Powerful Love in a Simple Purple Coat

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. 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 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.


The love continues. The coat found a home with a pregnant woman originally from Zanzibar. Her husband, pictured above with the coat, received political asylum in the United States and was able to bring his family over to start a new life together. 

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