Charity shops, much like most shops, are places where you can buy a variety of items, primarily, clothes and household products. What makes them unique, however, is that they donate their profits to charity and they accept donations.
Interestingly enough, charity shops also take knitting needles as donations, so it’d be a good idea to donate your old knitting needles to these shops.
However, this doesn’t apply to all charity shops. Some have regulations that result in their bans on knitting needles, while others simply don’t allow the donation of this particular item. To explain further, it’s best if elucidate how charity shops work.
How Do Charity Shop Donations Work?
Charity shops would often have a list of items they allow and disallow as donations.
For that reason, before you donate your knitting needles, or any item, for that matter, to a charity shop, it would be ideal if you first take a look at their list.
The problem is this supposed list is more of an abstract idea rather than an actual tangible object. Needless to say, here’s usually how their supposed list goes:
Items Charity Shops Don’t Accept
- Electric blankets and showers
- Gaming equipment
- Inflatable pool toys
- Knives, scissors, and other similarly hazardous tools
- Massive electrical goods (e.g., refrigerators, washing machines, etc.)
- Safety equipment (harnesses, helmets, life jackets, etc.)
- Tanning and sunbed equipment
- Waste disposal units
Items Charity Shops Do Accept
- Accessories and jewelry
- Books, CDs, and DVDs
- Children’s toys
- Garments (e.g., clothing, shoes, and bags)
- Household items (e.g., china, kitchenware, ornaments, décor, etc.)
- Knitted items
Items Charity Shops Accept Under a Condition
In addition to the basic dos and don’ts of charity shops, there are items that they would usually accept, but not if it doesn’t comply with their specific regulations.
Here’s a look at these items and the respective rules attached to them:
- Duvets and pillows (must be unused)
- Heating and cooking equipment (must not use gas or oil)
- Power tools (must have instructions)
- School uniforms (must not be identifiable)
- Soft toys (must be labeled)
- Knitting needles (in certain countries)
Basically, they don’t accept items that are rather niche like gaming equipment, computer, and sunbeds. Charity shops may also not accept items that have safer or more environmental-friendly alternatives, like electric blankets and showers.
Of course, the item must also be completely safe and useable. Apart from items that go against these criteria, charity shops should accept most item donations.
At the end of the day, there’s no better way of finding out if a charity shop takes knitting needles than to ask the charity shop yourself. But if, for some reason, you cannot do so, the following section should at least clarify a few things about it.
The Complicated Relationship of Charity Shops and Knitting Needles
Before anything else, it’s worth noting that the reason people ask, “Do charity shops take knitting needles?” is because of a regulation in the United Kingdom.
Basically, there’s a law in the UK that prohibits minors from purchasing items like knives and other pointy products. Knitting needles just happened to be under this category, and as such, it’s become a bit more difficult to shop for this item.
Since the main point of charity shops is to sell donated items and send their profits to charity, it doesn’t make sense to accept needles if they cannot sell them.
The good news, however, is that certain charity shops will still accept knitting needles, particularly those with strict regulations when selling donated items.
In addition, this law only applies to the UK, so in other countries, there’s a good chance charity shops would accept your old knitting needles. Normally, you’d just donate your items to your nearby charity shops, but that’s not your only option.
If charity shops in your area don’t take knitting needles, you can also give them to charity online. The problem with this, however, is that there are far too many charities in the world.
For that reason, you might find it difficult to choose a charity, but that’s why people would often have screening questions when choosing a charity.
What Are 3 Questions You Should Ask Before Giving to a Charity?
One of the best ways to spot a reliable and authentic charity is to create a list of questions. These questions can be useful as a guide to check whether a charitable organization is worth donating to. Here’s a look at these three questions.
1. What percentage of the donations go into direct aid?
Most charities are transparent about how much of the donations and money they receive goes into direct aid or whatever their goal is. Ideally, the charity you’d donate to uses at least 75% of everything they receive to fulfilling its mission.
2. Has the organization made progress with its mission?
Naturally, you’d want the charitable organization to be authentic, and what better way of figuring that out than by checking what they’ve already achieved.
3. How will they protect my personal information?
It’s never a good idea to give your personal information to a shady organization. The same applies to organizations with insecure infrastructures. Make sure your personal information isn’t in jeopardy by looking into their security protocols.
While some people would argue that you don’t have to put that much thought into donating, they tend to forget that not all charitable organizations are genuine.
As such, it makes sense to put a lot of thought into these matters.
Which Charities Need Knitted Items?
If you’ve become enamored with the idea of giving to charities, you don’t have to stop just because you’ve run out of old knitting needles. You can still donate garments and toys that you manage to knit in your free time to charities.
Of course, as stated earlier, not all charities would be authentic. If you don’t want to spend that much time deciding on a charity, consider these four suggestions.
1. Snuggles Project
Snuggles Project is primarily a charitable organization that encourages people to adopt pets. However, they also have a program where you can donate items.
These items may range from knitted blankets to toys.
The project has been going on for 26 years now, and numerous volunteers are in the organization, so you can be sure the charity is genuine.
The best part about the project is that they have a pattern library, which is incredibly handy, considering how expensive knitting patterns can be.
2. Soldiers’ Angels
Soldiers’ Angels is a charity that caters to the military, veterans, and their respective families. The charity accepts non-cash items that you’d usually see in care packages, such as backpacks, caps, t-shirts, and undergarments.
3. Magic Yarn Project
Magic Yarn Project is a charity that aims to provide knitted or crocheted headwear like braids and princess’s hair to children battling cancer.
Though they’re looking for a specific knitted item, it’s still worth noting if you knit mostly for recreational purposes.
FAQ About Do Charity Shops Take Knitting Needles
How long do knitting needles last?
Knitting needles almost always last for at least a year. However, their exact lifespan may vary according to several factors. One such factor is the needle’s material.
Here’s how the material usually correlates to a knitting needle’s longevity:
Carbon fiber needles can potentially last for a lifetime.
Wooden and metal knitting needles can last for over five years.
Plastic knitting needles can last for around two years.
In addition to the material, how often you use the needles and do maintenance will also determine how lost they last. Naturally, the more frequently you use a knitting needle, the faster it’ll wear out. So, it’s advisable to maintain them frequently.
Do charity shops take knitting wool?
Yes, charity shops that accept knitting needles would also usually take knitting wool. In fact, charities that don’t accept needles may still accept wool or yarn.
Can I buy knitting needles from charity shops?
Yes, the whole point of charity shops is to sell what they receive as donations.
So, as long as the charity shop takes knitting needles, you should also be able to buy the needles from them. But it’s a case by case so it’d be best to ask them.
To conclude, most charity shops accept knitting needles and other related items like knitting yarn and wool and knitting items. They also sell these items back.
Unfortunately, though, this doesn’t apply to all charity shops. As such, it’d be for the best if you contact your shop first before preparing your knitting needles for donation. If it turns out you cannot donate them, you also have other options, like recycling, reusing, or selling the knitting needles in online marketplaces like Etsy.
If you can’t seem to find a charity you want to support, consider checking out What To Do With Old Knitting Needles to explore your alternatives.