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Volunteering begins with U.

How did you spend your most recent college spring break? Eleven students from the School of Social Work at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Mich., spent their time with Clean the World in Orlando, recycling soap and, hopefully, saving lives with their efforts.

“We wanted to pick an organization that a lot people may not have heard about, but that could benefit from a week’s worth of volunteering from our team,” says Pam Gesund, undergraduate in the School of Social Work at EMU. “Our instructor, Jenny Fritz, found Clean the World, learned more about it and got us really excited about coming here to help recycle soap.”

Gesund and her 10 colleagues worked tirelessly throughout the four days of their visit, scraping soaps, dipping them in a cleansing solution and preparing them for a steam-cleaning to remove all impurities. While the process may be tedious, the reward is worth the effort, she says.

“It is amazing. I just keep saying that I never knew that so many children were dying from something as simple as not having access to soap,” Gesund says. “To know that every bin we clean out there in the warehouse will help 400 children have soap for a full month is remarkable.”

The students had friendly competitions with one another to see who could process the most soap each day. Keeping the focus on lives saved is easy at Clean the World, says Gesund, because the staff members are a lively bunch.

“The people who work here are phenomenal,” she says. “They are amazingly helpful people and they seem to be doing this from the heart.”

When they return to Michigan, the students will give a presentation to the dean and fellow EMU students to inform them about the Clean the World experience.

“We’re helping thousands of children get soap so they can live healthier lives,” Gesund says. “This is better than sitting in the sun all week.”

Making a World of Difference

World Vision recognized Clean the World last month for its ongoing support for post-earthquake relief efforts in Haiti. The worldwide Christian humanitarian organization serves as the leading global distribution partner for Clean the World soaps and bottled amenities. World Vision honored Clean the World for “improving the health and well-being of children, families and communities” in Haiti.

Since the Jan. 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Clean the World has collected, recycled and distributed more than 1.5 million soap bars on that island nation. Much of that distribution – one million soap bars — came with the help of World Vision and its vast network of outreach personnel.

The donation of 1.5 million bars of soap means nearly 12,500 people will be able to wash regularly and prevent hygiene-related illnesses for a full year.

“As more hotels partner to support Clean the World’s efforts and mission, the more donated product we will be able to provide to improve the health and hygiene of communities,” says Melissa Cornejo, corporate relations senior representative at World Vision United States.

Yet, despite the best efforts of many dedicated supporters, donations to Clean the World – and consequently to children around the world – have dropped off at the start of the new year. This is not uncommon. The end of the Christmas “giving season” usually signifies a dramatic dip in charitable giving, and Clean the World is feeling the pinch as well. That’s why we are asking for your help.

You can rev up the giving engine again in March with online donations to Clean the World via this link. A gift of $100 provides enough soap for 340 children for an entire month. There are nine months left in the year. Let’s make it a personal goal to help as many children as possible have soap to last for all of 2011.

Another way to donate is with your cell phone. Simply text CLEAN to 20222 to donate $10 to help provide soap for children in need (messaging and data rates apply).

You, too, can help us make a world of difference for children and families around the world. The new giving season is underway, and we need your help. Won’t you give today? Soap saves lives.

Helping neighbors in need

Clean the World gets an abundance of publicity for our outreach efforts around the world, but closer to home there is a need as well. Especially in central Florida, well under the radar, Clean the World has distributed soap to children and families in communities where foreclosure, homelessness and a limping economy have claimed many victims.

“There will always be a demand for soaps, even in so-called good times,” says William Lowry, director of global distribution for Clean the World.

In the past few months Clean the World has stepped-up domestic distribution by donating nearly 17,000 bars of soap and hygiene products to a variety of organizations:

  • Homeless Services Network of Central Florida (1,000 bars)
  • Opportunity House (900 bars)
  • Seafarer’s House (3,000 bars)
  • Open Homes (1,000 bars)
  • Living in Faith Ministries (1,000 bars)
  • Fresh Start Ministries (3,000 bars)
  • Central Care Mission (6,000 bars)
  • Recovery House of Sanford (200 bars)
  • Celebration High School (550 bars)

“Often the needs of people in our own neighborhood get overlooked in favor of larger causes that command more media attention,” Lowry says. “We’re trying to do what we can where we can with the resources we have available. But we can always use more help and donations.”

If you know of a community or organization in need of soaps and hygiene supplies, please contact us at info@ctw2.wpstagecoach.com. If you’d like to make a financial donation to help pay for more domestic distribution to people in need, visit the donation link here.

Crystal Cruises – Soaps from ships save lives

Did you know cruise lines can be a valuable resource for soaps and bottled amenities? We did.

One of our proud partners, Crystal Cruises, has provided 388 lbs. of soap and 1,203 bottles of shampoos and conditioners for distribution to people in need. That’s enough soap for 414 children for a full month.

“Crystal Cruises is very pleased to partner with Clean the World,” says Bill Boehm, Crystal’s director of safety, environment and training.  “By donating our supplies to those in need, we’re not only
supporting Clean the World’s life-saving mission, but also helping to keep these products out of landfills and preserve the environment.”
Imagine if all the cruise ships full of happy passengers in every port of call around the globe would contribute to Clean the World’s mission to promote proper hygiene. Think of the good that could be accomplished.

How about making it a reality? Contact your local cruise and travel agents and let them know that you appreciate Crystal Cruise lines and its partnership with Clean the World. And if they haven’t heard of Clean the World, please direct them to our website, www.cleantheworld.org, and we’ll take it from there.

Recycling soap. Saving lives. Even on the high seas. Thanks for helping Clean the World.

Hersha Hospitality Management helps Clean the World

Hersha Hospitality Management, operator of upper-upscale, upscale and mid-scale branded and independent hotels in major metropolitan markets, has partnered with Clean the World to help fight the spread of preventable diseases around the world.

Hersha’s partnership with Clean the World will provide annual gifts of more than one million bars of recycled soap and 500,000 bottles of shampoos, gels and lotions from more than 10,000 guest rooms.
The amenities will be prepared by Clean the World for distribution to children and families worldwide. Hersha becomes the largest hospitality management company to partner with Clean the World since its founding in 2009.
Through this partnership, Hersha plans to annually provide roughly 9,000 children with soap for an entire year and 4,500 children with bottled amenities for a full year. In addition to preventing countless deaths due to poor hygiene, Hersha’s partnership with Clean the World plans to divert approximately 90 tons of waste from landfills annually.

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