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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.

Excited. Grateful. Inspired. That is how you made us feel.

From April 24, 2017, to April 30, 2017, Clean the World embarked on the adventure of raising money for our Soap in Schools program in India and the reception was outstanding! The goal of our campaign was to raise $2,500 dollars to bring hygiene education and soap to more than 5,000 students in 12 schools in Kolkata, India.

In Kolkata, more than 1.5 million people live in slums with little to no access to adequate water, sanitation, and hygiene. Poor hygiene conditions result in hygiene related diseases such as diarrhea and pneumonia which are the top killers of children globally. Clean the World Foundation is committed to its mission and wants to eradicate these horrible diseases. Improving health requires not only access to soap and hygiene education, but also a holistic approach that integrates soap into a healthy water, sanitation, and a hygiene program.

For Clean the World, our followers were our most important asset. We received an overwhelming amount of love and support throughout the campaign, and for this, we are truly thankful. In just one week, we were able to spread awareness about our global health program and raise $3,000 to aid in launching Clean the World Foundation’s nine-month long Soap in Schools India program later this summer.

The first couple of days of the campaign were very exciting. Little did we know, that on the last day we would receive a kind donation that would help us surpass our initial goal by $500. In addition to the generous donations from our amazing supporters, our valued partner Lonza contributed $2,000 to our campaign. Ernesto Lippert, Global Vice President of Marketing and Technology at Lonza, stated that the company is always looking for a channel that supports social efforts to improve the lives of less fortunate communities. Indeed, their generous donation will go a long way to helping us reduce hygiene related diseases and school absences in Kolkata, India.

“When we saw that through a relatively small contribution Lonza could make such a big impact in schools in India, it was clear that we could not only help achieve Clean the World’s goal but also help many children by doing something so close to Lonza’s heart,” said Ernesto Lippert. Lonza has proven that they are driven to make the world a healthier place one person at a time, and for this we thank you!

Clean the World Foundation is very grateful for all the people that we call our friends and supporters. We want to thank everyone that took the time to go through our website, watch our video, share our cause, and participate. Every donation counts and every dollar will go to bringing health and hygiene to children and their families. Your support is making a difference in the lives of the students we serve. More than 5,000 children will be sick less often allowing them to spend more time in the classroom creating a brighter future, thanks to you!

 

Partnering with Children International to save even more lives in Zambia

Clean the World partners with Children International to save even more lives in Zambia

Children International works to save and improve the lives of children living in poverty by providing health, education, empowerment, and employment. In 2016, Clean the World partnered with Children International to deliver soap and hygiene education to vulnerable, impoverished children in Zambia.

The Partnership

The partnership between Clean the World and Children International focuses on the health aspect of their mission, which is where the two organizations align nicely.

Clean the World saw the value in partnering with Children International as a way to reach an even greater number of children with soap and hygiene education.

In certain regions in Zambia, poor hygiene practices are a major problem resulting in outbreaks of diseases such as respiratory tract infections, diarrhea, worm infestations, and eye infections. Bacteria in these communities spread quickly through the entire populations and affect all members of the family. Through this collaboration, Field Offices and Health Personnel have carried out health talks with a focus on hygiene education and sanitation. Along with these vital health talks, Health Personnel has provided hand washing demonstrations, and hand washing promotion campaigns that are matched with access to our Clean the World bars of soap.  The availability of the soap bars promotes good hygiene throughout these communities and even good hygiene practices at home.

The Results

Through this collaboration last year, we shipped over 232,000 bars of soap to Lusaka, Zambia. We were able to provide nearly 45,000 individuals with bars of soap. Out of this population, 8,138 were 3 to 11 years old and 7,157 were 12 to 18 years old. This type of partnership is exactly how Clean the World wants to complement and extend its own initiatives.

Soap in Schools Program Launches in Las Vegas, NV

Clean the World is thrilled to announce the launch of our Soap in Schools program in Las Vegas thanks to our sponsor Sands Cares. Our Soap in Schools program began in January of 2016 and currently runs domestically in Orlando, Florida and internationally in Kenya and Tanzania. In the coming months of 2017, Soap in Schools will launch in India and Haiti, too. We will be teaching handwashing education to hundreds of students each month across a network of eight locations throughout the greater Las Vegas area.

At Soap in Schools, we share our mission of recycling soap and saving lives and teach families and children the importance of handwashing. During the program, we also distribute our hygiene kits to the families in need, and play and interactive games with the children to keep them engaged and interested in learning about their germs and how to maintain better hygiene! Some of the activities our Orlando program include are: a black light activity where students can spot the germs on their hands “The Germ Detector,” a handwashing station where they learn a jingle and sing along while they scrub their germs away, and a fun trivia game.

During the Soap in Schools program, watching the children’s faces light up and get involved with us is truly amazing. We always hope to leave a positive, lasting impact on their lives and can’t wait to bring this program to Las Vegas.  Clean the World is humbled to have the opportunity to teach students and families the importance of hygiene and hand washing. We are excited to grow our program as it’s making a life changing impact in all areas of the world.

So watch out Las Vegas—some more happy, healthy children are going to be a part of our global hygiene revolution!

supported-by-sands-cares

 

 

 


Written by Gabrielle Lintz, an intern in the Clean the World marketing department.

Help Bring Hygiene Education to India: Find Out How

Help Bring Hygiene Education to India: Find Out How

Clean the World’s Soap in Schools program will be launching in India, but we can’t make this possible without your support. Our Soap in Schools program began in January of 2016. We visit schools and share our mission to children and families on the importance of hand washing. Our domestic program currently runs in Orlando and Las Vegas, and our international Soap in Schools program finished up in Kenya and is now in Tanzania. We want to broaden our international programs and know that there’s a need for our Soap in Schools program in India.

Below are frequently asked questions to give you an idea about the Soap in Schools program and the impact we plan to make in India:

How many children miss school, and why is this an issue?

  • Proper hygiene education and access to soap is the most effective way to prevent common respiratory and diarrheal diseases which cause absenteeism in school children. When students have proper hygiene education and access to soap, they are sick less often and spend more time in the classroom.
  • According to a study by Tata Institute of Social Sciences, 54 percent of students miss school due to illness in a single month, and 34 percent of students are unaware of the health benefits of washing their hands.

Why is it important to bring Soap in Schools to India?

  • Habitat International conducted a study that showed over 1/3 of the population of Calcutta – more than 1.5 million people – live in slums with little to no access to adequate water, sanitation, and hygiene. In one slum, 3/4 of the primary school children who live in Calcutta suffered from one or more morbidities due to poor personal hygiene, most commonly diarrheal diseases (NCBI/NIH)
  • The Bihar State is one of the poorest regions in all of Asia.
  • In India, 50 percent of malnutrition is associated with repeated diarrhea or intestinal worm infections from unsafe water or poor sanitation or hygiene (WHO).
  • Poor hygiene causes respiratory and diarrheal diseases and impacts nutrition.

Does Clean the World have positive results from other international Soap in Schools programs?

  • Yes, we do. In 2016 we launched the Soap in Schools Program in Kenya where there was a big need for hygiene education. Students frequently missed school and sometimes dropped out altogether due to chronic hygiene-related illnesses. After nine months of our hygiene education curriculum, we saw a 56 percent reduction in hygiene-related illnesses and a 45 percent increase in school attendance. The same program was implemented in Tanzania, where we saw a 49 percent reduction in hygiene-related illnesses and a 41 percent increase in school attendance.

How many schools, and how many children will be served in India?

  • The Soap in Schools Program in India will be implemented in 12 schools and will serve 5,000 students.

Where exactly would my donation be going?

  • Donations will help cover the cost of essential program items like the soap and other handwashing supplies, as well as educational materials which will be used to provide hygiene education to school-aged children.
  • $25 allows us to train a teacher on how to instruct proper handwashing
  • $50 allows us to serve a whole classroom for an entire month
  • $100 allows us to conduct an impact assessment of an entire school

Click Here to Donate to Bring Soap in Schools to India


Written by Gabrielle Lintz, an intern in the Clean the World marketing department.

Soap in Schools program is Saving Lives in Tanzania

Clean the World’s Soap in Schools is Saving Lives in Tanzania

Clean the World’s Soap in Schools program in Tanzania launched in September 2016. During Soap in Schools, we teach proper handwashing techniques and distribute soap every two to three weeks to over 5,000 elementary school children. These children and their families in Tanzania need our Soap in Schools program because they live in areas with widespread, life-threatening hygiene-related illnesses.

Seeing Positive Results:

We’re excited to announce the results of our six-month impact assessment in Tanzania. Because of our Soap in Schools program, instances of diarrheal disease and pneumonia are down 49 percent, and school attendance is up 42 percent across the entire population.

Our program has proven that children and their families are healthier, going to school more, and on their way of breaking the cycle of poverty that has plagued their communities for generations. The positive impact Soap in Schools is making globally is something to celebrate. These results are getting closer to those we saw from our Kenya Soap in Schools program – and the amazing results are a reminder that our collective efforts really do make a huge, lifesaving impact.

Soap Saves Lives:

Because of the difference, our international Soap in Schools program is making in Kenya and Tanzania, we’ll soon be launching Soap in Schools in India and Haiti in the coming months. By this September, roughly 25,000 children will be participating in our Soap in Schools programs around the world each month.

We truly are improving health and saving lives, one bar of soap at a time.

 


Written by Gabrielle Lintz, an intern in the Clean the World marketing department.

“Clean Goes Green”: Clean the World Celebrates Earth Month This April and Every Day

Who said loving the earth had to last only one day? Clean the World celebrates planet Earth every day through our global hygiene revolution, but in light of Earth Day on April 22, we’re especially highlighting why our impact on it is so important— so we’re celebrating sustainability and green initiatives the entire month of April.

To put just how important it is to recycle into perspective; According to the Economist, the United States alone chucks away 11.4 billion dollars worth of recyclable containers and packaging annually. As an organization who’s passionate about sustainability and making an environmental change, we encourage you to take a stand. Taking care of earth starts with a small notion, and you can make a difference by just recycling in your own home or at work, or even by volunteering at one of our warehouses to help Clean the World recycle bars of soap and bottled amenities.

How Clean the World is Making a Change:

Five million bars of soap each day are tossed into landfills worldwide, just from the hospitality industry alone. To combat this, Clean the World diverts an astonishing 14.8 million pounds of waste from landfills through recycling bottled amenities such as shampoo, conditioner, and soap from more than one million hotel rooms daily, and we wouldn’t be able to do it without the help of our Soap Heroes!

