Finally, finally, we had our first giveaway back at CRC in more than a year. We were all giddy with excitement. Betsy spent days arranging all the school supplies, which is always what we give away in early August to send the kidlets back to school with the essentials to succeed. And we always throw in some decorative and gift items that would make good teacher gifts.

Which is how we found our Nuts Gather Here sign. We are always slightly amused at some of the things that come our way. Who doesn’t want a sign that says “Nuts Gather Here?” We give 99.9 percent of everything that is donated to us away to our nonprofit partners. But once in awhile something has to remain at the warehouse because it just makes us smile. That was the case with the three painted pigs, the only objects from our entire warehouse to survive the flood. And the six-foot-tall lighted palm tree that found a home next to the dock door. And now the nuts sign.

Yes, we have fun. But this particular giveaway is near to our hearts because it means that kids who would have fallen through the cracks will go back to school with all the necessities to get a good start on the year – new backpacks, notebooks, pencils, glue sticks, construction paper. You know the drill. One of our nonprofit partners, Project Reflect, runs two charter schools for kids who literally would never make it through elementary school if not for the careful, strict but loving guidance of the teachers and staff. They work miracles every day. Another partner, The Family Foundation, concentrates on young male teens who can so often go astray without reliable and compassionate mentors and role models. So many good-hearted people are out there in the trenches every day giving our young folks a hand up in life.

We try to make sure they have the tools to work with. Even if we are a little nutty.

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