Category Archives: Community Involvement

How You Can Help By Giving During the Holiday Season

Helping for the Holidays in Savannah

The holidays are time for giving and sharing with family, friends and the community. There are many ways to help out in the Savannah area, from serving community meals to donating new toys or coats for children in need. Many charitable organizations rely heavily on donations made during the holiday season. Some of the charities collect items for distribution for Christmas while others accept donations to help with their programs throughout the year. Find out more about a few of the charitable organizations that are holding special holiday donation campaigns.

Toys for Tots Holiday Toy Drive

The Marine Reserves sponsor the annual Toys for Tots Holiday Toy Drive Campaign  to collect new, unwrapped toys for children that are in need. The organization receives millions of dollars in toy and monetary donations each year. They work with local community organizations and church groups for toy donation on Christmas.  There are several Savannah area drop off points for Toys for Tots. They will be collecting toys through mid-December.

Salvation Army of Savannah

The Salvation Army was started in the mid 1880’s by a British evangelical preacher, William Booth. Members of Booth’s church group immigrated to the United States in 1880 and the program quickly spread across the United States. Today, the Salvation Army assists nearly 30 million Americans nationwide each year with homeless relief programs, disaster relief, boys and girls groups and much more. The Salvation Army of Savannah  has been serving those in need in the Savannah area since 1900. One of the major fundraising campaigns for the Salvation Army is the Red Kettle Campaign. This giving program began in 1891 and today raises millions of dollars every holiday season to help with local Salvation Army programs. Salvation Army volunteers are dispersed across the area collecting holiday donations with their red kettles and bells.

Another popular Salvation Army holiday charity program is The Angel Tree.  The program matches donors with children from qualified families to ensure that they receive gifts and clothing during the holidays. Participating donors can take one or more Angels from the “Angel Tree” located in malls and at various stores throughout the Savannah area. Donors can purchase age- and gender-appropriate toys, clothing, or special needs items as listed on the coded section of the Angels donation slip. Return the unwrapped items with the coded section of the Angel slip attached to the designated drop-off locations by December 14th to ensure delivery by the holidays.

Savannah Food Bank

The Savannah Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia  is the Savannah area’s food bank. The organization serves over 300 charitable programs in 21 urban and rural coastal Georgia communities. The Savannah Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia is always accepting monetary or food donations and volunteer assistance to help sort the food in their warehouse. Donations to local food pantries also come in handy throughout the year, but especially during the holidays. If you would like to donate actual food items to the food bank or food pantries in the Savannah area, make sure that the items are non-perishable. Suggested items for holiday meal donations include canned pumpkin, canned yams, cranberry sauce, boxed stuffing mix or died macaroni. For everyday needs, suggested food donations include canned beans, nuts, peanut butter, canned tuna or salmon, dried beans, rice, oatmeal pasta, tomato sauce, flour and canned vegetables. Check with local organizations for Christmas free dinners and events for the community.

Savannah Feed the Hungry Meals

Savannah Feed the Hungry Inc.  hosts Christmas dinners during the holiday season in Savannah and Port Wentworth.  The Port Wentworth dinner is at the Holiday Inn Express in Port Wentworth on December 22nd. The Savannah meal is at the John S. Deleware Center on December 23rd. Savannah Feed the Hungry is planning on serving over 45,000 meals in 2015 to those in need in the area. Since 2009, they have served over 450,000 meals. The event will also help families in need with extra help for toys for Christmas, free health screenings and clothing.

The holidays are a wonderful time to help others by giving to holiday charity programs or by volunteering at food banks, food pantries and community holiday meals. Helping others who are in need is a great way to honor the meaning of the season. Stop N Stor wishes all of their customers, vendors, family and friends all the best this holiday season.

Back to School Tips for Elementary Parents and Students

elementary-school-students-raising-hands-in-classroom-e1380536491162Where did the summer go? It is hard to believe, but local elementary to high school students and families are in the midst of preparations for heading back to school! Students in the Savannah-Chatham County school district and Liberty County school district  will be heading back to school the first week of August.  Back to school time can be stressful for the entire family. Children and parents are nervous about going to school, having a new teacher, new classroom and making new friends and parents are in turn nervous for their children!