An Ode to One of Our Soap Heroes:

Thank you to our partner, Guest Supply who makes our mission of recycling soap and saving lives possible. Since 2013, Guest Supply has helped Clean the World manage inventory from their six locations across the United States. They help us collect soaps and bins from over half of the hotels we recycle from, and over 800,000 hotel rooms. To continue making a difference, Clean the World is currently working on recycling not only the bottles of these products, but the liquid inside as well.

How You Can Get Involved:

Join in on our Earth Month movement. Use the hashtags #CleantheWorld and #CleanGoesGreen in your social media posts for a chance to be featured on our page. Help spread the word about why it’s important to go green, reduce, reuse and recycle to make our earth just a little more beautiful each day.

For information on volunteer opportunities with Clean the World, please email: volunteers@ctw2.wpstagecoach.com

 


Written by Gabrielle Lintz, an intern in the Clean the World marketing department.

School Attendance Leaps 45% During Kenya Program

Handwashing demonstrationIn November, we wrapped up our inaugural nine-month Soap in Schools Program in Kenya, and we have the final results. Across the 12 schools, serving more than 4,000 children, we saw an overall reduction in hygiene-related illnesses (diarrheal diseases, pneumonia, and skin infections) of 56 percent. And school attendance increased 45 percent from when the program started at the beginning of 2016!

These numbers are huge for a few reasons. They show that our work achieved an impact in the first 90 days and that we were able to sustain that impact for the duration of the nine-month program. The outcome bodes well for our other Soap in Schools programs taking place or soon launching in other parts of the world. And it proves the power of soap and proper hand washing in making a significant impact on global health.

The results are a powerful indicator that we are on the right track with Clean the World’s mission. Thousands of kids are now healthier because of our work. They are going to school, getting an education, and will hopefully break the cycle of poverty that has plagued their families for generations. For many, this program might be a turning point in their lives — and for us, it shows just how impactful soap can be.

We’ve identified ways to carry this work forward through new partnerships in Kenya this year, so look for more details soon. We’ll also be sharing our first impact numbers from Tanzania soon as well. And as we move into 2017, we looking forward to launching outcome-based programs and partnerships in India, China, and beyond.

Thank you for being a partner in our life-changing mission and for everything you do to support us.

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.

Kenya_1
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.

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.

Hygiene in Schools Program Helps Students Adopt Healthy Habits

Clean the World’s Oscar Gonzalez teaches proper hand washing techniques.

Clean the World is revolutionizing the way children learn health education in schools. Under the direction of Cairra Martin, our Global Health Coordinator, we are piloting the “Hygiene in Schools” program at two public schools in Orange County, Florida: Eccleston Elementary and Memorial Middle School.

The elementary years are a key time for hygiene education to ensure students build healthy habits while middle school is a pivotal time for children to learn hygiene as they are maturing.

Once a month, Clean the World staff members participate in this community giveback. They join students and parents for three hours after school, the period when some children are waiting for parents who are still at work.

“We are establishing a fun and interactive environment where we can educate the students and families on the correct amount of time needed to wash their hands properly while providing them with the hygiene amenities to follow through with their lesson at home,” Cairra says. “Each participant uses our CTW black light box to learn how germs travel and how proper hand washing is the best way to get your hand clean. We give each child a glowing solution for their hands, a visual representation of the true amount of germs on their hands.”

Under the black light, they can see where germs build up in nails, on the palm and in between the fingers.

“Once each participant is thoroughly grossed out by the germs, they then properly wash their hands for a full twenty seconds.” The kids come back to the black light box to check that they have no “glowing germs” on their hands. Often startled to see glowing, missed areas between their fingers, they rush back to the sink to vanquish the remaining “germs.” This experiment not only teaches the important of the length of time to wash one’s hands but also the importance of thoroughly scrubbing with soap.

The program includes interactive games teaching about germs, as well as fun activity sheets to take home. Cairra and the team are proud to say each household that engages with our program truly enjoys the experience and shows us that Clean the World is moving in the right direction to becoming the leader in hygiene education and awareness.

It is so important to grow the program right here in our home base of Orlando, where nearly one-fifth of all homeless public-school students across the state now live in Orange, Osceola or Seminole counties.

Nationally, an estimated 22 million school days are lost annually because of colds alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control, hand washing is the most simple and efficient way to combat these preventable illnesses. By providing this hygiene education, often not covered in the school curriculum, Clean the World bolsters children’s health to keep them confident and in the classroom.

Providing soap and hygiene education for continued childhood success and growth are a primary focus for Clean the World. With the success of our pilot program in Orlando, we are making plans to roll out Hygiene in Schools to communities throughout Florida and the United States. If you are interesting in funding hygiene education in schools, please visit cleantheworld.org/donate.

‘Soap in Schools’ Program Launches in Kenya

Thanks to the generous support of the Starwood Foundation, Clean the World recently launched a nine-month hygiene education program in a network of 12 schools across Kenya. The program serves more than 4,000 primary school children who live in extreme poverty in either urban slums or rural villages.

Clean the World managing director Sam Stephens with Kenyan students.
Clean the World managing director Sam Stephens with Kenyan students.

Unlike most of our international work, which we conduct through existing programs operated by other NGO partners, the Soap in Schools program is different. This time, we’ve designed and launched the program ourselves, and will engage other partners as necessary to accomplish our goals. The first steps were to identify the target population, conduct a baseline study to determine the “starting point” for measuring success going forward, design the hygiene education program to be implemented in schools, and train teachers to implement the programming.

Sam Stephens, managing director of Clean the World Foundation, traveled to Kenya in early March to conduct the baseline study and teacher training. Since then and through the end of 2016, ongoing hand-washing classes will teach the children how, when, and why to wash their hands – while also providing them, their families, and their schools with Clean the World soap.

The results of the baseline study showed an even greater need than we expected:

• Nearly 70 percent of the children suffered from a hygiene-related illness (diarrhea or pneumonia) in the previous month
• 80 percent had a hygiene-related skin infection during that time
• Nearly 40 percent had missed four or more days of school in the previous month as a result of these conditions

Our goal is to make these kids healthier and, therefore, help them attend school more often so they can receive the education they need to break the cycle of poverty.

Now that our hand-washing education and soap distribution are underway, we should see these problems getting much better in the coming weeks and months. We will measure our impact and progress every 90 days, so expect an update in June.

This outreach in Kenya is the first of many new Clean the World programs. We are about to launch a similar program in Tanzania. It’s a very exciting development, and it marks a big step forward in our mission to eradicate the top two killers of children globally.

Case Study: Family’s Health Improves Dramatically With Soap and Hygiene Education

ruthDid you know that diarrhea and pneumonia are the leading causes of death among children in the developing world? Combined, they claim the lives of nearly 6,000 kids every day – more than AIDS, malaria, and TB combined.

Fortunately, there is a simple “vaccine.” Hand washing with soap is the most efficient way to prevent those deaths and can cut death rates in half. Through the Global Soap & Hygiene Initiative, a Clean the World cause, we focus on getting soap and hygiene education to those who lack access to it. In the past six years, we’ve distributed more than 30 million bars of soap to millions of people in 100 countries.

One person who received our soap is Ruth, a young mother living in rural Malawi. When we started working with Ruth, we learned that although she was familiar with soap, her family wasn’t buying it or using it. Like so many people living in poverty, Ruth had never been taught why soap and proper hygiene are so important for maintaining good health.

As a result, Ruth and her children were sick quite frequently. Several family members and neighbors had died from hygiene-related diseases. Ruth’s kids were falling behind in school and were about to drop out, and she was often unable to work and earn money to keep her family fed and nourished.

That changed when Ruth started participating in one of our projects, where she attended a local clinic each month with other parents to receive a free bar of soap and hygiene education. After nine months of participating in the program and using soap regularly, Ruth and her family no longer get sick. Better still, she and the other parents in the program see the value of soap and are buying it for themselves regularly as an investment in the health of their children.

To us, that’s success.

Global Health Starts at Home

Boy in Ecuador washing his hands

Guest Post by Julie Potyraj

Clean the World is one of a dozen groups working to promote WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) programs globally. However, it is among a smaller number of organizations starting to do this on a community and household level. Why? Because global change is anchored in community efforts. Improvements in infrastructure and policy begin with changes in the beliefs and behaviors of individuals. Programs at a local level are integral in laying a strong foundation for global public health achievements.

Global Importance of WASH Programs

WASH programs are a key strategy in achieving several of the United Nations Millennium Achievement Goals. Specifically, WASH programs aid in the reduction of child mortality, improve maternal health, help to combat disease, and increase environmental sustainability. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has extensively noted the health effects of poor water sanitation and hygiene practices. Currently, 780 million people do not have access to an improved water source and 2.5 billion people lack access to improved sanitation. Nearly 88 percent of deaths from diarrheal diseases can be traced back to a combination of unsafe drinking water, unsanitary conditions, and a general lack of water for hygiene purposes. WASH Programs could ostensibly prevent 9.1 percent of the global disease burden and as much as 6.3 percent of all deaths.

Risk to Children

Children are especially vulnerable to the effects of poor sanitation and hygiene. According to the World Health Organization, WASH programs can improve children’s nutritional status by preventing diarrheal diseases, intestinal parasites, and environmental enteropathy. Specifically, improved WASH resources could prevent as much as 361,000 (58 percent) of total deaths attributed to diarrhea in children under the age of 5. This is an incredible number considering that the CDC claims that around 801,000 children in this age group die each year from these causes. This represents 11 percent of the children younger than 5 who die each year.

Community-Based Prevention Programs

WASH programs have shown to make a significant impact on the health and well-being of those affected. In terms of reducing just diarrheal deaths, better water sources (21 percent), better sanitation (37.5 percent), improved drinking water quality (45 percent), and hand-washing (35 percent) have significant impacts. Expanding the reach of WASH programs requires a multi-pronged approach, including community-based interventions like soap distribution as well as demonstrations in hand-washing, safe household water management, and food preparation. According to US AID’s Maternal and Child Survival Program, “Hand-washing is the single most cost-effective intervention to prevent pneumonia and diarrhea in children, and reduces infections in mothers and children during pregnancy and childbirth.” If these programs have sufficient resources and are conducted with respect to the community, they have been shown to positively affect health in these communities.

Small Changes, Global Impact

Improved hygiene and sanitation practices are ultimately about changes in beliefs as well as behaviors of individuals. Workers are needed on the ground to provide demonstrations and positive reinforcement along with creating hand-washing stations and supplying soap, which reinforce the taught behaviors. Community- and household-level interventions are necessary to identify barriers as well as possible enablers to WASH behaviors in the home. Community-level workers are able to troubleshoot specific action steps for a given household or community to promote desired WASH techniques in the long term.

