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The Importance of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Bekins Van Lines corporate office accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge yesterday, Aug. 20 to raise awareness for ALS as well as donate to ALS Association.

Bekins challenged all of its agents to do the same. Before dumping ice water on yourself, here are some things you should know about ALS from alsa.org.

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.
  • ALS is not contagious.
  • It is estimated that ALS is responsible for nearly two deaths per hundred thousand population annually.
  • Approximately 5,600 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year. The incidence of ALS is two per 100,000 people, and it is estimated that as many as 30,000 Americans may have the disease at any given time.
  • Although the life expectancy of an ALS patient averages about two to five years from the time of diagnosis, this disease is variable and many people live with quality for five years and more.  More than half of all patients live more than three years after diagnosis.
  • About twenty percent of people with ALS live five years or more and up to ten percent will survive more than ten years and five percent will live 20 years. There are people in whom ALS has stopped progressing and a small number of people in whom the symptoms of ALS reversed.
  • ALS occurs throughout the world with no racial, ethnic or socioeconomic boundaries.
  • ALS can strike anyone.
  • The onset of ALS is insidious with muscle weakness or stiffness as early symptoms. Progression of weakness, wasting and paralysis of the muscles of the limbs and trunk as well as those that control vital functions such as speech, swallowing and later breathing generally follows.
  • There can be significant costs for medical care, equipment and home health care giving later in the disease.  It is important to be knowledgeable about your health plan coverage and other programs for which your may be eligible, including SSA, Medicare, Medical and Veteran Affairs benefits.
  • ALS Association has raised 41.8 million from the Ice Bucket Challenge Donations. Donations can be made here.

Below are the videos and photos from yesterday’s challenge!

Watch the video here on our new YouTube Channel.

 

 

 

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World Humanitarian Day and Bekins

Today is World Humanitarian Day, which is a dedicated day to raise public awareness of the work undertaken by humanitarian organizations. We not only specialize in moving your household goods, but giving back is embedded in our corporate culture at Bekins Van Lines. For today’s blog, we are shining the spotlight on the organizations with which we work that are dedicated to making the world a better place.

Give Kids The World Village

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Bekins is a major sponsor of Give Kids The World Village near Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., as well as the main sponsor for Keaton’s Korral located in the village. Give Kids The World Village is an organization that provides memorable, magical, cost-free experiences for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. The village is a 70-acre resort that has welcomed more than 130,000 families from all 50 states and more than 75 countries.

A wall of letters from children that have experienced Give Kids The World Village found in the Bekins corporate office.

A wall of letters at the Bekins corporate office from children that have experienced Give Kids The World Village.

Keaton’s Korral
At Keaton’s Korral, more than 7,300 families each year have been able to experience the fun of horse and pony rides, while wearing cowboy hats and living out their cowboy dreams. Keaton’s Korral was named for Keaton White, an alumni wish child who spoke at the 2003 Wheaton | Bekins conference shortly before he lost his battle with cancer. His story touched so many of the agents and employees, as he told of his dream to ensure every child got to experience the joy he felt during his time at the Village.

Bekins Chairman, Stephen Burns with Keaton White, who inspired Keaton's Korral at Give Kids The World Village

Bekins Chairman, Stephen Burns with Keaton White, who inspired Keaton’s Korral at Give Kids The World Village

“Give Kids The World was one of the happiest times of my life,” White said. “I just want to be sure that someday another little boy or girl and their family are loved just as much as me and my family were loved.”

The 60th Annual Wheaton|Bekins Conference from November 5-8 in Scottsdale, Ariz., will be hosting a silent auction to raise money for Keaton’s Korral. You can also click here to donate to Keaton’s Korral and Give Kids The World Village.

Move for Hunger:

Move For HungerMove for Hunger is a nonprofit organization that works with relocation companies to collect unwanted food from people who are relocating and deliver it to food banks all across North America.

Bekins Van Lines currently has 34 agents participating and has collected 55,812 lbs., of food all-time and 29,138 lbs., of food in 2014 alone. It’s a win-win for all parties – food banks get a much needed boost all year long, customers feel good about the donation (and may even offset some of the cost of their move by reducing the weight of heavier canned goods), and Bekins participates in a nationwide initiative to combat hunger.

