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Amy Campbell

Amy Campbell
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acampbell@vpico.com

Self-Storage in the Holiday Spirit: A Look at Operators’ Charitable Experiences

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Over the past few weeks, Inside Self-Storage has brought you dozen of  news items about self-storage operators participating in a wide variety of charitable drives and events. There have been food and toy drives, coat collections and even a few holiday-themed community events. You can find them through the ISS website search engine with these keywords: “Self-Storage in the Holiday Spirit.”

While I’ve written about dozens of amazing charitable acts in the last few weeks, I wanted to share a few I found particularly special, plus one company’s special holiday hello.

Marines in Florida fill a truck with donations during the annual holiday drive. Delilah Scott, operations manager for Big Key Self Storage in Miami, helped the Marines collect toys and cash donations at a recent Miami Dolphins game. “The guys were so gracious, and made everyone feel like we make a difference,” she said. (That's her in the picture with the Marines.) Although Big Key participates in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Annual Holiday Toy Drive every year, helping with collections off site was a wonderful experience, Scott said. “Going to the stadium was something new for me and we had great results, bringing in more than 600 toys and more than $5,000 in donations. On a personal level it was an honor to be invited to join them.”

The Marines were given box seats and even asked Scott and her kids to join them. “The guys were such gentleman,” she said. “They could not do enough for us in making sure we were having fun. This is truly a remarkable group.”

The experience also had a lasting affect on the teenage daughter. “She went shopping with her own money to help out and bought some toys to donate. It’s a great feeling as parent, its also a great feeling as a representative of Big Key to be invited to participate and give back to our community this way.”

Santa Claus made an appearance during Access Self-Storage's second annual Christmas event. Another event that struck a chord with me was the Community Christmas Party at Access Self Storage in Dallas. It was the second year in a row the facility hosted the event. The three-hour event was open to the public and included food, games and Christmas fun. “We love getting everybody out for Christmas. It’s fun to take a little break and play some games,” said owner Doug Hunt.

While YouTube is full of holiday videos, one self-storage company decided to use the social media to wish its customers a happy holiday. Trachte Building Systems, a manufacturer and supplier of building systems for the self-storage industry, put together a cute holiday video.  Sure, it’s a great marketing piece, but it also gives the company a human aspect. The video features more than a dozen employees, wishing everyone a happy holidays. I also loved that it shows behind-the-scenes staff  in the manufacturing  plant.

As the hustle and bustle of the holidays ends, I hope the self-storage operators we’ve covered over the past month will continue to do good in their community. While the holiday season only happens once a year, many of these charitable organizations provide goods and services all year long. If you didn’t lend a helping hand this holiday season, it’s not too late. Take to the Internet and find a charity you can help. Or ask your tenants if they belong to any organizations. Food and toy drives, coat collections and other charitable acts should be year-round endeavors. Yes, it’s good branding, but it’s also good feeling! I’m sure Delilah Scott would agree. Happy holidays, all. See you next year!

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