Swap Shop Stories: unexpected visitor

The Low Carbon Community Development Officer Vera Hayibor is sharing her story about one of the Swap Shop visitors.


I was alone in the office when suddenly the doorbell rang. I got a bit scared since I wasn’t expecting anyone at the time. So, I opened the door and saw a tall elderly man standing there, waiting to be let in.

When I asked what he was looking for, he just asked for some food, since he had heard we were providing food to people in need. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any fresh food left at the time, but I gave him some dry and canned food that we had left over.

When he was leaving, I mentioned that he should come on Tuesdays or Thursdays before 1pm if he wants to get some fresh food and I also told him that we have some clothes in our Swap Shop if he needs any. Then his face changed suddenly, and he said ‘Oh, I really need some new clothes. The ones I’m wearing now are the only ones I own!’.

Then oh, you should have seen me! I ran to our storage room and grabbed all the male clothes we had stored and brought them out for him to try on.

After some time choosing the right clothes in another room, he knocked on our office door again and had a massive smile on his face. He thanked me almost a million times, he was truly excited and grateful.

Most of the time someone without anything would, understandably, try to take as much as possible, but this man just took a few things that he really needed.

When he was leaving, he shouted out in excitement and joy, ‘yahoo!’. It made me so happy and grateful to have such a rewarding job that deeply touches people.