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Concord Hospitality and Clean the World deliver half of a million bars of soap to families in need.

We are pleased to recognize our partner Concord Hospitality for their amazing contribution to the Clean the World Hotel Recycling program.  Concord was one of the first management companies to adopt our program for all of their properties.  Since 2010, Concord Hospitality properties combined have collected 104,952 lbs. of soap.  Through our partnership, we have distributed 559,744 bars of life-saving soap to children and families in need worldwide. They’ve also diverted 173,717 or 87 tons of waste from hitting landfills. 

“Our partnership with Clean the World started shortly after the organization was founded. I received a call from a gentleman who wanted to tell me about a new non-profit that would take our hotels’ used soap and bottled amenities to sanitize and redistribute to kids who are dying of diarrheal diseases. After the conversation, I was delighted to think that our waste could ultimately save lives. I walked down to our CEO’s office – he too loved the idea and said it’s important that we get buy-in from our owners, so I then walked down to our COO’s office – he wrote a letter to all owners noting our desire to have all hotels participate in the program,” says Debra Punke, Senior Vice President of Human Capital & Communications. 

“Just a few months later, we were almost 100% implemented, and today we remain strong in our participation. IN addition to our daily efforts, we have attended three mission trips, distributing more than 45,000 bars of soap in total between Guatemala and Guadalajara. Today we look back, and we have diverted nearly 90 tons of waste, created one-half a million bars of soap and saved an estimated 100,000 lives. Concord was one of the first hotel companies to embrace the Clean the World program; we are proud to have set the path for so many other hotel companies and brands to follow! We are raving fans of this organization and the people who serve it. Our associates know that their efforts do make a difference – #soapsaveslives.”

Thank you to Concord Hospitality and their team. It’s through their dedication and tremendous partnership that we can support our mission of recycling soap and saving lives. 

Celebrating Orlando United Day – A Day of Love and Kindness

Monday, June 12th, 2017 marked one year since 49 innocent lives were lost during the Pulse Nightclub tragedy in Orlando. Within that year, so much happened here in the community of Orlando and all throughout the world. People chose love over hate and united with their neighbors rather than let fear overcome their lives. This day, which marks a horrific event in history, evolved into Orlando United Day – A Day of Love and Kindness. Not just on this day, but each and every day, we’re encouraged to compliment a stranger, spend time getting to know someone better, volunteer at a local organization, or take part in any action that sparks a wave of love and kindness in our communities.

Clean the World celebrated Orlando United Day with a hygiene kit build at our recycling center. Over 75 volunteers made it out on a rainy Monday evening to assemble 4,900 hygiene kits for local organizations benefitting Orlando’s LGBTQ community. Our volunteer center was filled with people of all ages and backgrounds with the common goal of working together to better our community. We danced to music as we packed the soap bars, bottled amenities, and inspirational notes into the hygiene kit bags. We were inspired by the words from representatives of the recipient charities that came to participate in the kit build as they shared with our volunteer group all the wonderful work their organizations do here in Orlando, and more specifically how every one of these hygiene kits would be going directly to individuals in need of a helping hand—or a little love and kindness.

Thank you to everyone who financially supported Clean the World’s Orlando United Day Hygiene Kit Build, those who took time out of their day to assemble kits with us, and those who shared our posts on social media to help spread awareness—this event was made possible because of your support! Whether you’re in Orlando or on the opposite side of the world, be sure to spread positivity in your community and reach out to those in need. We’re all #OrlandoUnited.

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As a global social enterprise, Clean the World is committed to being a leader in both environmental sustainability as well as global health.  This means being actively involved in global multilateral and multi-stakeholder groups and discussions to help maximize our impact – including global commitments like the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The SDGs are a slate of 17 global objectives announced by the United Nations in 2015 designed to improve the state of the world through collaborations among countries and organizations (see http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/).  At Clean the World Foundation, we’re taking an active role in working towards achieving these commitments.  In particular, our work around the world addresses eight specific goals:

Goal 1: No Poverty

Chronic health issues, particularly illnesses linked to water, sanitation, and hygiene, disproportionately affect the 20% of the world’s population living in extreme poverty (less than $1.25 US dollars per day). Fortunately, handwashing with soap is one of the most effective ways to improve health for adults and children alike. Clean the World Foundation is addressing this goal by operating ongoing handwashing behavior change programs designed to improve health sustainably and long-term. When people are healthier, they are able to work more regularly and increase their economic participation, improving incomes and decreasing poverty over time.

Goal 3: Good Health & Well Being

Poor maternal health and high rates of childhood morbidity continue to plague many developing nations. The SDGs call for efforts that reduce childhood morbidity by 70% by 2030. In addition, neglected illnesses, such as Trachoma, continue to pose a tremendous burden for underserved communities, and the SDGs call for an end to these illnesses by 2030 as well. Fortunately, the most effective way to reach these targets is with programs and partnerships that ensure ongoing access to hygiene supplies and education. We’re taking an active role in leading efforts to meet this goal through our slate of global programs and partnerships.

Goal 4: Quality Education

One of the primary reasons for chronic absenteeism is hygiene-related illnesses, which can cause children to miss so much school they ultimately drop out and fail to receive an education, only perpetuating chronic poverty. Clean the World Foundation supports this goal by operating our outcome-based Soap in Schools programs in high-risk communities globally. This program provides ongoing access to hygiene supplies and education to students, instilling proper handwashing as a lifelong routine and improving attendance rates so that children can stay in school and receive the education they need to ultimately break the cycles of poverty that have plagued their communities for generations.