Back to School Tips for Parents

Getting your child prepared for school for the first time requires planning and practicing.  There are many things that need to be taken care of before the child goes back to school as well as during the first week of classes. If you follow these tips, the first day of school won’t be so stressful:

  • Parents should have a positive attitude about going back to school and share their enthusiasm about learning, reading and school with their children.
  • Attend back-to-school open houses and “meet the teacher” events and parent/teacher conferences. Have an open communication channel with the child’s teacher via email or in person conference.
  • Make sure that the children’s forms, including permission slips, health forms and school supply lists are completed and organized. Keep these items together in a folder (per child) or scan them into the computer for safe keeping.
  • Create a family calendar to list school assignment due dates, meeting dates, activities, play dates, etc. Encourage the children to add to the calendar and check it daily.
  • Develop the back to school routine that includes morning, after-school homework and evening activities. Allow the child time directly after school to “decompress” and play before delving into homework.
  • Have a designated spot for homework. It should be a clean flat surface with good lighting and free from distractions. Have homework supplies (pencils, paper, glue sticks, etc.,) near the homework spot, so a child can easily grab what they need.
  • Get involved in the school activities. If able, volunteer to help with the child’s class or at school events.

 

Back to School Tips for Kids

Back to school week can be daunting for children, but if a family has a routine that the child is used to, then the transition to summer vacation to back to school can be easier. The most important thing for a family to do during back to school time is to have a routine and daily schedule for morning routines, after-school activities and playdates, homework and bedtime.

  • It is very important that the child gets enough sleep. School aged children should have at least 8-10 hours of sleep a night. Adjust the child’s bedtime earlier the week before school starts to give them time to get used to a new schedule.
  • Have the child help with “back to school” shopping. Let them pick out the colors of their backpack, lunch box and school supplies.
  • Now that summer is over, it is time to get your child back in the healthy eating habit. Pack healthy snacks and lunches for the child. Set a time to pack lunches with your child’s assistance.
  • Have a designated spot to put backpacks every day when the school day is over. Parents and children should go through the backpack together in order to get homework assignments, notes from the school and any other information. Make sure that completed assignments get placed in the backpack every evening.
  • The night before the first day of school, pick out your outfit from socks to tops and have it laid out ready for the next morning. Pack the backpack with all of the supplies that you will need on the first day of school.

Once families are in the full swing of the school year, sports or other extra-curricular activities clutter can begin to build in your once organized space. Consider renting a self storage unit to place sporting equipment, extra supplies and children projects to help keep your home organized. Stop N Stor sends best wishes to students and families heading back to school in the Hinesville, Port Wentworth and Savannah areas!

Play Ball-The Savannah Sand Gnats

Sand Gnats logo

Savannah Sand Gnats. Logo courtesy of sandgnats.@tripod.com

The 2013 baseball season kicked off on April 4th for the Savannah Sand Gnats . The Sand Gnats are the Class A minor league team of the New York Mets organization. The team is led by manager, Luis Rojas, the same manager from the 2012 season. The Sand Gnats were 5th in the South Atlantic League for the 2012 season with a 69-67 record. So far, in this early season, the Sand Gnats are looking good with a 21-15 record and the close second in the South Atlantic League Southern Division. The team’s record at home is even better at 14-6!

The Savannah Sand Gnats play at Historic Grayson Stadium , which originally opened in 1926. The stadium has hosted baseball games, football games, concerts and more over its long history. Savannah was hit by a very destructive hurricane in 1940, which caused a lot of damage to the stadium. General William Grayson led a fund-raising campaign and the rebuilding of the stadium occurred in 1941. There have been many renovations throughout the years, with the most current taking place in 2010 with the addition of Land Shark Landing, a 3 level deck and picnic area next to the first base general admission bleachers. The area is great for private parties or just a place to enjoy a baseball game.

