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Thread: Where to donate a couple old mandos?

  1. #1

    Default Where to donate a couple old mandos?

    Title says it all. Hopefully some place that can do some minor fixes for whoever gets them.
    Palatable to a Goat: Music from Gregg Daigle and Don Grieser

  2. #2
    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Mar 2017
    Ottawa, Canada

    Default Re: Where to donate a couple old mandos?

    Some libraries in my city and others lend out musical instruments and may accept donations. See Post #3: )

    In Canada, we have charities that take old musical instruments (e.g., and. for children in need. Perhaps your country has similar charities. Other possibilities are community centres, halfway houses, homeless shelters, women's shelters, seniors centres, and schools in low-income districts (possibly to pass on to students who can't afford instruments).

    I had a neighbour, a high school student from a low income family, who told me that he'd stopped playing guitar. His junior high had loaned him one, but his high school didn't have a similar program. I asked at my music group, of about six people, if anyone had a guitar they they didn't need, and came up with one immediately. The lad's parents were so impressed that they put money aside to get him private lessons. He's now in grad school and still playing that guitar -- it was a good one. There are plenty of people in need. If you have a friend who's a school teacher, social worker, music teacher, or church worker, they may be able to direct your instruments to a good home. Good luck.
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

  3. #3
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Mar 2003
    Westchester, NY

    Default Re: Where to donate a couple old mandos?

    Here's one place but I assume you would have to ship it to NY City:

    An international org:


    I am sure there are other places.

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  5. #4
    Registered User
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    Oct 2015
    Pacific NW, slightly outside BC

    Default Re: Where to donate a couple old mandos?

    The cafe recommended instrument donations to California Bluegrass Association, I sent them a $300 J Bovier from Amazon which was a amazingly great player for the money
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  6. #5

    Default Re: Where to donate a couple old mandos?

    Hey, Don!

    You should probably mention where you are. I fix instruments that I buy on the cheap, and donate them to various programs. I'm sure I'm not the only Café member who does this, so letting us know will increase the odds of an easy interaction and repair.


    Playing a funky oval-hole scroll-body mandolin, several mandolins retuned to CGDA, three CGDA-tuned Flatiron mandolas, two Flatiron mandolas tuned as octave mandolins,and a six-course 25.5" scale CGDAEB-tuned Ovation Mandophone.

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  8. #6
    Registered User Louise NM's Avatar
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    Apr 2017
    New Mexico

    Default Re: Where to donate a couple old mandos?

    You are in New Mexico? There's a charter school in Santa Fe that has a high school string band, Academy for Technology and the Classics, that might be able to make good use of them. Another place, Queen Bee Music Association, offers group classes for children for children and adults. I don't know if they would be interested in having some loaners.

  9. #7

    Default Re: Where to donate a couple old mandos?

    As a repairman, I usually end up with 5 or 6 extra "junkers" a year -- stuff that is beatup, cheaply made, vintage but not valuable or collectible, Esteban's, Randy Jackson's, Rogue's -- unexciting stuff, but something a student could learn on. I get them playable and restring them and take them to a local store that teaches lessons. He's a Fender dealer and also carries some lower-line student guitars, but nothing under $199 -- which some people cannot afford. I get this stuff either free or next to nothing, so maybe it helps a kid get started in music, hopefully.

  10. #8

    Default Re: Where to donate a couple old mandos?

    Thanks for all the responses. Yes, I'm in NM. Where are you, Explorer? Louise, do you know if those schools could do some minor repairs? Thanks for the CBA info. The instruments need a little work, some cracks fixed, stiff tuners cleaned/lubed, nut replaced on one, etc. Hope to get them to someone who will benefit from having a mando to play.
    Palatable to a Goat: Music from Gregg Daigle and Don Grieser

  11. #9
    Registered User
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    Dec 2008
    Greer, SC

    Default Re: Where to donate a couple old mandos?

    We take in instruments at our local Jr Appalachian Musicians (JAM) program all of the time. Some of the instructors do minor repairs and we have a luthier that works with us at a special rate. If there are any programs like that around where you live that would be where I'd start. If not this program is pretty extensive in the Carolinas and Virginia.

  12. #10
    Administrator Mandolin Cafe's Avatar
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    Sep 1998
    Lawrence, KS
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    Default Re: Where to donate a couple old mandos?

    California Bluegrass Association's Kids Instrument Lending Library is consistently the longest running and most effectively managed program and one we've supported for probably 15-20 years through donations of our own money or working with our business partners to help fill needs for instruments. There are some very well known young players that are now building careers that have utilized this resource. Here's their web page. While I'm sure others might be good, this one has a proven track record that has no equal.

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