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Small Ways That Matter

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This is my third time back in OA. At first, I came when my mother needed the program. I came back a second time for myself, but I still thought of OA as a calorie-counting club with a diet. This time I know better, and I am back for the Twelve Steps. What else is different this time? I can say it in a word: service.

I didn’t realize before what a vital part service plays in our program, even though it’s clearly stated in Step Twelve. Now I do service in small ways that matter a lot.

I write articles for Lifeline. It’s easy and fun, but I do take it seriously. For me, Lifeline is like a meeting I can attend all month long. I read the print magazine cover to cover when it first arrives and then reread it, one article at a time, throughout the month. If members didn’t submit articles, we’d have no material for Lifeline, our “meeting on the go.”

I say yes. If someone in our group needs something done, if I can, I do it! I like to think of OA as an employer. If my boss asks me to do something, I make every effort to get it done. That is how I remain valuable as an employee—so it is with OA. I have to give of myself and be an asset to the group if I want the program to work in my life. Last year, our group was producing a flyer for a Twelfth Step Within workshop in December. The member who designed the flyer asked whether anyone could help edit it before it went to print. I volunteered. In doing that small service, I connected with another OA member, and we’ve developed a great friendship—a connection I might not have made if not for helping out.

I call newcomers. This is a new service for me, one I started doing when another member suggested it. It takes so little time, yet it lets newcomers know that support and camaraderie are available for them in OA. Calling lets them know we all need one another in this program and we appreciate them. It keeps my program green and new, and it reminds me I can view every meeting and every day back with the fresh eyes of a newcomer.

This is my third time back in OA, and this time, giving service is making all the difference.

— Terry S., Pennsylvania USA

Is your group or service body interested in hosting a workshop? Find workshop resources on the OA website under “Workshops and Skits” at oa.org/documents.

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