The Sand Gnats organization is very involved in the Savannah community by offering many different fund-raising events throughout the season. Every Wednesday at home games, is “Pack the Park for Charity”, where a portion of the proceeds of ticket sales go to a specific non-profit organization. There are Girl and Boy Scout nights at the ballpark, food drives, a Pink in the Park event and a Coastal Health District Healthy Heart Home Run 5K Trot  on June 29th. The team will also give away tickets to non-profit organizations.  There are also special discount promotions sponsored by local businesses and organizations throughout the season as well such as Kroger’s $1.00 Mondays, Natty Light 2 for Tuesdays, Budweiser Thirsty Thursdays, Facebook Fridays, weekend fireworks, and military appreciation events. The team mascot, Gnate the Gnat is a fan favorite at events in the Savannah area throughout the year. You can follow the Sand Gnats on Facebook  and Twitter  for more promotional events and ticket information.

Stop N Stor  wishes the Savannah Sand Gnats a successful 2013 season.

Savannah’s Connection to the Girl Scouts

Girl Scout Logo

The Girl Scouts  was founded by Savannah resident, Juliette Gordon Low in March, 1912. This organization has influenced more than 50 Million people since its inception 101 years ago. The Girl Scouts are celebrated during Girl Scout Week, which is every year during the 2nd week of March. During Girl Scout week, Girl Scouts are encouraged to attend a place of worship and be recognized as a member of the organization. If the church actually sponsors a Girl Scout Troop, the girls are encouraged to be a part of the service by carrying the flag or giving the greeting.

During Girl Scout Week, many Girl Scouts will be traveling to Savannah to visit the birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low at 10 E. Oglethorpe Ave. The home is owned by the Girl Scouts of the USA to continue on in the spirit and vision of the founder. The Girl Scouts purchased and restored the home in 1953 and the building became a National Historic Landmark in 1965. There are daily tours of the home throughout the year with special programs being held during Girl Scout Week. However, the building will be closed during the St. Patrick’s Day parade on March 16th.

The Wayne Gordon House was built in 1821 and is part of Savannah’s historical district. Juliette Gordon Low’s ancestors were very influential in industry and politics. The home is currently set up as the year 1886. It is furnished with traditional and family pieces from that time as well as 19th century decorative art. The house also has a Girl Scout museum and showcases family heirlooms as well as Juliette Gordon Low’s artwork.

Juliette Gordon Low was a woman “ahead of her time”. She lived in Savannah as a child and later returned there after her husband passed away. She helped her mother start a convalescent home for soldiers during the Spanish-American War and was a well-known painter.  Mrs. Low met Sir Robert Borden Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides in 1911 and she became very interested in this youth movement. In March, 1912, Mrs. Low gathered 18 girls from Savannah to register for the American Girl Guides. The name was changed to the Girl Scouts in 1913. Because of disabilities, deafness, cancer and back issues that Ms. Low had throughout her life, she created the Girl Scouts to be an organization that welcomed girls with disabilities. The Girl Scouts would welcome girls of all backgrounds into the outdoor by giving them the skills to develop self-reliance and resourcefulness. These skills then are very helpful as girls become women and decide their career path.

Savannah is filled with many historical buildings and historical personalities. Juliette Gordon Low is celebrated every day for her wonderful contributions to the word by creating the Girl Scouts. Stop N Stor  is very proud to be a member of the Savannah community and share in its history.  We are happy to share stories and information about this grand city on our Facebook page, Twitter page and this blog.

Stop N Stor is Connected

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Stop N Stor  launched our social media platforms in April, 2011. Since that time, we have grown in both fans and followers. We have built a small, but dedicated community on our Twitter and Facebook pages. We share local community information, storage and organizational tips, auction information and much more on these pages. The Stop N Stor blog  allows us to delve a bit more into topics that we are excited to share such as our support of “Wounded Warrior Outdoors”,  Savannah and Hinesville area events and self storage industry news.

The Stop N Stor social media pages shares up-to-date news about Stop N Stor as well as information about events in our communities. We share a variety of stories and post on our Twitter and Facebook pages as well as our blog about upcoming storage auctions at Stop N Stor, local events  and interesting activities  in the Savannah area. This blog shares moving and self storage tips.

Please join our community by liking our Facebook Page, following us on Twitter and following us on LinkedIn. Check out our commercials on YouTube!  All of the links to our social pages are also appearing on our blog.  We look forward to continuing the conversation with our fans and followers.

