In a traditional profile, a student owns or rents an instrument. When it starts to crack or rattle several adults interact. Tuition free music schools that provide rent-free instruments are tasked with procurement and upkeep. The teaching artists (TA) that they hire are usually gigging professionals who are paid by the hour to give group lessons to the kids. Each TA has to tune up to 20 sets of strings before class can start.
They don't have the time or the training to address warped bridges or frozen fine tuners. I have visited a half dozen small, independent inner city music schools, and I can tell you that routine sound and appearance issues are just endured not repaired. Do you want to buy bows or make the payroll?
These free schools help very deserving kids, and do incredible work. That's no cliche. The city has several hundred more violinists because these people are willing to take on the challenges, and operate on a shoestring budget. I am asking you to remember them (and contact me) before you idle or discard any rental stock for appearance of damage reasons. I can likely spend the time with it. Otherwise the kids, who are last in line, would get nothing. I learned begging from Damian Lugue, age 9 (below). If you have anything I can use, please think of me and these kids. I can get you charitable credit from the receiving orchestra.
Thanks for the ear.