Nearly a month after Hurricane Sandy made landfall along the eastern seaboard, self-storage companies continue relief efforts for victims of the storm. Among them is LifeStorage, an operator with nearly 20 facilities in the Chicagoland area, which is working with local writer and filmmaker Ashbey Riley to collect hygiene and household goods to send to New York.
Riley, a former New Yorker who founded Bum Bul Bee Photo and Films, recently launched an effort to collect needed personal items for victims, including tampons, blankets, deodorant, toothpaste, soap and pet supplies. LifeStorage has donated a storage unit at its Lincoln Park facility to serve as a collection point. The collection drive ends Nov. 29.
LifeStorage is one of several local businesses helping Riley coordinate her collection efforts. “We're always willing to lend a helping hand, hosting a variety of charity drives and events ourselves,” said Michelle Wight, LifeStorage director of operations. “In this instance, Ashbey already had a the momentum and plan in place, so we wanted to help out however we could. As a storage company, donating a storage unit seemed appropriate, and we're hoping by Thursday we have a full unit. It's rewarding to be able to help out beyond the city of Chicago, and we thank Ashbey for her efforts.”
In Fairfield, Conn., a Westy Self Storage facility has served as a drop-off point for donations to aid storm victims in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York. The company is collecting pillows, pillow cases, blankets, mops, brooms, buckets, batteries, work gloves, shovels, crow bars, sledge hammers, storage bins and contractor-grade trash bags.
Collected items are being distributed through Family-to-Family, a national, nonprofit hunger-relief organization.
Founded in 1990, Westy has six self-storage facilities in Connecticut, three in New Jersey and seven in New York. The company is headquartered in Stamford, Conn..
Elsewhere, Framingham Self Storage in Framingham, Mass., and PODS New England were among the companies that worked with the West Suburban Chapter Massachusetts Mothers of Twins Association to collect and send items to storm victims in New Jersey and New York.
The association, which provides support to parents and expectant parents of multiples in the Boston area, collected new or gently worn clothing, baby-care products, toiletries, nonperishable food, blankets, safety products and pet supplies, among other items.
O’Neil Software, a records-management software provider that serves the self-storage industry, held its own collections drive at its headquarters in Irvine, Calif. Employees donated cleaning supplies, toiletries, blankets, towels, toys, warm clothing and other items specifically to aid storm victims in Staten Island, N.Y., an area hit particularly hard by the hurricane and the hometown of one of its employees.
“We just couldn’t stand by and do nothing,” said Ian Thomas, executive vice president. “Although this employee now resides in Long Beach, Calif., we realize that home is not necessarily where you live, but where you love. And Staten Island is her hometown and a great part of her personal history. Somewhere in the middle of all this sadness, O’Neil wanted to instill a sense of relief, hope and recovery to those suffering.”
The company coordinated its efforts with a Staten Island school to have donated items distributed to residents in need.