The Holidays are the Season of Giving

Wreath with food ornaments

The holiday season is in full swing in the Savannah area. There are holiday light displays to see, orchestra and choir concerts to attend, shopping to finish and gatherings to take place with family and friends. The holidays are a time of giving and receiving. This is also the time of year when people can be in the most need. For charitable organizations, both nationally and locally, this is the biggest fund raising time of year. There are many organizations in the Savannah area that are helping fulfill the need for food, toys and other items this holiday season by holding toy collections, food drives and donation contests. Many local companies, retail shops and businesses are still taking donations and collecting food to help out the local food pantries during the holiday season.

The Savannah & Hinesville areas have many organizations, which you can get involved with in this season of giving. The Savannah Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia  is the Savannah area’s food bank. Savannah’s Second Harvest has a yearly holiday food drive called “Feed It Forward” as well as other events throughout the year that donate to the organization.  The Savannah Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia receives daily truckloads of donated food from local and national grocery chains, business and individual donors. The donations are then sorted, stocked and then distributed to 300 non-profit agencies in a 24 county service area. The agencies that are served include local food pantries, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, domestic abuse facilities, senior centers and lower-income daycare centers. Hinesville is just one of the cities that are helped out by Savannah’s Second Harvest. Savannah Feed the Hungry Inc. is hosting two Christmas dinners this season in Savannah and Hinesville. The Savannah dinner will be held on December 22nd from 12-6pm at Forsyth Park. Savannah Feed the Hungry will provide a hot meal to over 6000 needy families during that time. The event will also help families in need with extra help for toys for Christmas, free health screenings and clothing. The Liberty County Manna House will be serving Christmas dinner on December 23rd in conjunction with Savannah Feed the Hungry from 4-6pm. Savannah Feed the Hungry is a non-profit 100% volunteer organization that helps feed need families and restore their dignity.

There are also traditional giving campaigns by national organizations during the holiday season. The bell ringer and red kettles for the Salvation Army has been a traditional sight for decades. The Marine Reserves have been collecting new toys for Toys for Tots  for nearly 70 years. The Savannah area drop off point for toys for Toys for Tots will be collecting toys through this Friday, December 14th. Local companies such as Chatham Toyota/Lexus, have raised over $5,000 in donations and toys to help Toys for Tots.  Once the toys are collected, they are sent to a central distribution point and then distributed to local community organizations that partner with Toys for Tots. You can continue to make donations to this very worthwhile cause after the holidays by making a donation at the Toys for Tots website.

The holidays are time for family and friends to gather to enjoy the traditions of the season. It is also the biggest season for giving. Stop N Stor wishes all of their customers, vendors, family and friends all the best this holiday season.

Wounded Warrior Outdoors

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As 2012 is coming to an end, so is the hunting season for Wounded Warrior Outdoors. 2012 was a great year for this organization; Wounded Warrior Outdoors hosted 10 outdoor therapeutic excursions with over 50 wounded, but active duty, military personnel across the United States and Canada. The trips included a turkey hunt in Kentucky, bear hunting in British Columbia and California, wild boar hunting in Florida and Canada, fly fishing in Maine, fishing trips in Florida and Alaska and alligator hunting in Florida. There have been articles written about the excursions in some of the local participating communities. The participants in the outdoor excursions led by Wounded Warrior Outdoors are active duty military personnel who have been injured serving the United States in Iraq or Afghanistan. The servicemen or women can have a variety of injuries from post-traumatic stress syndrome to loss of limbs. However, they all have a strong desire to get better and stronger. The participants are chosen to go on the therapeutic trips by their doctors and therapists. Wounded Warrior Outdoors works with doctors, nurses and therapists at the Balboa Naval Medical Center and Walter Reed Medical Center. Medical nurses or a chaperon are also members of the team for the outdoor excursions.

The hunting and fishing trips give a chance for the injured soldier to have “real-life” therapy. For most of the participants, the trip is their first time out of the hospital. Over the duration of the 3-10 day trips, the military participants can gain more therapeutic value in one day outdoors than a week in the hospital. The trips help with balance, mobility, endurance and building a sense of camaraderie with fellow participants.

