Al-A-Gram? What’s That?

by Apr 11, 2019

Welcome to the new Al-A-Gram!

You’re probably asking yourself, “What was the old Al-A-Gram? And how did I get on another email list?”

To answer the last question first — you subscribed to it at some point over the last four years. The Pennsylvania Al-Anon/Alateen website has been collecting email addresses from members since August of 2015, but only if you requested to be added to the mailing list. If you no longer wish to subscribe, no worries. There is an unsubscribe link at the bottom of every email we send.

“Okay,” you’re saying, “I sort of remember that. But wasn’t Al-A-Gram a newsletter? I can’t ever remember getting one sent to me by email.”

Yes, Al-A-Gram was and is the Pennsylvania Al-Anon/Alateen Newsletter. It had been published for decades — four times a year — in various forms and sizes, with content ranging from announcements and district reports to stories and Assembly and financial reports. That was the old Al-A-Gram.

Frankly, I had no idea how long the old Al-A-Gram had been around, so I visited our Archivist, Peter M., and he shared two large binders with me, filled with back issues of the Al-A-Gram and its predecessor, The Trust. The oldest copy of the Al-A-Gram he had was from September 1979 — a four-page, typewritten newsletter held together with cellophane tape. The last issue was published in the Spring of 2016.

It’s been three years since the last issue of Al-A-Gram rolled off “the presses” and by that point, it was pushed out via email to about 200 subscribers. Since then, we’ve collected over 1,000 more email addresses.

In those three years, we’ve witnessed a lot of technical changes with the Pennsylvania Al-Anon/Alateen website. We’ve converted our website to use modern, state-of-the-art software. We now use a sleek, new, online registration system which is built on top of this software. And we’ve linked in an email distribution system to deliver news and stories via email to subscribers. That’s how you received this email.

For those of you familiar with the World Service Office’s “In the Loop,” Al-A-Gram has become Pennsylvania’s version of that. A subscription to “In the Loop” provides you with regular news updates from the WSO regarding items of national and global interest, while an Al-A-Gram subscription will provide you news and stories from around Pennsylvania and of more local interest.

With our new technology, we can deliver news and stories in a more timely fashion. We’re no longer constrained to delivering news four times a year because of prohibitive printing and postage costs, not to mention the work involved in folding, addressing, and sorting all those copies. When news happens or we receive a story, we can send it out quickly. We can also send news out in smaller chunks with maybe only two or three articles — we’re no longer struggling to fill an eight-page newsletter with content.

So you will no longer see a formal issue of the Al-A-Gram newsletter. Instead, you’ll receive emails as the news and stories roll in.

If Al-A-Gram was forwarded to you, or you stumbled across it on the web and would like to subscribe, just go to our home page, scroll to the bottom, and fill out the form.

We’d love to hear your feedback. Feel free to share your opinions with us at [email protected]. While we won’t respond to all your emails, we do promise to read each one.