RAOK is 60, and it's time for some introspection
When Virgoddess decided, almost two years ago now, that she was having a bad day and was going to cheer herself up by being nice to someone and gifting them a book as a surprise, she never dreamed that she had created a monster. But here we are... 60 `rooms' later, with our own customs and traditions; a group of people that have established inside jokes and firm friendships, and we can anticipate more to come, I'm sure.
But, on the down side - inevitibly - we've lost friends. Some have moved on by choice. Others have been dragged away kicking and screaming by Real Life; a very harsh taskmaster. One has even passed away. Yet others have simply faded into the background and seldom visit any more. This thread is dedicated to all those people - friends that we still remember, though we haven't seen them in a long time. So, let's take a moment to think of these people and wish them well, wherever they are. First, there's Deanna, who passed away last fall. Joyce has moved on to her own chat group, and taken Avi with her. AnnieB has left the forums. Virgoddess, VIKA, SoulSong, and LivingOurLoveSong have been called away permanently due to the pressures of life and family. And we mustn't forget Bryden and his wardrobe. And with Bryden, we can't forget his partners in crime, Becks and Cher. HIA and Lara almost never stop in. Remember Loves2Read (Karen)? And Jamel - who could forget her and Archie? SmartMosey (Dar) still participates on FB. Krista. Ashe. Amberle. And our most recent loss - Stoneheart and her big boy Bane. (I'm stopping here, but if anyone has a name they want added, just let me know.)
On the bright side - there always has to be a bright side - we have gained so many new frineds recently. It's a pleasure to have met a frisky Golden Retriever Lover; and erudite and funny MoniCa. And MoniKat and her crazy kittens. Juligee doesn't stop in too often, but she's always welcomed when she does. The doors are always open for new friends. (Again, let me know if there are any names you want added here.)
Now, down to business... the usual warnings, tips and tricks:
What does RAoK mean? I'm glad you asked! It stands for "Random Acts of Kindness". We try to keep Kindness (with a capital K) as our motto. We welcome all newcomers and you will find that we discuss anything and (nearly) everything. This is a supportive group and we welcome chat but insist that it remain civil and as polite as possible.
To participate, you don't have to do a thing (except make sure your wish list is public!) You are under no obligation to buy anyone anything. If you receive a book, it's nice to say thank you here and include a link to the book (it's our best source of reading ideas!) This isn't about repaying, or anything like that. It's about giving - a shoulder, a book, a smile.
To send a book, simply click on the username here in the forum of the person you want to gift to. Scroll down, and you will hopefully see their wish list. Click on "see all x items" to pull up their entire list (do NOT click a book jacket from their profile page). You will see a yellow button, under the title saying "give as a gift" and click that. It will take you to the message screen, where you can change the "from" name, and add a note. Their email address will be "hidden" for privacy, but it will be sent to them.
To make your wish list public, pull up the list and there is a quick link on the upper right of every page, titled "Wish List" directly under the "Your Account" link. Click that. It will take you to your wish list. Directly under the title of your wish list, you will see a drop down menu, titled "Manage this list". Click that, and in the drop down, click "Change Privacy Settings" and make sure it says "Make list public".
SAFETY TIPS and INFORMATION: Follow the above instructions to get to your wish list. Again, click the "Manage this list" drop down menu. This time, select "Edit Settings" and this will bring you to a screen that shows your privacy settings. The name you see on the Name line is the name that is shown to people you GIFT books to. Simply change it to the name you're comfortable with and save. This will prevent your full name from being displayed on your gifts.
To make your wish list visible from your profile, you have to go into your profile and edit it. You need to change the middle section (wish list and registries) to show everyone. If you have that set to private but your wish list public, others can find your wish list through the search, but not your profile. If you change that wish list setting on your profile to everyone, you'll be good to go. That just makes the list visible from the profile, it doesn't change any other privacy settings you have.
To change your Account Name, you have to go to Your Account in the upper right corner then Change Account Settings and edit your name. This won't affect anything that I can see except what it shows at the top of the page when it says "Hi Cyndie" instead of "Hi Cyndie MyLastName". And all people will see on their Digital Orders that send me any gifts is Cyndie, not Cyndie MyLastName." (this last one is important, since it doesn't change anything in YOUR view, lots of people end up having their real names showing on their WL instead of their screen names. Also, you need to make that change separately for EACH public wish list.) It sounds complicated, but it really isn't, and it's well worth a few minutes' work.
Finally, always remember RAOK's don't have to be books. They can be anything you do here or off the forum in your actual lives to do something nice for someone. No one is "keeping score" either. If someone does something nice for you, just find a way to pass it on.
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