To learn more about Move For Hunger and how you can help, visit MoveForHunger.org.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure Tissue Bank

Susan G. Komen for the Cure Tissue Bank at the IU Simon Cancer Center – The Tissue Bank collects blood and tissue samples from donors and makes the samples available to Susan G Koman Tissue Bankresearchers across the globe who are seeking to find a cure for breast cancer. Since 2008, Bekins has transported equipment for the Tissue Bank to collection events across the country. Visit KomenTissueBank.IU.edu to learn more about the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Tissue Bank at the IU Simon Cancer Center.

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Successfully Move into a College Dorm

Freshman year of college is an exciting and nerve-wracking time. For most first-year students, the first step of college is moving into a dorm room. This can be a challenging process due to the limited space and the distance from home. Here are some tips to help streamline the moving process and start your college career on the right foot.

  • Talk to the resident halls and contact your roommate: Find out what is provided in the dorm room as well as the dimensions. You will need to figure out how your things must fit without overcrowding. Usually, the housing department will provide your future roommate’s name. It is a good idea to contact them to ask what they will be bringing and avoid having duplicate items in the room.
  • Take Inventory: Before you begin shopping and packing, go through your closet. Donate items that are no longer needed. Depending on the climate, pack clothes for the approaching seasons. It is best to be prepared until winter break.
  • Pack only the essentials: Space is very limited, especially when living with a roommate. It is important to only pack items that are absolutely necessary. If you have more than a car load, you’re probably taking too much.
  • Use Storage Bins: Packing clothing and supplies in plastic storage bins will ease packing the car and hauling them up the stairs. With the help of bed risers, storage bins can be kept under the bed with out-of-season clothing and supplies that are not needed on a daily basis. Tips for arranging your room

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  • Develop a Plan: Before moving in, plan out the move. When packing the car, pack the items that are necessary for the move so they are easily accessible. Strategize how to arrange the furniture in your room and show your parents where you would like things to go.
  • Get there early: The earlier the better when moving to avoid the crowd. An impromptu shopping trip will most likely be needed for items that were left at home. If you live far away, consider driving the night before and staying in a hotel.
  • Decorate last: After packing away your clothes and everyday supplies, spend some time making your space your own.

Good luck with your first year of school! It goes by fast, so enjoy it!

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What’s Inside Bekins’ Trailers?

Bekins’ trucks and trailers travel all across America packed to the max with household goods. Here is what an empty, brand-new trailer looks like before it is it put to work!

Bekins Truck 1

Semi-trailers at Bekins are 53 feet long and have side doors on them. Some have one side door, but this new one has two.

Inside the trailer 3

Trailers can pack 25,000 – 28,000 lbs. of household goods with the maximum weight capacity of 80,000 lbs. for your standard 18 wheel semi truck and trailer.

Inside Bekins Truck

Bekins’ trailers hold more than just your household items. Our semi-trailers come equipped with 200-250 furniture pads to keep your furniture beautiful and comfortable. For the more cumbersome household items each Bekins trailer has a detachable walk board (incline ramp) and other equipment to help with the move.

Roof of Bekins Truck

The numbers on the roof are cubic foot measurements to help the movers gauge how much space is available inside the trailer.

Outside of closed door Bekins Truck

If you are concerned about your odd-shaped items each trailer can accommodate with the belly box underneath each trailer.

We want to see what you see! Post to our Facebook and Twitter pages when you see a Bekins truck on the road!

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Combat Stress with 20 Minutes of Exercise

Moving inevitably will cause stress under any circumstances, but one of the most important ways to combat it is exercising 20 minutes a day.

Exercising just 20 minutes a day can benefit your physical and mental health. Here’s how:

  • Exercise increases the flow of the blood to the brain, just as it improves circulation to the heart and the rest of the body.
  • Increased core temperature during exercise may lead to reduced muscle tension.
  • Activity also stimulates the growth of nerve cells in the part of the brain involved in memory. When we’re stressed, cortisol and adrenaline are surging and we forget things. In the brain, cortisol is binding with receptors in the hippocampus, the seat of memory formation and learning. If stress is left unchecked over time key connections between nerve cells in the brain won’t function as well, impairing memory and ability to take in new information and raising the risk for depression and anxiety.
  • Exercise produces neurohormones like norepinephrine that are associated with improved cognitive function, elevated mood and learning. It improves thinking dulled by stressful events.
  • Physical activity helps to bump up the production of your bran’s feel-good neurotransmitters, serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, which can affect mood and anxiety levels.
  • Blood flow drains metabolic waste products away.
  • Exercise pumps blood containing oxygen, fluids and nutrients to active muscles.

