From the February 1981 magazine.

It's No Big Thing

Helping out is not all that hard

AT ELEVEN o'clock on a Saturday morning, at the Twenty-Second International Conference of Young People in Alcoholics Anonymous, in Vancouver, British Columbia, I stood in the lobby of the hotel, wondering why I had volunteered for what I was about to do. We were "taking the conference" out to a federal prison facility; I had volunteered to drive a van full of people. Waiting to leave was a group of twelve men: me and three other local Vancouver people and eight fellows from Boston, Atlanta, Wheeling, Seattle, Philadelphia, Sacramento, and Vancouver, Washington.

I was exhausted from overwork, overcommitment to conference duties, entertaining early arrivals, and a need to talk to my sponsor; and it had been twelve years since I had visited a prison. I had promised a relative of mine, when he was discharged, "That's it. I'm not visiting any more jails." In contrast to all the vows that I had broken, I had kept that one, through ten years of sobriety.

-- M. R.

North Vancouver, British Columbia

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