Supplies needed for these ventures are easily manufactured locally, which makes such community-based programs sustainable and cost-effective. As the saying goes, “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he eats every day.” Organizations like Clean the World provide resources in addition to building skills, habits, and infrastructure from the ground up. Individuals are able to learn a set of skills that can have a lasting impact on their health as well as the health of their families and community. Once enough of these local-level actions take root, that’s when we will start to see global change.


Julie Potyraj is the community manager for MPH@GW, the online master of public health program offered by the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University. For several years, she served as a community development specialist in Zambia coordinating youth empowerment programs and reproductive health education. She is currently an MPH@GW student focusing on global health and health communications.

Last Chance to Make a Tax-Deductible Gift in 2015

Dear Friend:

This has been an incredible year for Clean the World as we joined forces with Global Soap to improve even more lives through an integrated social enterprise.

Thanks to generous partners and supporters like you, our Global Soap & Hygiene Initiative can distribute lifesaving soap and hygiene education to people around the world who otherwise would not have access to it. From orphans and refugees to disaster victims and children living in extreme poverty, your gifts have helped us provide health, hope, and dignity for hundreds of thousands of people in 100 countries.

Though time is running out, there’s still a chance to make a donation this year. Today is the final opportunity to make a tax-deductible gift in 2015, so please click here if you would like to make a donation. Your gift will expand our impact in 2016 by helping us improve even more lives and reduce more waste – one bar of soap at a time. Your gift will improve the hygiene circumstances for families both here at home and around the world. In fact, 92 percent of the money donated to Clean the World goes directly toward funding the mission.

Thanks so much for your support. We look forward to working with you in the exciting year ahead.

Happy New Year!

The Clean the World Team

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Global Soap Division Responds to Nepal Earthquake

GSP-badge-artWithin days of the April 25 earthquake in Nepal, Clean the World’s Global Soap division responded with an initial shipment of soap and hygiene kits to clinics and camps serving more than 5,000 families in Kathmandu. As soon as he could make travel arrangements, Chief Development & Programs Officer Sam Stephens flew to the affected area and supervised the distribution.

Supplies were delivered to people hardest hit by the catastrophe in the country’s largest city. This includes clinics where aid workers and doctors provided care to earthquake victims without regular access to soap and hygiene supplies.

We reached camps where thousands of families had no access to even the most basic hygiene items while they struggled to cope in the aftermath of the catastrophe. In these types of situations, handwashing with soap is the first line of defense in preventing the spread of deadly diseases, especially in camps where the living conditions are often unsanitary and unhealthy. A simple bar of soap can mean the difference between life and death. Our initial response effort ensures that doctors and families have access to soap at the most critical times, preventing an already devastating situation from becoming even worse.

Going forward, Clean the World will continue to work with our partners on the ground throughout Nepal to get soap and hygiene kits to the affected regions as requested. Our operations centers in the United States and Hong Kong are working with partners to identify needs and plan for aid shipments over the coming weeks.

Our on-the-ground partners will continue to make sure the soap reaches those individuals, families, and medical workers who need the supplies the most. In addition, we’ll continue to make sure that clinics and camps operating in the region have the ongoing supply of soap and hygiene items they need until local sources and supplies once again become available.

Thank you so much for your support of our efforts to make sure that those most in need have access to lifesaving soap and hygiene products. Your contributions really are making a huge impact!

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Please Support Our Earthquake Response Efforts in Nepal

Dear Friends:

As you know, the recent earthquake in Nepal has claimed more than 5,000 lives and created unspeakable devastation in a region already plagued by poverty. One of the greatest concerns following a catastrophe like this is access to water, sanitation, and hygiene. These disasters create environments in which diseases spread very rapidly, and soap is one of the most critical items needed to save lives and prevent further devastation. Amidst the chaos, many of the typical sources of soap have been cut off, leaving families, hospitals, and emergency response teams without access to such a vital resource.

That’s where Clean the World comes in. We’re responding by sending an initial shipment of soap to Nepal this week to serve over 5,000 families in camps and clinics, with distribution beginning by Friday. In the weeks to come, we’ll continue to provide shipments of soap and hygiene kits to help improve health and prevent the spread of diseases in the affected areas.

We know this effort is critical – and we couldn’t do it without your help. Will you join me today by making a donation to support our disaster response efforts in Nepal? Your gift will help us make sure lifesaving soap reaches those most in need, and will help provide an ongoing supply as the recovery continues. To make a gift, visit www.cleantheworld.org or click the button below.

Thanks so much for your support. And stay tuned for updates on our response efforts in the coming days.

With gratitude,
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Sam Stephens
Chief Development Officer

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2014 Was an Amazing Year for Clean the World

One word sums up the feeling at Clean the World as we celebrated the holidays: Grateful.

We are so grateful for the hotels, volunteers, corporate partners, and supporters that fuel our mission to save lives with soap. Thank you to everyone who was part of the global hygiene revolution in 2014. Twelve months ago, we never could have imagined what an amazing year it would be.

Here are a few of the highlights:

Las Vegas Sands Donation

sands-cares-logoLas Vegas Sands Corp. has a long history of supporting our mission. They took it to a new level in 2014 by donating $1 million – the largest corporate donation in Clean the World’s history. Their generous contribution made it possible for us to add a new soap recycling production line in our Las Vegas regional operations center. The new machinery can sanitize and recycle enough discarded soap to produce nearly 20,000 three-ounce bars of soap a day.

The Sands donation also sponsored 100,000 ONE Project hygiene kits for distribution through the American Red Cross to local and national disaster victims. The kits were assembled by 2,000 volunteers during a mass community effort at the Venetian Ballroom.

Clean the World Asia

In May, Clean the World rolled out the red carpet at a new recycling operations center in Hong Kong. This new, expanded facility is outfitted with a complete production line to turn discarded hotel soap into clean new bars. Soap from hotel partners in Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore flows into the Hong Kong facility. The $1 million donation from Las Vegas Sands also helped fund this new production line and our expanded footprint in Asia.

First Florida Benefit Corporation

In July, Clean the World created the first benefit corporation under Florida’s new benefit corporation law. The law allows for a new type of company that uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.

Bi-Partisan Event on Capitol Hill

In September, we proved there are no political boundaries when it comes to the battle against hygiene-related illnesses. Legislators from both sides of the aisle joined Clean the World in the U.S. Capitol to promote hand washing and proper hygiene leading up to Global Handwashing Day on Oct. 15. To kick off the event in the Capitol’s historic Lyndon Baines Johnson Room, Clean the World founder Shawn Seipler was joined by the senators from Nevada, Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid and GOP Sen. Dean Heller.

Company to Watch

In October, Clean the World was honored by GrowFL as one of the 2014 Florida Companies to Watch. The program celebrates growing second-stage companies headquartered in the Sunshine State. Companies to Watch was developed as a unique way to recognize and honor companies that demonstrate high performance with innovative strategies and processes, making them “worth watching.”

Super Jabon and Super Agua Visit Guatemala

On Monday, May 26, a Clean the World soap distribution team started the journey to Guatemala with an orientation event in Orlando. The team consisted of Debra Punke and Troy Chontas from Concord Hospitality, Deb Martin of Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale, Kris Vos of Hyatt Place Orlando Universal, Heather Hay of East-West Resorts, travel blogger Jennifer Huber, and Marah MacRostie, who was selected to go on the trip through a contest sponsored by Clearly Natural/Beaumont Products. Our Clean the World representatives were Paramita Das, Dennis Ocasio and Rosanna Kingston.

A day later, the group departed Orlando International Airport to connect with Children International of Guatemala, our in-country partner and host for the four-day adventure. Children International has distributed more than 2 million bars of recycled Clean the World soap since 2011. Their mission is to bring real and lasting change to the lives of children living in poverty.

Our objectives for the May trip to Guatemala were to distribute more soap and teach proper hand-washing techniques.

Children International Guatemala was about to launch “Hand Washing Month,” and our visit kicked off the program in style.

Clean the World team members performed a short skit that involves a super hero that fights germs. Our super heroes are Super Jabon (“Super Soap” in Spanish) and Super Agua (“Super Water” in Spanish). We taught the children how to properly wash their hands by using a hygiene song set to the tune of “La Bamba.”

The skit is implemented as part of our presentation throughout all the sites where we distribute soap, and everyone in our entourage takes turns portraying super heroes and germs.

The team delivered more than 12,000 bars of soap to 3,600 children and mothers in two days. We shipped another 108,000 bars into Guatemala for ongoing distribution by Children International.

The smiles, high-fives and hugs showed how much the children appreciated receiving the soap.

Clean the World’s Rosanna Kingston said she was shocked to learn on this trip that some people use bleach and water to wash their hands. This is yet another reason why the education we provide is so important.

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San Diego Rescue Mission Receives 500 ONE Project Hygiene Kits

Food pantry at the San Diego Rescue Mission.

When we founded Clean the World four years ago, our goal was simple: Collect discarded hotel soap, recycle it, and send it to developing countries. The idea was to save lives in places where millions of people die from illnesses that can be prevented with hand washing.

What we didn’t realize at the time was that we also had an opportunity to make a difference in our own back yard by partnering with community-minded organizations. Here in the United States, Clean the World’s ONE Project provides much-needed hygiene products to people who struggle to meet their family’s basic needs due to economic misfortune or natural disaster.

Companies, churches, schools, clubs and fraternal organizations host events where they assemble hygiene kits as a way to improve teamwork and create a renewed focus on community. By distributing the kits locally, they experience first-hand how something so simple can have such a profound impact on the lives of others.

In February, our friends at Starwood Hotels hosted a ONE Project event at their conference in San Diego. The group assembled 500 hygiene kits, which were donated to the San Diego Rescue Mission.

Recently we received a follow-up from Mark Legace, who is the individual gifts manager at the mission. He wanted to let Starwood and Clean the World know that hundreds of hungry and homeless men, women, and children will enjoy the high-quality hygiene necessities and notes of encouragement supplied in those kits.

“It was fun for me to cheer all the teams on and see all the beautiful donations being assembled to make a homeless person’s day,” Legace said. “Thank you again for organizing this great project to help so many hungry and homeless men, women, and children here in San Diego. Hopefully there will be more opportunities for us to partner together again in the future to help more San Diegans in need.”

That is what inspires all of us to keep pushing ahead with the Global Hygiene Revolution.

Thousands of great partners such as Starwood. Thousands of housekeepers collecting soap and bottled amenities. Thousands of volunteers processing the items in Orlando and Las Vegas. Thousands of supporters around the world. Hundreds of distribution partners. The entire Clean the World team. Collectively we are able to save lives with soap.

Thanks to each of you for doing your part.

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Distribution Update

Here is a recap of recent distribution both here in the United States and overseas:

New Vision Ministry: 100 soap bars, 100 shampoo, 100 body wash, 100 lotion, 100 conditioners

Children International: 108,000 soap bars

Clinician of the World: 3,000 soap bars

Hope House of Chicago: 5,166 units of hygiene amenities

Adriana’s Attic, Inc.: 300 soap bars, 200 shampoo, 20 body wash, 200 conditioners, 200 lotions

Recovery House of Central Florida: 3,000 soap bars, 300 shampoo, 200 body wash, 200 conditioners

Back to School Bash – Hope Help Inc.: 700 hygiene kits

Christian Service Center: 400 hygiene kits

Back2 school event: 1,000 hygiene kits

UCF Medical School: 400 hygiene kits for a mission to the Dominican Republic

Awesome Work and Travel: 200 soap bars

Compassion Corner: 300 soap bars, 200 body wash, 100 lotion, 100 shampoo, 100 conditioner

Operation Christmas Child in Ohio: 400 soap bars

Mission Unlimited: 1,000 soap bars, 1,000 body wash, 1,000 lotion

Harvest Time International Las Vegas: 5,000 units of hygiene amenities

Caesars Entertainment Back to School Event: 2,000 hygiene kits

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Delivering Soap to Those Who Need it Most

Rosanna Kingston is the Nonprofit Partnership and Volunteer Coordinator for Clean the World. She works with organizations that require hygiene products to fulfill their missions, and arranges for the pickup and transportation of soap from Clean the World’s recycling and manufacturing plant in Orlando.

One example is World Vision, which provides emergency assistance to families affected by natural disasters, and works with communities to develop long-term solutions to alleviate poverty. World Vision has an existing water and sanitation program. The sanitation program requires hygiene supplies, so the partnership with Clean the World just made sense.
Along with her partnership responsibilities, Rosanna manages the scheduling and activities for thousands of volunteers each year at the Orlando facility. She also operates Serve and Learn, which is a free curriculum that allows teachers to download lessons related to recycling, soap-making and environmental awareness. Teachers in the Orlando area can then follow up with a field trip to Clean the World, where students see the recycling and soap manufacturing process in action.

Each year Clean the World takes several groups of supporters and corporate partners on soap distribution trips to developing countries. Rosanna coordinates all the travel plans and logistical details for those four- to seven-day experiences. She spends up to six months planning the trips to ensure everything comes off without a hitch.
Rosanna has been in the non-profit sector for more than 10 years. In 2003 she started an organization that provided backpacks and school supplies to underprivileged kids in 14 countries. She teamed with the United States military through the U.S. Southern Command and organized humanitarian missions in Mexico, Peru and many Caribbean islands.
Thanks to those experiences, Rosanna is able to successfully guide us through the distribution of millions of soap bars every year.
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Super Jabon visits the Dominican Republic!

This post is from Rosanna Kingston, Clean the World’s Nonprofit Partnership and Volunteer Coordinator.

Our recent Clean the World soap distribution trip to the Dominican Republic departed from Orlando on Tuesday, April 23.

The team was made up of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, his assistant Kathleen Devault, Clean the World board member Paul Skomsky, Clean the World CEO Shawn Seipler, Jennifer Quigley, Ford Kiene of City Beverages, Rian Seipler, Clean the World videographer Robert Bahret, Sherry Bellomo, and Jeff Wolff, Marriott’s vice president of Guest Experience and Rooms Operations – Americas, and me.

After a two-hour flight to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, we retrieved our luggage and cleared customs. Our in-country partners from Children International greeted us. Their mission is to bring real and lasting change to the lives of children living in poverty. The organization has distributed more than a million recycled bars of soap since 2011.

We all boarded one bus and headed to our first distribution center – La Caleta. We were welcomed with a marching band and young girls twirling batons. After the performance we walked to the building where approximately 400 people waited for soap in two areas.

Our team performed a short skit involving a super hero who fights germs. The Mayor Dyer played the role as “Super Jabon” (Super Soap) and fought the germs played by Shawn, Rian, and Paul. I explained proper hand-washing techniques and taught the children our song about hand washing to the tune of “La Bamba.”

The sound of children’s laughter filled the air! The skit is implemented as part of our presentation throughout all the sites where we distribute soap, and all the team members took turns being Super Jabon. We met director leaders and parent volunteers. Before leaving we toured the facilities and hand-delivered 400 bags containing 2,000 bars of soap.

On Wednesday after breakfast we boarded the bus and headed to Cienfuegos, which is two hours away in Santiago. Cienfuegos is the poorest neighborhood in the northern region of the Dominican Republic. Thousands of children work in the dump trying to survive. They are left without a state to protect them, many without families able to provide for their needs.

We were welcomed at the Cien Fuegos Center with a three-piece band playing the local music, “Merengue.” Our team members were invited to dance with the staff. Everyone had a great time. Our team performed the skit and we delivered 300 bags containing 1,200 bars of soap. Our team toured the facility and was invited to listen to an ESOL class. Each student introduced himself or herself in English. They all thanked us for our visit.

After our visit in Cien Fuegos we headed to a restaurant where we enjoyed a nice lunch. After lunch we boarded our bus and drove to a modern, airy community center called “El Flumen.” It is generally packed with families who up receive sponsorship benefits, receive medical or dental care, or attend a workshop. After we performed our skit to four separate groups and distributed 2,500 soap bars, our team had a quick visit with the staff and a tour of the facilities. A student from the ESOL class sang a solo in English. She was so proud to perform for the team.

On Thursday morning after breakfast, we once again boarded the bus and drove to our first site of the day where children and parents gathered to welcome us at the Children International Tres Brazos. We met with the staff, had a tour of the facilities, and then distributed 1,600 bars of soap. The center director helped us with our song. He joined in and even added a few dance steps that we integrated into the rest of the distributions.

Our next stop was the barrio where the children lived. We visited the homes of two children sponsored by Children International. It was a 30-minute drive from the center. The bus driver navigated through tight streets and down the hill until we were near the Ozma river. The water was very dirty. The river is one of the most polluted in the country. Our team got to see the living conditions of the residents. Each home was built with several tin sheets nailed to wooden posts over a dirt floor.

Once we finished our visit to the barrio, we headed to the Mall for lunch. After lunch we boarded the bus and visited another center named “Mendoza”. We were welcomed at the Mendoza Center by the staff and parent volunteers. Our team performed the skit to five different groups and delivered 600 bags with 3,000 bars of soap. A tasty coconut drink followed our tour of the facility.

We returned to our hotel to freshen up for a casual dinner in the Colonial area of Santo Domingo.

On Friday morning following breakfast, we boarded our bus for Zona Colonial, or “Colonial Zone.” It is a tiny metropolis situated in the city of Santo Domingo. Ciudad Colonial (Spanish for “Colonial City”) is the historic central neighborhood of Santo Domingo and the oldest permanent European settlement in the New World. The beautiful streets of this ancient are lined with a plethora of historical buildings, shops, museums, and churches. UNESCO has declared it a World Heritage Site.

One thing that I have noticed with each distribution trip is how well the children respond well to our Super Jabon character and song. The parents listen and repeat to themselves the importance of hand washing. It reassures us that our message is getting through and that these trips are worthwhile.

Please visit the photo album for more pictures from this trip.

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Disneyland Resort Honored for Donations

The Disneyland Resort issued this press release following a recent visit by Clean the World co-founder and CEO Shawn Seipler



Clean the World Foundation, Inc. Honors Disneyland Resort for Recycling Bath Amenities to Change Lives and Protect the Environment

Disneyland Resort donated nearly 20,000 lbs. of gently used bath amenities in 2012

ANAHEIM, Calif. – March 7, 2013 – Disneyland Resort was awash with pride today when it was honored by the nonprofit organization Clean the World Foundation, Inc. for its environmental efforts to recycle partially used soap and bottled bath amenities. The nonprofit organization sanitizes, repackages and distributes the amenities – which may otherwise be discarded by the hospitality industry – to people in need around the world, helping to prevent hygiene-related illnesses.

Shawn Seipler, CEO and co-founder of Clean the World, recognized the Disneyland Resort at a ceremony today, acknowledging the work of all three Resort hotels and their collective donation of nearly 20,000 pounds of amenities in 2012. Combined, the Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, and Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa donated more than any other property in California.

“We are pleased to recognize the Disneyland Resort for their continued support,” said Seipler. “The fact that every hotel at the Disneyland Resort is among our top participants speaks to their commitment to join the global hygiene revolution and inspire positive change in the world.”

Since July 2011, the Disneyland Resort has worked diligently with Clean the World to recycle the bath amenities from its 2,402 hotel rooms. In 2012, the three properties collected 10,000-pounds of soap bars that were recycled into 53,392 life-changing bars of soap. Nearly 9,500-pounds of bottled bath amenities also were donated, amounting to a combined total of 19,400-pounds, or 9.7 tons of waste diverted from landfills and repurposed.

Disneyland Resort housekeeping cast members voluntarily collect the used amenities after guests check out of their rooms. From there, they are sent to a processing facility after which they are sent to countries in need around the world.

“The passionate voluntary support of our housekeeping cast members is what makes this program successful at the Disneyland Resort, said Pilar Hamil, general manager of the Disneyland Hotel. “They have brought this program to life at our hotels and thousands of lives have already been changed because of them.”

For more information about Clean the World Foundation, Inc., visit www.cleantheworld.org.

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About Clean the World, Inc. – Clean the World Foundation Inc. is a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization with the mission of saving millions of lives around the globe. Clean the World leads a global hygiene revolution to distribute recycled soap and hygiene products from more than 1,700 hospitality partners to children and families suffering from high death rates due to the top two killers of children worldwide – acute respiratory infection (pneumonia) and diarrheal diseases (cholera). Since 2009, Clean the World has distributed more than 12 million bars of soap. Through the “ONE project” launched in late 2012, Clean the World provides hygiene kits domestically to the homeless and families in transition. For more information visit www.cleantheworld.org.

About the Disneyland Resort – Located on approximately 500 acres in Anaheim, Calif., the Disneyland Resort features two spectacular theme parks – Disneyland (the original Disney theme park) and Disney California Adventure park – plus the Downtown Disney District comprised of unique dining, entertainment and shopping experiences. The Resort’s three hotels are the 948-room Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, the 973-room Disneyland Hotel and the 481-room Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel. With 25,000 cast members, the Disneyland Resort is Orange County’s largest employer and generates $4.7 billion for the Southern California economy. The Resort has welcomed more than 650 million guests since opening on July 17, 1955. For detailed information about the Disneyland Resort, please visit www.disneyland.com.

