Kathy L., GSR - Women’s H.O.W. Group
I moved to Columbus in July 2020 during the pandemic. Thanks to Central Ohio Group Fellowship (COGF) I was able to find Zoom meetings and got connected right away. I met the woman who is currently my sponsor that introduced me to Women’s H.O.W. Group. I became the Secretary of the group in 2021 and had absolutely no knowledge of how to be a Zoom host, screen share documents, or anything about the meeting. However, my sponsor and my sisters in AA helped me learn. I had many days of learning and frustration, but I asked for help and set-aside my judgement as best I could. I am currently the GSR of my home group which is a part of District 28 (shout out to Kyle M., the best of the best)!
I had no clue and am still learning how to be of service. You see, that is the beauty of AA. We are all learning together with the guidance of a loving Higher Power. My ego has been right sized by watching how AA works with the voting process - substantial unanimity vs. simple majority. It is a treat and honestly takes patience to attend an Area Assembly. But I watch how gracious and helpful people can be when I ask for HELP! There was even a GSR School offered at the Mini Conference which was extremely helpful. I realize I have much more to learn as I continue to study the AA Service Manual and the Concepts.
If you are sitting on a fence thinking that you cannot do tech and be of service, please note that I have learned and my amazing H.O.W. sisters have learned how to work the Zoom platform. We are now hybrid and have a Zoom only meeting the same time as our in-person meeting. I have made friends from Ireland to Seattle and if I cannot make the meeting, I can hop on Zoom.
The districts are slowly coming back around with events, and I love the new dimension of fellowship. I cannot attend everything and that is okay. I am also learning how to be of service and take care of myself and letting go of the outcomes. We alcoholics are the best people from all diverse backgrounds, and I am honored to be part of a fellowship and program that has saved my life. If you are new to Area 53 or coming back to AA, I encourage you to get active in service. For me, service work continues to make me feel that I belong and that I am part of the solution
Shirley K. – Group Institution Representative (GIR)
Service work has been a big part of my continuous sobriety. I started chairing a meeting in Gallipolis, Ohio when I was three months sober. I was struggling at the time, white knuckling it and sponsoring myself. To this day, I know that it was my commitment to this meeting that got me through my crazy days of being a dry drunk.
At six months sober, I got a sponsor and started working the steps. The Alternate GSR position in my home group became available and I was voted in. I started to attend district meetings, was able to attend the Area 53 Mini Conference and was later elected as the GSR.
My mother became extremely ill and because I was sober, I was able to care for her for the next 5 years. Because of AA and my commitment to service work, I was able to care for her through home dialysis for two years and then taking her to the dialysis center three days a week. During this time, I was the district secretary, treasurer, and DCM. I also stayed active in service by being a Group Institution Representative (GIR) and taking a meeting to the Lakin Correctional Facility once a month with a wonderful group of women.