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!
This is great especially for the regular meetings. Our groups take turns chairing specific newcomer meetings, and this is good for them as well. We have a coordinator, and she is excellent at making sure everything we need is in the cabinet at the meeting place. Thanks for this reminder! As Secretary of one group, I make sure we have enough of everything in our supplies. We get a lot of newcomers.
The same article was published in En Contacto, the Spanish version of In the Loop
I’m always encouraged just to be included in this type of information at 6 months I’m still somewhat of a newcomer myself and it feels wonderful to be included in my home groups sharings. Thank you Mary for all that you do for Al-Anon.
Always good to think about things from someone else’s perspective.
Great Reminder!! Thank you for this list. I will make several copies and hand them out at my meetings.
Very interesting,I’m so proud to say our group is well up to date on all suggestions
This is excellent information. I will make sure our group has all of this. Thanks
I love it! Such a great reminder, which I always need just incase I get too caught up in something that isn’t mine to begin with. Wonderful idea, thank you.
Thanks for the suggestion and this website that I can translate them to pass to Hispanic members.
Great reminder. Thank you
Our meeting room is sometimes unavailable at Christmas because the church is holding a Christmas pageant. This presents an additional challenge for someone trying to find us because we move to a different church on that day and leave a note on our regular meeting’s door.
Good suggestions If you made this a downloadable file it would help me as it would simplify the task of taking it to our groups. I can copy paste it into a document. Perhaps next time a newcomer comes I can list ideas from the readings we have on newcomers. One item I would add is to remind to give and get phone # and to ask if they minded a call. People are often shy about calling. Lastly to ask where they heard of Al-Anon and write it in the meeting book. I’ve been thinking about printing a short… Read more »
Thank you. I will announce this at my home group tomorrow morning.
Thank you for the reminder. Sending this to all our groups.
Will put out the WORD in my Al-Anon/Al-Anon Adult Children Ann Arbor groups.
It’s always good to have a reminder of the important items to have for the newcomer. It’s also important to make them feel very welcomed and to come up after the meeting to encourage them even further to keep coming back. The holidays are a particularly hard time for those with addiction in their homes.
Every group should have a greeter…
Also a good reminder for those of us who live in states to which “snowbirds” flock at this time of year. We want to be ready for the newcomers, and the other fellowship members who may be retiring to the warm climates. Thanks for all the work you do! Love this fellowship!
Awesome plan! will use this for our group. Thank you