A Successful Charity Storage Auction Four Times Over Thanks to a Little Help from ‘Storage Wars’ Personalities

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Storage Wars Stars Help Raise Money for Local and National Charities

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The folks at ‘Storage Wars’ have been incredibly supportive of Charity Storage ever since the operation was in its formative stages...

When Yuvia Cruz, a district manager for US Storage Centers, was preparing for a Charity Storage auction at the facility on Foster Road in Norwalk on January 18, she had no idea how lively things were about to get. But when the cause is raising money for charities by auctioning off a self storage unit, people will step forward – especially if those people include some of the stars of “Storage Wars.” In the end, four winning bidders helped raise $2,000 for charities like Kure It Cancer Research and the Self Storage Association’s Foundation Scholarship Fund.

Two of the hugely popular “Storage Wars” stars, auctioneer Dan Dotson and bidder Barry Weiss, helped make the auction memorable for Cruz.

“This unit was an interesting one,” said Cruz. “The unit itself didn't have much in it, and when the bidding started $25 was offered.....then $50....and then silence. Barry said ‘Come on people, this is for charity, a really good cause!’ No one bid and then he says ‘$1000!’ Everyone cheered but no one outbid him so the unit was sold for $1000.”

“The facility manager and I were cheering and thanking Barry and then, to our shock he says, ‘Dan I’m going to donate this unit back. Go ahead and sell it.’ Dan reiterated to everyone that it is for charity and out of the crowd we heard ‘$500.’ I was thinking WOW! We are up $1500 now. This is fantastic! Then that person said ‘I want to do the same and re-donate the unit.’ The energy was in the air and everyone was so excited! Dan then resells the unit again and immediately someone bids $400. Then that person re-donates it and Dan sells it again for the last time at $100.”

“It was amazing,” Cruz added. “Everyone was cheering and Dan made a speech about what a fantastic deal Charity Storage auctions are and what a really good thing everyone did by donating so much money to them!"

Charity Storage was created when Lance Watkins and Barry Hoeven saw the popularity of self storage auctions grow and realized that the self storage industry could give back to society through special auctions whose proceeds go to local and national charities. The net proceeds from the sale of each unit at a Charity Storage auction are split three ways -- the Self Storage Association Foundation (which provides scholarships to students who are related to self storage professionals or work at self storage facilities) receives 10 percent, Kure It Cancer Research receives 30 percent, and the individual facility hosting the auction chooses a local or national charity to receive the remaining 60 percent. In the case of the US Storage Centers auction at the Norwalk facility, Kure It Cancer Research received both its usual 30% and the 60% as the charity of choice.

For Hoeven, having Dotson and Weiss step forward like they did to raise even more money was gratifying, almost as gratifying as the Charity Storage auctions have been throughout the country.

“People may forget from time to time how generous celebrities can be,” Hoeven said. “The folks at ‘Storage Wars’ have been incredibly supportive of Charity Storage ever since the operation was in its formative stages. Barry and Dan lead the way in helping support us and we are very grateful to them. Maybe they’ve started a new trend of multi-winners for Charity Storage auctions! The big winners, of course, are the charities that we help raise money for, and that’s what matters the most.”

Founded in 1985, Westport Properties is the parent company of US Storage Centers and owns and operates over 60 self storage facilities within 10 states. In addition, WPI provides third party management services in over five states for individual owners and institutions. The company’s portfolio of owned and managed properties totals over 4,000,000 square feet. WPI is also affiliated with Storage Network Advantage (SNA) which provides independent storage operators solutions once only attainable by larger operators.

Charity Storage is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit recognized as tax exempt by the IRS. Federal Tax ID# 45-3253579. For more information, visit charitystorage.org or E-mail info(at)charitystorage(dot)org.

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