Charity Storage was founded in 2012 by veteran self storage operators, Lance Watkins (StoreLocal, Storage Outlet) and Barry Hoeven (US Storage Centers, Westport Properties). The goal is to turn abandoned and donated goods into funds for charity through Charity Storage unit auctions.

Since inception, Charity Storage has given back nearly $330,000 to over 220 local, national and international charities, including Kure It Cancer Research and the Self Storage Association Scholarship Fund. Charity Storage, a Self Storage Association Charity Partner, utilizes existing storage facility operations, namely storage units and auctions, to raise money to benefit the community. It is a promotional outreach program that depends on the support of the self storage industry, the Self Storage Association, the many Sustaining Partners who underwrite some of the administrative costs and North American self storage tenants and neighboring communities.

SpareFoot has supported the Charity Storage mission from the beginning, First as a Founding Sponsor (donating $10,000 in startup- costs) and, subsequently, as a Sustaining Sponsor (contributing $3,000 yearly to help underwrite administrative expenses). SpareFoot’s backing, along with the other thirteen Founding Sponsors, sixteen Sustaining Sponsors and twenty two In-Kind Supporters, have allowed Charity Storage to expand and thrive. This, in turn, has increased the industry’s philanthropic profile and paved the way for unprecedented community involvement.

The storage industry has the space, donors have the unneeded items and Charity Storage organizes the effort to convert these donations into cash to support local, national and international charities. Participation is easy:

  1. Enroll your facilities (this simple process starts by registering with
  2. Select a beneficiary organization and order a Marketing Kit by emailing [email protected].
  3. Designate a storage unit as a collection point for donated goods.
  4. Departing tenants, current tenants, auction buyers, and local residents and businesses can donate items to the Charity Storage Unit and receive a tax deductible receipt.
  5. When the storage facility holds a public auction (either live or online), the Charity Storage Unit is sold and the revenue allocated to local and national charities.

The Charity Storage auction proceeds are allocated as follows (after 10% is retained by Charity Storage to cover administrative costs):

  • 60% to the charity the storage company has selected
  • 30% to Kure It Underfunded Cancer Research
  • 10% to the Self Storage Association Scholarship Foundation

To learn more, stop by the Charity Storage booth at the upcoming Trade Shows in New Orleans and Las Vegas, or go to Enroll on the website and start giving back to your community.

Kerry Henriksen