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 care4calais.org/coats4calais