I've been blogging about the concept of giving, as we are thrust amid the season that simultaneously inspires joy and misery, energy and exhaustion. We feel more compelled during this month to "do for others," though I suspect for many the urge is as equally fueled by a sense of obligation and desire for acceptance as it is about genuine kindness. That's the cynic in me speaking. But I read something this morning that lit a spark of sentimentality.
Old Barn Self Storage in Grass Valley, Calif., recently hosted a holiday art contest for local children. All 320 participants were awarded certificates, and those who placed received prize money in addition to the chance to have their work displayed on the facility signage. This is precisely the kind of warm-fuzzy special event I referred to in my last postsomething that bonds your facility with the community, generating good will and good press.
Anyway, what got me was the contest winner, 8-year-old Jack Devlin of Nevada City Elementary, donated a portion of his $175 winnings to a wildlife rehabilitation center dedicated to birds of prey. I was touched by this, and not just because I'm a big afcionada of owls, falcons, hawks, etc. I think the facility owner, Jim Warne, said it best: "I know lots of adults who wouldn't give you 10 cents. These kids are teaching us."
It's not too late to launch a holiday giving program at your facility. Sure, you can collect canned food, coats, change in a jar ... But I urge you to do something creative. Reach out to the neighborhood and get involved with your customers and prospects. It's too easy to wear blinders and get lost in your business. Every once in a while, it's good to swivel your head.
If you've got some ideas to share with fellow storage operators regarding holiday decorating or facility events, please comment on the blog.