Before there was a "Big Book", Twelve
Steps, Twelve Traditions, the "AA Grapevine" or General
Service -- before there were meetings, clubs, conventions
or any AA literature -- before there was an H&I committee,
there was a visit to an Akron hospital where "one drunk
talked to another." Actually there
were two drunks, Dr. Bob and Bill W., talking to Bill D.
on June 26, 1935 (Big Book, "Anonymous Number Three", pg.
184). That was the first H&I panel some 72 years ago.
In 1965 the Hospital and Instituions Committee was formed. The first two hospitals were Rancho Los Amigos and El Cerritos.
The H&I torch continues to burn on -- about 200 times a month
at H&I panels in the greater Long Beach area. That
requires an organization -- the Harbor Area Hospital and
Institutions Committee. *
There are a dozen officers and many volunteers doing a
variety of H&I tasks: raising money, purchasing and
distributing literature and administering and putting
on all those H&I panels. H&I didn't start out this
way but to bring meetings to over 40 Hospitals and Institutions
in the greater Long Beach area requires three things:
1. Regular monthly business meetings, held the third Wednesday
of the month at 8:00 PM with a 7:30 PM
2. A major annual fundraiser for the
purchase of AA literature to dstribute to over 40 Hospitals and Institutions.
The "H&I Chili Cook off" which is held in September, is an all-day chili
competition for area groups. The festivities include an auction, a $500 raffle,
an AA meeting and concludes with a sober
dance that night.
3. Volunteers -- an eager volunteer for each of 200
H&I panels each month and THAT MEANS YOU! FOR
A LIST OF AVAILABLE PANELS CLICK HERE
H&I carries the message to the alcoholic who is not
able to get to a meeting perhaps an older woman in a board
and care facility; a teenager in a hospital; a young man
in rehabilitation; patients in a locked psychiatric ward
or even inmates in jail or prison.
To become a H&I volunteer please
contact Central Office in person, by phone, e-mail,
3450 E. Spring Street, Suite 109
Long Beach, California 90806
* (A standing sub-committee of the Harbor Area Service