Friday, July 06, 2007

The mother of all RAK's....

RAK: Random Act of Kindness. A term commonly used in the online scrapbooking community. Got something you don't want or need? Send to to someone else who might need it, randomly. Or not so randomly, sometimes (many online scrapbooking groups have lists for RAK's...kind of takes the fun out of it sometimes)

RAK's consist of anything from a strip of stickers to stamps, cardstock...heck, sometimes, RAK's don't have a thing to do with scrapbooking, but just what you love - like CHOCOLATE!!! Whenever I send an RAK, I really enjoy putting it together, working on what the person might like and hoping they enjoy it. I always enjoy receiving RAK's too.

I got an RAK this week. Mind-blowing.

Some background: Many years ago, I "met" a woman online by the name of Kim M. She had just started a yahoo "club" (back when they had both groups AND clubs) for military wives scrapbooking. I had thought about starting the very same thing, but she beat me by about an hour! I was the 1st person to join her group, and she made me a moderator. We worked well together, transitioning into a "group". I became a moderator for another group she owned, Army Spouses. We had a lot in common. She was in Bamberg, Germany...but she left just before I was ready to go. We have NEVER met face to face, though.

Kim is an awesome military wife - she provides a lot of information that new spouses really can use...she's well informed. She's a great mom, a great scrapbooker...just a wonderfully great person. When I was preparing to move to Germany, she made the awesome decision to open an online scrapbooking store. She asked me to be a designer for her. I was one of the first she considered. I was honored, and I said yes. But I had no idea what to expect. I was in the process of moving and was worried that I wouldn't be able to do what was needed. Kim was great, giving me the leeway that I needed (my supplies were still in transit) and working with me. She was familiar with my work and gave me product she knew I would use. I designed for her website for just about 2 years. I believe I am one of only 2 who stayed throughout the entire time she had her store open.

In January, she made the decision to close her store. Her husband was deployed, and she wanted to be able to be there for her boys. She not only gave up her online store, but she also gave up a job at home, too. I was sad to see the store go. But we all agreed that she needed to do what was best for her family.

Last week, she emailed me, telling me she was going to send me a package...a few leftovers from the store that didn't sell. I expected a small box, a few sheet of papers, some embellishments. What I received was NOT expected.

This box weighed about 40 lbs...seriously! Packed to the top, bulging, LITERALLY, at the seams.

There was so much stuff in there!

Basic Grey (one of my favorite lines) boxes, paper, letters, monograms, tags....there were idea books, embellishments, fibers, stickers, paper, paper...just TOO much to single out! There were layovers, vellum and a color wheel....just incredible. Kim told me I can pass along whatever I can't use...though it's going to be hard NOT to keep it all. Luckily, there are duplicates of a lot of stuff...SO, that being said:

Tell me about one special person you have met online, but never face to face...and how this person has changed your life. If you're a scrapbooker, let me know. I will send a package of stuff from my RAK out to one person, selected randomly, from all those who comment.

Kim - there is no way I can ever thank you enough for all of this.


craziequeen said...

What a tremendous RAK :-)

What a wonderful community of people :-)

Michele sent me to learn about the scrapbooking community and these random acts of kindness.


mar said...

That's fantastic! I don't scrapbook although I wish I did. I might...someday. Michele sent me your way, blogging is great, but the scrapbooking community seems to be very, very special!!! Happy weekend!

SB said...

WOW. The mailman must have STRAINED with that box. You were so blessed.
My "online" friend experience is YOU, Linda...I know when we finaly meet up, it'll be like I've known forever. You're like the sister I never had.


Cooks on the Coast said...

That's amazing and wonderful! I used to scrapbook and mean to again. I'm just so far behind and life keeps getting in the way! Don't you just love it when someone does something so nice just because?

Terri said...

I love random acts of kindness. I think they're so special.
And yours was really something! That really was super nice of her.
I feel that every single person I've met just online has affected me in one way or another. Either their stories, their culture, their humor. They're all very special people.
Michele said to say hi.......

MorahMommy said...

I loved your story. I love the idea of a random act of kindness. I've always wanted to pay for the coffee for the person behind me at the drive up. I'm inspired. It just makes you feel good when someone does something nice.

Michele sent me your way, today!

rennratt said...

When my mom passed away, one of my on line friends emailed me and offered to come to the funeral.

Just so I'd "have a familiar face" with me.

For the record, this on line friend and I have never met face to face, and she lives four hours SOUTH of my family!

Paul said...

Hi, here from Michele's. This is a coincidence because I always go to a random site and say Hi. And just when you are talking about random acts.

We used to live in Manhattan. On Himes Street near the old stadium.

No I live near The Big City, Kansas.

Have a great weekend.

Paul said...

I mean, now I live...

Paul said...

Well, after scrolling and scanning the rest of the page, I see you have a very happy blog and it looks like you have a very happy family.

Nice going. So I looks like I randomly landed well tonight.

