6 Ways You Can Be of Service in a 12-Step Meeting


making coffee

Twelve step self-help groups are some of the most beneficial innovations ever for people with an addiction.  They provide camaraderie among those going through the same issues as you, and allow you to develop tools to better your life.  Sobriety is a true gift in which you’ve been given, and the only way to keep it, is to give it away.  Being of service in meetings is a great way to start giving back what was so freely given to you.  Here are six ways you can offer help:

  • Make the coffee.  Recovering addicts and alcoholics love coffee.  You will almost always see coffee offered at a meeting, and it doesn’t magically appear.  Someone has to show up early and volunteer their time to make that giant pot of coffee, and at some point, that someone should be you.
  • Set up and take down tables and chairs.  Unless the building is solely rented for the purpose of recovery meetings, the tables and chairs may need to be set up and taken down.  Arranging an entire room with chairs and tables is often a group effort, and being there to help is important.
  • Lead the meeting.  Leading a meeting is a one time commitment, but it is highly important.  Volunteering yourself to run the meeting includes finding others to read literature, hand out chips, and greet newcomers.  If you have a fear of public speaking, this can be a good way to get out of yourself and overcome your fears.
  • Hand out chips.  Nearly every meeting needs a person to hand out chips.  Chips are an accomplishment of the length of sobriety a person has attained, and are invaluable to those who receive them.  It can be a time of great emotion and to receive a sobriety chip, and is highly rewarding to distribute them.
  • Read literature.  There are several pieces of literature which are read throughout a meeting, and all are equally important.  It can be scary to read in front of a group of people, but newcomers need to hear it.  If everyone gave into their shyness, there would be no one to relay such valuable information.
  • Greet newcomers.  Greeting newcomers can be one of the most important things you can do at a meeting.  If you think back to when you went to your first meeting, the vulnerability and anxiety you felt was overwhelming.  Walking into a place you’ve never been to tell a group of people you’ve never met your deepest and darkest secrets is terrifying.  First impressions are everything, and if someone doesn’t feel welcomed and comfortable, they aren’t going to come back.  Reaching out to a newcomer, even if they have a day of sobriety less than you, shows them somebody cares and wants them to get well.  Recovery is about giving back what was so freely given to you, and taking commitments at meetings is a great way to start being of service.

Keep it Simple is one of the most commonly used phrases in the 12-step world. The answer to recovery is simple. Our multi-tiered program is designed to help your loved one find success on a new path in life through school, work, and meaningful volunteering. Structured for progress, clients at Simple Recovery transition seamlessly through each phase of their recovery.

Call us today for information: 888-743-0490