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It was a diary that came about, much to my complete and utter shock, because Kos asked me to share a story.  I'm re-posting it with some additional thoughts, and I'm still in shock. What this community has done in ten short days, has been nothing less than stunningly wonderful.

And it all unexpectedly started here.............

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Initial disbelief. The....... "What?! Did I just read that right?! Me!? Why?! Oh, god! Help! What the hell do I write?!"...... thoughts that race through your mind on such unexpected occasions. Then of course you try to get a grip, and humbly say, "Of course."

 It all came about in the diary Kos posted on Thursday, informing us of some great news.

First of all, it's nice to have Meteor Blades back, right? We also finally hung up our fabulous Daily Kos Community Quilt in the office. Here's a virtual tour of that quilt from the artist herself, Sara. (And on a pleasant aside, how about this for a concentrated dose of amazing?)

And I've got more good news. I have the distinct pleasure of announcing our newest Featured Writer -- Clarknt67, aka in the real world as Scott Wooledge.

Good news indeed. But Kos also wanted to give us a "warning."

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No, not that. Our IT Team has been working miracles.

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Or that either.

It seems we're all in for some Kos style "obnoxious" nagging on behalf of a good cause.

Through the end of the year, we're going to be making a strong subscription drive. We need to continue staffing up to speed up development times and do the kind of cool things we want to do, like adding new verticals, bringing aboard more cartoonists, and directly supporting community projects like the Kos Katalog.

Subscriptions are cool -- they allow you to view an ad-free version of the site, which isn't just more attractive, but also downloads much quicker. It's a lifesaver if you're on dial-up.

Dial-up, old computers, both can be a nightmare from hell, when it comes to trying to be on the site. The added weight of the advertisements slow the site down to a crawl, if not kick users off the site all together. It makes responding to comments time consuming at best. Far too often, by the time the response is posted, the conversation has moved on. That's especially frustrating, if like me, you prefer doing research to buttress a point. If your old computer decides it has had enough, the next thing you know, the comment or diary you were working on has been replaced by an error message. It's frustrating, isolating, and anxiety making.

Unfortunately, not all of us can afford to pay for a subscription. Our own smileycreek recognized that problem, and offered up a solution.  Which led me to a personal story that Kos asked me to share with you.

A year ago, someone bought me a life time subscription. It was an amazing gift. Like so many others, we had been struggling to keep food on the table, and pay the bills. Extra monies for a subscription, while we were helping keep grand babies and adult children going, was just not in the cards. And that was a problem.

Ever heard of an E-Machine? Yep. I was using a 2000 E-Machine with an operating system that was having increasing problems. It did not like the advertisements. It didn't like much actually, and was prone to throwing me off the site without warning. Imagine, if you will, being in the midst of a political or policy debate, researching like mad to buttress your points, and suddenly losing it all. Or if not, finally posting only to discover that everyone you were conversing with had moved on. That poor, tired, almost eleven year old machine, took forever to load a page. And dk4 shut it down completely.  

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Yep, I was very familiar with teh "blue screen of death." It was obvious that I could not do the work I wanted to do. And it became terrifyingly clear that once dk4 went up, I would lose this community. Can you imagine? Not being able to do the work, contribute, learn, help, to be with people who had become crucial friends in all aspects of life, on-line and off?

Then two amazing things happened. A computer showed up on my birthday AND the ads disappeared. I was suddenly a lifetime subscriber. Both came from anonymous angels on this site. Without them, I would NOT be here. It's that simple.  

There are not words enough to express how deeply grateful I am. Our entire family was so touched by such wonderful acts of kindness. I wish you could have seen their eyes, their smiles, when the computer arrived. Or when the t-shirt signed by everyone from NN11 was unwrapped. I was a sobbing, happy, mess for days.

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I would not have been able to help with NFTT without the amazing thoughtfulness of those here at dkos. They made it possible.  

All of which leads to something important. I've been pondering the meaning of this season, the importance of gifts, the vital necessity of being able to give.

May Sarton said, There is only one real deprivation... and that is not to be able to give one's gifts to those one loves most.

I tend to take it a step further. There is nothing more frustrating than being unable to give. Period. We all struggle with that one, don't we? Since I don't have money for much, I try to give time, support, and caring as best I can. This season it's all I have. Otherwise, I'd be getting a life time subscription for a few people. But, what I can do is ask for your help.

