Dallas, TX, January 16, 2011 --(PR.com
)-- A number of Dallas-area residents saw their prospects improve this year when employees of Access Self Storage responded to corporate encouragement to make a difference in their communities.
Access Self Storage has long been committed to improving the lives of the communities their facilities serve. In addition to hosting various fundraising events for charities, schools, and educational organizations, Access has also recently started a donation-matching program, naming its first beneficiary the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. Owner Doug Hunt has long believed in the importance of using the blessings afforded his companies to give back to the community.
This year, Hunt surprised his facility managers by asking them to take a more active role in the aid Access provides. At the company’s annual Christmas party, held on the 14th of December, Hunt gave $100 to each of the facilities and left it to the managers to decide how to spend it. His only stipulation was that the money be used to help someone else.
Oak Cliff facility managers John and Marylin Wynn were at a loss as to how to spend the money until Mary Williams walked through their doors. Williams, president of Hands of Mercy, who had come in to help prepare Christmas boxes for seven families, suggested a local family desperately in need of help for Christmas. The Wynns jumped at the suggestion. As a result, Cathey Sparks and her five young grandchildren enjoyed gifts and toys that would have otherwise been unobtainable.
Jeff and Debbie Ford, of Access Self Storage-Lancaster, were privileged to help one of their tenants through a particularly rough time. This tenant found herself and her young child suddenly forced to live out of her car after being evicted from their home. The news that a new, saving job would not be available until January certainly did not help. The Fords, knowing of her predicament, casually dropped their $100 into a Christmas card and asked their tenant to come into the office.
“It was amazing,” Debbie Ford remembers. “She opened the card and just started crying. Sometimes it’s just a little bit of kindness that can bring hope.” The Fords have kept in contact and are hoping that soon their new friend will be back on her feet.
Red Oak facility managers Tom and Betty Miller chose to help a gentleman that routinely comes through their property looking for items that can be sold or recycled. His gas and food money comes almost exclusively from scavenging and little is left over for other necessities. In fact, a recent spider bite went untreated for lack of funding. The Millers saw a rare smile as they passed over $100 in much needed aid. Through tearful eyes, their grateful recipient told them how much it meant to see a couple who cares.
Doris LeFever of the East Dallas facility turned to her tenants for inspiration and was not surprised to find that instead of vying for the money themselves, they asked that she help someone else. She chose an East Dallas single mother caring for her eight children. Feeding a family of nine is a difficult thing, but even more so when that number has recently fallen. After losing her youngest child to a drowning accident, this resourceful mother took on the task of maintaining her family in the midst of abject grief. LeFever was able to provide food and Christmas presents for this family.
Perhaps most notable of these stories is that of Lori and Carlos Cabanas of Access’ Garland facility. “We didn’t know what we were going to do,” says Lori Cabanas, “but we knew we wanted to help somebody in need.” The answer to Cabanas’ desire came from a surprising location - the dumpster. “I was taking the trash out to the dumpster one morning and there was a couple sitting there. They obviously needed some help.”
The couple, it turns out, had come to Dallas rich with hope for a job interview only to be faced with the invasive devastation of petty crime. Left with only $40 between the two of them after being mugged, the couple had come to rest at Access’ dumpster, praying for something to turn their situation around. The Cabanas were able to procure a week’s stay at a nearby hotel as well as food and supplies for the upcoming job interview. The couple now has a new job to look forward to and friends in their new city.
“We wanted to let our employees share in the opportunities we have as a company to make in difference in our cities,” company owner Doug Hunt says. It has long been the company’s goal to benefit their surrounding communities and Hunt is encouraged by the results of his Christmas experiment.