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The idea of sponsorship was born in A.A., the original 12 step fellowship.   The book "Living Sober" an AA publication, describes how the term "sponsor" came about.

 In the earliest days of A.A., the term "sponsor" was not in the A.A. jargon.  Then a few hospitals in Akron, Ohio and New York began to accept alcoholics (under that diagnosis) as patients -- If a sober A.A. member would agree to "sponsor" the sick man or woman.  The sponsor took the patient to the hospital, visited him or her regularly, was present when the patient was discharged, and took the patient home and then to the A.A. meeting.  At the meeting, the sponsor introduced the newcomer to other happily non drinking alcoholics.  All through the early months of recovery, the sponsor stood by, ready to answer questions, or to listen whenever needed.

Though there is no true references to the word sponsorship with in the first 164 page of the A.A. Big Book "Alcoholics Anonymous" it is mentioned in several of the personal stories that are contained later in the book.  The early history of A.A. tells us that even Bill W. had a sponsor who's name was Edwin T. Thatcher who was born 1896, and died in 1966.

Bill Wilson was constantly amazed at the growth and apparent success that Cleveland was having in sobering up alcoholics. He visited there every time that he went to Ohio. Bill later wrote in A.A. Comes of Age:

Yes, Cleveland's results were of the best. Their results were in fact so good, and A.A.'s membership elsewhere was so small, that many a Clevelander really thought A.A.'s membership had started there in the first place. The Cleveland pioneers had proved three essential things: the value of personal sponsorship; the worth of the A.A.'s Big Book in indoctrinating newcomers, and finally the tremendous fact that A.A., when the word really got around, could now soundly grow to great size.

Clarence was a dynamo. He wanted the best for himself and "his boys" in A.A. He refined the art of A.A. sponsorship to the point that Nell Wing, Bill Wilson's secretary, commented to the author that Clarence was probably the "one man responsible for sponsorship as we know it today."  For more info on this subject Go Here.

Sponsorship has since become one of the foundations of the recovery programs for of all the 12 step fellowships and one of the greatest blessings of membership.  With it we can help one another to succeed and arrest the disease called addiction one day at a time regardless of the nature.

Another list that has been widely published and passed around is the following: Great site to find a 12 step recovery sponsor online.  They link to the one below  Technically the first sponsor.

                                Excerpt From Anonymous Submission

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Looking for More Sponsorship Topics?  Click Desired Link Below:

[ History of Sponsors ] What is A Sponsor ] Sponsor's Purpose ] Who To Pick ] Finding A Sponsor ] Being Honest ] I Am Me ] Mentor/Friend ] Just Ask ] Sponsor/Therapist ]

Our main purpose is to support all 12 step programs and people in all stages of recovery. All views and opinions in The Sponsors Aide represent those of the writer's only and do not represent anything else unless otherwise identified by comment.  We hope this site helps.

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This Website was last updated on:  March 23, 2008

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    Disclaimer: This site is NOT endorsed nor sponsored by Alcoholics Anonymous or any group and is not intended to offer specific advice to persons in recovery or contemplating recovery. This site DOES, however, attempt to follow the 12 Traditions of AA. Contact your local Alcoholics Anonymous Intergroup Office for direct info on AA, for info on meetings in your area, and if you'd like to speak with someone regarding alcoholism. This site is produced in the spirit of AA's Twelfth Step - to carry the message. When reading the experience, strength and hope on this site, we remind you that AA's "public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films."