Special Appeal from WSO Board Treasurer regarding COVID-19

Attention CMA – Please share this appeal letter with the members of your group. 
May 14, 2020
Dear Al‑Anon and Alateen members,

On behalf of the Finance Committee, I am writing to inform you of the impact COVID‑19 is having at the World Service Office (WSO). Since the start of the COVID‑19 pandemic, donations and literature sales have decreased significantly at the WSO. I know many of you are experiencing similar situations at your home group, District, Al‑Anon Information Service (AIS), Literature Distribution Center (LDC), or Area.

At the end of April, literature sales were down 75% and contributions were down 34% and we are projecting a $1,600,000 operating deficit at the end of 2020. Given reduced revenues, the Board has approved a transfer from the Reserve Fund to the General Fund of $250,000 to provide cash necessary for operations. Significant cost cutting measures have been implemented including elimination of Staff merit and cost of living increases for 2020; all Staff travel through the end of the year; and Board, Executive, and Finance Committee travel through the end of August. 

Additionally, after prayerful consideration of our projected cash position, Staff furlough and layoff actions were taken Friday, May 1. All Staff who were impacted are eligible for the expanded unemployment coverage due to COVID‑19. 

Despite these actions, the WSO is doing business as usual, processing literature orders through customer service and shipping products ordered, fielding calls for public outreach and electronic meeting information, and keeping our presence known on social media and other services. To continue, we need your help. Some thoughts I have been having about Seventh Tradition donations:

1)Do your groups, Districts, or Areas have money that was planned to cover Group Representative, District Representative, or Area officer travel which could now be donated because the District or Area meetings were held virtually?
2)Is your group making announcements at your meetings to let members know they can go online and donate directly to WSO?
3)How is your group handling the May Appeal Letter during this time of meetings happening virtually? Will it even be read?
4)How can we keep the Seventh Tradition money flowing through the links of service from the groups to Districts to Areas to the WSO?

In the past, when members have been asked to help the WSO your response has been overwhelming. So once again we are coming to you. The pandemic has increased the incidence of alcoholism. The WSO would appreciate any contributions you and your group, District or Area can provide to help us continue to serve the families and friends still suffering in these uncertain times. 

We can process checks mailed to the WSO, 1600 Corporate Landing Parkway, Virginia Beach, VA 23454, or you can use the link below to contribute online. 

Love in service,  
Cathy T.  
Al‑Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc.