Some moves are more complicated than others – maybe it’s an unusually large move, or one that can only be completed during business hours. That’s where moving company partners can help, explains Stephanie Ling, Operations Manager for Shelter Movers Vancouver (SMV). “We usually only use moving company partners for low-risk moves. And we usually still have a Shelter Movers Lead Mover on the move so we can help communicate between the client and the professional movers.”
One of these partners is Two Small Men with Big Hearts, a now Calgary-based moving company founded in Vancouver forty years ago with twenty-five locations across Canada. When SMV needs professional moving services they’re able to contact Two Small Men for a donated move.
Kassi Ross, Two Small Men’s Community and Communications Manager, explains that Two Small Men donates 10 percent of its profits back to local initiatives, which include providing moving services. She notes that the company likes to donate services (versus cutting cheques or sponsoring an event) since it benefits both Two Men and the organisations it helps.
What makes the SMV partnership with Two Small Men work? A combination of flexibility and experienced movers, says Ross. “We ask our community partners for a range of dates that work for them from the 4th to the 24th of the month, since the end of the month is where we’re at our busiest,” says Ross. There is no set limit on how many donated moves each partner can request but the average number for SMV is one to two per month. And if an activity does need to be cancelled – which really doesn’t happen that often, says Ross – “it’s such a small inconvenience for our team compared to what we know is a much more complex situation.”
Two Men’s staff are experienced in working with community organizations, which helps when dealing with a potentially stressful move. “We work with a number of shelters whose clients might be transitioning from intimate partner violence situations at home, or from being houseless into a new home, so it’s really important that our entire team understands that these are sensitive moves,” Ross notes.
And the benefits of this partnership go both ways, says Ross. “Our movers get so excited about being able to be involved in donated moves. Not only are we able to add value back into our community, but we are also able to engage more of our staff who are all passionate about community giving.”
The last two years were a particularly challenging time for moving companies due to the pandemic. “The moving industry was considered an essential service so we had to react on the fly a lot of the time when it came to keeping our staff and clients safe,” Ross notes. But unlike many businesses, they were also able to operate at full capacity, and with last year being one of their busiest ever, wanted to give back by increasing their number of community partnerships.
What it comes down to, Ross reiterates, is a desire to provide donated services to organizations that are involved in the local community.