The General Service Office

The General Service Office serves as a hub of communication for A.A. groups in the U.S. and Canada and as an exchange point for A.A. experience accumulated over the years. G.S.O. staff coordinate a wide array of activities and services. Also located at G.S.O. is Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., which oversees the publication, translation and distribution of A.A. literature.

Visit the General Service Office

Good news!  Effective October 5, 2022, the General Service Office will reopen to visitors Wednesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., marking the first phase of the reopening process.

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How G.S.O. Serves A.A.

The General Service Office in New York City serves all A.A. groups in the United States and Canada. G.S.O also offers services to A.A. overseas, especially in countries where there is no service structure. Many other countries have their own general service offices as well.  The U.S./ Canada office works with committees of A.A.’s General Service Board and the General Service Conference (U.S. and Canada). G.S.O. has broad responsibilities to its member groups, including the following:

 

  •  To collect and organize shared experience on group challenges and solutions, and to pass this information along to A.A. groups and members throughout the U.S. and Canada when asked.
  • To work with alcoholics overseas and in the armed forces; with those living in areas with no meetings; with housebound and seagoing A.A.s; and with members in treatment and correctional facilities.
  • To respond to letters requesting information about A.A. and the help it provides for alcoholics.
  • To publish the A.A. newsletter, Box 4-5-9, and other bulletins; to publish and distribute A.A. books and pamphlets approved by the General Service Conference; and to provide a sampling of complimentary literature and service materials to each new group.
  • To disseminate public information at the national and international levels for A.A. as a whole, in cooperation with print and electronic media as well as with organizations concerned with the treatment of alcoholism.
  • To coordinate and support the work of General Service Conference committees.
  • To maintain the G.S.O. Archives.
  • To operate and maintain the aa.org website and the Meeting Guide app.

History of the General Service Office

In the late 1930s, a small office in Newark, N.J., staffed by co-founder Bill W. and a secretary, was enough to maintain contact among the first 100 A.A. members. Soon, the rapidly spreading Fellowship needed a real world service office, and “headquarters” was shifted to New York City, with a series of moves as membership grew into the hundreds of thousands. From 1970 to 1992 G.S.O. was located at 468 Park Avenue South. In 1992, G.S.O. moved to 475 Riverside Drive, where both A.A. World Services and Grapevine personnel are housed.

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Share your group experiences with G.S.O.

Let the General Service Office know of any experiences or challenges your group faces or has solved. This sharing is combined and shared when requested, so we all can learn from each other.