I sighed when I was asked if I would take a gently used coat for a coat drive I was running as part of my volunteer work for First Friends of NJ & NY.

Purple Coat Article

I had hit upon a highly successful and low effort formula of driving people to an Amazon Wish List to collect items for recent asylum seekers, many who “lose” all their belongings to a combination of human coyotes and our US immigration system.

However, I decided to make an exception. My friend is a practical woman with exceptional taste. I often covet her gauzy shirts from faraway lands sitting behind her in the church pews. Her husband brought me the coat after the church service, a utilitarian Eddie Bower coat in a distinctive purple color.

He took one last longing look at the coat and said to me in a soft smiling voice, “Here you go, but I am sad to see the coat go, I love the way she looks in this coat.” The tenderness in his words permeated my soul like a contagion. My busy-busy beaver mode evaporated. So much love packed into one appreciative gaze.

What a wonderful feeling to take into Valentine’s Day. Interested in creating a fundraiser for First Friends? Email Gisselle Holloway at gholloway@firstfriendsnjny.org.