Al-Anon, an international network of support groups for the relatives and friends of alcoholics, is celebrating its 38th anniversary this month.

The non-profit organization has spread across the globe, offering hope and practical coping skills to families of alcoholics.More than 40 Al-Anon family group meetings are held in the Salt Lake area each week, an average of nearly six a day in the valley.

Al-Anon members meet to refill their reservoirs of strength and hope in their struggle to cope with an alcoholic loved one. It is not allied with any denomination or political group. There are no dues, fees, creeds or obligation.

The group simply offers the love and faith of others who face similar problems. It gives practical skills for finding peace and hope despite the ravages of someone's alcoholism.

Al-Anon, and its companion group, Alateen, fill great needs in our community. They help families cope with the lonely and bleak burden of an alcoholic family member. Alateen reaches out to teenagers who are in pain because one of their parents is alcoholic.

The organization is to be congratulated on its international success over the past 38 years. May it reach and comfort many more stricken lives in the years to come.