Easy ways to exercise every day and easy on your budget:

  • Go for a walk! If you have a dog, take them because they need it just as much as you do! Go to a park or around the block. It’s always good to get fresh air.
  •  You don’t have a buy a workout videos anymore. You can find workout and instructional videos all over the internet and they are free! Find something you like and keep up with it. Some places to find these at youtube.com or Pinterest. Here is a list from Learnvest of the best free workouts online: http://www.learnvest.com/2013/01/10-free-workout-sites-youll-love/
  •  Put together a routine. For example: 10 pushups, 20 sit ups, 25 squats, 20 lunges (10 per leg), 80 jumping jacks and 60 second wall sits. Repeat three times or when 20 minutes is up.
  • Do you love playing sports? Join a recreational league and play your favorite sport. You might even make new friends!
  • If you sit most of the day, take a walk on your break or leave some time for your lunch. Sitting all day is not good for your health, so the more you move throughout the day, the better.

Remember certain exercises aren’t for everyone. Know your limits. Start small and work your way up. It’s better to be doing something than nothing. Get exercising!

 

References: Community Health Network, Learnvest

 

Relocating Your Business? Watch for These 5 Surprises

Are you considering relocating your business? Maybe your current location has gone up in value, and you want to make money by selling the property and renting a less expensive place. Or, perhaps your company is going through a growth spurt and you don’t have enough room for every employee.

Whatever the reason, relocating can be a good business move. However, some companies are caught by unforeseen results of changing locations. Be sure to examine these five often-overlooked results before you relocate so you’re not caught by an unexpected surprise.

1. Cost of living. Did you know that New York City’s costs are more than twice the U.S. average? Your business’ location makes a big difference as to overall costs. If you move from a big city to a smaller suburb, you could save the company money not only on building rental, but also on things like utility costs, supply costs, etc., or you may be able to pay your employees at a lower rate. On the other hand, moving to a big city may help your business make more money. You just have to play it smart and decide what’s best for your business.

2. Customer yield. Sure, your new location may be less expensive, but is the relocation a good business move? Be aware that some areas may yield more customers than others, so know your business and know your customers—and where they’re located.

3. Taxes. Large businesses sometimes receive tax concessions based on the number of jobs the business will create. What are the taxes like for your new area? Will it help your business save money or lose it? This is an important thing to consider before you move.

4. Quality of life. Although it may cost less to rent a building in your new location, have you examined why? Finding a location where your employees will have access to education, low crime areas, and quality health care is important to consider. Thinking about the needs of your employees before you move is crucial to maintaining a positive company culture—and company growth.

5. The cost of moving your stuff. When you move your company, you’re not just moving people. All of your office’s equipment, documents, and furniture may need to be moved as well. Or does it? That’s why you need to determine whether it would be more cost effective to pay to move your equipment, or whether it would be better to sell some of your equipment and buy new things when you get there. This may take some number crunching, but if you do the work, you could save the company a lot of money.

If you find a quality moving company to do the work for you, you can end up saving time and money for your business relocation.

Call Bekins for more information at 1-800-456-8092.

Want the Best Employees? Offer the Best Relocation Packages

Competition to attract employees with specialized skills is become increasingly fierce. The job market has been globalized, and employers have to fight to win the best people. A fair salary is important, but it won’t be enough. For you to win over a qualified candidate, you need to know how to make your relocation offer stand out. Read on to learn five ways to make your company’s relocation package impossible to pass up.

Cost of Living Benefits

If a new employee will be moving from a place with a low cost of living to somewhere significantly more expensive, it makes sense to offer cost of living benefits. This can mean anything from raising the employee’s salary to giving temporary benefits that will help them adjust to the difference in cost.

Home Purchase Assistance

Renters who are being asked to move for a new job appreciate home purchase assistance as part of a relocation package. You can provide incentives for new employees to purchase a home in their new city. Your company can offer to pay closing costs on a house, or bring down the interest rate on a mortgage.

Pet Transport

It’s difficult to bring a dog or cat along on a long distance move. Assistance with transporting pets can make or break a relocation offer for a potential employee. Particularly if the move is international, help with the cost and organization of things like mandatory quarantines or temporary boarding for dogs and cats is very attractive to someone whose family is attached to their pets.

