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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.

Savannah Area Farmers Markets

Savannah Farmers Markets
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Springtime signals the opening of farmers markets throughout the Savannah area. Farmers markets feature food and products sold directly by the farmers or the producer. The farmers markets usually have a variety of produce available to consumers from fruits, vegetables, meats, prepared foods and beverages. Because farmers are selling directly to their customers, it helps reduce the farmer’s “overhead” costs such as transportation, handling, storage, refrigeration and cost of renting a permanent retail space. Farmers markets can be in one place or move around on a weekly basis. Depending on the climate, they are open year round, however, the majority of farmers markets open up in the spring and are open until late fall. There are many great Farmers Markets in the Savannah area. Here is just a small list! Head out and check out the great locally produced food!

Wilmington Island Farmers Market

The Wilmington Island Farmers Market  is held at the Islands Community Church in Savannah every Saturday from 9am to 1pm. There is a spring market that runs to June 28th and a fall market that runs September 6th to December 20th. Each week, there are special events for the entire family from storytellers to arts and crafts to local entertainers.

Bethesda Academy Farm and Gardens Farm Stand

The Bethesda Academy in Savannah hosts the Farm and Garden Farm Stand every Thursday from 3-5:30pm. The stand, run by Bethesda students, focuses on organic products such as produce, garden seedlings and farm-fresh eggs. The students are actively involved in the planting, cultivating and harvesting of the produce using sustainable organic farming techniques.

Forsyth Farmers Market

The Forsyth Farmers Market is held every Saturday morning from 9am to 1pm at the South End of Forsyth Park. The market’s mission is to “promote the understanding and participation in the local food system that supports sustainability and increase use of local products.” The market was created in 2009 as a producer-only market, which is focused on the farmer and the producer selling items directly to their consumers.

Savannah Farmers Market

The Savannah Farmers Market is open year round. This market features locally grown season fruits, vegetables, nursery plants, sod, pumpkins and Christmas trees. There is also a florist and a restaurant on the grounds. The market is run by the Georgia Department of Agriculture.

Hinesville Farmers Market

The biggest farmers market in Liberty County is the Hinesville Farmers Market, which has spring, summer and fall markets. The spring market opens in March and runs for 2 months. The summer market opens in the first week of May and runs through October. The fall market is held in November. The market is held every Thursday afternoon from 5:30-7pm in Bradwell Park. There is a variety of produce offered at the market from fruits and vegetables to fresh honey and pasta. There are also concerts from local and regional performers at the market on a monthly basis.



Fourth of July in Savannah

4th of July events in Savannah

Fourth of July, the holiday celebrating our country’s independence from England is a day filled with patriotic concerts, community picnics, family gatherings and fireworks. This tradition goes back to July 4, 1776, the day that the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. The 4th of July became an official federal holiday in 1870. There are many events in the Savannah area to celebrate our nation’s 237th birthday from visiting a state park to watching fireworks.

The holiday fun kicks off on July 3rd with the fireworks on Tybee Island.  The fireworks will start after 9pm and can be viewed from any point on the eastern side of the island including the beach or the Tybee Island Pier and Pavilion. For the history buffs, Fort McAllister  will be having Civil War era re-enactors, cannon and musket firings and old-fashioned family fun from 9am to 4pm on July 4th.

Savannah will be celebrating Independence Day in grand style with Fireworks on the River as part of the 4th of July on the Riverfront Festival. The fireworks will be at 9:30pm. There will be 3 days of activities along River Street including a Burger Battle on Friday, July 5th from 11am to 7pm and a Cornhole Tournament all day on Saturday, July 6th. There will be 8 bands that are performing throughout the long weekend. There are also children’s arts & crafts and other family entertainment, food vendors and shops. Fort Stewart and the 3rd Infantry Division will present “Salute America” starting at 8:30pm at Cottrell Field. The program includes a howitzer round being fired for all states and territories of the United States followed by fireworks. Check with your local community for information about holiday concerts and fireworks displays.

Stop N Stor  wishes our customers, vendors, family and friends a safe and happy 4th of July holiday. You will be able to access your storage units at all of the Stop N Stor locations  during the holiday.

Storage Auction Treasure Hunt

Searching for treasure at storage auctions

Attending storage auctions continues to be a popular past time for many people across the country. There are quite a few experts in the field who have made good profits on items that they have bid on at storage auctions. For the majority of auction goers, the fun is trying to find the next “big” storage treasure. It is important to be fully prepared with a plan when bidding at a storage auction in your town.

When attending storage auctions, there are a few must-haves that need to be properly prepared:

1. Cash-Most storage auctions do not take a check or a credit card

2. Flashlight-A flashlight will help you see inside a dark storage unit.

3. Gloves-When sorting or disposing the items in the storage unit, it is good to wear gloves to protect your hands.

4. Way to remove the items from the storage unit. Most storage operators will allow 24-48 hours to remove the items after a storage auction.

