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Get to Know Serving Hands International


A-1 Self Storage proudly supports Serving Hands International, a not-for-profit charity that strives to meet the basic needs of impoverished people. Their services include food, clothing, shelter, and medical assistance, as well as education and spiritual guidance. As a pillar of our core values, community involvement is an essential piece of A-1’s culture and identity, one which guides our principles and encourages partnerships with reputable organizations, such as Serving Hands International.

Local Beginnings

It was Terrance and Barbara Caster’s deep compassion for people living in poverty which inspired their mission to mitigate the impact of poverty. The Casters began their efforts in 1963, focusing on helping their local community of San Diego, CA, and Tijuana, Mexico, which share a border. In 1982, the couple founded Serving Hands International (SHI) as a 501(c)(3) in order to serve the poorest people in the area.

Since its inception, Serving Hands International has designated 100 percent of all funds directly to working with the people served by the organization. This has been made possible by A-1 Self Storage who pledged to pay all administrative costs associated with SHI’s operations.

A Worthy Mission

SHI’s mission is rooted in the belief that human life is sacred and the dignity of the human person is the foundation of society. Every person has the fundamental right to life and to the required necessities for human decency. They believe society’s progress is reflected by the condition of our most vulnerable members. SHI is an organization moved by love and responsibility to put the poor and most vulnerable first.

Serving Hands International Campaigns

Food Distribution

Serving Hands International provides nutritious and satisfying food to individuals and families struggling to satisfy basic human needs. Each year, the organization provides roughly 100,000 meals in Baja California, Mexico. The recipients of their food program include children in orphanages, the homeless, the elderly, and out-of-work families. SHI works with partner organizations and local food distributors to deliver fresh, healthy food that goes directly to those in need. They provide daily meals and bi-weekly groceries to over 4,500 people who would otherwise go without adequate nutrition.

Portable Buildings

SHI’s Portable Building Program allows them to provide facilities for people to live, learn, and receive care. They have a long history of providing shelter, safety, and facilities for those who cannot afford basic structures needed for living. Classrooms for schools help provide a space for children’s services, as well as giving them a safe, secure place to learn. The Portable Buildings Program has helped build over 250 homes for families throughout the Border Region.

Medical Aid

Medical aid programs focus on giving poor individuals and families access to healthcare services they cannot afford otherwise, including:

  • Preventative Care
  • Pediatric Care
  • Emergency Services
  • Surgery
  • Dental
  • Vision
  • Therapeutic Counseling
  • Drug Rehabilitation

SHI focuses on providing clinics and aid providers in the outlying areas of Tijuana. These places are removed from doctors and emergency medical services and experience extreme poverty. Additionally, SHI partners with hospitals in the urban center of Tijuana.


SHI provides the people served with a brighter future. This includes providing access to schools run by non-governmental organizations and charities. They work with school partners that serve students who cannot afford to pay tuition, but have a personal commitment to excellent education. Help comes in the form of tuition assistance, school supplies, and classroom buildings.


Serving Hands International believes at the root of every physical problem, a spiritual element should be addressed. Much of poverty stems from a combination of circumstances and choices. They help change the circumstances and provide the needed resources and knowledge to help them make better choices. SHI hopes people will be helped not only by the physical aid, but also by knowing the healing, hope, and purpose through their work. The organization works with others that share this same commitment and vision. Most of their partner organizations have a faith background and provide aid with the purpose of expressing Christian love in truth and grace.

How to Get Involved

With all that’s going on in the world, have you ever thought to yourself, “What can I do to help?” One easy way is to donate your quality, unwanted items to any A-1 Self Storage facility. Each item collected will be placed in our charity storage unit and sold at our next storage auction. All proceeds from these auctions go to SHI helping provide educational scholarships, portable classrooms, medical services, and food and blankets to those in need.

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