2013 has been a successful year for Iron Gate Storage, but not just financially. The success I speak of is a success of gratitude, honor, and humility.
- In 2013 we were honored to become a member of Heroes to Hired, actively helping Veterans and Reservists to find fulfilling careers that allow them to continue to put all of their specific talents to work in a civilian setting; and in many cases bettering their local communities in ways only they can.
- In 2013 we were grateful to the many people and small businesses that have joined us and Furry Friends in our collective mission to create a permanent home for the many stray and abandoned cats and kittens in the Vancouver area. Please don’t hesitate to visit the Furry Friends website, we are very excited about this new endeavor and we still need volunteers and donations to make it happen.
- We have been humbled by the response of our customers to our 2013/2014 Food and Clothing drive. We have collected three truckloads of food, clothing, and blankets just in November and December of 2013. I appeal to all of you to help us continue this trend into 2014; it will only get colder and colder out there, help us keep people warm and fed.
- Iron Gate Storage also finished our biggest project to date. In 2011 we purchased an existing facility in Beaverton OR. A once great but small facility built in 1974; it was full of potential but needed some TLC. After two years of devoted care by our entire staff the Iron Gate Storage in Beaverton is now a beautiful, completely renovated facility that matches the standards of its many great neighbors like Nike and Intel.
2013 has also been a year of little known small town and neighborhood heroes. Each of them changing the world with large hearts and devoted actions.
- On Christmas Day 2013 the police officers of Melbourne Florida decided to hand out some holiday cheer in the form of tickets. When these police officers pulled over a person for minor traffic violations, like speeding, they issued warnings and tickets, lottery tickets that is. The gifts of these unconventional tickets were paid for by these uniformed men and women themselves. When asked if anyone received a winning ticket the officers were unsure but didn’t seem concerned with the possible accolades, they simply wanted to see a few smiles.
- A man honored his mother, a school teacher, in Hudson Wisconsin and decided to create a tiny neighborhood library. He built and placed a small “school house” in his neighborhood and filled it full of books for neighborhood kids to borrow and enjoy. This man had no idea that his loving tribute to his mother would catch on like wildfire, there are now 6,500 such little libraries all over the country.
- A 16 year old girl tired of the bullying and negative self-images she witnessed at her high school every day, decided to make a big change with many small gestures. This young hero placed 1,986 post it notes, on each locker in her school, with the simple phrase “You’re Beautiful” hand written on each one of them. Letting each and every student know that they possess an individual beauty.
- When Robyn Rosenberger sat down to her sewing machine to make capes for her children and nieces and nephews she had not considered it could lead to changing the lives of so many children. While sewing capes for her family she heard a story of a young boy with an incurable skin condition. After becoming immersed in this child’s story and the bravery he has shown in the face of so much adversity, she thought to herself that he and children like him are true super heroes. Robyn decided to contact his parents in order to give him a personalized cape and she has not stopped since. Robyn and other volunteers that have joined her have created and donated hundreds of super-hero capes for children with terminal diseases, incurable conditions, and disabilities. For more information on how can join in her effort please visit tinysuperheroes.com.
- Ron Finley is known as the “Gangster Gardener” and while his effort has been covered by many media outlets, his mission is well worth continued conversation. Ron is from Los Angeles, specifically South Central LA. This is an area plagued by poverty and crime, and in Ron’s own words the landscape is all fast food restaurants, liquor stores, and vacant lots. The closest place to South LA to purchase healthy organic foods is more than 45 minutes away. In response to unused soil and the only food option being fast food, he decided to grow a food forest in the green space in front of his house. After some opposition from the city that turned into a warrant for Ron himself, he finally gained support from a state representative and has taken his food forests to neighborhoods all over South LA. Ron now recruits troubled youth and forgotten elderly to work together to grow food, promote health education, beautify neighborhoods, and bring broken communities back together. He has been quoted saying “Gardening is the most therapeutic and defiant act you can do, especially in the inner city. Plus, you get strawberries.” — Ron Finley. His mission is profound, his mission puts land back to its natural use, brings people together, redefines what it means to be rebellious, gives defiance a purpose, brings healthy options to an area without any other healthy options, and teaches the importance and gratitude of hard work. Ron Finley is a social pioneer in an area that desperately needs a purpose. He is by all definitions a true hero.
- A young girl sits at a table with a bowl of curd rice in front of her, her most detested meal. Her Mother, after begging her to eat it, beckons her father to come in and try to get the child to eat what is in her bowl. Her father kneels down and implores his daughter to eat just one bite. After a moment this young girl says “I will eat the entire bowl, if you promise to give me whatever I ask”. The father agrees, stipulating that she cannot request something as expensive as a computer. She informs him that her wish is not at all expensive but requires that both he and her mother promise to fulfill this wish, they both agree and the young girl begins to eat. After her bowl is empty her father inquires about what it is his daughter would wish for. The young girl looks to her father and asks to have her beautiful hair shaved off. The girl’s mother and grandmother begin to adamantly protest, this is culturally unacceptable, there is no way they can allow this wish to be granted. Her father calmly tells his wife and mother-in-law that they must make good on this promise, as they must not teach their young daughter that promises are to be taken lightly or denied. The next morning the father drops his young daughter off at school, with a heavy heart he wonders how her peers will react to his daughter’s bald head. While watching her walk into the school he hears a young boy call to her to wait for him, the young boy is also sporting a fresh bald head. The father considers that this must be a new trend, until a woman approaches his car. He steps out to speak with her and finds that she is the young boy’s mother. Her son had been fearful of returning to school with his bald head, he had been fighting leukemia and had lost all of his hair. The young girl had recently visited him and he had expressed his fear and embarrassment and the girl promised to find a way to make him feel better. After the conversation the father returned to his vehicle and sobbed, here he had thought his daughter was following a frivolous fad and his promise had helped support such frivolity; when in fact he had supported his daughter in making good on a promise she had made to a sick friend.
Not many of us have the imagination, time, or inspiration to commit heroic acts such as these, but we all have the ability to commit the smallest acts of kindness. We can smile at someone who scowls, we can pay the difference in a grocery bill if someone is short, we can collect socks and gloves and hand them out to the homeless, and we can buy someone a cup of coffee on a cold day or a bottle of water on a hot day. Every day there is an opportunity to make that day a little better for one person and if each of us did so the entire community and eventually the world would be that much better just by creating a smile or two.
Iron Gate Storage is a place of business that specializes in moving and storage needs. We are also and more importantly an active part of our community. We, as individual staff members and together as a company, strive to make our community that much better. Whether we are gathering donations for the needy and homeless, raising awareness for our abandoned feline friends, or helping Veterans transition to civilian life with honor and respect, we are devoted to making our community better for everyone.
From the staff at Iron Gate Storage to all of you, Happy New Year and here is making 2014 another year of humble, grateful, and honorable successes.