There are those on this site, who struggle with dial up every day to be here. There are those on this site, who struggle with old computers and operating systems to be here.
Where would we be without them? Who would we be? It takes all of us to make this community work.

This season of lights, we can make a difference. We can ensure that we don't lose a fellow kossack's contribution. With your help, they can share their "gifts" with us, and so many others. We can buy someone a life time subscription.

You can check out the profiles of those you engage with here. See who's missing that gold subscriber icon beneath their profile picture. I'm betting you'll find kossacks who have been doing without the subscriptions.

Yesterday I found out that someone had anonymously bought anotherdemocrat a life time subscription. She's an amazing activist. One of those quiet, unsung heroes, who persistently, day after day, works to raise funds to help those with Aids. It's always about them, never about her. You'd of thought that surely, she'd have had a life time subscription. Nope. She was too busy helping others, to do herself that kindness.

But you can help people just like her. Perhaps some of them will let us know who they are in comments to this diary.

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Yes we do. We need each other to thrive, to be all that we each can be.  Buying someone a subscription is saying just that. We need you to be here. We need you to be all that you can be.  

That was the story, a story posted on a Saturday. Kos had asked me to post it the next week, but I couldn't stop thinking about our fellow kossacks struggling with dial up, with cranky old computers. Struggling with hurt hearts, financial, and health issues.  I freely admit I was worried they'd get lost in the subscription drive.

So, up the diary went. Saturdays are usually pretty quiet here. Didn't think much would happen, if anything. But that was all right. It was a start, a trial run, and I'd repost it next week, as Kos had asked.

Went to get some Tea, and came back to find something amazing happening. People were  there, wanting to help.  More and more kept coming, and you've never stopped. For the last ten days since that Saturday, you've worked miracles. You've saved lives. You've given others a reason to go on. And I mean that literally. I've been honored with some of our fellow kossacks' stories. The joy, hope, and faith that you've given them far out weighs the gift it was wrapped in.

You let them know that they mattered. You let them know that we need them to be here, sharing the gifts that only they can bring.

You've even left Kos without words. :)

As I write this, we're at 1,309 subscriptions, the vast majority of them lifetimes. That's amazing enough.

Of those, 328 are gift lifetime subscriptions, no doubt fueled by the tireless efforts of Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN. That means that the community has collectively spent $32,800 buying subscriptions for someone else! I've got to be honest with you, I'm having a hard time processing that.

Since Kos and Erich posted their diaries yesterday, 40 more kossacks have been given subscriptions

                               Gifted Lifetime Subscribers

    2thanks ▪ a gilas girl ▪ aaraujo ▪ Abe Frohman ▪ Abra Crabcakeya ▪ Actbriniel ▪ Agathena ▪ Ahiannie ▪ Aji ▪ Alexandra Lynch ▪ Alfonso Nevarez ▪ allergywoman ▪

    Amor Y Risa ▪ Anton Bursch ▪ AoT ▪ arizonablue ▪ asterkitty • Auntie Neo Kwan ▪ Avenging Angel ▪ beach babe in fl ▪ begone ▪ BentLiberal ▪ betson08 ▪ bevomav ▪ Bionic ▪

    blue jersey mom ▪ bkamr ▪ blueoregon ▪ boatsie ▪ BOHICA • Bob Johnson ▪ Bob Love ▪

    Bob Sloan ▪ Brit ▪ Brooke in Seattle ▪ Brubs ▪ BruinKid ▪ buddabelly ▪ bumblebums ▪ Burned ▪

    cacamp ▪ CalNM • carolanne ▪ Carolita ▪ catilinus ▪ CayceP ▪ cfk ▪ Chacounne ▪

    Charles CurtisStanley ▪ Charlotte Lucas ▪ chaunceydevega ▪ ChemBob ▪ chicago minx ▪ Christian Dem in NC ▪ CityLightsLover ▪ Colorado is the Shiznit ▪ commonmass ▪ cosmic debris ▪ CuriousBoston ▪ D Wreck ▪ dakinishir ▪ DaNang65 ▪ Dave in Northridge • Davidsfr ▪ DavidW ▪ DawnN ▪ dclawyer06 ▪ Debbie in ME ▪ Debby ▪ Deep Harm ▪ Democrats Ramshield ▪ denig ▪ desertguy ▪ Digby • Diogenes2008 ▪ dirkster42 ▪ dopper0189 ▪

