"I wonder if we could do a 'pay if forward' type thing. Someone calls another guys wife, explains how the husband really needs said gear and . . . ?"
Great idea! I'm not married, but I'm happy to call EVERYONE'S wives and explain to them, in my own inimitable way, why their husbands need gear and they just need to accept it. More than happy to!
You, of course, will have to deal with the aftermath.....