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Many of you have offered words of encouragement and support for the KINship: Kossacks in Need project, detailed in this diary and this followup diary.

The first, and most time-dependent, of these projects is called "Adopt a Kossack," and we have less than two weeks to throw it all together.

Details under the fold.

I see that there's been some attention to the diary, and I had a bit of a family emergency to attend to this afternoon - I apologize for the delay. :(  I will be reading and responding now.

Y'all have been busy since I've been out!  Wow!  I've responded to a lot of people, but want to add a few things here:

  1. No, you don't have to be a Trusted User to get help as a KIN, it's just something handy to know as we work on this project
  1. Yes, there's a cheap and easy way to help one particular Kossack, David Mauro, by voting for him in a $10,000 scholarship competition.  David has given of his time and energy to help progressive causes, so it's only fair to give a click back.
  1. I need to go make dinner for my family, and will then begin to wade through the emails in my box.  If you have asked to be invited to the Google group and do not receive an invitation by the end of the night, please send me another request.  My invites may be ending up in your spam folder.

Thank you to all who have responded and all who have pledged.  Your support is wonderful!  If you'd like to keep up to date on KINship project efforts, please keep an eye out for any KINship marked diary - they may not all be coming from me. :D

And now, on with the diary:

Adopt a Kossack is one of the easiest and most direct ways to improve the lives of your fellow Kossacks.  The hope is to identify and assist known KIN (Kossacks in Need) who are suffering due to illness or a failing economy, and who do not have the resources to provide their traditional holiday celebrations for their family.  KIN also included are those Kossacks who are solitary and do not have holidays to share, due to lack of family or distance from family.

Identifying Yourself as a KIN
If you are a KIN that would like to be considered for assistance in purchasing food for Thanksgiving for your family, who would like to be considered to attend Thanksgiving with another Kossack family nearby, and/or wants to be considered for December holiday celebrations, please contact me directly.  In the future, we'd like to set up a secure submit form to a general email box, but due to the time crunch and newness of the KINship project, we don't have that option.

Here's what I'll need from you, sent to the email in my profile with "KIN REQUEST" in the subject line:

  1. Your dKos username (and note if you are a TU)
  1. Your city and state
  1. A brief description of your situation
  1. How many people need to be provided for, and for which holidays? (Whether you are offered a seat at the table or a GC for foodstuffs, we'd need to know how many people are in your family)
  1. Special dietary needs (vegan only, Kosher only, etc.)
  1. Your first name
  1. Preferred email & phone numbers, if available

Please note: Your information will NOT be made publicly available, and your privacy is of utmost importance to the KINship project participants.  You will be identified between the project organizers by your first name and city only until you are matched with a donor.  Your dKos username will never be made available by the KINship project (even to donors), because we do not want you to feel exposed here.

Another note: We cannot guarantee that all requests will be met at this time, but we'll do our best to ensure everyone is cared for.

Identifying Yourself as a KINship Donor
When we have KIN to take care of, we (of course) also need donors to meet those needs.  Whether you have $5 or $50 to give, or if you have a few extra seats available at your holiday table, we want to hear from you!  We can use donors who are willing to provide companionship at a family table, donors willing to help us purchase gift cards, and next month we can use donors who are willing to help purchase and ship gifts for children.

Here's what I'll need from you, sent to the email in my profile with "KINship DONOR" in the subject line:

  1. Your dKos username (and note if you are a TU)
  1. Your city and state
  1. What you can offer (feel free to be creative, perhaps you have donor or fundraising ideas that we've not come up with yet!)
  1. Special dietary offerings (vegan only, Kosher only, etc.) - for those offering seats at a table, only
  1. Your first name
  1. Preferred email & phone numbers, if available

Another Important Note: We will not communicate your name and information to anyone before you permit us to do so.  We will not guarantee your participation in this project to any KIN before you confirm your participation.  Your username will not be made public at any time, unless you choose to announce your participation yourself.

Our Goals with the Adopt A Kossack Program
We want to ensure that even in these hard economic times where people may be worried about lost jobs or losing their houses, that they have a day (or two) where they don't have to worry about breaking traditions just because of financial hardship.  Additionally, we'd like to ensure that those KIN who are alone this holiday season have a way of connecting personally with others instead of spending the holiday alone.

A General Request for Help
As you can see from the other two diaries, we're still in the planning stages of this project.  We can use your help!  Send an email if you'd like to be a part of our google planning group to help brainstorm future projects, put together the KINwiki as a centralized resource for people in need to find public and private sector assistance in their state, and to get general information on how to make it through tough times.  If you can offer an occasional opinion and perhaps some research help, please join up.  Additionally, our long-term project is a microgranting system for those KIN who need immediate financial help to keep the heat on, to keep the mortgage paid, etc., while waiting for things to recover.  If you can lend a hand to this planning, we can use you here, too.

Thank you for making it this far!  I welcome your questions below, or privately, and we welcome your participation in group planning!!

Questions you have or may have will be added here
Q: Can I nominate someone as a KIN?
A: We would prefer to be contacted by the KIN themselves, unless they no longer have a way to communicate with us directly.  I will provide my phone number privately by email for anyone who has lost their internet access but is still interested in participating.  If you know a potential KIN, please refer them to this diary or provide them with my email address.

Originally posted to Black Leather Rain on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 07:47 AM PST.

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