The holiday season can be a challenging time for families and friends of alcoholics, and even more so for those who have not yet found Al-Anon. Putting a plan in place to welcome newcomers throughout the season will help both newcomers and members alike.

Here are a few things to keep in mind for your “Newcomer Preparedness Checklist”:

  • Specific meeting location instructions:
    • Is there a special door to gain access to the building?
    • Is there a sign pointing to the right room for the meeting?
    • Are parking instructions needed?
    • Are special instructions needed for late arrivals, e.g., “After 7:00 pm, ring buzzer by door.”
    • Are instructions clear enough for out-of-town visitors not familiar with your community?
  • First contact: Is there a volunteer from the group to be a “greeter” for those attending your Al‑Anon/Alateen meeting for the first time?
  • Al-Anon Newcomer Packets: Is there an ample supply?
  • Al-Anon/Alateen pamphlets and books: Is it time to reorder? Check supplies.
  • Public outreach materials: Always a good idea to have a few Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism magazines on hand.
  • Meeting schedule: Is it updated? Are there enough copies available?
  • Most importantly, please make sure that your meeting information is up to date, not just on the local meeting schedule, but on the AIS, Area and WSO websites as well. When newcomers, looking for help, call or search online for meeting information, they will know where and when to find your group. We want everyone to feel welcome in our Al‑Anon and Alateen meetings!