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Embracing the Holiday Spirit
By Shaila Bringhurst
Thanksgiving is less than a week away, and with it is coming the season of food, family, and gratitude for most people. Let's not forget it is also the season of giving. There are many who won't have food, family, or much to be thankful for this season, and you as an owner or manager can encourage a lot of good from your storage facility. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Don't Forget the Animals: There are many homeless animals left alone in shelters over the holidays. Set up a box for donated toys, and if you love animals, enjoy a few hours with the forgotten creatures at your nearest shelter.
Food: Collecting food for local charity pantries is probably the easiest way to donate over the holidays. As an owner or manager, you could even provide a rental discount of five or ten dollars to anyone who donates a certain number of cans or food items. Coordinate your efforts with food banks, charities, or local churches to help your community.
Hurricane Victims: The massive hurricanes that ripped through Texas and Florida recently led thousands to donate time, energy, and money to assist the many victims. However, as is often the case, those service efforts rose and fell with the media. As we hit the holiday season, consider contributing to a Sub-for-Santa drive for the people of Texas and Florida. Again, invite your tenants to donate to the cause as well.
The Lonely: We often think of the elderly during the holiday season. Many have been left in care centers and are not visited by family over the holidays due to distance or inconvenience. Consider organizing a group to go visit the elderly who live either alone or in care centers. Also, don't forget the college students who have to stay on campus over the holidays, who have no family close by, and who don't have money for a nice meal. You'd be surprised how many spend a Thanksgiving meal alone in their apartments with cereal bowls in hand and homework spread out over the table.
Our Military: Have a stack of stationery in your office for tenants to write a quick note to our service men and women. Consider sending a gift box full of fun items such as Nerf guns, paddle-balls, rubber bands, holiday candy, card games, drawing supplies, and movie action figures. In nostalgic times, it's nice to have simple objects that remind us of our childhood and connect us with others through friendly banter.
Toys/Clothing: Set up a box at your facility to collect toys and clothing for Christmas donations. There are a number of national charities such as Toys for Tots, Make-a Wish Foundation, and Angel Tree to which you could donate the items, but your local community might have one established as well. If you want to collect items for a specific family, consider contacting the schools to see which children are in need (with permission, the schools can give you that information).
Miss Plum. "Random Sledders in a clark park." https://www.flickr.com/photos/addieplum/4201989168/