Most people recognize this time of year as a "season of giving," but for businesses, it's also a time to reach out to the community and connect with customers. Without diminishing the value of philanthropic motives, you can view these weeks as a unique and wonderful marketing opportunity during which you promote your toy drives, food drives, fundraisers, etc.
For example, yesterday's Hudson Valley (N.Y.) News featured a short story about Guardian Self Storage's annual coat drive, which serves the state's Dutchess and Orange Counties. This year, the facility teamed with Orange County United Way to collect and distribute more than 500 winter coats to families in need.
The thought and effort are, of course, commendable; but I also applaud Guardian for making the most of an already positive situation: By publicizing through local news, it not only increased awareness and participation for next year's drive, the business became more visible and respected within the community.
Every storage facility should give and receive that kind of gift. Please comment in the blog about the holiday programs you're pursuing at your sites. I'd love to share them with fellow readers and generate good will for future seasons!