There is a website, Storage Treasures  that gives some great hints about the storage auction process as well as how to turn a profit with items that have been purchased at an auction. One of their tips is not to overbid on a storage unit, especially when you are just beginning to attend storage auctions. If it is your first time bidding at a storage auction, wait to see how others are bidding and then when you feel comfortable enough without going over your set budget, then you can place your bid. The attendees of a storage auction are given a short time to view the contents of the storage unit that is up for auction before an auctioneer starts the bidding process. Once the bidding is complete on the storage unit, then the auction moves on to the next storage unit that is up for auction until all of the units have been auctioned off.

There are certain clues to look for when looking at items in a storage auction to see if they could be valuable. Since there is such a short time to view the contents of the storage unit, you will need to have a keen eye to possible valuable items. Antiques, collectible items, cars and sometimes even money can be found in storage unit auctions, but you have to be able to train your eye to look for clues that could signal higher value items:]

1. Climate controlled storage units usually contain electronics or antiques to protect the items from extreme temperatures while in storage.

2. If the storage unit has a lot of dust or dirt covering the items, then they could have been stored for some time and there could be valuable items hidden in the boxes.

3. Look for electronic brand name boxes, because it means that there could be higher value items in the storage unit.

4. The shape and type of boxes could indicate what the item is inside. If a box is leaning or stacked “heavily” on another, it could mean that there are a lot of items in the box.

5. Look for obvious items such as musical instrument cases, safes or cash registers.

6. For those that are reselling items, larger storage units will usually contain more items, which can turn a better profit.

For a storage unit to be put up for auction, a facility manager or operator will have to have exhausted every possible way to contact the renter of the storage unit before it goes to auction. The storage operators can only recoup up to the lost rent amount during the storage auction. In most cases, the bidding comes well below that amount and the storage operators actually lose money. Keep an eye on this blog and Stop N Stor’s  social media pages:  Facebook and Twitter  for the latest information on upcoming storage auctions at our Hinesville, Port Wentworth or Savannah locations.

Busy Season for Self Storage

Stop N Stor Hinesville 1 outside storage units

The summer months are the busiest time for the self store industry. In fact, one of the busiest days of the year for self storage operators is the Tuesday after Memorial Day. Some storage companies have coined the term, “Crazy Tuesday”, to describe the large increase in calls and reservations on the day. Sparefoot recently declared the day after Memorial Day as “National Moving Day” because the majority of Americans start their moving process right after Memorial Day. This is also a busy time for people moving to purchase packing and moving supplies.

The busy season for self storage coincides with the busiest time of year for moving companies. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the summer is the height of moving season with over 11% of people moving in June alone. Summer is the time that families, recent college graduates and young professionals move to new destinations and opportunities. As the housing market and the economy continues to recover, people are beginning to be on the move again with the majority of people moving within a 25 mile radius of their current home. Most people are moving due to jobs or new opportunities. If a family is moving, it is better to complete the move before the beginning of the new school year. Moving is a stressful time, but if you can properly prep for the move, then the process can be much smoother. Since it is a very busy time for moving companies, it is important to make appointments with moving companies at least 3-6 weeks in advance of your move.

Also, as the weather warms up, the rentals of storage units grows. There are many reasons for this including: people have finished their spring cleaning projects and need storage space for the items that they couldn’t throw away, life events such as graduating from college or getting married and moving for new jobs or if you are near a military base, deployments. Stop N Stor  has 5 locations in Hinesville, Port Wentworth and Savannah for all of your storage needs.  Stop N Stor knows that renting a self storage unit can be stressful for many different reasons. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff can help you choose the best storage option for your needs. If you are student, member of the military or a member of one of our communities, we welcome you to tour our facilities to see how we are different form the other storage operators. Our facilities have state-of-the-art surveillance systems and 24 gate access to give you added security for your stored belongings. Stop N Stor offers discounts to active military personnel and current college students and faculty. Just show your school or military identification when you rent your storage unit. Thanks for choosing Stop N Stor and good luck to everyone who is moving this summer!

Military and Self Storage

Military and Self Storage
Moving is a common occurrence for military personnel and their families. Assignment changes and deployments can happen on short notice requiring the military members and their families to quickly develop a moving or deployment plan. Military families learn to easily adapt and plan for any situation. For new military personnel planning for the first deployment or move can be a challenge. It is important to remember that the more that you can plan ahead, the better it is.

