Twelfth Step Calls

What are Twelfth Step Calls?

The first Twelfth Step Call occurred in May of 1935 (on Mother’s Day) when Bill, a recovered alcoholic businessman, met an active alcoholic physician to discuss how he had recovered from alcoholism. The physician, known as Dr. Bob, first agreed to meet with Bill for no more than fifteen minutes. However, the fifteen minute meeting turned into a six hour conversation! Dr. Bob credited the success of their first meeting to Bill “speaking his language” and allowing him to identify with another alcoholic for the first time in his life. Three weeks after their initial contact, Dr. Bob drank again. However, this would be Dr. Bob’s last bout with liquor. He had finally hit bottom and thanks to the message of hope from Bill, he knew of a way out from under the grips of alcoholism.

June 10th, 1935 was the day of Dr. Bob’s last drink and the day that marked the beginning of Alcoholics Anonymous. From that day forward, the two co-founders, Bill and Dr. Bob, would carry A.A.’s message to countless more alcoholics by practicing the same principle that both of them experienced in their first meeting. This principle would later be known as the Twelfth Step Call.

Twelfth Step Calls occur when an A.A. member has a conversation with a newcomer about how they recovered from alcoholism. When an alcoholic gains the confidence of another by having this conversation, both the newcomer and the A.A. member benefit. For the newcomer, they are learning about a possible solution to their alcoholism. For the A.A. member, they are taking out an “insurance policy” against a future slip by passing onto the newcomer what was passed onto them when they first came to A.A.

Twelfth Step Calls today are no different than they were in 1935. They are still two (or more) alcoholics coming together to have a conversation about recovery from alcoholism. While many Twelfth Step Calls are still conducted through face to face conversations, some may also be conducted by telephone.

What is the Twelfth Step Call Committee?

The Twelfth Step Call Committee is a group of A.A. Volunteers who are available to talk to individuals about recovery from alcoholism as it pertains to working the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. Individuals who would like to talk with an A.A. member about our fellowship can either call the A.A. Hotline at 503-684-0415 (option 1) or email the Twelfth Step Call Committee Chair at Please note that while our A.A. Hotline volunteers are available to answer basic questions about A.A., they may not be available to talk to you at length since they need to be available for other hotline callers. Therefore, we encourage individuals wanting to have a longer conversation about recovery from alcoholism to request a Twelfth Step Call.

How Can I Volunteer for the Twelfth Step Call Committee?

A.A. members are needed for the Twelfth Step Call Committee. In order to answer questions about our fellowship, we suggest that volunteers have at least one year of sobriety, a sponsor, a home group, and have worked all Twelve Steps at least once. You can volunteer to meet newcomers for face to face conversations, talk to them on the telephone, or both; whatever you are comfortable with. When meeting a newcomer for a face to face meeting, the Chair will pair you up with at least one other A.A. member. Because the success of a Twelfth Step Call is based on the newcomer identifying with the the A.A. member, the Chair will attempt to pair the newcomer with A.A. members of the same gender, age, and location. More information on volunteering for the Twelfth Step Call Committee is available here.

If you are available for the Twelfth Step Call Committee, then please complete the form below:

Twelfth Step Call Committee Sign Up

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Note: We will not share your information with any third party or outside enterprise.

If you have any questions on the Twelfth Step Call Committee, then please email the Chair at