Goal 5: Gender Equality

Globally, women and girls are disproportionately disadvantaged in economic and educational opportunities. We’re working to address these issues through our microlending programs, which provide small-scale soap-making jobs to women in high-risk areas. These women are able to further the mission of providing soap and hygiene education to communities in need, while also earning a sustainable income to support themselves and their families. In addition, we’re also proud to provide hygiene kits specifically designed for women, ensuring they have the specific hygiene items they need to stay healthy. Finally, our programs and partnerships in schools help ensure girls are able to receive the hygiene supplies they need to stay in school and receive the same quality education as their peers.

Goal 6: Clean Water & Sanitation

This goal calls for equitable and universal access to water, sanitation, and hygiene for all by 2030. This is the primary goal addressed by Clean the World Foundation and is perhaps the most important goal of all. In fact, many experts agree that without progress towards this goal, the other goals and targets cannot be achieved. Our global efforts to provide ongoing, sustainable access to hygiene supplies and education directly furthers this target. In addition, our global partnerships with organizations providing sustainable access to water and sanitation create comprehensive efforts that lead to sustainable progress and positive health outcomes around the world.

Goal 8: Decent Work & Economic Growth

When people are healthier, they are able to work more regularly and improve their household incomes considerably. Clean the World Foundation programs improve health for people and communities globally, leading to improved economic participation and overall economic growth. In addition, our microloan program provides sustainable jobs in developing communities around the world while also furthering our impact by ensuring there are constant supplies of hygiene items for all people at all times.

Goal 12: Responsible Consumption & Production

Clean the World is addressing this goal directly through our worldwide soap and amenity recycling programs, an innovation we pioneered in 2009. This sustainability effort, which recycles and repurposes consumable items that would otherwise be discarded in landfills, leads to significant reductions in waste streams. We’re proud to work with thousands of hotels and other partners spanning multiple industries across hundreds of communities around the world.

Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals

Our approach relies on collaboration across multiple sectors and industries throughout the social enterprise, directly supporting this goal’s target of significantly embracing multi-stakeholder partnerships. Within Clean the World Foundation, we rely on various partnerships to help us maximize the efficiency of our operations, allowing us to achieve our impact goals without duplicating program efforts or wasting donor funds. In addition, we also participate in global groups that help oversee the strategies and plans for addressing the goals. We’re proud to be actively involved in relationships with the World Health Organization, various UN agencies, and many more.

Great progress has been made in recent years towards ensuring a more sustainable future for our planet and its citizens. But much work remains. The UN Sustainable Development Goals provide the framework for making considerable progress and Clean the World is proud to be actively engaged in working to make them a success. From helping eradicate neglected illnesses and hygiene-related deaths, to improving environmental sustainability efforts, we’ll continue to lead the charge to improve the lives of millions of people around the world.

Of course, we can’t do this alone. We’re grateful for the tremendous support we receive from partners and donors globally to make our work possible. Every contribution allows us to get that much closer to achieving important goals like these. Together, we truly are making a difference, one bar of soap at a time.

On Wednesday, May 17th, Clean the World visited our final Soap in Schools program of the 2016-2017 school year. This was a great event at Memorial Middle School in Orlando, Florida.  We went with the intentions of educating but left with the gift of a beautiful lesson.

Many of our families were so excited to be involved with our program that they couldn’t help but sing our “Top and Bottoms” song with us.  We also handed out 200 hygiene kits, giving family members basic amenities needed to keep them healthy.  The event was more than the assignments at hand; setting up stations that sparked curiosity, teaching proper hygiene techniques, and providing resources to those that may not have been fortunate enough to acquire them on their own.   These students and their families really showed us how much our program has impacted them.

As many of our students grow and move onto high school, we are pleased to see that their time with Clean the World truly left an imprint on them, and we hope that they will continue to sing proudly for the full twenty seconds while they wash their hands.

As part of our Soap in School program, we are planning three summer camps.  We look forward to educating children on the importance of hand washing.  With proper hygiene education, we can keep them safe and healthy as they prepare for another exciting school year.

Orlando United Day

A Day of Love and Kindness

Almost a year has passed since that night that has forever changed and shaped the Orlando community. On June 12, 2016, 49 lives were taken during the Pulse nightclub tragedy and the community of Orlando answered to this act of hate and violence with love and togetherness. We showed the world that we are a loving community that disapproves of and rejects violence. A community that has grown, prevailed together, and thus come out stronger.

The City of Orlando and Orange County, in collaboration with Pulse, have designated June 12, 2017, as “Orlando United Day – A Day of Love and Kindness.” This will be a day-long schedule of remembrances to honor the 49 victims and their families. Some of the events include prayer ceremonies with different speakers, special live performances at Lake Eola, and midnight ceremonies at Pulse.

Clean the World will honor this date by hosting a hygiene kit build at its Landstreet recycling center. Volunteers are joining us from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm to build 4,900 hygiene kits in representation of the 49 victims. The hygiene kits will be donated to different charities across Orlando in support of the LBGTQ community. Let’s all honor and cherish the memory of those who lost their lives. Together we can continue the unity that followed the tragedy because we are #OrlandoUnited.

Visit https://oneorlandoalliance.org to know more about “A Day of Love and Kindness” and all the events that you can be part of on this day. It is a day to spread the love. So, pick an event, give back to the community, and share love and kindness.


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