Members often ask, “Can Al‑Anon support Alateen?” And the answer is yes…absolutely! Alateen is an integral part of Al‑Anon, and support can be offered in so many ways. A few years after I moved to Virginia Beach, I was certified as an Al‑Anon Member Involved in Alateen Service (AMIAS). Within a year, I was invited to start an Alateen group in town. When we began, we only had a couple of Alateen books and a few pamphlets, but thanks to the donations of Alateen Conference Approved Literature (CAL) by Al‑Anon members, now each teen can follow along with what is being read because we have plenty of copies for everyone.
We read the excerpt “Passing the Basket” from page 19 of the 20182021 Al-Anon/Alateen Service Manual (P24/27) at every meeting. This section reminds me that in Al‑Anon/Alateen, there are no dues or fees, but that our voluntary contributions help to cover the group’s expenses. Reading this section and passing the basket at every meeting is important because, while Alateen members may not have a lot of money, the spiritual act of contributing encourages them to become responsible with money and reinforces a sense of belonging.
Months later, we were invited to attend the Eastern Seaboard Alateen Conference. Thanks to the accumulated funds from the weekly contributions, we had some money, but not enough. Fortunately, the District had some funds for Alateen and thanks to this, three members, another Alateen Group Sponsor, and I were able to go. It was an amazing experience. The teens realized that Alateen encompasses more than just their home group.
Our group’s membership has grown since then, and our Alateen members have had the opportunity to attend two Alateen conferences this year. For one of these events, the teens held a fundraising activity in collaboration with the District, as discussed on page 97 of the Service Manual, under “Events with Alateen Participation.” It is important to note that contributions from Al‑Anon members to Alateen are voluntary, whether the Alateen group is new or not. This support may end once the group becomes self-supporting.
There are many ways Al‑Anon members can support Alateen aside from becoming a certified AMIAS, donating CAL, and helping with financial contributions. To learn more, please contact your Area Alateen Coordinator. And thanks for helping Alateen!
By Sergio Z., Senior Group Services Specialist—Alateen
The Forum, February 2019