The holiday season already is fast upon us. In light of this festive time of year and the spirit of goodwill, those in the material handling industry can maximize the use of some of the equipment at their disposal—in particular, their forklift(s).
Consider these options to leverage the lift trucks in your facility for spreading holiday cheer:
1. Let Your Lift Trucks Serve as Santa’s Helper—Put Them to Use in the Community.
The holiday months are the peak time for charitable organizations to hold food and toy drives. These organizations, however, also may be in need of the logistical support to transport, store and move these donations at key collection points or distribution centers. Consider lending the use of your lift truck and also donating the time of a properly trained lift truck operator. Visit charitywatch.org  for a list of top-rated nonprofit organizations or feedingamerica.org  for local food banks.
2. Retiring a Lift Truck? Consider Donating Your Equipment to a Local Charity
Are you replacing a lift truck or retiring a lift truck that has completed its life cycle? Many nonprofit organizations, that have been granted tax exemption under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code, accept donations of lift trucks in addition to the traditional automotive and boat donations commonly advertised. Speak to a tax advisor as well for the advantages of donating used equipment and securing a tax write-off by the end of 2009.
3. Deck the Halls of Your Business
Holiday festivities don’t have to be isolated to local malls. Creatively—and safely—use your lift truck as a prop in the holiday display at your business. Go one step further and hold a holiday open house to showcase your decorated workplace to employees and their families. Use one of your lift trucks to hold the collection bins for food or toy drives.
4. Let Your Lift Truck be a Team Player in Sporting Events or a Local Parade.
Know of a local community group, school or sports organization holding a large event that may require extra support? Like tip number one, let your lift truck be a key player and lend much-need material handling assistance to the big event. You could end up being the shining star of the show.
5. Let Your Goodwill Ride into the New Year.
The holidays are a time to reflect on the past year and make resolutions for the year ahead. In looking forward to a brand new season, remember that goodwill can be shared all year long. Use these tips as a launching point for numerous other ways to assist your local community and the many noteworthy causes within your reach.
About Toyota Material Handling, U.S.A., Inc.
Celebrating more than 40 years of established operations in the United States, Irvine, Calif.-based TMHU offers a full line of high-quality lift trucks sold under the Toyota brand. TMHU, as the sole United States distributor for Aichi, now offers a line-up of aerial work lifts, including scissor lifts, crawler and wheeled boom lifts designed specifically to meet a wide range of indoor and outdoor needs.
Quality is the hallmark of Toyota’s world-renowned Toyota Production System practiced at all Toyota manufacturing facilities, including Toyota Industrial Equipment Mfg., Inc. (TIEM). Most of the Toyota lift trucks sold in the United States are manufactured at TIEM, a zero-landfill facility, in Columbus, Ind.