The Conference-approved pamphlet, “The AA Group”, describes a central office this way:
Your intergroup, or central office, is often where the sick alcoholic first calls or shows up for AA help.
Although local central offices operate independently of AA's worldwide service structure, they are a vital part of the Fellowship. [AA's Conference structure (groups, districts, areas, etc.) was established in the early 1950's to link together AA groups throughout the United States and Canada. By that time, there were already well-established intergroups/central offices in many larger cities throughout the country. The major function of those intergroups/central offices was (and still is) to provide direct help to the alcoholic who still suffers.] In most parts of the country, any group that so wishes can belong to the central office, which is supported by contributions from its member groups. These contributions are purely voluntary...
The Capital District Central Office (CDCO) had its beginnings back in June, 2004. At that time, an organizational meeting was held to discuss consolidating the AA phone answering services of several General Service Districts in and around Albany into one central contact point, and setting up a single local office where literature could be sold, AA events could be posted, and other services to local groups and members could be provided. The AA groups in Districts 1, 2, 14 and 18 of Area 48, “Hudson, Mohawk Berkshire”, voted to turn their phone services over to the CDCO. Since the initial organizational meeting in '2004, the CDCO has held a monthly business meeting every month. The current Office opened its doors in November, 2005. The CDCO now has By-Laws, an elected Steering Committee, a bi-monthly newsletter (The Broken Bottle) and AA Conference-approved literature for sale. The monthly meeting, held at 6:30 pm on the second Tuesday of the month at the Central Office, is open to anyone interested in becoming involved, and especially to those who are representing their groups as “Central Office Representatives” (CORs).
The CDCO itself is open from 10:00AM to 6:00PM Monday through Friday and Saturday from noon to 4:00PM. The CDCO is closed on Sundays. Daytime volunteers answer the phone at the Office during two shifts (10:00AM to 2:00PM and 2:00PM to 6:00PM). At the end of the second shift and on Sundays, the phone is forwarded to a “Night Owl” who is responsible for answering calls until the next shift. This ensures that incoming phone calls are always answered by an AA member, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Like other intergroups/central offices throughout the country, the CDCO depends on contributions from the groups it serves to operate. The CDCO is staffed by volunteers who have found that answering calls from alcoholics and greeting visitors to the office greatly enhances their sobriety and ...broadens their circle of friends.
An AA “Intergroup Office” or “Central Office” is, as the name suggests, traditionally an office (a physical site), centrally located, supported, and staffed by members of AA groups within a specific geographic area.
The geographic area covered by the Capital District Central Office “CDCO” includes Albany, Troy/Cohoes, Schenectady plus Columbia and Rensselaer Counties.
Just as an AA group is a partnership of individuals, a Central Office is a partnership of AA groups. Its primary purpose is that of the fellowship at large - to carry the AA message to the still suffering alcoholic, and its primary rationale is that the message can be more effectively and consistently delivered when the member groups share their experience, strength and hope in delivering the message.
It is important to note that the Capital District Central Office is a service organization available to all groups in the Capital District, whether they contribute to its support or not.
The main functions of the Capital District Central Office are to: