Saluting All Our Fabulous Hotel Room Attendants

International Housekeepers Week is every year during the second full week of September and is sponsored by IEHA. It is dedicated to recognizing the efforts of hard-working custodial staff members. This year we invited some hotel partners to brag about their room attendants.

Elan Hotel in Los Angeles

The team does an amazing job. They pride themselves on being part of the Greystone family of hotels. Blanca Gonzalez (first photo below) has been onboard since 2006 and has learned all of the trades of the job. She is currently our housekeeping supervisor and oversees the housekeeping team when Carlos is not on property.

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Bristol Hotel in San Diego

The Bristol housekeeping team members have been with the company for over 10 years. Two women, Dora Mendoza and Rosie Hernandez, have been with the company for 16 years. Every day they work with a smile and are full of energy.

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King George Hotel in San Francisco

Dieu Ly, the housekeeping room attendant at the King George Hotel in San Francisco, has been with the property since 1995! Dieu moved to San Francisco from South Vietnam and has made it her home. Right now she is learning yoga and spends her time reading anything about Buddha and meditation. Dieu has been at the hotel so long because she considers her co-workers to be her second family.

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Empress Hotel in La Jolla, California

General Manager Joel Majors of the Empress says, “It is because of our great team that we continue to get the good ratings on the Internet and many satisfied return guests. They all deserve a shout-out!”

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The Inn at Union Square in San Francisco

Each of the attendants cares deeply about the Inn and stuck with us through the massive job of renovating the bathrooms. Some of them went to work at sister properties during the renovation. However, they all wanted to come back to see the Inn full of life with happy guests once again.

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Meet Your Customer Service Rep: Selina Johnson

img_6270You might have spoken with them already, but for those who haven’t had the chance to meet the wonderful individuals who make up Clean the World’s stellar Customer Service team, here’s your chance! We are spotlighting a team member each month to help you get to know the face on the opposite end of the phone (or computer).

Selina Johnson is Clean the World’s Customer Service Supervisor. She joined our Clean the World family in early 2016 and has made every day sunnier for the staff at the Orlando recycling facility. Selina heard about Clean the World through a family member, and that’s when she knew she had to join the team and make her mark in this Global Hygiene Revolution.

Selina’s attitude toward our mission is not only optimistic but positively contagious throughout the entire office. She encourages everyone to be their best and remember the reason we’re all here.

“I want people to know that Customer Service really is passionate about what we do,” Selina said. “A lot of times, people don’t know that we work seven days a week sometimes, or after hours. We do a lot to try and make sure that we accommodate not just our partners but the goal of our mission.”

Selina spends her days (and sometimes evenings) making sure we meet our partners’ needs, whether that be sending out shipping labels, replenishing soap bins, or fulfilling orders for posters and support materials. And always with a great attitude! Selina’s passion for helping others stems from her history of teaching and training.

Before her start at Clean the World, Selina worked as a restaurant manager for eight years, an in-school suspension teacher, and an Orange County (Florida) corrections officer.

“At some point or another, I’ve always coached or developed or trained,” she said. “So even though they’re different careers and professions, I’ve always been able to teach. That’s my passion.”

Selina applies her passion by helping and teaching others every day at Clean the World, and even outside of work. Recently, she began tutoring people all over the world who are looking to improve their English speaking skills. She speaks with most of them via Skype and gets to know her students and share things about American culture while helping them to achieve fluency in conversational English. Selina said, “You learn so much about different cultures.”

Interestingly enough, after hearing about Clean the World and the great things we do locally and globally for health and hygiene, one of Selina’s students is planning a trip to Orlando in a couple of months and plans to take her family to our recycling center for a fun day of volunteering. This type of engagement is truly the beauty of a global mission that brings people from all walks of life together for a common cause: saving lives with soap.

Selina believes in Clean the World’s mission and will do whatever she can to make sure our partners are satisfied and feel good about the impact they make.

“It’s very rewarding because you know there’s a beautiful end result. You know these kids are getting soap,” Selina said.

So next time you exchange a happy hello with Selina about our hospitality program, be sure to let her know what you’re pleased with or express any concerns you might have – she’s happy to help!

Hygiene Kits: A Holiday Gift for Your Community

avro_hygiene_kit_eventFootball season just started. Kids are back in school. And you finally had your first pumpkin latte of the year. So that means the holidays will be here before you can say “Black Friday.” As you plan your company’s holiday party, consider doing something a little different and including a give-back element with Clean the World’s Hygiene Kit Program.

Along with the eggnog, karaoke, and gift exchange, you and your colleagues can assemble hygiene kits in your office or at a holiday party. Completed packages go to a shelter, food pantry, or other support organization in your local community.

Clean the World provides the hygiene items, zipper bags, instructions on how to assemble the kits, and tips for running a successful event – all for a small administrative fee to cover supplies and shipping expenses. Options include both our standard kit, and a brand new children’s kit with special items for the little ones.

During the cold and flu season, we repeatedly hear how important it is to wash our hands regularly.

