ISS Blog

Community Outreach: How-To, Part Two

In the second part on community involvement, blogger Gina Six Kudo explores how self-storage managers and owners can carve out time and find their niche when it comes to volunteering.

Following up on previous blogs about community involvement and volunteerism, now we’ll delve into personal involvement of time and energy. You can really donate as little or as much time as you’d like.

Sure you work a full week, and there’s no time to relax, go shopping, sleep in or any other selfish activity of that nature. Of course there’s no time, it’s the holiday season! We all manage somehow each year to get things done, and adding in volunteering is no different than any of the other many holiday tasks on your list.

It’s easy to start off small by making some phone calls for the volunteer phone tree, organizing paperwork or stuffing holiday mailings. You can even do these kinds of projects while fulfilling your commitment to your job. Plus, groups recognize and appreciate their volunteers, and your facility and name will be among their follow-up list of volunteers. You’ll garner free, good PR for the site and a chance to give back to the community that supports your business.

Let’s say you decide to donate four hours a week. Let the organization’s coordinator know you’re available. Maybe you make a donut run one morning, and the next day you pick up flyers from the print house for the group. Simple tasks that don’t take much time or energy for you can be an absolute godsend for the over-worked volunteer coordinating all the hustle and bustle of a project.

Or maybe you want to step it up and put in a day or two or more. Have you used all your vacation time? If not, there’s a good chance to do something positive and not let a day off go to waste. Out of vacation time, ask about taking time off for community service and having a relief manager fill in.  A relief manager would be thrilled to earn more holiday shopping money, and you’d be putting a good face on the business with your donation of time and at a nominal cost to the business.

Determine where your strengths lie and make the most of them. If you’re organized, offer to track requests for food boxes or handle paperwork. As a self-storage manager, you’re likely good at this type of task, so there’s a comfort level there. If you’re the world’s best bargain shopper, take on the task of purchasing supplies for the group. Are you great at talking people into giving you items? Then definitely volunteer to help locate and collect donations or raffle prizes. Phoning people for donations during the holiday season is an easy task. You make collection phone calls each month, and these types of calls are so much more fun to make!

As for shopping, you can do dual-duty ... pick up needed items for the nonprofit while shopping for your own family, who think you’re just “out volunteering,” and you know where you can hide things too! Any of these tasks take just a few hours here and there, but you’ll project a good image for your facility while gaining a sense of community and helping others at the same time. What a win-win situation to experience.

Share your volunteer stories on Self-Storage Talk, the industry’s best and most entertaining forum.

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