Starting a Meeting
A True Story
All CoDA meetings were started by one or more people committed to share the CoDA message with others – and in some cases, anonymously reaching out an order that they also might have a local resource.
In 2015, Sandy B. set out to start a meeting in Placer County. The following was posted with her permission in which she described her efforts and successfully began a meeting in Loomis, CA.
In preparation to start this meeting, I looked to see where current coda meetings were and were not being held. None were being held in the area where I lived. As I considered my options, I turned the idea of starting a new meeting over to my “Higher Power” for guidance. The more I “let go” and listened, the more answers appeared before me.
I looked at various treatment facilities, new and old, who might want to offer a place for CoDA to meet. Unfortunately, they were not responsive to my inquiries. As an alternative, I researched where Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon meetings are being held. It seemed reasonable that the venues where AA and Al-Anon meetings are being held would be a good place to start. Another CoDA member and I contacted one of the churches, who graciously offered a meeting place at a reasonable rent. The church also happened to have a storage space for the meeting supplies and literature.
The coda.org website provided most of the materials that I needed to create a “meeting book” and offered guidelines for the appropriate public relations. It was easy to register the new meeting with the coda.org website. Also, Coda.org made it easy to access and follow an online, comprehensive step-by-step guide on “how to start a meeting”. Another local coda meeting generously offered me their meeting notes (those read by the meeting secretary each week) and free handouts to copy and use as guides.
Copies of the handouts and Welcome Packets were made at a local office store. Their photocopiers copied, sorted, and stapled with the push of a button. Easy!
GSACC offered a “start-up” loan of $150 for the initial purchase of literature, rent, etc. This seed money is available upon request to the GSACC board.
I contacted several local, small newspapers and found them to be helpful with publishing an announcement for our first and subsequent meetings. Also, GSACC listed us as a new meeting on their webpage.
The meeting is thriving and doing well. Thank you to everyone who has been supportive. I encourage anyone who wants to start a meeting to do so. Support and resources are available!