Dear AA Member,
The Bridging the Gap Program, or BTG, connects new members entering our community to local volunteers in long term recovery. You are being asked to be that connection, what is called a Temporary Contact. If you are willing to be the hand of AA when a new member reaches out for help, please complete the form linked to above.
When a new member contacts us, we match that person to a Temporary Contact who lives near them. If you have volunteered for this type of service, we will call you, get the okay and then send you their contact information.
Your job is simple. You contact the new AA member and arrange to take them to an AA meeting, preferably withing 24-48 hours of them entering our community. Your commitment is taking them to as many as six meetings.
During this time, you help them become acquainted, get phone numbers and perhaps locate a sponsor and a home group. You introduce them to others in AA so they have a broad, healthy base, then you are available to serve as a Temporary Contact for another person.
Please note: It is not intended that you become their sponsor, even temporarily. It is best if the word “sponsor” is not used to describe this type of service. The term “temporary contact” is preferred.
Volunteers need to adhere to the rules facilities have regarding contact with residents, both while they are in the facility and after they are discharged. The BTG coordinator can provide the necessary information for each facility.
Suggestions for the Temporary Contact
1. Remember you may be the first outside member of AA the contact meets. As such, you are representing all of us. It is important to be relaxed, friendly and interested.
2. Keep the general conversation related to recovery. Avoid discussing the new member’s discharge. We have no opinion on outside issues.
3. Take time to introduce the new person to as many AA members as possible. Do not, however, push your contact. Some people are very shy.
4. Invite them to the “meeting after the meeting” if there is one. Show them we are happy, joyous and free and that sobriety can be enjoyable.
5. Your commitment is usually finished after attending six meetings or as soon as a sponsor has been located. Use good recovery related judgment about when to end the relationship.
6. Make sure the newly released AA member receives meeting schedules, phone numbers and AA literature.
7. Encourage the new member to attend meetings as often as possible. to find a home group and to get a sponsor as soon as possible. Let them know even a temporary sponsor would be acceptable.
8. Share your experience, strength and hope with the newly discharged member, just as you would anyone else new to AA in your community.
9. Be familiar with the suggestions of the BTG program contained in the pamphlet. WE don’t offer or impy any other service and assistance unless we personally want to provide it.
10. Please respect the complete anonymity of the new member.