The trips are free to the participants. There is no cost to the family or to the military. The trip costs are covered by corporate and private donations to Wounded Warrior Outdoors. Volunteers give their time, boats, equipment and sometimes even their homes to help with the trips. The volunteers do not get paid for their work with the organization. There are a few fundraising events throughout the year for Wounded Warrior Outdoors including a silent raffle event in February.  On January 4th and 5th, 12 runners and some Wounded Warriors will run in the RAGNAR Relay Series  to help raise funds for Wounded Warrior Outdoors. This is a 200 mile relay race from South Beach Miami to Key West, FL. You can help donate to the race by using the link above. You can also make donations to Wounded Warrior Outdoors on the website.

Wounded Warrior Outdoors was founded in 2006 by Ron Raboud as a way to give therapeutic outdoor activities to our injured, but active duty, military heroes. Stop N Stor  is a very proud sponsor of this great organization. Stop by any of our locations to find out more information and how you can help support Wounded Warrior Outdoors.

Thank a Veteran!

Thank a Veteran

Thank you for serving!

November 11th is Veteran’s Day in the United States. This is a day dedicated to thank the men & women who have served (or are currently serving) during war or peacetime to protect the United States. The holiday’s history dates back to the end of World War I. An armistice, a temporary end to the battle, was signed between the Allied forces and the Germans on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. For the next 4 decades, the day was celebrated as Armistice Day in the United States & Remembrance Day in Canada and Europe. The day was mad an official legal holiday in 1938. In the 1950’s, the name was changed to Veteran’s Day to honor the veterans from WW II and the Korean War. Today, we honor all branches of the service and those who are serving and those who have served in our military.

Veteran’s Day is celebrated by parades, wreath-laying ceremonies and other activities throughout the country. Because of the close proximity to Ft. Stewart and Hunter Airfield, the Savannah area has quite a few Veterans’ Day activities. The 2012 Savannah Veterans Day Parade will take place on Saturday, November 10th. The parade will have 11 bands and over 100 different units participating in the day’s events. The parade kicks off at 10:15am at the intersection of Abercorn & Gwinnett Streets and goes through the Downtown historic district. Hinesville will have their parade on Monday, November 12th.  The parade is sponsored by the East Liberty American Legion #321. The parade steps off at 2pm at Bradwell Institute. Some local Savannah area museums will also be having special Veterans Day activities all weekend. Old Fort Jackson will be celebrating veterans of different military eras at the fort. The Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum will celebrate our veterans and active duty military all weekend with discounted admission tickets. WW II veterans will receive free admission to the museum. Check your local area for your Veterans’ Day activities.

Fort Stewart, home to the Army Third Infantry Division, is located near Hinesville, Georgia. It covers a very large part of Liberty County and is very important to the local economy. The base works with the community and family to make sure that its soldiers and their families are the best that they can be. Currently, there are 3601 soldiers from Ft. Stewart who are deployed in places throughout the world. We celebrate their accomplishments and wish them a speedy return home.

Stop N Stor  is proud to honor our military with a 10% discount on their storage rentals. Stop in to any location to find out more information. Stop N Stor also supports Wounded Warrior Outdoors , which organizes rehabilitation outdoor adventures to injured, but active duty military men and women and Enlisted Angels, which is a support organization for wives of Ft. Stewart soldiers. Stay tuned for updates on these two organizations. This Sunday, remember to thank a current member of our military or a veteran for protecting and serving the United States.

Savannah, Festival City

Savannah Festivals

Photo courtesy of keystosavannah.com.

Savannah is a city that offers a little bit of everything to a visitor and local residents. We already know that Savannah is a great city for the arts  and food.  It is also a top vacation destination point. Savannah hosts at least 46 different festivals throughout the year from cultural festivals to food festivals to events surrounding sporting events such as the Legends of Golf Tournament in the spring or the Rock N Roll Marathon in the fall.

