Monterey Bay Area Intergroup of Alcoholics Anonymous
The Fellowship in Action
The purpose of our Central Office is to provide the infrastructure and resources so the fellowship can carry out its 12-Step work. The office is directly responsible to the Monterey Bary Area Intergroup of Alcoholics Anonymous (MBAIAA), the Group Conscience of the A.A. fellowship in the Monterey Bay Area. As a result, we help MBAIAA and its committees carry out their service work. Following is some of what MBAIAA does to support A.A. service work:
Central Office Volunteers
Central Office Volunteers are an integral part of Alcoholics Anonymous. They are representative of A.A. and may be the first impression callers and visitors have of the Monterey Bay Area Intergroup and A.A. as a whole. Our volunteers make a commitment to work one 4 hour shift each week, manning the front desk at Central Office. Duties include answering the phone, literature sales and greeting visitors to the office. Volunteers receive training on phone etiquette and office procedures.
At the heart of incoming calls are those from alcoholics seeking help. The office volunteers forward these calls to members on the 12-Step list and they talk to the suffering alcoholic. After hours, an answering service answers the phone and then passes the calls on to members on the 12-Step list. Ensuring drunks have another drunk to talk to 24/7.
The office also provides the basic resources so that volunteers serving on our various committees can carry the message. Besides utilizing the list of A.A. members who answer 12-Step calls, the office interfaces with other service position contacts to help insure we are carrying the A.A. message to the best of our ability. Another example is answering the phone for our Public Information committee (PI/CPC) so that A.A. members can be available to hand out literature, speak, and otherwise educate the general public and professionals such as doctors, attorneys, nurses and counselors on A.A. and its 12-Step program of recovery.
Please contact Central Office to learn more about being a Central Office Volunteer.
Carrying The Message
Central Office is also responsible for updating and producing directories of all the meetings in the Monterey area. In order to produce the directories and answer the many questions we get about meetings on the Monterey Peninsula, MBAIAA maintains a complete database of approximately 120 meetings in the area. The printed meeting directory is produced at least every three months and is distributed through Central Office. There is also an online version of the meeting directly that is updated on an ongoing basis. The online meeting directory is generally considered to be the most up to date meeting information available.
The MBAIAA Central Office provides the A.A. literature requested by A.A. members and Groups. It serves Groups, clubs and treatment facilities throughout the Monterey Bay area. It is also a walk-in facility and carries conference approved literature and the Grapevine, the international journal of A.A.
In short, MBAIAA provides a focal point for selfless volunteers who make the message available to all those who seek it. Your Central Office makes these things possible. It is here to serve the fellowship and your support is key to its success.
“Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever non-professional, but our service centers may employ special workers.”
The A.A. Groups in the Monterey Bay Area formed the Monterey Bay Area Intergroup of Alcoholics Anonymous (MBAIAA) to carry out necessary A.A. functions that no single Group could perform. MBAIAA staff are special workers who are paid to ensure that MBAIAA has the resources necessary to carry out its primary purpose, “to carry the message to the alcoholic who still suffers.” The office works through the dedicated A.A. volunteers who give their time to the office and fellowship.
Monterey Area A.A. History
It all started in 1955 (or 1956) with a discussion between Buck M. of Monterey, Frank E. of Salinas and Earl H. and Herb B. of Watsonville. Their discussion resulted in the formation of a Tri-County Intergroup Monterey Bay Area Intergroup.
From 1958 until 1968, meetings in the Monterey, Carmel and Santa Cruz areas were listed in the meeting schedule for the San Francisco Inter County Fellowship.
On August 12, 1968 Central Office opened at 572 Lighthouse in Pacific Grove and served Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties. In 1968 the meeting schedule showed 14 weekly meetings. By 1979 there were 45, by 1987 there were 96. Today’s count is about 120.
Sixteen groups were represented at the first “Central Committee” meeting. When asked how they could help, members were told: 1) we need angels to answer the phones 2) painters to spruce up the place 3) some equipment and typists 4) speakers to exchange with San Jose, and your sobriety date. Also needed, “live wires – let’s have a party.” They were told to stop by and get acquainted “the coffee pot is always on”.
In 1974 Santa Cruz withdrew from MBAIAA and established their own Intergroup; Salinas did likewise in 1981.
In July 1974 the central office moved to 467 Alvarado (above the Viennese Bakery) in Monterey; in 1988 we made another move to our present location, 1015 Cass #4, Monterey. The phone number has always been 373-3713, even though the area code has changed.
Your 8th Tradition Special workers have been:
- 1968 – 1975 Rita J.
- 1975 – 1979 Fred B.
- 1979 – 1982 Ethel C.
- 1982 – 1986 Elaine W.
- 1986 – 1993 Steve B.
- 1993 – 2016 Maggie W.
- 2016 – present – Jana D.
Reprinted with permission from the first Secretary’s Newsletter 1968 and from the Monterey Central Office pamphlet “Monterey Bay Area Intergroup, A Brief History”