Unfortunately, that is easier said than done for some of our most vulnerable neighbors. People who are homeless or going through a financial crisis don’t always have access to soap and other hygiene products. However, your organization can help offer hope and health by building and donating hygiene kits to those who are at risk for hygiene-related illnesses.

For more information on hosting a hygiene kit event at your holiday party – or anytime – please contact us at sales@cleantheworld.org.

Soap In Schools Part II: Launching in Tanzania

Clean the World's Sam Stephens speaking with a community leader in Jendele, Tanzania.

Clean the World’s Sam Stephens (left) speaking with a community leader in Jendele, Tanzania.

Thanks to generous support from the Starwood Foundation, we have replicated the Soap In Schools Program in Tanzania. As in Kenya, we’re focusing on a network of schools, conducting a baseline study to understand local hygiene needs, and implementing programming to improve health and school attendance.

In Tanzania, we conducted a baseline assessment across 15 schools serving nearly 5,000 elementary aged youth in two rural communities. The studies showed that, in the previous 30 days, over 80 percent of all kids had experienced a hygiene-related illness. And as a result, chronic school absenteeism – defined as students missing more than four days of school a month – was nearly 50 percent.

Through a partnership with local schools, we’ve launched an ongoing handwashing education program designed to instill proper handwashing as a regular routine in the communities. We will make sure the kids understand how and why to wash their hands, and that they have access to the necessary hygiene supplies. With that support in place, we expect to see a considerable decrease in hygiene-related illnesses in the coming months.

As in Kenya, Clean the World will conduct thorough assessments of the program every 90 days. Stay tuned for an update on our progress in November!

Elementary kids observing a handwashing demonstration in Kisiauni, Tanzania.

Elementary kids observing a handwashing demonstration in Kisiauni, Tanzania.

Kenya Soap In Schools Update

In late August, Clean the World Foundation Managing Director Sam Stephens visited our Soap in Schools program locations in Kenya to see what kind of progress we made after six months of full-time operation.

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A “train the trainers” refresher course on handwashing for school teachers in Machakos, Kenya.

We’re working across a network of 12 schools serving over 4,000 elementary-aged children in rural villages throughout the country. Our baseline study showed nearly 70 percent of the children suffered from some hygiene-related illness in the 30 days leading up to our launch in February. We implemented ongoing hand washing education classes and soap distribution to the targeted schools to ensure the youth had regular access to soap and proper hand washing facilities. After 90 days, we saw more than a 50 percent reduction in hygiene-related illnesses among the same population.

At the six-month mark, we’re happy to announce we have continued that level of improvement. In fact, incidences of hygiene-related illnesses are down roughly 60 percent among all 4,000 kids! And as a result, school attendance is up more than 50 percent, as the kids are healthier and able to attend school more regularly. This reduction in illness is an enormous impact on their health as well as their futures.

We’ll wrap up the initial pilot program in November and look forward to providing an update then. In the meantime, be sure to watch for updates on social media for this and our other Soap In Schools programs!

Handing out soap to teachers for their classrooms in Machakos, Kenya.

Handing out soap to teachers for their classrooms in Machakos, Kenya.

Dynamic Duo Travels 1,000 Miles to Volunteer at Clean the World

Rhonny and Kylie with Clean the World's Oscar Gonzalez.

Rhonny and Kylie with Clean the World’s Oscar Gonzalez.

In late August, we welcomed two very special volunteers to Clean the World’s Orlando recycling center. Super-soap heroes Rhonny and Kylie Fletchman traveled all the way from New York City to spend the day with us. Instead of riding roller coasters or seeing the sights, this mother-daughter team helped us further our mission of providing hygiene products and hygiene education to those in need globally.

“Most people don’t volunteer because they think they’ll have to put in too many hours and a lot of work,” Rhonny said. “At Clean the World, they believe every volunteer contribution helps. My daughter Kylie and I both agree that the two hours went by so fast (we ended up staying a little longer). The staff was so kind and attentive. It was a long day. We left on an early flight from NYC and came straight from the airport with our bags for fear of missing our 1 to 3 p.m. volunteer slot. We felt proud and appreciated. Once our schedules slow down, we’ll be back again. Keep doing this much needed valuable work.”

Clean the World Volunteer Coordinator Gabi Norris is excited about the Fletchman family making a return visit.

“It’s not often that you came across people as passionate about what we do as Rhonny and Kylie,” Gabi said. “I couldn’t believe they would travel all this way just to support us. It meant the world to me, and it puts a smile on my face to know they want to keep coming back. I really look forward to seeing those two again.”

Inspired by their dedication and support, our entire Clean the World team enjoyed meeting Rhonny and Kylie as these two were truly extraordinary!

It is the work of our amazing volunteers at Clean the World that fuels our mission to eradicate the top killers of children globally. It is through their support that we can save lives and fight hygiene-related diseases that are affecting millions all over the world.

Thank you again to Rhonny and Kylie Fletchman, and all of our great volunteers for being committed to our mission!