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Another Rewarding Soap Distribution Trip to Honduras

The following post is from Rosanna Kingston, Clean the World’s nonprofit partnership and volunteer coordinator.

The Clean the World soap distribution team started their journey to Honduras on Tuesday, Feb 23. On the team I was accompanied by Terry Dunbar from the Hyatt Regency in Jersey City, NJ; Kathryn Coiner- Collier from the Aloft Charlotte Uptown in Charlotte, NC; Jami Rodman from Las Vegas; and Mary Coiner and Lou Collier from Virginia.

This is Kathryn’s third trip with Clean the World, but this time was special because she was joined by her parents: Mary and Lou. Even better, Lou brought his guitar and was ready to lead our now famous (at least in one small part of Honduras) hand washing song! Kathryn is the creator of this song and the “Super Jabon” character who sings it.

Terry Dunbar from the Hyatt Regency Jersey City.

We traveled all day on Tuesday. Our trip started with a one-hour flight from Miami to Orlando, and then a connecting flight to San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Once we retrieved our luggage and cleared customs, we were greeted by the in-country partners from Joint Task Force-Bravo, Iris Medina and Lieutenant Colonel Michael Frazier. We all boarded one vehicle and headed to Soto Cano Air Base in Comayagua. The drive time was three hours.

Soto Cano Air Base (commonly known as Palmerola Air Base) is a Honduran military base five miles south of Comayagua in Honduras. A modest concentration of U.S. troops and the Honduran Air Force academy use the airbase. The U.S. government once used Palmerola as a base of operations to support their foreign policy objectives in the 1980s. Now the U.S. military uses Soto Cano as a launching point for its war on drugs in Central America, as well as humanitarian aid missions throughout Honduras and Central America.

After breakfast on Wednesday we boarded the vehicles and headed to our first site, the Juan Ramon Molina School. Before the soap was distributed, our team performed a short skit that involves a super hero that fights the germs. Kathryn reprised her original role as “Super Jabon” (Super Soap) and fought the germs played by Terry and Mary. Kathryn explained how to properly wash hands and taught the children our song about hand washing to the tune of “La Bamba.” The sounds of Lou’s guitar and the children’s laughter filled the air! The skit is implemented as part of our presentation throughout all the sites where we distribute soap. We met the school leaders and teachers. We hand-delivered 70 bags (400 bars of soap) to the students, and the teachers received Clean the World ONE Project hygiene kits.

That day we visited the following schools:

      – Julio Cesar Lopez – 300 bars of soap
      – Manuel Bonilla – 300 bars
      – Matilde Cordova – 400 bars
      – Inmaculada Kindergarten – 600 bars
      – CE Ramon Ortega – 1,400 bars

We then returned to Soto Cano Base, had a late lunch and packed the vehicles with soap for the following day (800 bags 1,600 bars of soap). After a rest in the afternoon, we freshened up for a night out in the town. A local guide provided transportation and a tour of Comayagua. Comayagua is approximately 80 km (50 miles) northwest of Tegucigalpa on the highway to San Pedro Sula at an elevation of 594 meters (1,948 feet) above sea level. It is the capital of the Comayagua department of Honduras. The city is noted for its wealth of Spanish Colonial architecture. The central square has a cathedral with the oldest clock in the Americas. We enjoyed a wonderful dinner in a Spanish courtyard.

On Thursday morning after breakfast, we once again boarded the van and drove to the Aspiracion del valle school, where students gathered in the courtyard to welcome us. There were approximately 75 children. We met with the school leaders and then distributed 250 bars of soap. The teachers received Clean the World ONE Project hygiene kits.

That day we visited the following schools:

      – Roberto Mejia Castillo -1,050 bars
      – Julian Mendez – 400 bars
      – Carlos Sanchez School – 1,050 bars
      – Another 10,000 bars of soap will be distributed with U.S. military medical brigades and chapel hikes.

We returned to Soto Cano Air base for a tour of the aircraft. Then freshened up for a military casual dinner event.

Following an early breakfast on Friday morning, we boarded one vehicle for the three-hour drive to the airport for departure to Miami.
One thing that I have noticed with each distribution trip is that the children recognize us and look forward to our visits. The older students remember the words to our song and help us teach the younger students about the importance of hand washing. It reassures us that our message is getting through and that these trips are worthwhile.

Please click here to enjoy more pictures from the trip.

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African Missions for Christ Receives Hygiene Items from Clean the World!


AMFC President and Evangelist Oluwafeyihanwa “Theresa” Madedor is planning a mission trip to Liberia and Sierra Leone during March and April. Today, she visited Clean the World to gather needed supplies for her trip: 5000 bars of soap and 40 cases of bottled amenities.
The African Missions for Christ office is located here in Orlando, Florida. Under the leadership of Ms. Madedor, they work with churches of all Christian denominations on different projects such as providing food, clothing and medical services for those in need. Ms. Madedor was born in Lagos State Nigeria and returns to Africa through short-term missions to give back. During her last mission trip, over 29,000 children were helped with food, school supplies and basic necessities. She stated that many times, the children that are helped own only the clothing on their backs.
This spring, her missions to Liberia and Sierra Leone will connect her to three main churches—one of which has outreach to 69 smaller village churches—in three towns that assist the “neediest of the needy”. Along with the clothing, food, and other donated items, Ms. Madedor will take Clean the World recycled soaps and bottled amenities to villagers to teach the children about the importance of handwashing for their health.
We are thankful for our partnership with African Missions for Christ and Oluwafeyihanwa “Theresa” Madedor and we wish her great success in her upcoming mission to Africa!!  
(For more information, please see http://www.amfcafrica.net/1/)
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2012 Distribution Results

This post was written by Rosanna Kingston, Clean the World’s nonprofit partnership and volunteer coordinator.

What an exciting year!

Almost 4 million soap bars were distributed globally through our partners this year – and more than 12 million bars since Clean the World was founded in 2009. However, 64,000 bars had special significance this year because they were handed directly to children and families by Clean the World team members. Our groups made a total of four distribution trips to Honduras and Guatemala in 2012, where the soap was hand-delivered to people in need. Sixteen individuals from throughout the United States and Canada joined us in 2012 for these life-changing journeys.

Some team members work in the hospitality industry while others were corporate partners from Aloft, Starwood, Canalta, Clearly Natural, Concord and Lakeview. They came from a variety of positions within these organizations, from custodial to management. On one trip we were joined by actress Mariana Klaveno.

Our teams visited orphanages, soup kitchens, schools, ghettos, landfills and villages. There appeared to be very little soap in any of these places before we arrived. Our team members learned how the citizens live and the challenges they face with hygiene and inadequate sanitation.

There is a landfill in Guatemala where subsistence workers live with their families within the borders of the landfill itself. Every day scores of the Guatemalan poor work in this landfill to search for scrap metal and other recyclables. They do this in order to eke out a living that is the equivalent of about three U.S. dollars a day.

All kinds of refuse is brought to the landfill, including household waste, medical waste and toxic chemicals. When the trucks arrive, the workers put themselves in a position where the garbage is dumped right on top of them in order to get the first shot at any decent recyclable materials.
During the rainy season, this environment becomes a perilous mess of mudslides and toxic pollution. We visited a cemetery in the mountain above this landfill and could see all of this from that high vantage point.

During a previous trip to Honduras, one of our team members came up with a novel and entertaining solution to a problem. The challenge was how to show the importance of proper hand washing to children who weren’t used to good hygiene. Kathryn Coiner-Collier from the Aloft Epicenter Uptown in Charlotte came up with the idea of us performing a skit to teach he children in an enjoyable and memorable way.

It was a great idea, and the rest of the volunteers on that trip filled in the details. Several of us dressed up like horrible germs, and one of us played the part of the hero, “Super Jabon” (Super Soap). Super Jabon would fight and vanquish the evil germs. We made up a hand-washing song to the tune of “La Bamba.” The skit and the song were great hits with the children, and soon after they were integrated in all the distribution trips. 
The immersion experience was a real eye-opener for our team members. They saw firsthand the daily challenges these communities face with regard to hygiene and dealing with inadequate sanitation. The highlight of each trip was seeing the smiles of the children, the team members interacting with the locals and the children learning the importance of hand washing: a life-saving lesson!
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Thanks for a Successful Fundraising Campaign!

We recently completed our first RocketHub crowd-funding campaign for Clean the World, and we could not be more excited about the results. Contributions from friends and supporters totaled $12,034 toward four machines that will allow us to make soap at a faster production rate.

Although donations fell short of our very aggressive $54,000 goal, this campaign was a runaway success for Clean the World. RocketHub’s Brian Meece says the average crowd-funding campaign raises $4,800. We brought in nearly 3x that amount, which is a fantastic blessing and a holiday gift to the Global Hygiene Revolution.
In addition to raising funds for the new machines, a side benefit of this effort is that thousands of hygiene kits are being delivered to Superstorm Sandy victims in the Northeast.
With the help of a few last-minute donations, we expect to take delivery of the new machines within the next 60 days. Two will be installed in our main facility in Orlando, and the other two go to our Regional Operations Center in Las Vegas.

Thank you so much to the following contributors:

  • Scott Cohen
  • Waymon & Frances Armstrong
  • Marty Rubin
  • Tobi Wilson
  • Margaret Lezcano
  • Cody Pacic
  • Dawn Wright
  • Rick Burn
  • John Hobson
  • Dirk Roskam
  • Leslie Hielema
  • Timothy Yocum
  • Katherine Dobbs
  • Jeremiah McElwee
  • Amy Sindler
  • Dan Koroscil
  • Rian Seipler
  • Bruce Wang
  • Seipler Family
  • Dr. Paul Skomsky
  • MDC Partners on behalf of Bob Scaglione
  • Julie & TJ Larson
  • Michael O’Quinn
  • Margaret Holsinger
  • Stan & Kimberly VanGundy
  • Ford Keine
  • Jennifer Quigley
  • Lonney Johnson
  • Tom Cook
  • Evelyn Bako
  • Cindy Gainey
  • Radisson Hotel Edmonton South
  • McConnell Marketing
  • Mariana Klaveno
  • Branden Weber
  • Siena Scifleet
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Recap of Honduras Soap Distribution

On Monday, Oct. 8, a team from Clean the World left Orlando for a trip to Soto Cano Air Base in Honduras. On board was Jim Buckshaw from Clearly Natural, Kate Labrosse from National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA) and Jessica Rosman from Caesars Entertainment. Representing Clean the World were Shawn Seipler, Robert Bahret and Rosanna Kingston.
Kate Labrosse
Following flights to Miami and San Pedro Sula, Honduras, the team connected with our in-country partners who are part of Joint Task Force-Bravo, which is based at Soto Cano Air Base about five miles south of Comayagua. Assistant Iris Medina, Lt. Colonel Jim Liddick and Major Stephen Poe accompanied our contingent on the tree-hour drive to Soto Cano.
Upon arrival at the base, the group was cleared by security and served dinner. They then teamed up with six military personnel to fill more than 900 bags with three bars of soap each. The bags were grouped by drop-off point and loaded onto vehicles for distribution the next day.
After breakfast on Tuesday, the team visited Juan Ramon Molina School and handed out soap to approximately 70 girls and boys ranging in age from 5 to12. Before distributing the soap, Rosanna spoke to the children about the importance of hand washing. Jim Buckshaw dressed up as a superhero to combat the germs (Kate and Jessica). Rosanna changed the lyrics of “La Bamba” to explain proper hand washing.

Jessica Rosman
The Honduran children loved it! After such a great reaction, this part of the presentation was included at all distribution stops on the remainder of the trip.
Throughout the afternoon, the team visited eight more schools and gave soap to approximately 600 additional students.

Wednesday started at a destination where three schools gather in together in one location. The schools are Fransico Morazán, Anan Matute Kindergarten and Herber Alvarado School. There were approximately 140 children. The team met with the school leaders and then distributed 400 bars of soap. Teachers received our new Clean the World body wash.

Next up was a temporary medical clinic in Medrete where the U.S. military worked with the Honduran government and military to assist 1,500 patients. Our group met the staff, spoke to a group of 100 mothers and young men about the importance of hand washing, and distributed 500 bags of soap and bottled amenities.

Jim Buckshaw
The Clean the World team spent the remainder of the day distributing soap to more than 250 students at three more schools.
The remaining soap will be distributed at a landfill inhabited by 450 children, and by U.S. military medical brigades.

As with any visit to an impoverished region, this was an eye-opening experience that reinforced the importance of our mission to save lives by recycling soap.

Please support Clean the World’s mission by joining our campaign to buy new machinery that will significantly increase our production capacity. More information is available on our RocketHub page.
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Mission Trip Delivers More Soap to Haiti

International Children Rescue Ministries (ICRM) recently returned from a mission trip to Haiti. Johnny Narcisse of ICRM said the two-month visit was a great success, and that soap from Clean the World was a welcome gift in the community his organization serves.

ICRM’s mission is to rescue kids from poverty, feed as many kids as possible, and provide them with a safe environment. They work toward that goal by building self-reliant communities through education.

Johnny sent us these pictures from the recent trip:


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Raising the Bar on Health and Hygiene in Guatemala

If ever you feel down in the dumps, consider the people who live there.

Clean the World and several passionate hospitality partners traveled to Guatemala in March to distribute freshly pressed soap bars to children and families in disadvantaged communities, some of whom live in the dumps — literally.

Accompanying Clean the World staff members Rosanna Kingston and Holly Boland on this particular soap distribution trip were William Kellock and Becki Greif from Concord Hospitality, Keith Levit and Lois Hefling from Lakeview Hotels & Resorts in Canada, and Blair and Brooke Christianson from Canalta Hotels in Canada.

Venturing into the landfill to find families in need of better hygiene was simple in theory, but difficult in practice. The roughly 20,000 individuals who live on the edge of the Guatemala City Dumps struggle daily for survival, and the gift of a fresh bar of soap is a welcome and necessary hygiene product to stop the spread of disease, and also a bit of fresh-smelling hope for a cleaner, healthier life.

Demand for hygiene products is immense in this very poor region of Guatemala where children often pick through the landfill trash to find food, clothing, and other basic items just to survive. While it is difficult to imagine the daily struggles faced by individuals living in such poverty, it was a relief to see the smiles on faces of many, particularly the children, when they received soaps distributed by Clean the World and its adventurous partners in hygiene.

Keith Levit, president of Lakeview Hotels, is also a professional photographer. He captured many of the dramatic images of this soap distribution journey, which are highlighted in this photo gallery.

A total of nearly 13,000 soap bars were distributed in various locations surrounding Guatemala City, including 5,000 at the Guatemala City Dumps; 5,000 at Maria Teresa Ghetto; 2,000 at Hogar Solidario Virgen de la Esperanza Orphanage in Guatemala City; and nearly 1,000 at Dorie’s Promise Guatemala Orphanage.

The visit to Dorie’s Promise, a privately-run orphanage owned by Forever Changed International from which 400 orphans have been adopted into loving homes, really had an impact on at least one member of the group.

“It is incredible for me to see how they have been able to look out for these children, giving them a better life than they clearly had before,” says Concord Hospitality’s Kellock. “I am looking for the opportunity to spread the word about the great work that is being done here.”

Clean the World has scheduled a second trip to Guatemala in late April, which will feature more soap distribution adventures and include hospitality partners from Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Clean the World celebrity spokesperson Mariana Klaveno.

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Battling Diarrheal Diseases in India

On a recent trip to her native country, India, Clean the World’s Paramita Das shared the gift of soap.

Having traveled around the globe for a family wedding, Das took time to visit some of the communities in India where soap is considered a great commodity, but is often hard to come by for children and families.

According to UNICEF and the World Health Organization (2009), India tops the list of countries in the total number of annual child deaths from diarrheal diseases, such as cholera and dysentery.

These fatal diseases — the top two killers of children younger than 5 worldwide — may be prevented by as much as 60 percent through regular hand washing with bar soap. Here are the sobering figures from that study:

Top 10 Nations – Diarrheal Deaths (Source: WHO, UNICEF, 2009)
Country – Total Number of Annual Child Deaths
1. India – 386,600
2. Nigeria – 151,700
3. Democratic Republic of the Congo – 89,900
4. Afghanistan – 82,100
5. Ethiopia – 73,700
6. Pakistan – 53,300
7. Bangladesh – 50,800
8. China – 40,000
9. Uganda – 29,300
10. Kenya – 27,400

If you’d like to join our global hygiene revolution, please make an online donation to the Clean the World Foundation. Thanks for helping Clean the World. Soap saves lives.

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Clean Relief for Kentucky Tornado Victims

Clean the World, through the generosity of its hotel partners, recently donated soaps and hygiene supplies to victims of tornadoes that ravaged Kentucky in early March.

A series of tornadoes on March 2 damaged several Kentucky communities, destroying homes, churches, and schools and generally uprooting life for thousands of people throughout region.

After filling out an online donation request form, church leaders at Plum Creek Christian Church in Butler, Ky., put the wheels in motion for rapid and necessary disaster relief. Clean the World packaged and shipped roughly 5,400 bars of soap, 200 tote bags, and 50 “family size” bottles of body wash to help bring comfort to people who lost their homes in the storm. The church has helped set up mobile grocery stores in the area for people in need of food, clothing, and hygiene supplies. The items are available free of charge to tornado victims.

Clean the World’s Bethanne Doud, director of the Meeting Planner Recycle Program, was instrumental in guiding this relief donation to Plum Creek Christian Church. Doud was there to help distribute the hygiene items to people in need.

Jared Perkins, pastor at Plum Creek Christian Church, is administering to the needs of his extended congregation by distributing soaps and bottled amenities as needed to cleanse the body and lift the spirits of families in crisis. Roughly 150 families will receive hygiene relief through this effort.

“We’re grateful for the generosity of Clean the World and its hospitality partners in providing hygiene supplies for the tornado victims in our community,” says Pastor Perkins. “When your world is turned topsy-turvy by a tornado, and you’re unsure of where you’ll go next, the simple basics of a bar of soap, shampoo, and a nice shower can really go a long way toward bringing physical and mental recovery.”

It is not uncommon for Clean the World to contribute hygiene supplies following a natural disaster, at home or abroad. Nearly one year ago, Clean the World helped deliver relief supplies to natural disaster victims a world away in Japan following an earthquake and tsunami.

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Las Vegas By the Numbers

Clean the World celebrates the official opening of its Las Vegas Recycling Operations Center (ROC) with a ribbon-cutting event Wednesday, Feb. 29.

Which begs the question: How important is Las Vegas to Clean the World’s mission? Let’s look at the numbers.

Clean the World has more than 1,300 hospitality partners throughout North America, including 23 hotel properties in Nevada. These Nevada properties represent 40,000 hotel rooms.

Of these Clean the World-affiliated properties, 16 are within the Las Vegas city limits and have contributed more than 142,000 lbs. of soap — nearly 760,000 soap bars — to help save lives.

Through the generosity of our Las Vegas hotel partners  participating in the  Clean the World program, nearly one million people have received the gift of soap – and a potentially cleaner, healthier life.

There’s still much more to achieve as this partnership grows, but we’re off to a clean start.

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Haiti Relief: The Mission Continues

It’s been more than two years since the island nation of Haiti was torn at its foundation by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake. 300,000 people lost their lives in that natural disaster and millions more were injured as the nation was literally turned upside down. [VIDEO: “I Keep Holding On”]

For months afterward, the world’s attention turned to Haiti and its plight. Celebrities hosted benefit concerts, dignitaries staged fundraising events. Both groups gave lots of speeches and individuals and faith-based organizations offered even more prayers.

At Clean the World, we took action. With the help of our hotel partners and a network of volunteers and supporters, our soap recycling organization mobilized to bring relief to children and families throughout Haiti. More than 2 million soap bars and hygiene supplies have been distributed to Haitian villages with the hope of halting the spread of preventable diseases. And the mission continues.


Recently, the Cap Haitien Health Network, through the leadership of avid Clean the World supporter and advisory board member, Dr. Ted Kaplan, kept the spirit alive with another soap distribution in Haiti. With the generous aid of AEROBridge, which provided transportation and logistics to and from Haiti, Clean the World helped send 34,400 soap bars to medical clinics served by Cap Haitien Health Network in some of the poorest communities in Haiti.

And that’s not the only shipment Haiti has received in the past few weeks. International Children Rescue Ministries Inc. recently received a donation of 2,000 soap bars, 2,880 bottles of body wash, and 10,368 body lotions from Clean the World. The hygiene items will be distributed throughout communities, such as Kenscoff, where children and families are battling poverty and poor sanitation conditions.

Finally, Clean the World is proud to be recognized by the Haitian American Visionaries Association for contributing thousands of soaps and bottled amenities for inclusion in hygiene kits that H.A.V.A. distributes at medical clinics throughout the country. We have a beautiful wall plaque as proof of our efforts, but the real measure of this mission is in the healthy smiles of children in Haiti who benefit from improved health and hygiene through regular hand washing with soap.

Soap saves lives. Thanks for helping Clean the World in Haiti and beyond. The mission continues…

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BuyEfficient Donates 8 Tons of Soap to Clean the World

It’s not often we receive an email that has so much potential impact. But, boy, is it fun when we do.

Marti Mosley, soap drive coordinator at Clean the World, received an email in January from BuyEfficient of Aliso Viejo, Calif.

The message was simple: We have lots of supplies and we want to help Clean the World.

After a brief conversation about Clean the World’s mission and how BuyEfficient could help advance our global hygiene revolution, the results are in: More than 8 tons of soap have been shipped to Clean the World to help stop the spread of preventable diseases worldwide.

BuyEfficient, which offers complete online purchasing solutions for the hospitality industry, worked with 11 separate HD Supply locations across the United States to collect and send 16,356 lbs. of soap and 235 lbs. of bottled amenities to Clean the World. The collective cost of the donation is nearly $24,000.

“I was blown away,” says Mosley. “When I first heard BuyEfficient was interested in making a donation, I was expecting something in the neighborhood of 500 bars of soap. This is just unbelievably generous, and when I think of how many children will benefit from this one donation it just makes me so happy.”

The BuyEfficient donation was divided between Clean the World’s Orlando and Las Vegas Recycling Operations Centers. Many of the soaps and bottled amenities will be packaged in hygiene kits that are being sent to children and families in Haiti, Honduras, Guatemala and a number of domestic homeless shelters and missions.

And that’s not all… Inspired by Clean the World’s mission to save lives with soap, a passionate group of BuyEfficient employees at the corporate office in California conducted their own soap drive, which netted another 150 lbs. of soap for people in need.
 

According to its company website, 1,200 Member hotels representing more than 25 hotel brands from leading hotel management companies and ownership groups rely on BuyEfficient to manage their end-to-end purchasing activities.

Thank you, BuyEfficient, for your enormous generosity, and thanks for helping Clean the World.

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10,000 Soap Bars to Ethiopia

Clean the World’s Las Vegas Recycling Operations Center (ROC) has been busy preparing for its Feb. 29 grand opening event, but there is a lot of other good work being done there as well.

Recently, the Las Vegas facility set aside 10,000 soap bars for an essential overseas distribution.

Jewish Voice Ministries International, an evangelical ministry based in Phoenix, Ariz., will receive the soaps and distribute them to children and families in Ethiopian villages where soap is scarce, and diseases are common.

Melissa Johnston, international logistics manager at JVMI, says volunteers will distribute the soaps during two, separate five-day medical outreach trips to Ethiopia’s capital city, Addis Ababa, and the village of Woliso.

“The trips are scheduled in late February and early March, and we hope to bring awareness to the importance of personal hygiene, including hand washing with soap,” Johnston says. “We’ll distribute from two medical clinics in those regions and hope to provide information about and access to soap so lives may be improved there.”

Johnston says her first experience with Clean the World has been a good one, as she expressed in a note to Rosanna Kingston, who coordinates the organization’s non-profit partnerships.

“Thank you for putting together the donation so quickly,” Johnston writes. “You and your team provided excellent service and advice. The donation request process was smooth because of your assistance. We know that this soap will go a long way to help the people of Ethiopia.”

If you know of an organization that would like to arrange for soap distributions either domestically or overseas, please contact Rosanna Kingston at rkingston@ctw2.wpstagecoach.com.

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10 Million Soap Bars and Counting

Clean the World’s “hometown newspaper” – The Orlando Sentinel – recently published a terrific piece about our organization’s origin and growth in three years of operation.

The article by reporter Kate Santich has been syndicated to multiple media markets throughout North America and has gained quite a bit of attention for Clean the World and our mission to save lives with soap. By placing Orlando at the center of our global hygiene revolution, readers of this original article, and those who come across it in other media outlets, can confidently target Central Florida as a vital and developing hotspot for sustainable business in one of the world’s best known hospitality and tourism locations.

As always we wish to thank our valued hospitality partners, some of whom are mentioned in the article, for their investment in our hospitality partnership program and support of our global hygiene revolution.

We could not reach so far, so fast without the encouragement and involvement of people who truly believe in sustainability and socially responsible programs in the hospitality industry. As Clean the World grows, you will grow right along with us. Together we will achieve great things. We already have.

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60,000 Soaps for Guatemala

With the Mayan calendar apparently predicting the end of the world in 2012, Clean the World has stepped up production to make this a clean and comfortable year for people close to where that prediction was made.

Several soap distribution trips are planned in the new year and preparations are already underway to bring lifesaving soap to people who need it most.

A February trip to Honduras has already been scheduled and all participants are secured. But two more Clean the World soap distribution trips to Guatemala — home of the famous Mayan ruins — are planned in March and April, and the soaps to be distributed have already left their destination bound for Central America.

During the first week of the new year Clean the World packaged more than 60,000 freshly pressed soap bars at its Orlando soap recycling facility for distribution to children and families in Guatemala.

The soaps are on their way and will be awaiting the arrival of Clean the World personnel and invited hotel partners in coming months. The soaps, which originated as soaps collected from Clean the World’s more than 1,200 hotel partners throughout North America, will be handed out to individuals in disadvantaged areas of that country. They are intended to provide hygiene relief and comfort for thousands of children and adults who struggle with hygiene issues due to lack of proper sanitation and access to soap.

If you’d like to participate in future soap distribution trips with Clean the World, please contact Rosanna Kingston at rkingston@ctw2.wpstagecoach.com.

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What Have We Done?

As we approach Thanksgiving, we arrive at another moment for Clean the World to reflect and give thanks for the incredible movement that has begun and the results it has driven. If I may ask yet another question: “What Have We Done?”

In 2009, we set out to solve a problem: How do we prevent partially used hotel soaps and bottled amenities from being discarded in landfills, and instead distribute these lifesaving hygiene products to those in desperate need all around the world? Little did we know that in solving this problem, together with the worldwide hospitality industry, we would lead a Global Hygiene Revolution!
The industry has responded in an incredible way. And we are thankful!

To date, millions of bars of soap have been collected and distributed by Clean the World and our more than 1,200 hotel partners across North America — more than 9 million bars of soap to be exact!

And in establishing our leadership in this field as the first and foremost recycler of hotel amenities, we have learned about individual hospitality industry efforts, such as Rosen Hotels in Orlando, Fla., with their in-house program that delivers recycled soap to Haiti.

Most recently, the Hilton Worldwide – Global Soap Project social enterprise has been formed to ensure that Hilton soaps are recycled and distributed to those in need on a regular basis. This is great news for the children and families who will receive recycled soaps. Our efforts created demand for these hygiene products, and success always invites imitation.

Clean the World has also collected and either recycled OR re-purposed and re-distributed more than 500 tons of plastic bottled amenities from North American hotels. And so many more hotels are making it a regular practice to partner with local shelters, missions, and food kitchens to make sure that all of those little bottles of shampoo and bath gel that still have product in them, are being used to the final drop.

Ladies and Gentlemen- We have started a Global Hygiene Revolution! And hotels across North America are now faced with a wonderful decision: to recycle their soap and bottled amenities after use or send them to landfills. Why is this a “wonderful” decision? Because as the tremendous, positive response continues, it will lead to more children receiving soap worldwide!

And the revolution is still in its infancy. We’ve only just begun. In 3 years, Clean the World’s soap distribution efforts (9 million bars) combined with others such as Global Soap (150,000 bars) have no doubt resulted in an incredible amount of recycled bars of soap delivered to children and families around the world. But in that same time that we have operated, more than one Billion bars of soap have landed in North American landfills. Yes, Billion with a “B”! And millions of pounds of plastic have unnecessarily arrived there as well.

We cannot stop what we have started! We must continue to adopt and implement soap and plastic bottle recycling programs. Some may say that these programs come at a cost and therefore cannot be implemented today. Indeed there is a cost to participate: from the time and talent it takes each housekeeper, every day to collect these items, to the $0.02 per day cost to operate Clean the World’s Hospitality Recycling Program OR the shipping and material cost to operate other programs.

If you cannot justify the expense today, please budget for it in the future. For such a small financial outlay, these programs are making an incredible impact! As one who has had the privilege and honor of personally delivering tens of thousands of bars of soap to children in tent cities in Haiti and in homeless shelters across the United States, the impact is being felt and is realized daily!

We call upon the global hospitality community to keep the movement strong! One way to do so is for all hoteliers, meeting professionals, and soap and bottle recyclers to continue to communicate the impact that we are all making. Communicating quantifiable results to the industry and public is a great way to do this. It is one of the most effective ways to create awareness and drive positive results from our collective customers. Clean the World will begin posting on the home page of our site the actual amount of diverted landfill waste (soap and bottled amenities), as well as the amount of recycled and distributed hygiene products.

And in December, in addition to regular Impact Statements provided to our hotel and meeting professional partners, we will provide our partners web tools to assist in effectively displaying and communicating the actual sustainable and socially responsible impact that they have made.

In 3 years, and with 1.7 million pounds of inbound product collection, Clean the World has processed and distributed more than 85% of the collected product with outbound trucks, pallets and boxes of product daily! On behalf of those receiving the soap and bottled amenities that we deliver, we applaud Clean the World hotel partners and all who are using some method to recycle these desperately needed hygiene products. And we offer special thanks to the more than 5,000 volunteers who have dedicated their time and talent to make Clean the World a success in such a short period of time.

Thank you to the Clean the World Hospitality Partners who have joined, and continued to join, our Global Hygiene Revolution: Walt Disney World Resorts, Central Florida Marriott Business Council, The Peabody Orlando/ Memphis, and Caesars Entertainment; Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Carlson Hotels, Best Western International, Marriott Vacation Club International, and Joie de Vivre Hotels; Mandarin Oriental, Larkspur Hotels,  Preferred Hotel Group, Lakeview Hotels and Resorts, and Bellstar Hotels and Resorts; Canalta Hotels, Concord Hospitality, Hersha Hospitality, Kana Hotel Group, and Kelco Management; Wynn/ Encore, Venetian/ Palazzo, The City of Laguna Beach, Calif., and the Las Vegas Strip; all of the Meeting Professionals, the 165 individual Marriott properties, the 100 individual Wyndham Worldwide properties, and the 100 individual Hilton Worldwide properties; Gilchrist & Soames, Marietta Corporation, and LATHER.

Now, look what you’ve done!

Happy Thanksgiving,
Shawn Seipler
CEO, Clean the World

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Children International: 108,000 Soaps for Asia

Children International kicked off its partnership with Clean the World by filling a truck with 108,000 bars of soaps bound for typhoon and flooding victims in the Philippines. It is the first of two truckloads to be filled each month as part of the partnership to help stop the spread of preventable diseases by providing and promoting better hygiene opportunities.

