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Outstanding Community Service

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A truck, some boxes and welcoming, willing hands--that's all it takes to help people in need of storage. But sometimes, when assisting people, you end up indirectly participating in their life decisions and providing help whenever necessary.

Self-storage professionals are genuine and sincere. They are business facilitators who care enough to provide help where it's needed, especially when life takes its unexpected turns. Wayne and Jamie Jacobs of Novi, Mich., are self-storage managers who often step into their tenants' daily lives to make life's transitions easier, whether anticipated or not. Both were nominated by Tom Berlin, vice-president of American Self-Storage, for this year's Inside Self Storage Best Community Service award because of their dedication to helping people, love of community and personable marketing techniques.

A few needed basics--trucks, moving supplies and general assistance--sound simple to provide. But it's like the old saying goes, "A little goes a long way." Any one of us can help people, but "it's something that's got to come from within, and everybody's got it inside of themselves to help people," says Wayne.

Beginnings and Then Some

About five years ago, Wayne and Jamie answered an advertisement for a self-storage position in a local Indiana newspaper. "The self-storage business not only gave us both a job and a place to live, it allows us to expand our horizons," says Wayne. "If we didn't make the move into the self-storage business, we wouldn't be able to do all of the charity work we do."

Wayne's love for helping others was obvious even as a young boy living in a small northern Minnesota farming community. He signed up for Boy Scouts because he was dedicated and committed to improving others' lives and the community. Later, he got involved in the sales and service industry. His first job was with a cable company, which is how he met his wife, Jaime. But the job didn't allow the Jacobs to fully commit themselves to community efforts. "I'd make sure and do my job just right, but the previous companies I worked for didn't allow time to help people, so that negative worked, I think, for my persistence," says Wayne.

The Jacobs wanted to make arranging a move or finding a storage space convenient for people. "We offer one stop for everything, and since moving is so stressful anyway, we offer trucks, storage units and supplies to make things less so," says Jaime. The Jacobs' desire to help people has been fulfilling for them, but also for their beneficiaries. One of their most rewarding experiences has been helping a family of fire victims who didn't have a home because it was set ablaze after it was burglarized. The Jacobs gave the family a unit for a few months free of charge as their way of helping out.

Now That's Dedication

Both Wayne and Jaime are heavily involved in professional community organizations. Wayne is on the board of directors of the Novi Goodfellow, an organization making sure underprivileged children don't go without having a Christmas. The board also provides businesses with holiday poinsettias. At Christmas, Wayne dresses up as Santa. "I become Santa Claus. I let my beard grow long, and I go to a salon to have it dyed white, so it looks natural," says Wayne. Soon the Jacobs will create Santa Enterprises, which will do more to provide for needy children and underprivileged families.

Both are co-coordinators for a Toys-for-Tots campaign in which they identify donation locations, pick up donations from drop-off locations, and sort and distribute toys to children. Jamie serves on the board of the Novi Chamber of Commerce and likewise serves as Chair of the Ambassadors Committee and Silent Auction Committee. Both are members of the annual Charity Dinner Dance Auction Committee and serve on the annual Golf Outing Committee. In addition, the couple volunteered at the chamber's refreshment booth at the Novi Blue's Fest.

Outside of her professional commitments, Jamie is going to real-estate school. When the Jacobs are commitment-free, they enjoy spending time with their two children. Wayne likes to play video games and work around the house, and Jaime creates scrapbooks, collecting family and event memorabilia.

Inside Self-Storage would like to extend congratulations to Wayne and Jamie Jacobs for their outstanding job in promoting excellence in community service and the self-storage industry.

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