COAT TALES OTHER COATS WITH A CAUSE

LA­GARDERE AC­TIVE

Elle (Canada) - - Storyboard - Noreen Flana­gan Ed­i­tor-in-Chief Follow me on Twit­ter and In­sta­gram @noreen_flana­gan We love hear­ing from you! Please write to us at ed­i­tors@ ellecanada. com.

tay with me a mo­ment, dear reader. There’s a point to all of this! Prom­ise. This month’s tale starts off in Tar­ija, Bo­livia—and ends in my closet. In pre­vi­ous notes, I’ve writ­ten about my ex­pe­ri­ences with an or­ga­ni­za­tion that pro­vides eye care to peo­ple in South Amer­ica. Last year, our group trav­elled to Tar­ija, a small city in the south­ern part of Bo­livia. I first no­ticed Lori, one of the other vol­un­teers, when she ar­rived at the air­port wear­ing an over­sized camel-coloured men’s shear­ling jacket. It was a rather cu­ri­ous en­sem­ble, given that the day­time tem­per­a­ture in this town is typ­i­cally in the mid-20s.

“That’s quite the coat,” I said, mak­ing my way over to her. “Did you think it was go­ing to be cold here?” She smiled. “Oh, it’s not for me,” she replied. “I was in a sec­ond-hand store back home in Hawaii when I spot­ted this jacket. I just knew that I had to bring it with me and that I would find the per­son who needed it most.”

Now, I must con­fess that I thought she was a lit­tle un­usual—and her mis­sion even more so. That said, each day I made a point of ask­ing her if she’d found the right per­son for her jacket. A few days be­fore the end of the project, I rounded the cor­ner in the clinic and came face to face with a man wear­ing her coat. He had rosy cheeks—typ­i­cally seen in some­one who lives in a higher al­ti­tude—and he was beam­ing.

“You found some­one!” I said to Lori, who was stand­ing be­side him. “Yes, he came in from the Alti­plano re­gion, near La Paz, to have his tear ducts op­er­ated on,” she said, smil­ing. “Ap­par­ently they didn’t drain prop­erly, so his eyes were al­ways get­ting frozen shut from his tears. I knew I’d find some­one for my coat!”

I was re­minded of this story as I was scan­ning my closet to find a jacket I could do­nate to the Lolë Yel­low La­bel Pro­gram. The pro­gram, which the Mon­treal-based company launched in 2011, col­lects gen­tly used win­ter coats and sells them for a mod­est price (be­tween $10 and $50). It has col­lected close to 2,000 coats since it started and raised more than $15,000. This year’s drive runs from Oc­to­ber 1 to De­cem­ber 1, and pro­ceeds from the sale go to Food Banks Canada and Mois­son Mon­treal. (For the drop-off de­pot near­est you, go to lolewomen.com.) I asked Geneviève Lau­ren­deau, head of PR for Lolë, why the company launched the pro­gram, and she said it was their de­sire to “support smart, sus­tain­able con­sump­tion and to give some­thing back to the com­mu­nity.” It got me think­ing about the up­com­ing gift-giv­ing sea­son and how im­por­tant it is to be gen­er­ous with peo­ple you may never meet but who will ben­e­fit most from your kind­ness. Happy hol­i­days!

De­nis Olivennes French & In­ter­na­tional Mag­a­zine Pub­lish­ing Di­vi­sions CEO Con­stance Benque In­ter­na­tional Me­dia Li­censes CEO François Françoise-Marie San­tucci Se­nior Vice-Pres­i­dent/ELLE In­ter­na­tional Di­rec­tor Valéria Bes­solo Llopiz Se­nior Vice-Pres­i­dent/Di­rec­tor

Mick­ael Ber­ret ELLE In­ter­na­tional Pro­duc­tions Char­lotte Deffe, Vir­ginie Do­lata Deputy Syn­di­ca­tion Thérèse Genevois Jo­hanna Je­gou Copy­rights Man­ager & Dig­i­tal Syn­di­ca­tion Séver­ine La­porte In­ter­na­tional Ad Sales House: La­gardere Global Ad­ver­tis­ing, 124 rue Dan­ton, 92300 Le­val­lois-Per­ret, France CEO Clau­dio Piovesana clau­dio.piovesana@la­gardere-ac­tive.com

el­learoundthe­world.com

Lori and the Alti­plano farmer who was the per­fect model for her shear­ling coat

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