Springport, Mich., resident Lauren Allen launched a charity in December from a self-storage unit at Albion U-Store in Albion, Mich. Aiding Communities Team of Springport (ACTS) provides donated clothing, diapers, baby formula, toys and more to families in need, according to the source. Allen started the program after receiving assistance from others during the holidays. Although she earned a degree in advanced manufacturing, welding and fabrication and was working as a welder, she decided to leave her job last year to spend more time with her daughter.
ACTS has enabled her to give back to her community. “It’s how I was raised. If someone does a good deed for you, you pay it forward to someone else and always do the right thing,” Allen said.
Donations are distributed from unit 1220 every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. by Allen and volunteers. Community members can take what they need for free, but limits are placed on baby food, diapers and formula due to high demand. Donations of goods are also accepted during this time, and cash donations can be made at the Albion U-Store office. The funds are used to cover the $130 rental fee on the current unit as well as toward upgrading to a larger one, which would allow Allen to expand the program.
ACTS spreads the word through its Facebook page. “We've had donations as far as Coldwater, Chelsea, Tecumseh, Lansing, Pinckney and Adrian,” Allen said. “Some days it's emotional for me because of how tightknit our community really is, coming together to support us.”
Although Allen’s husband, Jake, was skeptical of the project at first, he’s now involved, moving boxes and escorting people to the unit to pick up products. “We’re just like everybody else—we’re still struggling. It’s life, but we’re still young,” he said.
Albion U-Store operates 27 facilities in Michigan and Ohio under the Stop-N-Stor and U-Stor brands. The sites are managed by Berger Realty Group.
MLive, Woman Runs Charity Program From Albion Self-Storage Unit