What is A central office?
A central office (or intergroup) is an A.A. service office that involves partnership among groups in a community – just as A.A. groups themselves are partnerships of individuals. A central office is established to carry out certain functions common to all groups – functions which are best handled by a centralized office – and it is usually maintained, supervised, and supported by these groups in their general interest. It exists to aid the groups in their common purpose of carrying the A.A. message to the alcoholic who still suffers.
Functions of central office
The A.A. experience has demonstrated that central offices are helpful, particularly in populous areas. There are nearly 350 central/intergroup offices in the United States and Canada, performing vital A.A. services. These constitute a network of service outlets and A.A. contacts to help carry the A.A. message.
(1) A.A. Inquiries – By providing an Alcoholics Anonymous listing, the central office may receive inquiries from those seeking help.
(2) Office Facilities – The central office maintains a conveniently located office to coordinate local A.A. Services.
(3) Meeting Lists and Other Literature – At regular intervals, the central office may publish and distribute lists of meetings and other information about local A.A. services.
(4) Information Exchange – The service office may function as a clearinghouse for the circulation and exchange of information among all the A.A. groups in the community.
(5) Local A.A. Events – An A.A. central office is a logical body to manage the details of an annual dinner, picnic, or convention, if the participating groups wish it.
(6) A.A. Bulletin or Newsletter – The preparation of a publication for periodic distribution to A.A. groups is often a function of the central office.
(7) Special Needs Services – Many central offices carry information on groups that are wheelchair accessible, signing for deaf members and more.