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  • Poppy Behrens

Goodwill Auctions: Storage Partnerships Support Charities

By Poppy Behrens, Modern Storage Media

What started as a business partnership has developed into a mission to collectively impact people in need. In 2020, Lonnie Bickford launched Storage Gives, a sister organization to his online storage auction website, presents an opportunity for businesses to make a positive impact on those who need help both in the U.S. and around the globe.

Bickford has said regarding Storage Gives, “We are facilitating a platform to connect the storage industry to worthy causes to make an impact in lives all over the world.”

Through, self-storage owners and operators are able to donate a percentage of their online auction proceeds to charities that have been vetted by Bickford and his team. Charities like Shriner’s hospital, Homes for our Troops, and Autism Speaks. 

A Caring Campaign

“He had me at Autism Speaks,” says Jennifer Barnett, COO at Absolute Storage Management (ASM), a third-party self-storage management company based out of Cordova, Tenn. Barnett’s nine-year-old son, Elijah, was diagnosed with autism at age three. She explained that he was non-verbal, lacked coordination skills, and had sensory and other social-emotional issues at an early age. “I will never forget receiving a phone call from his preschool teacher, telling me that she had some serious concerns that he may be on the spectrum. A part of me was terrified, while the other part was so thankful that we had a diagnosis so early and could get him the services that he needed.” 

ASM had already begun a partnership with for its online auctions, so when Donna Morgan-Esquibel, sales manager at, casually mentioned the upcoming launch of Storage Gives, Barnett jumped at the chance to be the company’s very first partner.

“ASM was looking for unique ways to show our team, our owners, and our community that ‘We Care’ in the midst of COVID-19. Partnering with Storage Gives was the perfect way to launch our ‘We Care’ campaign,” says Barnett.

Beginning in April 2021, ASM began designating five percent of their auction proceeds to Autism Speaks. But for Barnett, that wasn’t enough. “I was doing this for Elijah,” she says. “And I owed it to him, and to Lonnie and his team, to give this my best effort.” Barnett made a few phone calls and was able to connect with Kimberly Dick, area executive director for Autism Speaks. “Kimberly has been an amazing and gracious resource for ASM throughout this entire journey...(read more)


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