Try a Different Community Service Project this Year

Posted on Apr 3 2012 - 9:01am by Winnie Hsiu

Participating in charitable activities is  one of the best ways for self storage facilities to strengthen their relationship with their local communities. This brings you to the awareness of people which in turn leads them to do business with you when they have storage needs.

Do you sometimes feel that you do the same activities over and over?  Are you looking for something new, something different that you could do? Here is a round-up of ideas of activities that self storage businesses around the country have done.

One storage facility hosted a blood drive. Over several years, it evolved into a health fair. There were booths where people could get their blood pressure taken and learn about health, nutrition, and exercise. The police department fingerprinted children. Women were able to get a mammogram. If you have enough space, consider hosting a blood drive. The local Red Cross will supply the people and necessary supplies.  All you have to do is supply the space. If the blood drive becomes an annual event, you could expand it into a health fair.

During the holidays, self storage facilities help collect non-perishable food and donate it to the local food bank. Put a twist on this idea. Instead of doing it around Thanksgiving and Christmas (when families in the community might feel that their budget is being stretched to the limit), do a food drive for Mother’s or Father’s Day. People can donate food in honor of their parents. The donated food can be used at homeless shelters or women’s shelters so that a nice meal can be served on those holidays.

Collecting winter wear and blankets is a fairly common charitable activity.If you want to do something a little different, a variation of this idea is to do a baby blanket drive and donate the blankets to a hospital’s newborn intensive care unit (NICU). The NICU could give the blankets when the babies are released from the hospital. Or, you could donate the blankets to a women’s shelter.
One facility annually arranges for Santa to visit children who are in the hospital. This activity is not very time intensive. When Santa visited the children, he gave them small presents such as crayons and coloring books, card games, or puzzles. You could ask the community to donate these small items.

Are there Girl Scout troops in your area? Offer to host a Girl Scout cookie sale. One storage business sold cookies in addition to donating rental space to store the cookies during the sale.

One facility set up a recycling bin for plastic water bottles. This is another activity that doesn’t require a lot of work. The facility that recycled the water bottles donated the money to a high school marching band and color guard. You could donate the money to your city’s high school color guard or to the library or to an elementary school’s library.

Spring is here and many people use this time to go through their belongings and eliminate items they no longer want or need. You can hold a garage sale and let your customers sell items they no longer want. Invite the community to participate and also sell things at your garage sale. Donate the proceeds to an organization that helps abused women and children.

A storage facility that held a garage sale also sponsored a cook-out. The money they collected from the cook-out was donated to an elementary school.

Another storage business held a bocce ball tournament. Teams paid a registration fee. There was a small charge for people who watched the tournament. The money was given to charity.

One storage facility held a Santa’s Workshop where parents could wrap their Christmas presents for free — and out of the sight of their children. Parents could even store their packages in a storage unit to keep them hidden from their children. Wrapping supplies and storage space was free to participants.

We recently ran an article her in our Self Storage Industry News about a storage facility that collected shoes and donatied them to Soles4Souls. Another facility held an activity where people donated their hair to be made into wigs for people who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy and radiation.

This year, breathe some new life into your community service by trying something different.