By Amanda Hatfield
SATELLITE BEACH -- When Jayson Holmes, 15, walked into New to You Upscale Thrift and Consignment with his mother last month, he discovered a one-of-a-kind item that he knew he had to have.
"This particular item was a military jacket that is no longer in commission," said Jane Hanson, manager of the Satellite Beach shop.
The uniform jacket was a recent donation from a customer, whose husband died in Iraq.
While at first reluctant to donate the item, the customer - who chose to remain anonymous for the article - eventually decided to consign some of her husband's military items, as she thought they might bring others joy.
With dreams of joining his high school's ROTC program and the military after graduation, Jayson, a Satellite Beach resident, knew the jacket would be the perfect addition to his military-themed bedroom.
He didn't have enough money to purchase the $100 jacket at the time of his visit, so Ms. Hanson allowed Jayson to put down a $20 deposit on the item and pay a little more each week, until the jacket was paid for.
The day after Jayson's visit, a couple was visiting the shop when they noticed the jacket, which had a 'Sold' sign on it.
After Ms. Hanson told the couple the story about the consigner and Jayson, the gentleman handed Ms. Hanson $20 to be used toward Jayson's remaining balance.
"Being an Iraq War veteran, the gentleman asked for his donation to be anonymous, as well," Ms. Hanson said. "With that, I began telling the story to our other customers."
Without any solicitations and requests for donations, Ms. Hanson repeatedly found customers reaching into their pockets, giving what they could, to help Jayson bring home the jacket he admired so much.
Two weeks after Jayson made his initial $20 deposit, the remaining $80 balance was paid off.
"I called Mrs. Holmes to let her know that the jacket was paid for," Ms. Hanson said. "She just couldn't believe that someone would do that. When I told her that it wasn't just one person, but a group of people, she started to cry."
Ms. Hanson also called the consigner to let her know about Jayson and those who had donated their money toward the purchase of the jacket.
"I let her know that I was going to be presenting Jayson with her husband's jacket and that Jayson might like to meet her," Ms. Hanson said. "She said that seeing the jacket physically go to someone else would be too hard for her, but chose to talk to Jayson on her own."
Without yet knowing about the donations from other shoppers, on Feb. 1, Jayson walked into New to You with his mom, as well as the money he planned to pay toward his remaining balance.
"When we presented the jacket to him, Jayson was in complete shock," Ms. Hanson said. "He kept asking, 'Did people really do this for me?'"
Jayson asked Ms. Hanson to express his gratitude to all of the customers, who donated their own money to help him, as well as to the woman who donated the jacket he admired so much.
"The consigner said she believed there was no better way for her husband to go on in the hearts and minds of many," Ms. Hanson said. "Most importantly, his uniform is under the protection of Jayson."
New to You Upscale Thrift and Consignment is located at 714 S. Patrick Drive in Satellite Beach.
For more information, visit www.newtoyousb.com or call (321) 622-5791.