a new sub-committee of MPS was developed: WSO Intergroup Sub-Committee email@example.com and is working to create a network of intergroup support through emailed announcements and other activities. When a member has any IG request, MPS forwards the request. New InterGroups were formed or considered this year: Tucson AZ, Poland, Texas, Florida State, WA DC, Southern OH, Denver CO, Hawaii, Missouri, Reseda CA, Los Angeles, CA. I made an IG contact sheet and gave it to the IGSC for ease in reaching out. This year I reached out to 33 InterGroups to see how they’re doing and I was contacted back by Russia, the UK, Denmark, Tulsa OK, Pennsylvania, Quebec, Canada and The Netherlands. I've been a guest at some teleconferenced Intergroup meetings again this year and it is as always a great experience. WSO sends service opportunities all over the world to IG's when the public reaches out with opportunities.
----------- ACA Teen: 2014 regretfully was the year that our 2013 ACA Teen meeting in Las Vegas fell apart after a great start and it eventually closed, it was a great meeting while it lasted. A MN Foster Agency “Ampersand” received a BBI package and a lot of support in the hopes that ACA Teen might get a foothold in the St Paul/Minneapolis area which has a large meeting base. Chronicleme.com added ACA to their Teen Cyberbullying support manual.
----------- Teamwork: Majbrit: 143, Joan: 56, Larry and Lit Committee: 245 (a small portion of those were due to the website changeover), Gloria: 465, MaryJo 32 Ines 28 Scott 26 Office 229 Sam 23 Intergroup Sub-committee 15 Executive committee 14 Jude 180 Nastya 37. This year I reached out to the board to get consensuses and concurrences on a few requests but for the most part, I found all my answers in the fellowship text and guided the members towards it. MPS had committee members during part of this year. I trained Jude and when we got another interested person from Russia, Jude trained her. Nastya, even though she lives in Russia she is able to do this work when English is not her native language, I am so impressed with her courage and her service, and I don’t know that I could do it. It was an honor to work with Jude and Nastya both amazing, bright women. As an adult child, it's always nice to not be alone. Martin taught me where non USA places were.
----------- Events: 23 non WSO sponsored events were posted. Our first annual ACA Anniversary was celebrated on the last Saturday of January and celebrations were posted by the Netherlands Intergroup, by the New York Intergroup, and by the Central CA Intergroup. I also know that the Spanish speaking telephone meeting celebrated because I attended. I struggled reading my words that I’d translated online in my share. To top it off I sang “Féliz Cumpleaños ACA” and they surprised me and sang along.
------Public Information: In January WSO started the Board Book Initiative (BBI) as a way of getting literature into the hands of professionals and into the institutions that are serving adult children. When we give the professionals and institutions the literature (the ACA message) they can carry it to the adult children needing help with the effects, and who are in their care looking for answers. We sent out BBI packages all over the world. These packages also give a firm foundation where meetings are waiting for new members to show up, especially internationally it is a life-saving tool to help groups. Last year we sent out 53 and this year we've sent 78 (3/23/15) free BRB's domestically and internationally to the following:
Professionals: Social workers, Case workers, Probation and Parole officers Interns, Therapists, Psycho-therapists, sex addiction counselors Nurses, Judges, Teachers, Michael Seabaugh, Claudia Black, and Ute Lawrence. Institutions: Universities, Rehabs, Foster Agencies, High School, University and Public Libraries, an ACA Treatment Center, Eating Clinics, 35 Chapters of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Veterans Affairs, Intellectual Disability clinics, Counseling Centers, Methadone Clinics , Boston Trauma Center, Hospitals, Mental Health Centers, Human, Social and Adult Services, Teens programs, Migrant Education Programs, Marriage and Family Programs, Homeless/Crisis/Temporary Housing Facilities and the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.
This year we've updated or given information to: The CA Dept. of Corrections site, CA Adult Education Center, Reach Out Recovery site, SupportGroups.com, and The Special Populations Coordinator at Cerritos College, 2-1-1 Catalogs for LA County, Sacramento, Vermont and the United Way. WhereToTurnInIndiana.com, The Barnstable County Department of Human Services in CA, firstname.lastname@example.org, San Diego Access and Crisis Line catalogs, Louisiana Health Clinic, Network of Care's Service Directory in Delaware, Helpline Center-WI Resource, Wikipedia was updated, SupportgroupsinKS.org
The Public asked about; filming documentaries, adding companies’ links to our site, attending meetings for a variety of studies, polls and surveys. Professionals ask us to help them organize ACA group therapy meetings to hold as part of their paid services. Institutions ask us to help them set up ACA meetings as a part of their paid-program. Public Fairs contact us for booth-participation and I send to the closest InterGroups usually.
ACA literature Quoting requests: Workshops, Blogs, Facebook, Books, Articles, Flyers, Workbooks, Activities. Other 12 Step Fellowships reach out too: NA, AA, Al-Anon, CODA, Alateens, Emotions Anonymous and a person who requested help in starting a new 12 Step Fellowship.
-----------From the fellowship: Since the “contact us” form goes to me, I see everything. It's a great vantage point for recovery. Most commonly we get meeting changes, literature order needs and “find a meeting” requests. Reviewing the year’s emails I was amazed at how many other 12 Step Fellowships are confused about what ACA is. Alanon Coda AA & Adult Child Anonymous assume that they can hold a Coda or AA or Alanon meeting using ACA literature and it becomes an ACA meeting and they want help starting these mixed-meetings. As reliable as Winter follows Fall, we get the annual glut of emails from WSO Meeting Contacts receiving unwanted bulk emails of flyers advertising the yearly So Ca Convention. WSO has been very clear that this is not allowed. Semi-related to that; it is absolutely commonplace that scores of ACA members send requests for help because they are quite sure that WSO is the holder of the ACACONVENTION.ORG website, and we are at the helm of this convention, speakers, and all activities, can help them register and get discounted tickets etc. Next, Facebook pages created as “ACA pages” have been a monthly source of adult child turmoil and requests. Next, outside literature is a common request too; what is okay, what is not, confusion between Tony A and ACA, his steps, his book etc. How should we hold a Step study in our group? Religion and ACA; prayers, pastors, bibles, it all comes up... Questions about Flyers, Use of ACA Logo in many areas. The fellowship loved the meditation book. In 2014 there were approximately 5,500 Telephone Meetings held, and we received a couple dozen complaints, concerns and/or requests for guidance. Meeting Issues come in from all over the world and I am surprised how the guidance is almost always in the fellowship text. And when it’s not, it still is, because the text suggests using a group conscience to form a group solution, I love hearing the ingenuity of adult children as they update me proudly how their groups came to their solutions.
-----Top Ten Common comments in order: Can you help me find a meeting? I need help with my order. Our meeting is making a change. Does WSO have a list of sponsors? Can you help me find a therapist? In our meeting we have a problem and we need help. My loved one needs ACA. How do we donate? How do we get meeting insurance? How do we open a checking account? And two common comments are off the to do list: Where’s the Comline? Do You Have an Audio book?
(These quotes stayed with me this year and I've re-printed them with permission)
"I am glad to find people like me” ... “It is like getting home after 37 years lost!" ... “I’ve suffered in silence for decades”
Thank you for allowing me to help you, help the world and help myself by "doing the work".