Kennards Self Storage has been supporting The Footpath Library for years. They generously provide space in their storage centres for us to accumulate, store, sort and distribute our books in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. We sat down with Managing Director, Sam Kennard to learn about how the Kennards has taken The Footpath Library out of the Founder’s garage to where it is today.
How did Kennards start providing storage to The Footpath Library?
When I first heard about The Footpath Library, Sarah was using her home garage to store the books, it was just in its infancy. It was apparent the appeal of Sarah’s initiative was bigger than her garage, so we decided to help by donating space to store the books at our Brookvale centre. We have happily supported The Footpath Library’s expansion with more space in other areas. Sarah is very passionate, and it’s easy to become captured in this and help her cause in our own modest way.
Why do Kennards provide community support?
Companies have particular natural strengths where they can be of assistance to community organisations. At Kennards, we like offering our storage service to assist others particularly for people who are displaced. Storage space is central to our business, so when a cause needs this to help people who are displaced, we are happy to help.
Do you find it helps with staff engagement?
Corporations are made up of many people. People obviously have many concerns about other issues and causes outside of work. It is helpful for engagement of company’s teams to assist them in things that matter to them outside work.
Why do you think providing books to homeless people matters?
There are many good people working tirelessly to assist homeless people. Some help with shelter, some with clothing, food and so on. They say books are food for the mind, and I thought The Footpath Library idea was a way to make meaningful difference to their day-to-day existence. Books can inspire, stimulate and educate. Each reader will have their own journey and experience of a book. It’s probably difficult to say what the “deliverable” will be for them, but if they are reading it, then they must be enjoying it – that’s enough for me.
Do you have a favourite genre of books?
I read business and personal development books quite a bit. My favourite would be “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Steven Covey. In fiction, my most gripping read recently was the Stieg Larsson Millennium trilogy.
What are you reading at the moment?
I am reading Smaller, Lighter, Faster, Cheaper, Denser: How Innovations Keep Proving the Catastrophists Wrong by Robert Bryce. It’s a book about mankind’s amazing ability to innovate which has solved or continues to solve many of the world’s problems, whether they are about food production, transport, medicine, environmental and so on. Humans have an amazing capacity to make things better. It’s a very positive concept that we often don’t appreciate.
Kennards Self Storage is a private family-owned business with self storage centres across Australia and New Zealand. They currently have 84 storage centres in our group and approximately 230 people.