Family Counseling

When your new employee relocates their family, their spouse may have to leave a job in order to make the move. Your relocation package should include job counseling and career help for employee spouses. Consider offering other counseling services for the family as a whole. Counseling will be an invaluable asset for children that will have to change schools and leave behind close friends.

Moving Services

Premium moving services are an essential part of any company’s relocation package. A move is an incredibly stressful event, regardless of distance. A reliable moving company will take care of packing and unpacking, protection of valuables, and all the heavy lifting that’s involved in transporting an entire household.

To have the best employees, you have to have the best relocation packages. It’s as simple as that. Visit our Web site today to see how Bekins can help you move your new hires.

Sponsoring Disneyland

Opening Day at DisneyOn July 17, 1955 in Anaheim, Calif. Walt Disney delivered these words to some 28,000 eager guests:

“To all who come to this happy place: welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past…and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts which have created America … with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.”

Bekins was privileged to have been among those who received Walt’s speech opening day of the theme park. Moreover, Bekins is proud to have contributed to the success of opening day by sponsoring Disneyland and the lockers located on Main Street starting in 1955.

Bekins_Disney_Bekins’ iconic horse drawn wagon was located outside of the space serving as the lockers area on Town Square. This area is now part of the Emporium. Bekins remained a sponsor until 1963. 

For more details and photos on the sponsorship, visit some of the following ‘Disney Fanatics’ blogs.

Visit: Matterhorn1959: Stuff From The Park  for more photos and information.

The famous horse drawn Bekins moving van can be found in several Town Square photos and postcards. For additional information, visit: Matterhorn1959: Stuff From The ParkBekins Carriage

 

Allow your mind to travel back in time with this virtual experience of opening day at the ‘happiest place on Earth’. 

If this video inspires you to make a trip out to Disneyland and you fall in love with Southern California, we happen to know a good moving company. Bekins has several agents that would be more than happy to assist you with your relocation process.

Antelope Valley Van & Storage

Bekins Moving Solutions, Inc. (Chatsworth, CA).

Bekins Moving Solutions, Inc. (Santa Fe Springs, CA).

 

 

Bekins Employees Get Moving: Indy Mini-Marathon

Let’s just say Bekins employees ‘get moving’ on many levels.  When they are not focused on relocating household goods with intricate care, they are on the move training for half marathons such as the 2014 Indy Mini-Marathon that will take place on May 3, 2014.

Five employees from the corporate office out of Indianapolis, Ind. will be participating in the Mini-Marathon. Of course signing up and committing to some 13 miles does not happen overnight. It takes motivation, endurance, and for some, extensive training. So kick your feet up and enjoy the stories of these dedicated ‘Mini-Marathoners’.

Meet the Group

Corp Employees_Indy Mini Runners_ 2014

From left to right:

Ron Borkowski, Damodara Yemme, Emmalee Strait, Jerrod Carter. (Not Pictured: Gary Reynolds)

 

Jerrod’s Story:

CIO, Jerrod Carter has worked at Bekins for some six years working within the Information Technology Department.  With a history of running, this will be Jerrod’s seventh Indy Mini-Marathon and ninth half-marthon overall. In addition, he has run three full marathons.

“I just genuinely enjoy running marathons,” said Carter. “I ran three last year and hope to set a personal record this year.”

More confident than ever, Jerrod feels that this race is sure to be a success after maxing out on miles per week ran during his training.

“My advice to someone considering running a mini-marathon is to stick to a training plan,” said Carter.

Last year, Carter ran enough that he was able to join the ‘Half Fanatics’ group. So watch out for ‘Half Fanatic’ #5163 at the Mini-Marathon this year!

Meet Damodara:

Damodara Yemme has been working at the corporate office for eight years within the Information Technology department.  Yemme’s motivation behind running is to fulfill his New Year’s resolution. In addition, he feels that it is a great way to stay active, a social outlet and hobby.  Yemme has run two races prior to the Indy-Mini, including Sam Costa Quarter Marathon and Carmel Half Marathon.  He contributes a great deal of his preperation to both of these races.

“ Running is a great way to maintain my health and physical condition,” said Yemme. It is also refreshing after a long day at work. “

Yemme is a big fan of the Run Keeper App that he has downloaded onto his phone. This app allows several functions that will make tracking your run simple.  It is also the ‘keeper’ of his playlist of ‘pump-up’ songs to finish each run stronger than the last.

