Meet the man who motivated Tia to collect coats

Meet the man who motivated Tia to collect coats

Collecting warm coats for #Coats4Calais reminded me of the only time I did a distribution in the snow. It was back in February in Brussels, just before Covid-19 hit. Everyone was packed in tightly together under our haircutting gazebo, sheltering from the ice and the sleet.

In the middle of the afternoon a man came up to me asking for a plaster from the first aid kit because he had a cut on his hand. He was wearing just a thin jumper and was clearly freezing cold. I gave him a plaster and asked if he had a coat. He shook his head, so I offered him the navy-blue raincoat I was wearing over my many other layers. At first he wouldn’t accept it, but after I promised him I had another one at home he gave in and slid it on.

It was clearly too small for him as he struggled to zip it up. I apologised but he insisted it was the perfect fit. After managing to do it up, he asked once again if I was sure I could part with it. I assured him it was fine and apologised that it wasn’t warmer or larger for him. He repeated that it was perfect, thanked me sincerely and walked away.

I still think about him all the time. I often wish I had worn a warmer and bigger coat that day. Something that he could have worn proudly.

So this winter I’m determined to collect as many good coats as I can. Together I know we can make sure everyone in Calais, Dunkirk and Brussels has a thick and well-fitting coat to keep them warm and comfortable.

– written by Tia Bush, a volunteer

Donate a warm coat to a refugee this winter or help us buy one for just £20 at

About Care4Calais

Care4Calais was founded by a group of volunteers with the sole aim of supporting the people of the Calais refugee camps, providing fresh meals, warm clothing, heating and important legal and medical support.

We are not politicians – we are people like you who simply believe that every human has the right to be treated in a fair and dignified way.

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