Sponsorship is one person helping another by sharing their experience, strength, and hope.

Sponsorship is never having to be alone again.


What is a sponsor?


A sponsor is...

  • Someone who takes a special interest in you.

  • Is a good friend, a wise teacher, a private tutor, and an experienced guide, an older sister or brother.

  • Someone who has been where we want to go.

  • Is a safe person we can learn to trust.


What does a sponsor do?

  • Helps the sponsee work the twelve steps.

  • Shares his/her own experiences, strengths and hopes by being the living example.

  • Provides guidance, encouragement and motivation.

  • Explains the program, basic terminology, introduces the sponsee to new members.

  • Gets us to our next meeting and monitors our recovery.

  • Helps us stay on the right path.


What a sponsor should not do...

  • Should not try to control the sponsee’s life.

  • Should not bail out the sponsee.

  • Should not play psychiatrist or therapist.


How do I choose a sponsor?

  • First choose a temporary sponsor until you have time to go to meetings and meet people.

  • Select someone who has something in common with you.

  • Select someone who has quality recovery time.

  • Select someone who has time to listen.


What should I look for in a permanent sponsor?

  • Look for someone who walks the walk and talks the talk.

  • Look for someone who has a sponsor.

  • Look for someone who is working the steps.

  • Look for someone who is positive and living in the solution instead of the problem.

  • Look for someone who is available for phone calls and meetings.


What do you do if you are turned down?


There are many reasons why someone turns you down as a sponsee.

  • They may be sponsoring as many sponsees as they can handle.

  • They may need time to work on their own recovery.

  • They may be involved in other projects and feel that do not have enough time to devote to you.

Whatever the reason, don’t feel rejected or give up. Ask someone else.


What do I do if I want to change sponsors?

  • For whatever the reason, may it be personality conflict, outgrowing your sponsor, your sponsor doesn’t have enough time to meet with you, it is your responsibility to get together with your sponsor and inform them of the reasons you have decided to change.

  • This can be a growing experience for both of you.


What if I can’t reach my sponsor when I need them?

  • Carry a telephone list around with you.

  • Telephone someone else in the program. Most people will be only to glad to help.

  • Talk to your sponsor as soon as you are able but remember that sponsors have a life too.


Are we compatible?

  • Set up an interview with the person that you may be sponsoring.

  • Go out for coffee or a bite to eat. This gives you a chance to get to know a little about each other.

  • Ask the sponsee what they expect from a sponsor and let the sponsee know what you expect from them.

  • Set the ground rules, such as telephone calls, meetings, and assignments and see if the sponsee is willing to work with you.

  • You should feel comfortable talking and working together.


What are some expectations of a sponsor?

  • Confidentiality

  • Honesty

  • Working the Steps

  • Attending meetings

  • Sponsor availability

  • When and where to call

  • Spirituality


How much time do I need before I can start to sponsor members?

  • Time is needed to work on your own recovery before you can help others with their program.

  • There are no rules but only recommendations.

  • Wait at least three months before being a temporary sponsor.

  • Wait at least six months before being a permanent sponsor.

Again, these are only recommendations and not rules.


What do I do if my sponsee becomes suicidal?

  • Suggest that they seek professional help. It is not in our power that we keep someone alive.

  • If your sponsee is dual addicted it is best that they get a sponsor in each of their programs.

  • Don’t try to help out in areas that you know little about.


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