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Amid all the political battlegrounds drawn here lately and the sadly growing cynicism, I wanted to pay tribute to some real unsung heroes of dKos, the community fundraisers, those who take it upon themselves to be "the ones we've been waiting for" to those in need in this community.

What have these generous souls taught me about dKos? My answer can be summed up by two words, empathy personified.

They taught me dKos is an empathetic community that gives real meaning to Obama's famous, "we are the ones we've been waiting for" message.

A empathetic community that does not make one feel ashamed for struggling in these hard financial times.

An empathetic community that reaches out, hugs you and then pulls you back from going over the cliff.

An empathetic community that says do not pay us back, simply pay forward the kindness to another.

An empathetic community providing safety nets for those in needs because the government and corporate America has failed us.

From 2007 to 2011 here, I am ashamed to admit I did not fully grasp dKos was really this "community of friends" as I considered it mainly a stimulating site to hang out and debate politics. No doubt many other newbies feel the same way today.

I'm here to tell you dKos is so much more than just a political junkie fix.

So much more...

Politics brought me here in 2007 as I was inspired for the first time to donate and work for a politician. I learned the valuable lesson of pulling together our $5.01 donations to make a real difference and how sending a few pizzas to volunteers across the country can inspire. There are days I still feel we brought about real change and other days not so much. But I digress...

After his election in 2009, I began being drawn to some community fundraisers detailing financial troubles due to soaring health care costs or senior care. The phrase, "There but for the grace of God, go I" often ran in my head and heart back then as I was facing similar challenges with my parents. But, I was still juggling it all fairly decently. You know the balls were all still in the air and things were "manageable." So I was able to contribute a bit and helped provide a safety net for others. Never once thinking the unthinkable, that one day I would be drowning in debt.

Then in 2011, our family began a two year, long and difficult journey as my father's congestive heart failure took over our lives. The balls crashed and what was "manageable" became well the closest analogy I can think of is "quicksand." No matter how hard you fight being pulled under, you can't pull yourself out alone.

I wish I was a poet. I wish I was even a fairly decent writer so I could convey the depth of my gratitude to this community for embracing me, for teaching me important life lesson of empathy for others, and for saving me before that quicksand completely overtook me.

But I'm not a poet nor a writer, so I can only send a simple thank you to Ekaterin, Nurse Kelley, VetWife, Weck, Aji, Sara R, frugalgranny, llbear and so many, many other caring Kossacks who have generously rescued me from drowning in that quicksand the last year. Thank you all so very much for helping me raise the funds to get my Focus repaired so I can take my 84 year old mom to her myriad of appointments and care for her needs. Thank you to all who send messages of support and who shared their own heart-warming and often gun-wrenching stories of caring for elderly moms. Jane, your stories of caring your mom long-distance especially touched me so very deeply as you truly have walked in my shoes.

Thank you to those who rode to Tonya's rescue this week, too. My heart just bled for her predicament because I all too well understand the frustration at the lack of home care services or subsidies!

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. I learned from your amazing examples, you're never truly alone as long as you're a Kossack.

May good karma rain down upon you all...

Originally posted to scamperdo on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 06:17 AM PDT.

Also republished by Kitchen Table Kibitzing, Massachusetts Kosmopolitans, and Community Fundraisers.

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