Olio Stories: How one lady’s shoe declutter meant so much to someone else

Olio Stories 4 min read

Adilah always had a passion for helping people in her local community and growing up in a large family of seven, the desire to make a difference was instilled in her from a young age. 

I grew up in a big family, I’m one of seven, and my mum was really good at making sure we had zero food waste. When I got my own place, I wanted to bring the same values into my home.

So when Adilah heard about Olio a few years ago, it was right up her street. The first thing she gave away was some socks and it soon became a bit of a hobby for her to scan the ‘wanted’ section to see if she had anything someone else was looking for. 

I saw one lady was looking for a foam roller on the ‘wanted’ section. I had one, so I messaged her asking if she would like it. She was so grateful and arranged to pick it up the next day and then on her listings I saw she was giving away some sanitary towels so I thought why not, I’ll ask if I can have those. So she came and collected something off me and gave me something as well. It was just the best feeling, I’m getting rid of something that I don’t use and she’s doing the exact same thing and it benefits both of us.

Adilah is a self-confessed shoe collector and since switching to regularly working from home, a lot of her shoes were collecting dust, so she decided it was time for a shoe declutter. She listed three pairs and a lady messaged asking if she could have them but she couldn’t drive so wouldn’t be able to collect them. Fortunately she just so happened to live on the way to Adilah’s work, so she offered to drop them off on the Wednesday morning.

It was a cold winter’s morning as she arrived at the house a few days later. The young lady came out with a baby in her arms, neither of them had a coat on, the baby had no shoes and the lady was wearing a pair of pumps. Adilah opened the window and asked if she was collecting the shoes, the girl nodded, explaining that she’d recently moved to the UK on a student visa and that she was really struggling to provide for her and her baby. She only had one pair of shoes.

When she said that my heart absolutely broke. I’m sitting here with over 50 pairs of shoes that I don’t even wear. And you’ve got this woman in front of me who’s come here to the UK as a student, who’s obviously struggling and has been given these shoes that mean the absolute world to her. To see how grateful she was was the most heartwarming feeling I’d ever felt.

Adilah went home and sorted out more of her shoes – 3 pairs of trainers and a pair of boots, and dropped them off to the lady the following Monday on her way to work. 

It was the nicest feeling knowing that these shoes that I don’t even wear, that just sit in my bedroom collecting dust could mean the world to someone else. The nicest feeling knowing that it helped someone.

Favourite thing about Olio?

For me, it’s helping people, especially because it’s all local so you really know it’s going towards people in your area. I love looking on the ‘wanted’ section, that’s where I’ve mainly given stuff away. Seeing something that someone wants, and I’m thinking, Ha, I’ve got that, and I don’t use it. Giving things away that I no longer use, or no longer need helps me declutter, so it’s a win-win.

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