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FALL 2005

I am pleased to announce that the attorney who was asked to work on eliminating the debt from the 2003 State convention was successful in doing so. The debt has been settled. Any moneys sent, which arrived after the 26th of August are being returned to the sender. There will be NO excess monies to distribute. Thank all of you for your support, concern, and faith in our fellowship. It Works it Really Does.

We had a number of questions regarding GSO gathering money to help out the groups, intergroups, etc. in the Gulf Area which was so badly devastated by the hurricane. I contacted Valerie O'N at GSO and asked if they were in fact collecting money, she said that for a number of reasons they were not collecting money. They found that the 9/11 experience was that those who most badly need a meeting were the search and rescue people. They are trying to contact the Red Cross (the same as at 9/11) to again work with them. Valerie is working on an article for BOX 459 which she hopes to have approved in the next couple of days. If she gets the approval she will e-mail me a copy and I will have it posted on the web site (UPDATE - LETTER POSTED ON THIS PAGE BELOW) and send it to all of the DCM's for distribution to their districts. Valerie also said that if replacement literature, etc. were needed after the clean-up it would be supplied by GSO. When you think about it most of the people who need the information are relocated out of the area now.

We have several items of importance to be discussed at the next Assembly. The budget for 2006, the Ad Hoc committee report on the Areas control of future State Conventions in the No. Fl. Area, site selection for the Assemblies in 2006, and 2007, and several motions from the floor to change or modify Structure and Guidelines. The Area inventory, which was moved and passed at the last Assembly for January 2006 is proceeding under the direction of Past Delegate Corliss G. I find that at the last Assembly I made an error in my statement that a gift or bequest of money could be split into several gifts and there-by be for more than $2,000. I was informed by a Past Delegate that in no case can a gift or bequest be for more than a TOTAL of $2,000. This is a yearly allowance or a one time bequest. In case you wonder why I use an Ad Hoc committee so much, once that committee has rendered its report it ceases to exist, there-by not being a continuing cost to the Area, or requiring a change to Structure and Guidelines to accommodate a new committee. I am going to (hopefully) post this newsletter on our web site also.

Yours in Service,
When anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help,
I want the hand of AA always to be there.
And for that: I AM RESPONSIBLE
My cell phone is (EDITTED FOR INTERNET), please let me know how I can be of service to you.

Special Assembly

At this Assembly, we will be working on a number of VERY important topics, please attend and bring your ideas and group conscience to all of us.

Please refer to the agenda in your minutes for the time of each workshop.

  • ACCESSIBILITIES: how to take a meeting to a home or hospital.
  • ARCHIVES: open discussion
  • COOPERATION w/PROFESSIONAL COMMUNITY: the topic will be reviewing the literature specifically for the professional community
  • CORRECTIONS: working the 5th tradition inside the walls
  • GRAPEVINE: "I need a meeting now" and using the Grapevine website
  • INTERGROUP: will be discussing website propriety
  • LITERATURE: create a display board of AA covers
  • PUBLIC INFORMATION: will be reviewing the PI guidelines
  • TREATMENT: will discuss how to get people involved and the format for meetings
  • FINANCE: budget for 2006
  • GROWTH: Ad Hoc committee report and other pending issues
  • SITE & AGENDA: Assembly site for the next 2 years

Next Assembly is October 14, 15 and 16
Make your reservations three weeks prior to get our conference rate.

From: G.S.O.
Date: 09/07/2005

Tom, hi!
The final Q and A addresses your question re "earmarked" funds to GSO. You may be interested to learn that we are sending complimentary .literature to Arkansas for evacuees who are in shelters near Ft. Smith, Arkansas. We hear that the Baton Rouge and Lafayette, Louisiana Central Offices are receiving many contributions of literature and funds. So far Mississippi is coping with electricity, lost homes and clearing roads. We are waiting to hear what GSO help is needed. Mississippi's delegate reports that the Biloxi and Gulfport area contained very strong A.A. which in the long run will be their basis for rebuilding. We have checked with Intergroups/Central Offices in Texas and their local people have been able to meet all the A.A. needs of evacuees so far. These I/COs know that GSO is a phone call away if they need wider support and help.

Local trusted servants in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama have reported no known fatalities in their A.A. communities. We know that some communities are still isolated but most news is positive.

From an A.A. trusted servant in Louisiana,
"I have been able to speak with numerous A.A.s with stories of great individual loss and personal tragedy. The tremendous hope and serenity that our steps and traditions bring are evident in all of them with whom I have spoken. The dominant theme of each conversation is "to whom can I be of service?" In the face of these challenges, a drink hasn't been an answer or solution for scores of us. Challenged, confused, angry, lost and scared - sure. Drunk or drinking - no."

Please let me know if you have any other questions that we can help with.

In fellowship, Valerie

Hurricane Katrina - "How Can We Help?"

The General Service Office has been flooded with questions about how to help our A.A. family in distressed areas. We hope the following questions and answers are helpful.

Q. Do you suggest that we send literature and money directly?

A. In situations such as Hurricane Katrina, the local A.A. meetings often require very few contributions of money or even complimentary literature. Usually, local A.A. members are proud and happy to work together to replace any lost literature, etc. Local groups often make whatever repairs are necessary to their meeting places and are grateful to do this work with other sober members of their A.A. community.

An example of local help occurred with the Tsunami disaster. The affected countries were part of the Asia Oceania Zone and countries like Australia and New Zealand in that zone were able to provide the needed replacement A.A. material without turning to other General Service Offices worldwide for additional help.

Many of the affected areas do not have mail delivery. Our experience is that A.A. members in the past have helped as private citizens through relief organizations.

Q. What can I do to help the affected members, groups, central offices/intergroups?

A. G.S.O.'s experience shows that it is often difficult to imagine what is needed. We pray, we don't drink and we go to meetings so that we will be ready to respond to requests for help when they are received.

Q. What does G.S.O. plan to do to help those affected by Hurricane Katrina?

A. Just as in the past, the General Service Office is ready to support the efforts of local A.A. members in all types of disasters, Hurricane Katrina, fires, floods, mud slides, etc.

G.S.O.'s experience is that we are often called upon to replace lost literature on a complimentary basis. We wait to do this until the local conditions are stabilized and local A.A. members have an opportunity to let us know exactly what is needed.

Q. So exactly what is the General Service Office doing right now?

A. G.S.O. has contacted and offered their support to intergroups and central offices in cities and towns where thousands of evacuees will be living for the next few months.

Q. Can I send money to G.S.O. and specify that it be used for Hurricane Katrina Relief activities?

A. The General Service Office does not have the means or staff to earmark A.A. funds that are received at this office. Every A.A. dollar received at G.S.O. is used on a priority basis to carry A.A.'s message when a need is expressed. This includes responding to literature needs during natural disasters, translating literature for A.A. members in emerging countries and helping new A.A. groups in U.S. and Canada.

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