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Self-Storage Companies Support Charitable Causes During 2017 Winter Holidays

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Self-storage operators around the world have launched drives to collect clothing, food, toys and more for various charitable organizations this holiday season. Here’s a summary of how they’re giving back to their communities so far in fall/winter 2017.

1-800-Self-Storage.com, which operates eight locations in Michigan, and mobile-storage provider Container on Wheels (COWs) of Pontiac, Mich., partnered with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department in November for its annual “Coats for the Cold” drive. The self-storage operator donated boxes for the event’s 68 drop-off locations, while COWS provided mobile containers at three drop-off sites. The coats collected were delivered to several charitable organizations, who then distributed them to those in need at no cost.

Access Self Storage, which operates more than 50 locations in England, is supporting several causes throughs it annual Christmas Charity Appeal. Among this year’s beneficiaries is Family Action, which provides support to those experiencing poverty and social isolation. Access is also seeking donations for disadvantaged children who were victims of a June fire at the Grenfell Tower apartments in West London, which killed 71 people and injured more than 70. In addition, company facilities in Acton, Fulham and Isleworth, England, will serve as drop-off locations for donations of new toys until Dec. 15. The operator hopes to beat last year’s collection, in which 1,500 presents were given to more than 100 charities.

Several individual Access facilities are running their own charitable drives:

  • The Access facility in Basingstoke is collecting toy and food donations through Dec. 15 that will be auctioned during a raffle to raise money for St. Michael’s Hospice, an independent charity that provides hospice care and education. “Our staff selected St Michael’s Hospice to receive this year’s donations because we really believe in the great work they do,” said Mike Blaszkowicz, property manager. “The acts of kindness that the collection inspires is a reminder to everyone that there are people out there who really care, and who are happy to put a smile on someone’s face they haven’t even met simply because it’s Christmas.”
  • Access Self Storage of Mitchamis looking to fill a storage unit with new toys, games, books and clothing donations for the Salvation Army. It’s the third year the facility has collected donations for the organization. Last year’s collection netted 1,500 presents.
  • Access in Romford, England, is accepting donations to benefit Hope4Havering, a collective of churches, businesses and individuals that help the local homeless population. Items being collected include clothing, personal-hygiene products and non-perishable food. “We’re starting early enough this year to, hopefully, make a real difference for Hope4Havering,” said Moiz Syed, property manager.

U.K. self-storage operator Big Yellow Group PLC, which operates 92 self-storage locations, has teamed with “The Chronicle” newspaper and other local businesses for its annual Big Yellow Chester Christmas Toy Appeal to benefit underprivileged children and family charities in the region. In addition to toys and gifts, the operator is accepting gift vouchers to purchase toys. This year, it hopes to set a new record for donations. “Last year really was amazing. We received well in excess of £10,000 worth of new toys and gifts to hand out to children and families, who really appreciated a present to open on Christmas Day, something they may not have had the chance to do had it not been for the toy appeal,” said Jeff Banks, business-development manager for the Chester store.

The Loves Park, Ill., location of Boxed Up Self-Storage, which operates three facilities in the state, hosted its first “Boxing Up Hunger” food drive, which ended Nov. 16. The operator collected nonperishable food items for families for the Thanksgiving holiday. Raffle tickets were given with every donation.

The Bismarck, N.D., location of Go Mini’s Moving & Portable Storage, which operates more than 160 locations throughout Mexico and North America, collected donations this month for Christmas Playpen, a program in which gently used toys and bikes are gathered, repaired and provided to area families. The items were repaired by inmates of Dakota Women's Correctional and Rehabilitation Center, the Missouri River Correctional Center and the North Dakota State Penitentiary. This year’s Joy Shop, where the toys are distributed, will take place Dec. 12-15. More than 500 children from 290 families benefited from the program last year.

The Poughkeepsie, N.Y., location of Guardian Self Storage, which operates 14 locations in New York’s Hudson Valley, partnered with Dutchess Outreach for its annual Susan DeKeukelaere Memorial Coat Drive during the month of October. Eight locations served as drop-offs for the donations. Last year, more than 5,500 coats were collected and distributed.

Westy Self Storage of Stamford, Conn., which operates 15 facilities across Connecticut, New Jersey and New York, is once again participating in “Operation Santa,” which collects and distributes winter coats and toys for underprivileged children. This year, the program will benefit Benjamin Franklin/P.S. 55 in Bronx, N.Y. It kicked off with a reception on Nov. 13 in which guests took “Dear Santa” letters written by children to fulfill the wish list as well as provide a warm coat, shoes, mittens and a hat. Donations can be made through Dec. 16 at the facility, where they’ll be stored and later delivered to the school via a Westy truck.

The Stamford Westy location as well as its sister store in Norwalk, Conn., are also supporting the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program. Donations will be accepted through Dec. 19. The sites will also store the donations and assist with final delivery.The operator has supported the cause for 19 years. “Westy continues to be a true partner of Toys for Tots. Their convenient locations throughout the tristate area make perfect drop off points for the toys,” said George Ducanic, campaign coordinator. “Thank you to all the generous contributors that help make Christmas special for the children in need.”

The Westy location in Wilton, Conn., hosted a personal-care donation drive for the Wilton Food Pantry in October. Donations included soap, body wash, shampoo and conditioner, toothpaste, paper towels, and more. “It is so important to remember those right in our backyards,” said Joe Schweyer, district director of for the Wilton location.

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