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Automatic Recurring Service

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Service is one of the OA Tools, but it is also the backbone of our program. If nobody did any service, we wouldn’t have any meetings, any literature, or any conventions or other events. Simply put, our program is run on a lot of volunteer labor, and ultimately all our income comes from donations. If you make outreach phone calls, you are doing service. If you set up chairs, you are doing service. Whether or not you have a formal title, anything you do to help other OA people is service.

I love doing service because it reinforces my connection to the program and helps me feel that I’m a part of it. This is especially true in the virtual world where I may not see other people in person.

Defining service positions at a face-to-face meeting is easy: meeting leader, treasurer, secretary, literature person, designated downloader, intergroup rep, and maybe speaker-booker and key-keeper. In virtual meetings, service positions are a bit different. My phone meeting has a group secretary (to contact the World Service Office with updates), a moderator, and a person to book speakers and get meeting leaders. Some have a webmaster or a phone list keeper. You’ll notice I didn’t mention a treasurer. Most virtual and phone meetings don’t have a treasurer because one isn’t needed.

In the early days of phone meetings, conference-call services weren’t free; one member had to pay a phone company every month (usually by credit card) to reserve the meeting’s phone line. That phone meeting’s treasurer would then request reimbursement by including a spoken reminder in the meeting format telling members where to mail their Seventh Tradition contributions. Once the cost of the meeting was covered, any surplus was passed on as a donation to world service. I was a phone meeting treasurer at one point, and it was not an easy job! Since the meeting’s contributions came by mail, there was always a question of whether we would have enough each month.

Today, there is another way for virtual meeting attendees to contribute: Automatic Recurring Contributions. Since virtual meetings cannot collect a Seventh Tradition by passing a basket, it is up to each individual member to contribute on behalf of our meetings. This is service anyone can do! By making an ARC, we save ourselves a postage stamp and don’t have to remember to write a check for something that we value, yet never get a bill for. Making an ARC is also a wonderful way to give back to the program that supports our recovery. You’ll find the setup for ARC at oa.org/contribute. Select “Make this a recurring gift” and you’ll be prompted to choose monthly or quarterly, either on the first or fifteenth of the month. You can choose the amount you want to give, just as you would by putting cash in a basket, and the date you want your gift to start. Just fill out the form, and you’re all set. If you need to change the amount, the date, or the credit or debit card you are using, you can do that too. Try an ARC. You’ll find it is an easy way to do service and support the OA program.

— Edited and reprinted from OA Virtual News, Second Quarter 2017, Vol. 2

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