Self-Storage Operators Around the World Support Holiday Charity Drives

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With the winter holidays in full swing, self-storage operators from around the world continue to show their giving spirit through a variety of charity drives, collecting food, toys, coats and more.

Edison Properties, which operates Manhattan Mini Storage in New York City, is teaming up with several charities this season to make the holidays brighter for New Yorkers in need. In addition to making a $20,000 donation to the Partnership for the Homeless, Edison is participating in the organization’s annual toy drive for homeless N.Y.C. kids, setting up collection boxes at all 17 Manhattan Mini Storage locations, as well as at the other properties it manages. Forty extra-large Manhattan Mini Storage boxes will also be donated to the charity to facilitate toy collection among non-Edison businesses.

The Partnership for the Homeless toy drive runs through Dec. 12. Toys will be distributed by volunteers at an all-day holiday party for children on Dec. 14. Partnership for the Homeless offers an array of services for New Yorkers experiencing homelessness, at risk for homelessness, or those who are rebuilding their lives after leaving shelters.

Edison also partnered with LivePerson, an online marketing and Web analytics company, and the charity volunteer program FeedingNYC to supply boxes used to pack complete Thanksgiving dinners in early November. The boxes were hand-delivered to families in need across all five N.Y.C. boroughs. Each year, FeedingNYC delivers nearly 3,000 Thanksgiving dinners. Manhattan Mini Storage customers were able to contribute to this effort by “adopting a box” for $35. Participants were eligible to receive 10 percent off a new storage rental.

Edison Properties is the family-owned parent company of Manhattan Mini Storage. It also owns and operates Edison ParkFast, WorkSpace Offices, The Hippodrome office building and The Ludlow.

Another New York self-storage operator is seeking coat donations for its annual drive. Storage Post Self Storage is once again supporting New York Cares in its 25th Annual Coat Drive, providing drop-off points for coat donations at its 17 N.Y. facilities. In addition to collections, Storage Post will deliver the coats to the New York Cares warehouse.

This is the third year the company has joined the coat-drive effort to provide thousands of New Yorkers with warm coats. Accepted donations are new coats or gently-used, freshly-laundered coats of all sizes until Feb. 7, 2014.

"We look forward to this event every year because we believe in being a good neighbor and helping our communities as much as possible. This coat drive is so important to the local people in need, especially after Hurricane Sandy left so many families without homes last year," said Pete Gioiello, Storage Post's vice president of operations. "We encourage our customers, friends and families to donate to the New York Cares Coat Drive."

New York Cares is N.Y.C’s largest volunteer-management organization, running programs for 1,300 nonprofit, city agencies and public schools. More than 59,000 people volunteer every year, helping 400,000 disadvantaged New Yorkers through its many programs, with an additional 22,000 volunteer positions being filled in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Storage Post is rapidly expanding through self-storage acquisitions and development.

SafeKeeping Self Storage in Baytown, Texas, is accepting toy donations and has provided free self-storage to store toys for the annual Cruisin’ Texas Toy Run and Toy Drive, sponsored by the city and the Freedom Cruisers Riding Club. In its seventh year, the Dec. 21 event at the Baytown Community Center features motorcycle riders from the riding club ushering Santa Claus and his bevy of gifts for the community’s youth. Riders wishing to participate in the event can donate a toy or $10.

Children accompanied by a parent or guardian can receive a gift and have their photo taken with Santa. The drive has already collected 500 toys. About 2,500 children are expected to attend the event. In addition to toys, the organizers are also seeking cookies and punch, and cash donations to purchase additional toys.

The Freedom Cruisers Riding Club is a free, family-oriented motorcycle riding club, representing motorcycle riding, family, traveling, fun and camaraderie.

ABC Self Storage LLC in Loveland, Colo., is also collecting toys but will make its donation to the McKee Medical Center, a local organization that adopts 15 families during the holidays and gives out toys year-round to its young patients. ABC Self Storage will offer participants their choice of a coupon from a local business for the donation of a new, unwrapped toy through Dec. 20. Donators will also be entered into a raffle for a quilted Christmas blanket.

The self-storage operator is partnering with other local businesses to collect toys including Cactus Grille Restaurant, the Pourhouse Bar and Grill, The Wing Shack and Thrifty Nickel. ABC Self Storage collected 500 toys last year, it’s first year to sponsor the toy drive. Donations can be dropped off during business hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday, at 2600 S. Lincoln.

The self-storage operator also holds a toy-donation drive in the summer to benefit the House of Neighborly Service, a nonprofit that provides resources for community members. The toys are reserved for the nonprofit’s birthday closet.

A family-owned business, ABC Self Storage offers more than 950 self-storage units and vehicle storage. The company will open a second facility in Boyd Lake, Colo., in spring 2014.

Apple Self Storage kicked off its campaign to collect food for residents and families in need in Nova Scotia, Canada. The food drive, now taking place at two Halifax self-storage facilities and one in Dartmouth, will run until Dec. 23.

Customers who drop off a nonperishable food items at one of three facilities in Nova Scotia will receive 10 percent off the rental price of a new storage unit. Apple hopes to collect 300 pounds of food.

In addition to the food drive, Apple Self Storage recently participated in other charitable events. Earlier this year, the Dartmouth facility partnered with a local furniture bank to help fulfill the basic furniture needs of struggling families, and donated a storage unit to the volunteer-run Circle of Care Society, which used the extra space to collect and store donated furniture.

Apple also recently wrapped up a company-wide charity effort in support of the ABLE Network, a nonprofit organization that performs valuable services for individuals with intellectual disabilities. The three-month fundraiser set a goal of collecting $6,000 by the end of November.

Apple Self Storage operates 15 facilities in Canada. The family-owned company regularly works in support of local charities to strengthen the communities in which it operates, company officials said.

In the United Kingdom, Access Self Storage locations in Mitcham and Wimbledon, England, are appealing to customers to help raise money to aid medical research for the Merton Sickle Cell & Thalassaemia Group, which offers information and support to people suffering from sickle cell anemia and thalassaemia, a form of inherited autosomal recessive blood disorder. The drive is part of the storage operator’s annual Christmas Charity Appeal in which the company supports a number of charities. This year, Access Self Storage is supporting 21 charities across the United Kingdom, collecting, sorting and delivering donated goods and funds to various charities.

Last year, the self-storage operator garnered more than 100 donations for Merton Sickle Cell & Thalassaemia Group, said Ajanthan Naguleswaran, manager of Access Self Storage Mitcham. "This year we hope the public will get behind us to support such a great local charity and beat last year’s total,” Naguleswaran told the source. Donations can be made at the facilities, Unit 1 Gresham Way in Wimbledon, and 141 Morden Road in Mitcham.

Eulalee Valentine of the Merton Sickle Cell & Thalassaemia Group told the source the organization hopes to raise £100,000 ($136,950) for its premises and an outreach worker.

Access Self Storage operates more than 50 facilities in the United Kingdom, with a large concentration in Greater London.

Another U.K. self-storage operator, Dainton Self Storage, is offering temporary free self-storage at its Plymouth, England, facility to anyone who makes a small donation to the Children’s Hospice South West (CHWS). The self-storage operator has raised funds for CHWS throughout the year and hoped to “champion” the cause during the holidays, according to Dainton’s Operations Director Shaun Duncan.

Dainton Self Storage operates facilities in the English counties of Devon and Cornwall, as well as Wales. In addition to self-storage, the company also offers moving services and portable buildings under its parent company, Dainton Group Services. 

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