LifeRing ePal

Several times a month, LifeRing receives inquiries from prospective new members interested in what we offer. Usually, those inquiries come from areas far from the nearest LifeRing f2f meeting. LifeRing ePals is a way of combining both sobriety support and LifeRing information into a single one-to-one connection with one of our volunteer members.

Inquiries to ePal, or to the Service Center, from people seeking our services go to the ePal Director. The Director responds as quickly as possible -- promptness is very important in dealing with newcomers -- with a warm welcome, a note of support and an offer to find an ePal for ongoing support and information. Without waiting for a response to that message, the Director forwards the inquiry, stripped of identifying details other than first name, to the ePals email group which is made up of members who have volunteered to be part of the group and who have met the limited criteria: reasonably solid sobriety, an understanding of the fragility of people in their early outreach for support, and a willingness to give time and energy to distant strangers who may or may not accept the support offered.

The ePal has two primary objectives:

1) to offer support to a fellow addict using the LifeRing approach of a non-judgmental, secular, and non-directive response to the person’s situation. An ePal is decidedly NOT a “sponsor” in the AA sense. There is no claim of expertise or insistence on a particular course of action. Instead, there is an implicit offer of friendship based on a shared experience of addiction.

2) to encourage the person to become involved with one of the online support venues we offer, assuming face-to-face involvement is not an option.

An ePal is not a substitute for a more comprehensive approach to recovery. Instead, it’s an effort to offer a gentle, friendly introduction to the LifeRing approach with the hope that the new person will want to explore wider involvement.

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