Our Primary Purpose
OA Intergroups, Meeting Groups and Individual Members Can “Carry the Message” ...
Overeaters Anonymous offers a solution for compulsive eating and compulsive food behaviors. A common saying is “It works if you work it!” But for a solution to work, first “the message” must be heard.
In OA, intergroups, meeting groups and individual members are becoming involved in Public Information and Professional Outreach (PIPO) works in a number of fun and effective ways.
The Region 8 PIPO committee encourages and supports all efforts to carry the message of our solution to compulsive eating and compulsive food behaviors through the 12 Steps, 12 Traditions and 9 tools of OA. The following are some PIPO ideas that have worked in our Region, and we invite you and your OA intergroup and meeting groups to adapt these ideas to your community and then share the results with this Region 8 committee.
- Gold Coast IG (South Florida) made contact with addiction and behavioral health therapists. Awareness of the OA program with short presentation was given to 40 attendees. Networking followed with many of the attendees.
- Pinellas Traditions IG (Pinellas County, FL) regularly posts listings announcing their local meetings on an online Classified list.
- North Florida Intergroup (Northeast Florida area) wrote news releases for two events, a PIPO event and an OA convention, that resulted in a newspaper story and radio interview respectively.
- Bogota Columbia IG introduced OA to health and health Education professionals: Bogota OA members personally invited professionals to this event. A two-hour presentation of the OA recovery program, the steps, tools, personal stories, a pod cast and Q&A, was made to approximately 30 in attendance. All materials were translated into Spanish. A binder with information and a directory to contact groups in Bogota was given to all who attended. Bogota IG has kept in touch and is working with many of the professionals from the event. An additional presentation was made at the office of the Health Secretary of Bogota and to 10 psychologists that give support to children and adolescents that call the government’s special designated phone line that was established to promote health and to prevent violence.
PIPO Efforts Can Be Simple and Effective
A PIPO campaign can be simple and still be effective. Sometimes it’s not about hosting a single, large event. Often it’s about consistency of effort. We are encouraged in OA to “Keep Coming Back!” (Overeaters Anonymous, 2nd ed., p. 26). We may apply this same philosophy of consistency and perseverance to our PIPO work. Here are some simple efforts that, if applied consistently, have proven effective:
- Placing OA Bulletin Board Attraction Sticky Notes (OA bookstore product #440W) in one’s local community. These sticky notes contain a place to list a local meeting. Intergroups may wish to list a meeting with a newcomer focus.
- Giving a copy of OA’s Courier to one’s doctor or other healthcare professional. The Courier is a newsletter for the professional community that carries the message of OA to healthcare professionals and institutions.
- Leaving issues of Lifeline, OA’s member magazine, at the offices of doctors, dentists, therapists, and other healthcare professionals and institutions.
- Circulating PI posters in one’s community. World Service has made available an assortment of colorful, professionally designed public information posters that may help carry the message to those who still suffer. Many coffee shops, grocery stores, laundry mats, libraries, gyms, churches and other locations have bulletin boards perfect for posting these attractive flyers.
- Encouraging PIPO service work at the group and intergroup level by supporting current PIPO efforts and giving service with a PIPO committee, if possible. Service is a powerful tool and many of us have found our recovery strengthened through PIPO work.
OA is a program of action. For Today, page 278, states, “I cannot expect the difficulties of life to be erased because I wish it.” Likewise, the message of OA cannot be carried through wishing and wanting. With prayer, meditation and the OA program and Fellowship, intergroups, meeting groups and individual members can “carry the message” to those who still suffer.
Your Region 8 PIPO committee is here to support local efforts. Please let us know what PIPO campaigns and efforts have worked for you and your OA groups and intergroup.
OA Tradition Five: “Each group has but one primary purpose—to carry its message to the compulsive overeater who still suffers.”