Donating your old knives, either to charity or any other relevant establishment, is a fine way to ensure sustainable living.
Whether the knives have been used to the point where you need to change them, are surplus to requirements or you want to declutter, there are places where you can donate your old knives so that they are put to better use.
In this piece, I have addressed how to get rid of knives by donating them.
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Where Can You Send Your Old Knives to Be Used?
Once you have determined what knives are going out on donations, here are a handful of places that will be happy to accept them from you:
#1 Local shelters
Local shelters also have to do a lot of cooking.
Most of the cooking, if not all, is done by volunteers who have already donated their time and energy to the cause. If you cannot be there in person, you can send in your fine knives to ensure that these volunteers get their cooking done faster.
Local shelters will prioritize things like buying food with the money that they raise over buying knives, for example. This means that if there were a lot of cooks at once, there might not be enough cooking tools such as knives to go around.
Your generous donation now means that they have an expanded culinary line-up and can get their foods done even faster.
#2 Local restaurants
Local start-up restaurants may also be interested in your knives as long as they are good enough.
These shops are usually a sole entrepreneurship business or a family brand that is barely getting by. Of course, they would appreciate that you thought of gifting them something crucial to their day-to-day activities such as your knives.
#3 Second-hand stores
Second-hand stores are used to getting people come in to try and sell them older items.
Some of those items are fine enough for a resale, so they buy from the sellers. If you have one of those local second-hand stores, you can choose to support the community by donating your knives to them.
It is left to the store to pay that forward by selling those knives at a much lower markup than they would have initially put on it. Alternatively, they could decide to restore the knife to its past glory and sell it as they normally would, taking their investment in time since you didn’t charge for the purchase.
#4 Chef Apprenticeship
Do you have some really fine knives that are still of stellar quality which you want to replace/ give away? Your local chef apprenticeship institute will thank you for it.
They might just end up in the hands of a bright student who wouldn’t have been able to afford knives for the classes anyway.
Or, maybe they’d be used to teach the students about what kinds of knives to avoid when cooking professionally. Ha-ha, just kidding.
Find out if you have any of such schools around and send the knives to them.
#5 Local charity organizations
The biggest ones that come to mind are the Salvation Army and Goodwill. They usually have local branches that you can contact for these kinds of things.
They are not the only ones out there either, and they might not even be in your region. A simple Google search for some charities near you will be a good place to start.
From there, narrow them down to know which ones collect knives and fit other considerations (discussed in the next section).
What to Consider Before Donating Your Knives
While it is great that you want to give out your knives, consider the following before you do so:
- The knives are in great condition – They don’t have to be in mint condition like when you bought them but they should not be damaged either. Otherwise, you are better off sending the knife to the scrap yard or giving the steel back to a local knifemaker.
- The intended recipient will take them – Not all charities will take your knives. That is not because they don’t appreciate the gesture but they might not know what to do with it. Make sure the charity of your choice accepts knives before you send them out.
- The knives are of good quality – Donating poorly made knives, no matter how good a condition they are in, could cause problems for the person/ people that you are giving them to. When they don’t cut as well, they represent a safety issue. Your gift also stands a high chance of being underappreciated in these cases.
- You have packaged the knife well – I discuss more on this below. You want to make sure the knife gets to the intended destination safely and in one piece. Assume that the person that comes to pick up the knife or handles the package on delivery doesn’t know what is in it. Thus, foolproof packaging that ensures no one gets hurt is the best way to go.
- Make sure the knives are clean – This is just being courteous. You are doing whoever gets those knives a favor but you don’t want them to think that you are inconsiderate while at it. Keep the knives clean.
How to Pack Your Old Knives for Donation
Follow these steps to safely pack and deliver your knife to the recipients:
- Step 1 – Make sure the knife/ves have been properly cleaned.
- Step 2 – Wrap the knives properly such that they won’t injure anyone. You can use some old magazine pages here.
- Step 3 – Put the wrapped knives in a clearly labeled plastic or cardboard box. You can also indicate what kinds of knives are in the package.
- Step 4 – Identify how the delivery will be. You might have to mail the knife in, take them in yourself or have someone come get them.
- Step 5 – Get the knives to the recipient.
Where possible, ask for a donation tax receipt when the knives get to their destination. This is not a compulsory thing to do but you’d need one if you want to declare the donation on your taxes.
Likewise, if you’ll be mailing the knives in, check out this guide on mailing knives via FedEx, UPS, DHL, and USPS.