    Dreaming of Better Days ▪ Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN ▪ DrLori ▪ DruidQueen ▪ earicicle ▪ Ebby ▪ Eddie C ▪ Ed in Montana ▪ edrie • eej ▪ Eileen B ▪ Ellid ▪ Ellinorianne ▪ emeraldmaiden ▪

    ericlewis0 ▪ edwardss1 • escapee ▪ farmerchuck ▪ FarWestGirl ▪ FindingMyVoice ▪ FishOutofWater ▪ flumptytail ▪ FogCityJohn • Frederick Clarkson ▪ FrugalGranny ▪ gchaucer2 ▪ Geenius at Wrok ▪ GenXangster ▪ ginmar ▪ gizmo59• glendaw271 ▪ glorificus ▪ Gooserock ▪ Got a Grip ▪ GreyHawk ▪ grog ▪ Groucho Marxist ▪ GrumpyOldGeek ▪ gulfgal98 ▪ Haole in Hawaii ▪ HCKAD ▪

    high uintas ▪ holerock ▪ homogenius ▪ Hoosier Deb ▪ Horace Boothroyd III ▪

    horsefeathers ▪ icebergslim ▪ ilyana ▪ inclusiveheart ▪ indiemcemopants ▪

    jayden ▪ JekyllnHyde ▪ jennifer poole ▪ JesseCW • jessical ▪ jlms qkw ▪ jimstaro • JML9999 ▪ Joes Steven ▪ JoanMar ▪ Joieau ▪ jwinIL14 ▪ KAMuston ▪ Karl Rover ▪ kayakbiker • kefauver ᛫ Keith930 ▪ KelleyRN2 ▪ KenBee ▪ KibbutzAmiad ▪ Kid Oakland ▪ Killer of Sacred Cows ▪

    kimoconnor ▪ kirbybruno ▪  Kitty • kjoftherock ▪ kovie ▪ KVoimakas ▪ kyril ▪ labwitchy ▪

    Lady Libertine ▪ Ladywithafan ▪ LaEscapee ▪ Lamont Cranston ▪ Leftcandid ▪

    Lefty Coaster ▪ Leftynyc ▪ Liberal Granny ▪ Lightbulb ▪ Limelite ▪ llbear ▪ loggersbrat ▪

    Lorinda Pike ▪ Louisiana 1976 ▪ luckylizard ▪ mahakali overdrive ▪ mallyroyal ▪ Matt Z ▪ mayrose ▪ mcmom ▪ mdmslle ▪ Melissa J ▪ Merry Light ▪ michelewln ▪ MinistryOfTruth ▪ Miss Blue ▪ Missys Brother ▪ MKSinSA ▪ Mnemosyme ▪ mommyof3 ▪ Moody Loner ▪ Mortifyd ▪ Mother Mags ▪ mrsgoo ▪ MsGrin ▪ MsSpentyouth ▪

    Nanette K ▪ navajo ▪ Nchristine ▪ Neon Vincent ▪ noddy ▪ nonnie9999 ▪ NonnyO ▪

    Noor B ▪ NormAl1792 ▪ notdarkyet ▪ noweasels ▪ Nova Land ▪ Nulwee ▪ nyceve ▪ observerinvancouver ▪ occams hatchet ▪ Otteray Scribe ▪ Ozark Homesteader ▪ Pakalolo ▪ parryander ▪ Patric Juillet ▪ peagreen ▪ people power granny ▪ peraspera ▪ peregrine kate ▪ pico ▪ pittie70 ▪ poligirl ▪ priceman ▪ progdog ▪ psfinla •psychodrew ▪ quarkstomper ▪ racheltracks ▪ radical simplicity • raina ▪ ramara ▪ Ray Radlein ▪ remembrance ▪

    Regina in a Sears Kit House ▪  revsue ▪ rexymeteorite ▪ Rich in PA ▪ Richard Cranium ▪

    Rick B • RLMiller ▪ roseeriter ▪ rserven ▪ rsmpdx ▪ rubyr ▪ ruleoflaw ▪

    Safina ▪ Sara R ▪ ScottyUrb ▪ scribe ▪ sdf ▪ Seneca Doane ▪ SensibleShoes ▪ shesaid ▪ Siri ▪ SisTwo • slinkerwink ▪ slksfca ▪ snoopydawg ▪ Something the Dog Said ▪ Spirit of Life ▪ sricki ▪ srkp23 ▪ state of confusion • Statusquomustgo ▪ StateofEuphoria ▪ Steven D ▪ Susan G in MN ▪ swampyankee ▪ SwedishJewfish ▪ Syoho ▪ teacherken ▪ teej ▪ TexH ▪ TexMex ▪ TheFatLadySings ▪ theRoaringGirl ▪ the mom in the middle ▪ The Troubadour ▪ timewarp ▪ TomorrowsProgressives ▪ Tonyahky ▪ Tool ▪ Translator ▪ triciawyse ▪ triv33 ▪ twigg ▪ TX Scotia ▪ ulookarmless ▪ UnaSpenser ▪

