Every month the giveaway at CRC World Headquarters begins at precisely 9:30 a.m.

And every month, the parking lot looks like this.

May 2016 Giveaway 1

You’d think it was a red tag sale at Macy’s. Or charitably, The Millennial and I are so popular that our nonprofit partners can’t wait to see us every month. You’ll notice that orderly parking is optional.

And while the physical set-up of the giveaway is less than luxurious – how about those plastic tables and cardboard boxes – what we give away is primo. Everything new and bright and shiny. Usually we count up the quantities of the items in the giveaway and divide it by the number of agencies that are coming. But this month, we found ourselves with a glut of new clothing and so the one word our agencies hardly ever see appeared on the clothing sign: unlimited.

May 2016 Giveaway 2

It kind of looked like 6 a.m. the day after Christmas at the Target 50 percent off sale. It was, shall we say, a little congested. There was much enthusiasm. So here’s where I get preachy. You must understand that the people our agencies serve are not used to nice things. And they never get new things except from CRC.

Our agencies are constantly scrounging to find anything basic for their clients. The woman in the foreground of the photo with the black sweater is Marla Zeigler, who takes care of several VFWs in the area. She was desperate for t-shirts for the veterans she serves. And it’s pretty hard to stomach the thought of those who fought for our country in tattered dirty t-shirts. She left with new ones.

Their boat is so small and the sea is so wide. There’s never enough to cure poverty. Maybe put a band-aid on it. Which is why several folks came up to me today to express guilt at taking so much. Guilt at the word “unlimited.”

Jay and I want to use that word more. As often as we can.