Service in Alcoholics Anonymous began with one struggling drunk reaching out to help another,and in doing so, finding he helped himself.
Members continue to reach out to the struggling alcoholic, one on one as in the beginning, but also in collective efforts through service committees. Beyond the usual service activities centered on local“home groups,” the service structure in AA has evolved from members simply trying to respond to publicinterest in the Fellowship to include several service committees with special and particular areas of interest and activity.
It is believed the first South Eastern New York (SENY) service committees were formed prior to the 1951 General Service Conference. While it is not clear what these committees were, over the years, as the groups and membership of AA have grown, so has our service committee structure. We currently have 13 standing committees; see SENY Service Handbook listing the names of these committees.
SENY’s service committees, as well as ad hoc service committees, have a vital function within our Area’s structure and to AA. Our purpose as a General Service Area through our service committee work, is to continue to be a resource of information, communication, and shared experiences. Valuable service work extends to information and awareness being brought forth to the public, to professionals in the community, as well as the suffering alcoholic in need of help. SENY continues to do this work at national, regional, statewide, and local events such as service assemblies, workshops, conventions and forums, etcetera. We continue to do outreach to professionals in the corrections, education, medical and treatment communities when invited to participate in health fairs, with medical societies, schools, and so on. Since the early 1990s, some service committees have undergone changes and all updates reflect the current practices at the time.