Christmas is coming soon! It’s never too early to start thinking about the most popular holiday of the year, especially when it comes to finding ways for your self storage business to give back.
Christmas is all about helping others through giving. While you and most other people will give and receive presents, your storage facility can make a difference in the lives of those who aren’t as fortunate.
So what can your storage facility do to assist the needy this Christmas?
Read on to find out all of the different ways your self storage business can partner with various organizations to make a difference this holiday season.
Chances are, you have food banks in your area where those struggling financially can get groceries. Usually, such places allow people to come in once a week or once a month and get several bags worth of food. Many people rely on these services, especially when their food stamp benefits are not enough to cover them and their families.
Food is, in fact, plentiful in the United States, so there’s no reason anyone should go hungry, but still food banks often need help keeping their supplies up. That’s where you can help.
Contact a local food bank and offer to work with them. They should be able to advise you on setting up a bucket or two in your office for canned food donations. You, your employees, and your tenants can then bring in all sorts of canned goods that will then go to the food bank. Put a flyer in your office window letting people know you’re accepting canned food donations.
You can also donate food to a local homeless shelter. These shelters, in an attempt to help people get back on their feet, often provide free meals to their residents, but they need funding and food donations to do so. Contact one and offer to help, and take food donations for them, that you can then bring by.
Alternately, you can take cash donations from customers. You can even offer to match cash donations up to a certain amount. Perhaps your facility can afford to donate $5,000 this year. By offering to match tenant donations, you can potentially raise that total to $10,000. That money can help a food bank as well as a homeless shelter.
Poor families often need to cut back on expenses that others deem necessary. In cold areas, that can include heating bills. Imagine, it’s snowing outside, but you can’t afford to have the heat on in your house and have to wear thick clothes and bundle up with blankets inside. That’s the reality for some.
Also, school lets out for a few weeks for the holidays, and kids are going to need new clothes when school is back in session. In poor families, the parents will have difficulty affording those new shirts, pants, socks, underwear, and jackets.
In 2015, Catch-All Self Storage in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, teamed up with their local United Way to run their “Catch-All Coat Drive.” They helped provide homeless people in their area with coats and other winter items. You can do something similar, and allow for item and monetary donations.
Partner with your local library system, an organization like Reading is Fundamental (RIF), or a literacy advocacy group local to your area, and hold a book drive. Books can be a wonderful gift for children and adults alike.
Just like you can with canned food, you can set out boxes where you, your employees, and your tenants can drop off new or gently used books. If you decide to go buy a bunch to donate, the children’s bargain book section at any Barnes and Noble is a treasure trove of great reading. Often publishers print too many copies of popular books, and you can later find them in these sections heavily discounted.
You may also want to donate books to our troops overseas. Many soldiers won’t get to come home for the holidays. Organizations like Books for Soldiers take donations. Visit their site to check their requirements. You could even partner with a local book drive group and Books for Soldiers. Just mark your boxes appropriately, so that your tenants can decide which group they want to drop their books off for.
When it comes to giving toys, there are a couple of ways you can go. First, your storage facility will need to partner with a group like Toys for Tots, or a similar local group.
Your storage facility can become a donation spot, taking both toys and money with which to purchase toys. Some local organizations that help the needy will get requests for certain toys from parents, and will use money donated to purchase as many requested gifts as possible. Partner with them, and they can use the financial donations you receive to accomplish this goal.
Your storage facility can also be a distribution spot. In that case, you would schedule a time when people can show up to pick up gifts on a first-come, first-serve basis. Or, parents may receive a receipt or ticket associated with their request list, and when they show up, you’ll find a bag matching their ticket number, containing the gifts for their children.
As you can see, this can get complicated, though it helps to have an idea of what might be required. Get in touch with a toy donation service, and they can provide you with details.
Food, clothing, books, and toys can be seen as the four most important things to ensure people receive during the holiday season. Feel free to also read our other suggestions for being a good corporate citizen. While Christmas is a great time to start giving, your self storage business can still help the needy in your area all year long.