Butterfly Wife said...

Well, I don't scrapbook, but all I gotta say is WOW! That's AMAZING! Have a great time with it all.

saintseester said...

That is one nice act. Of course, now you have plenty to pass it on!

Sue said...

When you told me she sent you lots of stuff, I never imagined all this LOL -- Since I never see you anymore -- you could be my online buddy :) -- My favorite online buddy these days is Laura -- she is D's twin in so many ways, she gives me insight into the "brain" of the OCD compulsive person :)

Michele said...

Hello Linda,

It does not surprise me at all that you are someone who believes in and encourages random acts of kindness. People who are giving in spirit are also giving in action. Someone like you!

I do not scrapbook although I if I did I would love sending off pretty supplies.

The fact that I can not tell you about just one special person that I know from online proves that I am truly blessed - there are more than a few people who have changed my life. One very recently!

Thank you for this lovely post. What a delight it was. What a delight you are!

Sheri said...

Wow Linda what a blessing!

I have many online friends, none of which I have met in person....yet. All have blessed me one way or another. I could recall countless stories of how they have changed my life....

I met a gal years ago who did a card blessing for my birthday...all because my DH was out of town for my birthday. I received 30 some hand crafted cards that year. And all from people I did not know.

A few years ago I was going through another transition into a new town. I had not met anyone, was very lonely for conversation and friendship. I joined an online group of women. One gal was very encouraging to me. She sent me cards, care packages and emails full of encouragement. It made a huge difference in my life at a time when I really needed a friend. My online friends are the best! Often sanity breaks from stressful moments in life. :) True blessings!

Charley Madden said...

WOW....what a wonderful surprise!!!But you know what? You totally deserve it!! You are such a kind, wonderful, and inspirational person!!!Have fun using all those goodies!!!

chrysalis said...

I have a great and caring and fabulously insightful online friend who edits my fiction. She's the greatest, always encouraging and has the rare gift of being critical (in a good way)in a way that doesn't make me defensive.

Hi from Michele's

Bev Sykes said...

Boy, you hit the jackpot with that RAK package! What a terrific woman she must be.

Thanks for persisting and finding a way to comment on my site. I don't know why the comment section didn't show up for you--I received several comments on the page (it's at the very bottom of the entry).

But thanks for visiting. I was a scrapbooker until I took up making videos and slide shows, so I enjoyed reading your experiences.

Amy said...

What a wonderful gift! I am sure you must have been overwhelmed by her generosity!

When we found out we were going to have a baby girl, I was nervous about how we were going to be able to financially swing another wardrobe. A neighbor of my grandmother's contacted her and asked if she thought I might like a few things for my daughter (she had two girls). My grandmother brought over her few things and it was the most incredible amount of beautiful clothing I had ever seen. Tons and tons of beautiful outfits and dresses. I called her and made a blubbering idiot out of myself crying and thanking her for what she had done. She didn't even know me and shared it with me. She just asked that I pass it on to someone who could use everything. It was a touching moment for me!

Bernie said...

WOW, what a wonderful package, you are very lucky indeed...

My mother is into card making, and madly collects all sorts of paper..

Here from Michele's before going off to bed... It is after midnight here in Sydney!!

leslie said...

What a wonderful gift! And how wonderful of you to spread the love around.
Someone who's changed my life? I think I will say Emily Falconbridge. I started participating in her weekly card challenges and it introduced me to SO many talented, and wonderful people. It's opened me up to more wonderful blogs and her challenges really helped me to create wonderful little pieces of art!

Thanks for stopping by today

Anonymous said...

hey there,

Scrapbooks kind of scare me but this was actaully kind of interesting.

here from michele's

Cheers fom Atlanta

MissMeliss said...

Hi, thanks for visiting me (via Michele). What a great surprise you received. How very cool.

I was in Kansas (twice) a couple weeks ago - just passing through, really, en route to South Dakota - I keep wanting to explore more - for a landlocked state it's lovely, especially after driving through Oklahoma.

I was poking through your military spouse links...I'm not one, but I do a lot of work with Soldiers' Angels - do you know the group?

Christy said...

Good grief what a box!!! I've met her, but well I met my best friend online..Tami I know I told you about her. Actually I met my other best friend online too, Emily. I know I've told you about both of them. My life simply would not be complete without these two women. I'm far too blessed because of them and it's all because of God and how when I was at my most desperate he brought me Tami (both Jordyn and her daughter Sydney had just died) and Emily and I met both pregnant..her with her first and me with Jack. We both were pg this time together...but Miller Grace is resting in Jesus' arms now, while I prepare for the blessing of our little girl in 3 weeks. I just ache that I know share such a bond with my 2 best girlfriends.

Hope you guys are staying cool. It's supposed to hit the 90's again here in Germany come Saturay. It's been so cool here for the past couple of months it's not felt like summer. Not complaining though, being this pregnant it's been a blessing let me tell you! Thank goodness we bought an A/C though!