On November 1, 2001, “Nightwatch” was born. As technology has advanced, the early problems we had thankfully disappeared. Our volunteers have been highly enthusiastic through the years, including those members receiving drunk calls at 3am!! This is, after all, what it’s all about – having a live alcoholic at the other end of that phone line, instead of a recorded message.
Thank you, everyone, who has made Nightwatch such a success. To keep this vital work going, we always need more volunteers, and we would love to have more groups take the phones for weekends. We try to keep a minimum of 200 A.A. members on our phone volunteer list With this number of volunteers you might be asked to take the phones four times a year, although many have taken much more. (The top three volunteers as of Jan. 2016 have taken, 94, 64 and 56 nights each!)
During the week, the phones are transferred to the Nightwatch volunteer at 5pm and taken back at 8:30am the following morning. The weekend commitment consists of two shifts a day: one from 8:30am to 5pm and then 5pm to 8:30am. You will only be asked to take one shift. Groups if they wish may take the entire weekend and have a Nightwatch party!
“Nightwatchers” are given the latest copy of the Metroplex Directory, a current 12th Step List (strictly confidential), and other information to make your Nightwatch duty a little easier to manage. Most volunteers use our website for hotlines and group information. We do not give out phone numbers to anyone. Our 12th Step list is for our use. Get the phone number of the alcoholic in need and then have a volunteer get in touch with them.
Here is what is expected of Nightwatch volunteers:
- Volunteers agree to answer the phone after hours (from 5:00 PM to 8:30 AM the next morning) one evening per quarter – four times per calendar year.
- Volunteers agree to stay at home for the night they have Nightwatch so that you will be available to ANSWER the phone. Although cell phones make it easy to multitask during your Nightwatch service, it is also much easier to miss a call if not specifically paying attention to your phone. We do not want the caller to experience no answer, or a phone that goes to voice mail. Please do not screen calls. Volunteers must have either the most recent printed Dallas Metroplex Directory or access to the DIA website’s online directory. You may pick up your copy of a free directory at the Dallas Central Office.
Be aware that the groups change meeting times, locations and types of meetings frequently. If at all possible please verify meetings with the online version of the directory. You may also give them the group phone number if one is available for use just before a meeting to double check.
- Volunteers agree to use a certain format suggested by the Dallas Intergroup Association.
- Volunteers will have a minimum of one year of sobriety. It is suggested that they will have taken the 12 Steps and are familiar with Chapter 7 of the Big Book (Working with Others).
- The Dallas AA Central Office will call weekly volunteers each Monday to remind them of their service commitment.
- The Central Office will provide the volunteers instructions about Nightwatch, which will include a current list of AA members available to respond should the need for a Twelfth-Step call arise, the most current Metroplex Directory and other material as the need arises. You will also have access to Committee phone numbers and the DIA Director’s phone number in case of emergency situations.