Stop N Stor  has 5 storage facilities in the greater Hinesville & Savannah, Georgia areas located near Ft. Stewart and Hunter Army Air Field . Ft. Stewart is the home of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division and the largest military base east of the Mississippi River. There are over 20,000 soldiers stationed at Ft. Stewart and Hunter Air Field. Currently, there are 9,000 soldiers from Ft. Stewart deployed to assignments around the world. If these deployments are for up to a year, it is a good idea to put personal items into a self storage unit during the time away. It is a safe and economic option for military personnel. The most important thing to do when you are renting a self storage unit is decide what items you need to take with you during your assignment and what items can stay in storage. If you have to store an entire home or apartment, it might be a good idea to invest in a climate controlled storage unit to protect your electronic items over long-term storage. Placing a car in self storage during deployment is also a great idea. With the proper pre-storage preparations, the car will be ready for use when you return home.

The self storage industry supports many different aspects of military life from sending essential gift boxes to supporting our wounded heroes. Stop N Stor is proud to support Wounded Warrior Outdoors , a non-profit organization that gives therapeutic outdoor adventures to wounded, but active duty service men and women. Stop N Stor also supports “Enlisted Angels”, a group, based at Ft. Stewart to help empower and support military wives.  Stop N Stor also offers a 10% discount to active duty military personnel . Thank you to every member of the military past and present who have fought for and defended our freedoms!

Hinesville Farmer Market

Hinesville Farmers Market

There has been a growth in the number of farmers markets in Georgia in the last few years. The temperate climate allows farmers in Georgia to have a growing season for most of the year. This is great for the farmers and for consumers. Farmers markets have become a main stay in nearly every town square. Every Saturday morning from 9am to 1pm, Savannah hosts the Forsyth Farmers Market . Since 2010, there has been a farmers market in Hinesville, Georgia from the middle of March to late October. The Hinesville Farmers Market officially kicks off its summer season this Thursday, May 2nd at Bradwell Park in downtown Hinesville. The hours for the market are 4pm-7pm every week.

The Hinesville Farmers Market’s mission is to provide the community with the ability to purchase fresh, homegrown produce and agricultural products from local area growers. The market helps to strengthen the local economy and enhances the community’s quality of life. There are also special events at the market including the 2nd Thursday in the Park, which includes performances by local musicians, Demos and Samples Night, where you can sample some food by local chefs, and Go Pink Night, held in late October to support Breast Cancer Awareness.

There are a variety of vendors at the marketing including those that sell the following: grass-fed beef, fresh bread, homegrown produce, cheese and freshly made pastas, handmade candies and chocolates and more. There is an application process to be a vendor. You can find more information about this process on the website.  Keep an eye out for weekly market updates on the Hinesville Farmers Market social media pages: Facebook and Pinterest.

The Hinesville Downtown Development Authority works to create a sustainable, revitalized and vibrant downtown that is an economic hub and enhances the quality of life for the community. They work to bring events and activities to downtown Hinesville throughout the year. Stop N Stor  is very proud to be a member of the Hinesville community. There are three Stop N Stor locations  in Hinesville that can help you in all your storage needs.

Spring Cleaning Time!

Man and woman painting wall.

Spring officially struck on March 20th and finally, the weather is beginning to feel like springtime! Flowers and trees are already blooming in the Savannah area. Now is the time to start working on the spring cleaning and remodeling projects that you started planning in the winter.  Attending the Home and Garden Shows gave you some great ideas for reorganizing or remodeling. After the long winter, it refreshing to open up windows and let the fresh air come in. The warmer weather will give you incentive to start working on all of the projects around the house.

Spring cleaning can be a daunting task, but think of the fresh and clean results of your project! As you go through your spring cleaning projects, include de-cluttering and reorganizing closets, attics, basements and rooms to the list. These rooms have become cluttered with winter and left over holiday items. Tackle your spring projects one room at a time. This makes the project much easier to manage. If you are washing windows and painting walls during your cleaning project, clear out the entire room to make it easier to access.  Before putting the items back in the room, sort them into the following piles: keep, donate, sell, place in storage or throw out. Going through this sorting process will help you eliminate belongings that you have kept, but haven’t used in year. To keep the room organized, purchase or create your own storage accessories. There are so many great ideas online  for creatively organizing and storing items.

As the weather warms up, you will need somewhere to store your winter gear, such as coats, skis, shovels and snow blowers for the warmer seasons. Renting a storage unit is a perfect solution to store these items.  Once you do your spring cleaning and realize that you have a lot of items to sell, you could decide to do a garage sale. Putting the items that you want to have in a garage sale in a self storage unit until it is time for the sale is another great way to help de-clutter your home.  If you already have a storage unit, the early spring months are the best time to switch out your winter items for your gardening tools, lawnmowers, summer clothes and other summer items.

