Service as Recovery
Carrying the message to the compulsive overeater who still suffers is the basic purpose of our Fellowship; therefore, it is the most fundamental form of service. Any form of service—no matter how small—that helps reach a fellow sufferer adds to the quality of our own recovery. Members who are new to OA can give service by getting to meetings, putting away chairs, putting out literature, talking to newcomers, and doing whatever needs to be done for the group. Members who meet the abstinence requirement can give service beyond the group level in such activities as intergroup representative, committee chair, region representative or Conference delegate. There are many ways to give back what we have so generously been given. We are encouraged to do what we can when we can. “A life of sane and happy usefulness” is what we are promised as the result of working the Twelve Steps. Service helps to fulfill that promise.
OA’s responsibility pledge states: “Always to extend the hand and heart of OA to all who share my compulsion; for this, I am responsible.”
(Tools of Recovery. © 2011 Overeaters Anonymous, Inc. All rights reserved.)
The 7th Tradition – Supporting the Service Structure
Every OA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
Your contributions helps make sure there is a place for compulsive eaters to meet and share their recovery. Many churches and other establishments are generous in providing meeting room space, however, they do charge nominal rent to cover their heating/air conditioning, housekeeping and other operating costs.
Your donation also goes toward covering the purchase of supplies, literature and any group workshops or special events.
When OA was established in 1960, the suggested donation was $1. A candy bar was a nickel. Stamps were 3 cents. $5,000 bought a luxury automobile. Times have changed. A dollar will not buy as much as it did then. A donation of $3 or more for each meeting is suggested, however, there are no dues or fees to participate.
GROUP FUNDS: "All service bodies are encouraged to be self-supporting by meeting their own expenses, adopting a prudent reserve, using funds to carry the message and contributing excess funds to the next level of service. Groups may contribute according to the informed group conscience. Groups frequently choose to send 60 percent of funds left over after expenses to their intergroup . . . , 10 percent to their region and 30 percent to WSO. Groups may also choose to contribute the funds to their intergroup or service board, and allow those service bodies to contribute to the region and WSO." OA Pamphlet: "Supporting Groups and Services Bodies: Seventh Tradition of OA - Give as if your life depended on it!"
- 60% to your Intergroup. Intergroups are OA service bodies which provides services (web sites, telephone call lines) to the OA groups in their geographic area. Houston Metro Intergroup (HMI) Contribution Page and Form.
- 30% to the World Service Office. The WSO provides services to newcomers, prepares and distributes OA literature, creates Lifeline and hosts conventions and conferences to carry the message. WSO contribution form.
- 10% to Region III
7th Tradition Aids:
- Group 7th Tradition Spreadsheet
- OA Guideline: Fundraising and Prudent Reserve Guidelines for Groups and Intergroups
The following provides links and further information about the various OA service organizations that include the Houston area within their responsibility. We encourage all members to explore avenues of service available to them throughout the support structure of our Fellowship.