    Unitary Moonbat ▪ unspeakable ▪ ursoklevar ▪ vcmvo2 ▪ VeloVixen ▪ Vetwife ▪ victoria2dc ▪ voracious ▪ watercarrier4diogenes ▪ water willow ▪ wayoutinthestix ▪ weatherdude ▪ webranding ▪ welso ▪ whatGodmade ▪ wide eyed lib ▪ winglion ▪ Winter Rabbit ▪ woodtick ▪ Wu Ming ▪  Youffraita ▪ zaka1 ▪ ZenTrainer ▪ Zoskie ▪ Zwoof ▪

I'm so profoundly grateful for all of you. More than I have words to express. As smileycreek so beautiful said in her diary last night, Thank you for helping me find my tribe.

Thanks to jayden's tireless efforts on keeping both lists updated, here are the names of those on the wish list. They have been recommended by others, or asked to be placed on the list.

                                 Wish List

4mygirls
9thkvius
Alma
akmk
Armando
barkingcat
boran2
CanyonWren
Clio2
CodeTalker
CoolOnion
Debs2
doct
DRo
DSC on the Plateau
ekyprogressive
Els
ferment
figbash
fly
gramofsam1
HoundDog Tech issue : go to gift another person then change the name in the giftee box
hyperstation
ipsos
James Allen
joe pittsburgh
JTinDC Tech issue : go to gift another person then change the name in the giftee box
KnotIookin
Knucklehead
ksp
ladypockt
LeftofArizona
Lensy
MA Liberal
M E C
ma2004
mjbleo
makettle
mapamp
marigold
Mark Fiore
maybeeso in michigan
Max Udargo
megisi
melo
mikidee
ms badger
ms scarlett leadpipe
onceasgt
paulitics
petulans
Pithy Cherub
pvlb
Radical def
rebel ga
Rogneid
Shaviv
Sixty Something
slampros
Sprinkles
tdub901
The Book Bear
wasatch
Xavier Onassis EMTP
yella dawg
yg17

I'm reposting Clem Yeobright's comment in smilycreek's diary last night, to help aid your gift giving decision making. :)

If you are looking for someone to give a gift to Let me call your attention to a subset of 'the list', fellow kossacks who have been listed since the first day but - by 'luck of the draw', it seems - have not yet been selected:

asterkitty
Dave in Northridge
Debs2
DSC on the Plateau
ekyprogressive
gramofsam1
James Allen
kefauver
Killer of Sacred Cows
Kitty
LeftofArizona
M E C
makettle
ms badger
petulans
state of confusion
yella dawg

The only criterion for making a gift is, ultimately, the whim of the donor, of course,  but please allow me to recommend that you give these folks a little extra special consideration.

Thanks!

Without Erich, Kelley, jayden, nomadates, smilycreek, Clem and ALL of you, none of this would be possible.  All blessings to you and yours, always.

The floor is yours. Now, lets get this party going. :)

Update: If you don't want to ask for help getting a subscription publicly, please send me a private message and I'll be happy to help.

Update from Nurse Kelley:

"The small donors have collectively contributed $1,580, making fifteen Kossacks lifetime subscribers - many of them folks whose circumstances are physically, financially, and/or logistically awful. There are still names on the list if anyone wants to toss a few dollars in the pot. I will be out of pocket on the 22nd, but I will continue to accept donations and buy subscriptions through the end of the year. Thanks, everyone!"

Anyone wanting to contribute to the Small Donor Drive, please go to http://www.paypal.com select the send money option on the left, and type in  KelleyRN2@gmail.com as the destination.

Update: I will not be here tomorrow. The 4 year old grand boy and I are spending the day together. I'm won't be around much on Thursday or Friday as well. One day is my birthday, and the other is being spent with the 3 year old grand boy. Anyone who wishes to write a list diary send me a PM, and let me know. Thanks!

Originally posted to Onomastic on Tue Dec 20, 2011 at 10:53 AM PST.

Also republished by Barriers and Bridges and J Town.

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