Look out for this determined ‘First-timer Indy-Mini Runner’, it might just be the first of many for him!

Catch up with Gary:

Vice President of Operations, Gary Reynolds has been employed at the corporate office for 12 years. Reynolds has particpated in nine Indy-Mini Marathons prior to this one. Primarily a walker, he is dedicated to keeping in shape by walking for the half marathon. “ Advice on completing a half marathon,” said Reynolds, “just get out and do it.” Reynolds suggests that walking is a ‘futile attempt to escape advancing age’.  He also suggests that instead of plugging into some great tunes, walking is a great time to be alone with your thoughts.

Catch this swift walker among the pros come May 3rd at the Indy-Mini!

Getting up to speed with Ron:

Assistant Vice President of Operations and Director of Traffic, Ron Borkowski has a long history with Bekins. Starting with the company in 1986 as a traffic planner and has held a number of positions throughout the years.

In addition to a long history with Bekins, he also holds a long running history.  Borkowski has successfully completed somewhere between 15-20 full-marathons, including the Boston Marathon last year. This will be his 16th Mini-Marathon.

The challenge of the marathons inspire and motivate him to continue his marathon streak. His training consists of a combination of weights, mixed with cardio, such as biking, stair climbers and ellipticals. 

He advises starting out easy with training, if you are new to running. He also suggests that running can provide a great way of staying in shape, alone time, and a challenge to work towards.

With years of running, he offers some great insights into running. “You should know what level of support you need in a running shoe, “said Borkowski.  “Specialty running stores such as Blue Mile will video your foot strike and then analyze it in slow motion to determine what class shoe is the right fit. “

Watch out for this running expert, he might just be leading the pack!

Jogging with Emmalee:

Content Development Specialist, Emmalee Strait just came on board with Bekins in November of 2013 in the Sales and Marketing Department.  After taking on a new job, she also decided to take on the task of running the Indy-Mini Marathon for the first time.

Motivated by staying in shape and healthy throughout the winter months, she has been training with some close friends for the race.

“I am anxious and excited for the Indy-Mini,” said Strait. “I am running the half marathon with my college roommates, so the memories being made mean the most to me!”

She attributes accountability from training with friends to be one of the best help when preparing for the race.  Like Borkowski, she joined the Blue Mile running club which has helped prepare her. With good friends, a good playlist, and some good training – she is ready to hit the road running on May 3!

 

Packing 101: 2014 Spring Breakers

palm treeIt’s been a long winter and you couldn’t be more ready to hit the coast of somewhere beautiful. No matter where you are heading for spring break, understanding how to pack like a pro is a must.  Whether you’re packing for a permanent relocation or a short-term vacation, Bekins has you covered.

Where do I even start?

We understand the struggle of over-packing in fear of forgetting something.  Why not bring all closet25 pairs of sandals to have options, right? Switch up your thinking this year with a minimalist mindset. What do you consider to be necessities?

Get back to the basics.

closetThink through your trip. What types of events will you attend? Will your trip include lots of outdoorsy adventures? Or more indoor museum related activities? After considering these questions, pack realistically according to your plans.

Assuming that your get-away includes warmer temps, it’s a good idea to pack several tanks and shorts that can be easily layered with choice long-sleeved sweaters. Bringing along one pair of casual long pants and a jacket is also a good idea. Pick out one or two dressy outfits for a nice dinner out. Select one or two pairs of sandals, one pair of tennis shoes and a pair of shoes for your night out. Don’t forget the small, but important details. A sufficient amount of undergarments, socks and at least two bathing suites, to allow one drying time from the previous day is something you won’t want to forget.

Small, but important details

beach bagBring your large beach towel and sunglasses. Be sure not to forget a bag to tote your essentials from the pool or beach to your room. Bring your latest reading material, and your new favorite playlist. Equally important, remembering to pack your phone charger can be a game changer for the trip!

Also, important are your toiletries. Don’t throw hygiene out the window while you’re on vacation. Bring your toothbrush, toothpaste, any face wash, travel shampoos and conditioners and so on. Save yourself a trip to the store while on vacation and spend your time relaxing!

Check out our Essential Spring Break Packing Guide on Pinterest for a complete list of packing strategies and ideas!