Don’t forget to give your storage unit a good spring cleaning as well. This is one item on the spring cleaning list that is usually neglected. As you are removing summer items from your storage unit and replacing them with winter items, take the time to sweep out your storage unit. Check your boxes for damage and replace any furniture or mattress covers, moisture absorbers and deodorizers for the upcoming summer season. Reorganize your boxes and stored items and then create an inventory list of the items that are currently in storage.

It is a great feeling to accomplish a spring cleaning and project list! Stop N Stor  has a large variety of packing supplies such as boxes, packing tape, and furniture and mattress covers to help you in your spring cleaning projects. Stop by any of our Hinesville, Port Wentworth or Savannah locations  to pick up your supplies and to see how Stop N Stor can help you with your storage needs.

Connect Savannah-Best of Savannah 2013

Vote for Stop N Stor in the Best of Savannah poll
Vote today in the Best of Savannah Poll!

April is when spring is in full bloom in Savannah. It is also time for the Annual Connect Savannah Best of Savannah poll.  Connect Savannah  is a free weekly alternative magazine that focuses on news and issues, arts, entertainment, music, food and drink and film in the Savannah area. There are over 100,000 readers both in print and online to the magazine on a weekly basis. The annual Best of Savannah Poll is a popular event every year in Savannah. There are 331 categories in the entire poll, but the poll taker only needs to vote on 25 categories to make their votes valid. You must register to the site in order to take the poll.

The Annual Best of Savannah Poll has a wide range of categories that you can vote on including the following:

Arts and Culture-Best Museum, Cultural Event, Film Festival, Best local theater, Best Local Actress and Actor, etc.

City Life-Best historic home, best local celebrity, best neighborhoods-both upcoming and current, etc.

Politics & Public Affairs-Best local political figures, best local policeman and firemen, etc.

Media-Best local radio, TV and print, Best Local TV and radio personalities, etc.

Food-Best types of food from Italian to Seafood to veggie burger, best restaurants, best chefs, etc.

Nightlife-Best bars, clubs, happy hours, drink selections, etc.

Recreation, Health and Beauty-Best local sports teams, best hospital, best pharmacy, best doctor, best dentist, best hair salon, best fitness club, etc.

Shopping & Services-Best local clothes designer and shop, best 24 hour storage, best pet store, best place to use a military discount, best place to buy a car, best place to get a car repaired, etc.

The voting lasts until May 1, 2013. The winners are announced in an upcoming issue of Connect Savannah. There is also a very popular local awards ceremony and party for the release of the issue and to celebrate the winners. Last year’s voting for the “Best of” Poll nearly doubled the amount of votes from 2011! Let’s make this year’s vote even more! Every vote counts, so get out there and vote!

Stop N Stor  is listed for the first year in the “Best of” poll under the category of Best 24 Hour Storage facility in Savannah. Help show your support for Stop N Stor by taking the time to vote in this year’s poll! Thanks for your support!!

Importance of Security in Self Storage

Self Storage is a great option to store extra items that you no longer have room for in your home or business, but you cannot sell, donate or throw out. These items are important to you, so you need to choose the right self storage facility that will fill your needs. When searching for a self storage facility, there are 3 factors that most people look for in a facility: a good location, great security and a manageable cost. You should choose a self storage facility that is close to your home or business for easier access to your items. When you go to a self storage facility, you want to feel that your belongings will be safe while they are in storage and that you are safe when you are visiting the storage facility. Some factors to consider as you drive-up to a new facility are does the facility have a gated entry, video surveillance and is well maintained? The cost of the storage unit will largely depend on how big of a storage unit you will need and for how long. The smaller storage unit (5X5) will have a less cost compared to a larger (10X30) storage unit.

Cost and location are important in the search for the storage unit, but security should be your highest priority. A clean, well-lit and well maintained facility will show you that the management cares about the grounds and your safety. Stop N Stor has well-lit and clean indoor and outdoor storage areas. Each facility has an on-site management team for added security. Storage unit tenants can only access the grounds to the storage facility via keypad entry on the gated entry. The storage units can be accessed 24 hours a day/7 days a week. The office hours are Monday through Saturday 9am to 6pm. Each storage unit is provided with an anti-pick lock at the time of the rental. Each of our facilities has a state-of-the-art surveillance system. This system houses over 30 digital cameras with DVR back-up throughout each facility. The video screens for these cameras can be seen at our rental offices. All of these security measures give you peace of mind that your belongings are safe while at Stop N Stor.

It is important to feel that your personal or business items are safe and secure while in storage. Another way to make sure that they stay safe is to limit the amount of people with access to the storage unit. Give an extra key to the lock to the facility management (for “just in case”) and only give access to the unit to one to two more people. The least people accessing the storage unit, the safer you can feel.

Stop N Stor  takes security for our facility very seriously! Stop by and let us show you the ways that we help to keep your belongings safe and secure.