California self-storage operators A-1 Self Storage is now a founding sponsor for Charity Storage, a nonprofit organization that raises money for charities through self-storage auctions. Created by Lance Watkins, founder of self-storage auction site StorageTreasures.com, Charity Storage donates the proceeds from self-storage lien sales to local and national charities.
“Lance contacted me about his concept of having charitable units being sold at auction to benefit local and national charities. This was naturally a good fit for us since customers occasionally have items they no longer want or need, but don’t want to deal with discarding them or taking them to a donation center elsewhere,” said Brian Caster, president and CEO of A-1 Self Storage.
Participating storage operators dedicate a storage unit from inventory as a collection point for donated goods. Departing and current tenants, auction buyers, and local residents and businesses can donate items to the Charity Storage unit and receive a tax-deductible receipt. When the storage facility holds a public auction, the unit is sold alongside tenant-delinquent units, and the money generated is allocated to local and national charities.
Charity Storage was created when Watkins and Barry Hoeven, founder and owner of Westport Properties and the nonprofit Kure It Cancer Research, saw the popularity of self-storage auctions grow and realized the industry could give back to society. The net proceeds from each sale are split three ways: 10 percent goes to the Self Storage Association Foundation, which provides scholarships to students with a connection to the self-storage industry; 30 percent goes to Kure It; and the remainder goes to a local or national charity chosen by the participating self-storage operator.
A-1 Self Storage is involved with a number of charities through its giving organization, Serving Hands International. “It’s great to be able to provide a convenient service to our customers and help those less fortunate at the same time through our auction proceeds,” Caster said. “We’re very proud to be involved with Charity Storage and would encourage other self-storage operators to get on board.”
The company also recently announced its support of two other organizations. It gave a monetary donation to the Eternal World Television Network (EWTN) and free storage space to the Coast to Coast Foundation.
EWTN is a television, radio, Internet and publishing organization that delivers encouraging and positive programs for all ages. The network offers child-friendly shows and interactive games online as well as family programs and talk shows and one-on-one interviews with athletes.
The A-1 Self Storage in Fullerton, Calif., will provide a free storage unit for six months to the Coast to Coast Foundation to store clothing donations for the homeless community. Coast to Coast is run by a team of volunteers whose mission is to support the homeless by providing food, clothing, basic necessities and an opportunity for emotional and educational guidance.
The foundation holds its monthly S.A.C.K. (Serving a Community with Kindness) events every first and third Sunday, providing 150 to 250 sack lunches and clothing donations. Coast to Coast volunteers also serve up to 400 hot meals on Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas, and awards quarterly scholarships to homeless students.
A-1 Self Storage has 17 locations in the San Diego County area and more than 42 locations statewide. It is the self-storage division of the Caster Cos., a third-generation, family-owned company headquartered in Southern California since 1959. Caster Cos. develops and manages A-1 Self Storage, A-1 Car Storage and other commercial properties in California. Its portfolio includes more than 4 million square feet of real estate.