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You are on page 4 of the 1st AA Grapevine ever printed

Copyright The A.A. Grapevine, Inc., June 1944

A.  A.   GOES   ISLAND —
    BY    MAIL
                                                      Oct. 8, 1943
       Naval  Cantonment,  Honolulu,  Hawaii
Alcoholics Anonymous
Dear  Sirs:
I have been an alcoholic for  10  years.  Three
months ago, on July  8th, I went to the hospi-
tal  for  alcoholism.   It  was  the  third  time  in
that  same hospital  .  .  .  While there a  nurse
told  me  of  your organization.  I went  to  the
Public Library and  found  your  address  .  .  .
I  have since  talked  it over with a  number of
alcoholic  patients  in  this same hospital, and
also  with  the doctors and  nurses  there, and
I  have decided  that  we  have the material  to
form  a  branch of your organization in Hono-
lulu  .  .  .  I am assured of the co-operation of
the   Mental  Health  Bureau  of  the  Territory
of  Hawaii, and  I'm  sure  we can make a  suc-
cess of  it. I am enclosing  postage.  Will  you
please send  me all  the  information  you  can
on the organization.
                                  Respectfully  yours,

On  October 19th  the Central  Office received
and answered  the above  letter.  The  answer
covered   one   sheet   of   typewriting   paper,
single-space,  on both sides,  in  order  that  it
might be light-weight enough  to go Air  Mail
with a  pamphlet enclosed.  That one sheet of
paper constituted as clear, as concise, and as
comprehensible a  picture of  A.A.:  what it is,
how  it works,  and what kind of  people make
it  the amazing thing it is,  as the Editors have
ever  seen.  Now  we  know  how  the  Central
Office creates groups!

                                                  Nov. 16, 1943
                          Shop — , Pearl Harbor

Gentlemen :
Received  your  Air Mail  letter enclosing one
pamphlet  4  weeks ago,  and your package of
literature today  .  .  .  We have not  yet  had a
meeting.  I  have been visiting  the  prospects
armed  with only one pamphlet and a  handful
of  bus  tokens.  There are some problems pe-
culiar   to   this   place  .   .   .   in  dealing  with
permanent  residents  and  transient  workers.
Although I believe that alcoholics are usually
more broadminded than others,  we are taking
precautions to see that the effort we are  mak-
ing is not  isolated  to either group.  There are
6  who   have   promised   to  make  the  effort.
Three  of  them  are  permanent  residents and
                    (Continued on page 8)
May 1st was moving day for the Central office
into   larger   quarters  on  Lexington   Avenue
near  Grand  Central  Terminal,   a   much  more
accessible spot  to out-of-town visitors.  (New
address—P.O. Box  459, Grand Central Annex,
New  York  17,  N. Y.)  We are already national
in  scope and  certain  to  become  world-wide.
Hence  this  seems  a  most appropriate time to
explain  what  the  Central  Office has been do-
ing and  how  well  the Trustees  and  its  staff
have  managed.  Being somewhat  responsible
for  the creation  of  the  Central  Office,  I  feel
I  have never  made enough effort to let every-
one know  just  how  much  it  does.
Actually   the   Central   Office  belongs  to  all
Groups everywhere;  it  is  your good-will  and
financial   support  which   makes  it  possible;
it is one of  your  main contacts with  the  gen-
eral  public  and   it   is  one  of  your  principal
means  of  carrying  the 12th step of  the  A.A.
program to untold thousands of alcoholic sick
people who don't yet  know  they can get well.
In    matters    pertaining   to   the   office,    the
Trustees are your Service Committee;  its Sec-
retary is your  National  Secretary.
In  the  month  of   March  alone,  for  example,
the work  turned  out by the secretary and  her
three   assistants   (including   some  overtime)
was as follows:  1—They wrote 2,695 personal
letters.   Approximately   2,000  of   these  were
answers  to  first  inquiries  of   alcoholics  and
their    families   averaging   100   words   each.

About  400  letters  were  written to  the groups,
mostly group  problems.  The balance was  mis-
cellaneous.    2—Six   hundred   telephone   and
telegraph   messages.    3—About   100   out-of-
town   A.A.  members  visited   the  office.   4—
Something  like 400  bookkeeping  entries.   5—
Over   5000   A.A.  pamphlets   and    672    A.A.
books, about a  ton of  material,  were  wrapped
and   shipped.    6—A  detailed  monthly  report
was   made  to   the  Trustees.    7—In  addition,
the  Secretary   participated   in  several  confer-
ences  on   future  publicity  and  spent  a  week
on  the  road   visiting  six  of   the  A.A. Groups
with  which  she  corresponds.
A small  but  very  willing  staff  of  four  turned
out   this  large  volume  of   work.   Our  Central
Office  has   nearly  always   been  understaffed.
Our condition  right  now  is such  that  a  good
piece  of  publicity would  throw  us  weeks  be-
hind  on  those vital  first  inquiries.  We should
have   more  help—perhaps   two   more  typists
before  long.
About  the offer  of  A.A. pins  to  the  member-
ship—those pins supposedly designed and ap-
proved  by  me! The offer  was  made by  Royal
Incentives,   a  perfectly  reputable  firm,   which
was   sold   a   "bill of goods"   by  an  alcoholic
who  has  had  a  rather  hectic  A.A. career.  Of
course  I  knew  nothing  whatever  of  this deal.
Royal  Incentives,  recognizing  the  mistake,  is
sending all groups  a  letter of  explanation  and
apology.                                             As ever, Bill.

DO  YOU   KNOW  .   .    .    .    .      .   ?

What the Purpose of the Foundation Is:

Answer:—The  Alcoholic Foundation  is com-
prised  of  seven  trustees,   four  of  whom   (a
majority)   are  non-alcoholics  but   keenly  in-
terested   in  the  problem  of  alcoholism,   and
three  of  whom  are  members  of  A.A.  These
trustees  maintain  the Central  Office, our  Na-
tional Headquarters,  where inquiries concern-
ing   A.A.  from   all   parts   of   the   world  are
answered and  from which office our  literature
is  mailed.   Besides  maintaining   this  Central
Office,  the  trustees of  the  Foundation  have
charge of  all  national  publicity,  and  consult
with  the  A.A. group  on  matters  of  national
policy.   None  of   the  trustees   receives  any
compensation  for  his or her  services.
The Non-alcoholic trustees are :
Mr.  Leonard  V.  Harrison,  Chairman.
     (Mr.  Harrison  is  identified   with   Commun-
     ity    Service—the    combined    charities   of
     New  York  City.)
Mr.  Willard  S.  Richardson,  Treasurer.
     (Before   his   retirement,   religious  secretary
     to  Mr.  John  D.  Rockefeller,  Jr.)
Mrs.  Livingston  Farrand
     (Distinguished  wife  of  Livingston  Farrand,
     former   President  of   Cornell  University.)
Dr.  Leonard  V.  Strong,  Jr.
     (A physician  most  helpful  to A.A. from  its
Two   of   the   present   A.A.  members   of   the
board   are   from   the  New  York  Metropolitan
area,  the  third  from  Akron,  Ohio.

Copyright The A.A. Grapevine, Inc., June 1944
In practicing our Traditions, The AA Grapevine, Inc. has neither endorsed nor are they affiliated with
The Grapevine®, and AA Grapevine® are registered trademarks of The AA Grapevine, Inc.

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