Proposal 5: Newcomer Committee
To expand on the Temporary Mentor by establishing a Newcomer committee, as the Sponsorship pamphlet suggests some groups do. That committee could be rapid-response for new members much as the OIAA link for “Get Help Now” is. The only requirement could be much less sober time, giving our newer members an opportunity to share their experience, strength and hope.
This committee could have a list of online resources including the AA website, the Grapevine website, the OIAA web site with its links to online meetings including realtime, perhaps even speaker links such as Joe & Charlie on YouTube and other immediate resources for a suffering newcomer. It could be a group of volunteers who are able to respond within hours, as the listkeepers do. My thought is that the Temporary Mentor could lead 2-3 other women who would not hold Trusted Servant positions, like the 12th Step Volunteers.
I suggest that anyone volunteering for this list could be given the list of resources we suggest and become familiar with them before agreeing to take this on. Cruise through the AA, OIAA and Grapevine websites, use them themselves a bit. They do not need to be willing to sponsor.
Rationale: My concern is that all the support that we more-experienced online AAs know about is not known to a newcomer. Yes, a Facebook group could have addressed this, but our anonymity was so much more easily at risk. We can do this “in house” with a small group. This differs from the 12th Steppers in that many of these new members do not get as far as writing to the main list. They are sharing with the Temporary Mentor. Some have had no luck with responses to emails sent to potential sponsors. Others have been challenged to find a resource to help them locally.
Summary of Comments on Proposal 5.2
Eight (8) participants commented on Proposal 5.2 creating a Newcomer Committee to support the Temporary Mentor.
The Trusted Servants who jointly proposed the creation of a Newcomer Committee explained their reasoning as to why it was important and how the committee would operate. Our current Temporary Mentor shared her experience with a portion of newcomers who have tried without success to get a sponsor based on our “Available Online Sponsor” webpage, reporting their queries were not answered timely or at all. Given that some newcomers need a lot of guidance and support, the Temporary Mentor sometimes finds the position overwhelming and could use the support of women who themselves are new to AA’s program in answering questions and supporting women brand new to sobriety.
The committee would be informal, something like the 12th Step List, with members who volunteer and are not Trusted Servants. This gives women with less sober time the opportunity to be of service while also building a strong foundation for their own recovery. The Temporary Mentor would lead the group.
Most of the women who commented on this proposal supported the idea and appreciated the explanations given by the current and immediate past Temporary Mentor. One member suggested that there should be a requirement for a minimum of three months to be on the committee. Others cautioned against overwhelming our new members with too much information too soon.
In the third 3-day session, we will vote on Proposal 5.3 as presented.
Results of Voting on Proposal 5.3
Voting: Sixteen (16) participants voted in favor (80%), and four (4) voted against Proposal 5.3. Therefore, the proposal meets our requirement for a 2/3 majority is adopted as a Group Conscience Decision.
Group Conscience Decision:
To expand on the Temporary Mentor by establishing a Newcomer Committee, as the Sponsorship pamphlet suggests some groups do. That committee could be rapid-response for new members much as the OIAA link for “Get Help Now” is. The only requirement could be much less sober time, giving our newer members an opportunity to share their experience, strength and hope.