There are many cultural festivals in Savannah throughout the year. The Savannah College of Arts and Design hosts the Savannah Film Festival every fall. This festival honors independent and mainstream film makers from around the world. The Savannah Book Festival  attracts readers and authors alike from mystery to romance, every February. The Savannah Music Festival  showcases every type of music from bluegrass to R&B to classic over a 2 week period every spring.

The holidays always brings out the best of celebrations in the Savannah area. Savannah holds one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the nation every year. The parade takes 3 hours to wind through downtown Savannah streets in front of thousands of participants and viewers. Every year on the weekend after Thanksgiving, Savannah has the Harbor Boat Parade on the Savannah River. There are also holiday parades and festivals in many of the local communities, including Hinesville. The New Year wouldn’t be complete without attending the New Year’s Eve Fireworks on Tybee Island!

There are great food festivals celebrating different cultures and styles throughout the year in Savannah. The fall season is filled with different food festivals for German, Greek and Jewish food. Oktoberfest on the River combines German food and Savannah fun in a 3 day festival starting on October 5, 2012. The 61st Annual Savannah Greek Festival will be held at the St. Paul’s Hellenic Center October 11th through October 13th. There is a Jewish Food Festival at Forsyth Park on October 28th where you can taste different samples of kosher cooking. Twice a year, Savannah restaurants participate in the Restaurant Week where patrons can get a fixed rate on certain meals at higher-end Savannah restaurants.

Labor Day weekend is full of events to cap off a busy summer full of fun! The 5th Annual Craft Brew Fest  started August 26th and runs through September 2nd. This celebration of the micro-crafted beer has become a very popular event in Savannah. It draws thousands of people to taste over 175 beers from local, regional and national craft brewers. There are many larger events for the Brew Fest this weekend including Friday evening’s International Food & Brew tasting and Saturday’s Grand Tasting at the Savannah International Trade & Convention Center. Sunday, there is a live outdoor concert in conjuncture with the Brew Fest featuring regional and national music acts at the Westin’s Grand Prize of American Road Race Track.

Every month will bring some type of special event to the Savannah area. That is something that the city can be very proud of! Get out there and enjoy what the city has to offer! Stop N Stor  is very proud to be a part of the Savannah, Port Wentworth and Hinesville communities! Check out your local chamber of commerce for more information for local events.

Wounded Warrior Outdoors Spring 2012 Update

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Wounded Warrior Outdoors  just completed another successful therapeutic outdoor adventure excursion a few weeks ago. This trip was a bear hunting trip to British Columbia. The trip included wounded, but active duty servicemen, their family, medical staff and volunteers from Wounded Warrior Outdoors. The servicemen for the trip were marines from Balboa Naval Medical Center in San Diego. The trip was successful on many levels for all of the participants. Each attendee brings their individual special needs and tons of determination, effort and hope on each outdoor adventure.

The bear hunt is one of the many outdoor excursions sponsored by Wounded Warrior Outdoors throughout the year. These trips vary from turkey hunting in the spring and fall to fly fishing in the summer. Wounded Warrior Outdoors hopes to host 55 injured, but active duty servicemen or women on therapeutic outdoor adventures in 2012. The program participants are usually currently under a hospital stay or in continued rehabilitation. Doctors and nurses from Balboa Naval Medical Center or Walter Reed Army Medical Center recommend the attendees for the outdoor excursions. The expenses for the trip, such as travel, lodging, food and supplies are all taken care of by Wounded Warrior Outdoors. There is no cost to the attendees, their families or the government. The organization relies on donation to pay for the trips. The staff of Wounded Warrior Outdoors is volunteers, who do not get paid. This allows more money to go back into the planning of future excursions. Wounded Warrior Outdoors relies on Corporate and personal donations to raise money for these worthwhile therapeutic trips for our servicemen and women. Donations can be made via the Wounded Warrior Outdoors website . You can also see photos of the past excursions on the Wounded Warrior Outdoors Facebook page.

Stop N Stor is very proud to be a sponsor of Wounded Warrior Outdoors and our military! Stop by any Stop N Stor location to see how you can help support this worthwhile cause. Thank you to those who have already donated to Wounded Warrior Outdoors. We will continue to post updates about Wounded Warrior Outdoors and their events throughout the year.