Self-storage operators all over the world are actively participating in fundraising drives and charitable events this holiday season, with many hosted onsite at facilities in the communities they serve.
California self-storage provider A-1 Self Storage is holding its annual holiday toy drive to benefit the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves Toys for Tots program. Customers and residents can drop off new, unwrapped toys at any A-1 facility through mid-December. The toys will be distributed to local underprivileged children this Christmas.
A-1 Self Storage has 17 locations in the San Diego County area and more than 40 locations statewide. It’s the self-storage division of the Caster Cos., a third-generation, family-owned company headquartered in Southern California since 1959.
U.K. self-storage operator Access Self Storage is conducting a holiday toy drive at all 56 of its locations throughout England. The “Christmas Toy Appeal 2012” event will benefit The Children’s Society, which works with vulnerable and disadvantaged children across the United Kingdom. Special drop-off points have been set up at each facility, where customers and local residents can deposit their toy donations.
Those wishing to participate are urged to donate new and unused games and toys, which will be sold through the charity to raise funds. More than 5,000 toys were collected last year.
"We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of the public and local businesses,” said Duncan Mckeown, store manager of the Access facility in Nottingham, England. "Last year was such a success as we had over 150 gifts donated and we are on our way to smashing that record this year."
Houston-based Amazing Spaces Storage Centers has also partnered with the Marine Corps Reserves to host a Toys for Tots drive at all four of its facilities. To encourage donations, the company is providing a $5 rent credit to any current or new customer who brings in a new, unwrapped toy by Dec. 9. The toys will be given to local children in need.
“I’ve been with Amazing Spaces for almost three years now, and the Toys for Tots drive is always the highlight of the holiday season,” said Angela Vaughn, manager of the Amazing Spaces Medical Center property. “Our company participates in several charity programs throughout the year, and it’s great to see that our community consistently answers our challenge to give. Our Toys for Tots bin is always overflowing with toys by the end of the donation drive every year.”
Oroville Self Storage hosted a yard sale and food drive Nov. 16 at its Oroville, Calif., facility to benefit the Salvation Army food pantry. The event was free to storage customers and other community members who wanted to set up booths to sell items. Shoppers were charged either $1 or donated a canned good to enter.
The donations will be distributed in food baskets and gifts for children during Christmas, according to Maj. Wayne Wetter of the Salvation Army.
South African operator Stor-Age Self Storage is holding its Create Happiness campaign to collect toys, clothes, blankets and nonperishable food items. Company officials said response has been excellent, with many participants posting how they would “create happiness” on the company’s Facebook page.
Several Stor-Age locations have also partnered with local schools to promote the campaign. The company operates nearly 20 self-storage facilities throughout South Africa, with a corporate office in Cape Town.
US 1 Self Storage in Boynton Beach, Fla., has also joined the Toys for Tots campaign as a drop-off location for new, unwrapped toys that will be delivered to local underprivileged children. Customers and residents can donate toys at the facility until Dec. 15.
Westy Self Storage of Stamford, Conn., is participating in the eighth annual Operation Santa donation drive for Benjamin Franklin School in the Bronx, N.Y. Participants started picking up children’s wish lists at the facility on Nov. 13. The company will also serve as a drop-off location for donated winter coats and toys through Dec. 14 and provide final delivery of items to the school.
Westy is open for donations seven days a week. Hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays.
“We are very excited to once again participate in Operation Santa,” said Tim Mincin, district director of the Westy Stamford location. “Last year’s effort was very successful and we look forward to again spreading joy to the children.”
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.