A new use for a cutlery set

I bought this hand-made knife set 18 months ago. Hand-forged Damascus steel carbon-blade knives from a Pakistan bladesmith. Aren’t they sweet-looking?

Too bad I don’t own them any more.

Well, not too bad. There’s a reason why I don’t own them any more.

After I acquired the knives – and had them professionally sharpened – I used them maybe twice. I mean, they were beautiful knives and they cut with absolute precision.

But something about the knives didn’t feel right. It was almost as if I shouldn’t have bought them. Like they were more appropriate for someone else.

Last Friday, while puttering around the Reddit group r/albany (this is where I make the obligatory comment that I have a love-hate relationship with Reddit), someone posted this message.

Hey gang,

Yesterday, one of our local homeless support groups was able to secure housing for a member of our homeless community. This has taken some weeks even for this man who is a post 9/11 veteran.

He has a room, with nothing in it. Please don’t give me links to groups that provide furnishings – we know the landscape well, we’ve barked up those trees but the squirrels didn’t come down to play. For those of you who think there are plenty of services available for “these folks”, know that it’s a patchwork assemblage with differing requirements and long wait lists.

Here’s what I need to help set him up:

– A bed of some kind, any size, along with a gently used mattress would be great.

– Sheets, pillows.

– Kitchen wares: I have two saucepans, could use a fry pan, spatula, prep knife, large metal spoon, plate, bowl, silverware.

– Small table with chair to eat at

– Sitting chair

I’m happy to meet up for the exchange … Alternately, can meet you local in Albany – DM me to set up.

Other info: many of the formerly homeless who had to spend time in shelters are very anxious about bedbugs, lice and scabies . If you can provide, please have it be clean and gently used.

Well, that answers it.

I went through what I had available. I had extra bed linens that had been washed and stored and not used for years. No need for me to keep them. I had a slow cooker available as well – a personal “service for one” that I won at Rivers Casino about four years ago.

And then there were the knives.

The knives honestly weren’t doing anybody any good in that sheath. Let’s have them do some good.

Saturday morning. A meet-up at the McDonald’s in Watervliet.

We met up. The redditor works with providing housing opportunities to the homeless, so that they’re not stuck on the streets in sub-freezing temperatures.

At that point, I knew I was doing the right thing. What does it benefit someone to just have a roof over their head, with no table to sit at, no plate for the food or no cutlery to eat the food with?

I was aware that other redditors had donated as well – a bed, some clothes, other things. So this wa my donation.

And in the end, I made the right decision. Those knives deserve their time and use.

So I’m good with that. 😀