Children International is a humanitarian organization focused on overcoming poverty. The soaps have been ticketed for communities in the Philippines that are suffering from lack of access to basic hygiene supplies.

“Clean the World is committed to helping as many children and families as possible by recycling soap to save lives, especially in the wake of a disaster like the recent typhoon in the Philippines,” says Shawn Seipler, CEO and co-founder at Clean the World. “This partnership with Children International helps us open doors to communities in Asia where demand for our soaps is great. The partnership is one that we’ve targeted for some time, and we’re grateful to be working with such a well-known and well-respected organization to help advance our global hygiene revolution.”

The soaps were fresh off the soap press at Clean the World, having been sanitized and reformed into uniform bars for easy packaging and distribution. This initial pickup by Children International should help provide enough soap for nearly 11,000 children for an entire month.

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Soaps for Sierra Leone and Honduras

Source: James Mansaray, NHA
Clean the World took its first step toward completing a successful soap distribution to Sierra Leone this week. A pallet of soap (roughly 2,000 bars) was loaded onto a truck in Orlando on Oct. 31 and is bound for the West African country courtesy of The Southern Eye Institute of Memphis, Tenn.

The soaps will be distributed to children and families in the poorest communities of Serabu, Sierra Leone. Serabu is a village of 3,000 residents, where rural people live in mud and wattle houses with roofs of palm thatch. They are without electricity or pure drinking water. Sierra Leone has the second highest infant mortality rate in the world with a rate of 123 deaths for every 1,000 births. Many of these deaths are attributed to poor hygiene and inadequate sanitation conditions.

The soaps will be used in demonstrations of proper hand washing when paired with water from Tippy Taps that have been placed in the area. The Tippy Taps provide basic water stations for personal hygiene, and the soaps will add an enormous benefit for teachers in the area who will be instructing local residents on the importance of regular hand washing to prevent the spread of disease.

Thanks to Michael Feeley of MeSoap for bringing Clean the World to the attention of The Southern Eye Institute and for being instrumental in the coordination of this global hygiene effort.

Additionally, Clean the World sent two packages of roughly 200 bars of soaps wrapped in PeopleTowels to Honduras. The soaps will be included as sustainable hygiene kits and distributed by U.S. military personnel at Ramon Amaya Amador School in Las Minitas; Francisco Morazan School in San Pedro de Quelepa; Lempira School in Playoncito; Prudencia Fernandez School in Playon Ajuterique; and Francisco Morazan School in San Rafael.

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Distribution Makes a World of Difference

You’ve often heard and read about Clean the World’s accomplishment of distributing more than 9 million bars of soap and more than 6.2 million bottled amenities in the United States, Canada and in more than 45 other countries.

But where do the soaps, shampoos, conditioners, lotions and gels ultimately go? You may be surprised to learn the answer.

Clean the World successfully works with more than 1,200 hotel partners to collect and recycle hotel soaps for distribution to children and families in need. What you may not know is that Clean the World also encourages and receives a substantial number of donations from schools, church groups, corporations, community organizations, and individuals with a shared goal of helping others stop the spread of preventable disease with soap.

And many of these items go to domestic homeless shelters, rescue missions, women’s shelters and children’s charities that have expressed a need and desire for hygiene items to comfort those in their care. [Note: If you know of an organization in need of hygiene supplies, please click here to request relief help from Clean the World.]

Since its founding in February 2009, Clean the World has distributed 1,042,917 lbs. of soap and 581,754 lbs. of shampoos, conditioners, lotions and gels to people in need.
In addition to soaps and standard hotel bottled amenities, Clean the World also shipped 48,000 bottles of hand sanitizing foams and gels to communities in Haiti to help stop the spread of disease.

More recently, Clean the World delivered 2,500 hygiene kits to communities in the Dominican Republic through an organization called FUNDHUBA, a D.R.-based non-profit that works in rural areas promoting hygiene issues. The kits, which contain soaps and bottled amenities, are wrapped in reusable PeopleTowels that were donated specifically for distribution to children and families overseas. Another 4,000 kits will be shipped to Haiti this week, with plans to send thousands more to Honduras and, possibly, Guatemala and Nicaragua in the near future.

Earlier this year, Clean the World formed a special partnership with Harvest Time International. Each week Harvest Time picks up a semi-truck of sanitized bottled amenities and re-distributes them to domestic homeless shelters and other non-profits across the Caribbean and Latin America.

Clean the World has also been involved in major worldwide relief efforts. More than 2 million bars of soap have been distributed in Haiti, most of it through a series of soap distribution trips following the Jan. 2010 earthquake and subsequent cholera outbreak. But Haiti is not the only beneficiary of such generosity on the part of our partners and supporters. Through a series of additional distribution partnerships, Clean the World delivered hygiene kits, soaps, bottled amenities and bottled water to victims of the tornadoes in Joplin, Mo., and earthquake and tsunami victims in Japan, Pakistan and the Philippines.

In the United States and Canada, Clean the World frequently donates soaps and hygiene-related items to The Salvation Army, Las Vegas Rescue Mission, New Missions, Fresh Start Ministries, Opportunity House, Bronx Neighborhood Cluster Program and many more deserving organizations that have requested hygiene items from Clean the World.

This Christmas season, as we did last year, we will work with our friends at Project Shoebox and many other church groups across the United States to deliver much needed hygiene products in shoeboxes for those hurting right here at home.

You can help, too. If you know of any organizations that can benefit from receiving soaps and bottled amenities from Clean the World, please visit our website and let us know. We are the leaders of a global hygiene revolution, but we will not overlook those who are struggling in our own backyard. Soap saves lives, and it all starts with passion and a willingness to help others. Thanks for helping Clean the World.

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Sending Soap Around the World

Clean the World Foundation has updated its Soap Distribution Map to include new countries in which we are helping to save lives with soap. View the map here.

Recent additions to our map, which now represents 45 countries touched by Clean the World, include Peru, Paraguay, Uruguay, Kenya and an island off the coast of Africa that many people remember best as the name of an animated film by Dreamworks.

That most recent addition to our list may be the most exotic — Madagascar. Check out the smiling faces on these children, many of whom live way below the poverty level in an economically depressed nation. The children are really appreciative of the soaps, which were donated through a number of school, church and individual soap donations received by Clean the World.

If you’d like to start your own soap drive in your community, please visit this link for tips on how to make it a success. You’ll help people all around the world receive the gift of hygiene, and you’ll be helping Clean the World.

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Celebrating Starwood Success Stories

Sheraton San Diego, a Starwood Hotel

It’s been just two months since Starwood Hotels and Resorts chose to partner with Clean the World on the corporate level, and already some properties are experiencing terrific results.

More than 55 Starwood properties have joined Clean the World since that Earth Day announcement. The newcomers bring to 86 the total number of Starwood properties within the fold at Clean the World.

Still, with the potential of adding up to 500 branded properties to the Clean the World family, opportunities to welcome more Starwood properties improve with each new success story that is shared. So let’s keep sharing them…

Several Starwood properties stand out among the many in terms of soap and bottled amenities contributions to Clean the World. The top five performers for May 2011 are: Westin Diplomat (Hollywood, Fla.); Sheraton San Diego (California); Sheraton Sand Key (Clearwater, Fla.); Sheraton Indianapolis (Indiana); and Westin Denver Downtown (Colorado).

Several Starwood properties have stood out among the many in terms of soap and bottled amenities contributions to Clean the World. The top five performers for May 2011 are: Westin Diplomat (Hollywood, Fla.); Sheraton San Diego (California); Sheraton Sand Key (Clearwater, Fla.); Sheraton Indianapolis (Indiana); and Westin Denver Downtown (Colorado).

Westin Diplomat (Hollywood, Fla.):
Soaps collected: 8,055 lbs.
Bottled amenities collected: 6,110 lbs.

Sheraton San Diego (California):
Soaps collected: 6,979 lbs.
Bottled amenities collected: 7,270 lbs.

Sheraton Sand Key (Clearwater, Fla.):
Soaps collected: 3,337 lbs.
Bottled amenities collected: 3,295 lbs.

Sheraton Indianapolis (Indiana):
Soaps collected: 3,050 lbs.
Bottled amenities collected: 2,409 lbs.

Westin Denver Downtown (Colorado):
Soaps collected: 2,420 lbs.
Bottled amenities collected: 2,714 lbs.

Sonia, housekeeper at The Westin Copley Place in Boston

Not only are the properties performing well with collections of soaps and bottled amenities, but these hotels have also displayed much excitement for participating in the Clean the World program.

“It’s a wonderful program,” says Sylvia Butler, director of housekeeping at Sheraton San Diego. “We want to be ‘green’ in everything we do, but this just takes it up a notch.”

Butler says her housekeeping staff has shown a renewed sense of purpose since participation began with Clean the World.

“They take a lot of pride in the program,” she says. “When we made the announcement, the housekeepers asked, ‘Where does the soap go?’ and ‘Where is it delivered?’ They are really curious about the program and who will benefit most from their efforts.”

Butler is especially appreciative of what Clean the World is doing to reduce the amount of hotel waste, which she views as essential to promoting a cleaner world for the next generation.

“By recycling these soaps and bottles each day, we’re affecting generations to come,” Butler says. ”It’s a good footprint we’re leaving behind for our kids. Anything that we can do to keep trash out of landfills, we will do. By recycling guest room amenities, we’re getting hygiene items out of the hotel bathrooms and into the hands of people who can really use it.”

The Westin Copley Place in Boston, a recently implemented Starwood property, started its Clean the World participation with a bang.

Laura Schell, housekeeping manager at The Westin Copley Place, reports that room attendants collected 29 lbs. of soap and 25 lbs. of soap on the first day of implementation alone.

“If this rate continues” she says, “by the end of the year we will have recycled 5,220 lbs. of bottled amenities and 4,500 pounds of soap!”

The Westin Copley Place is the first Starwood Hotel in the United States and the first hotel in Boston to join Green Hotels Global, an environmental program that requires hotels to disclose their carbon footprint, energy consumption, water usage and waste generation associated with room-night usage and event bookings.

Thanks for joining the global hygiene revolution, Starwood Hotels and Resorts. We look forward to adding new Starwood brands going forward. Thanks for helping Clean the World!

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Had your fill of landfill? Help Clean the World

As we recognize Earth Day with celebrations around the globe, let’s pause to realize something quite powerful. By participating in the Clean the World hospitality program, our nearly 900 hotels and bed-and-breakfast partners throughout North America have helped divert in excess of 550 tons of hotel waste from polluting local landfills.

Think about that for a moment. Without your participation in Clean the World, more than 1.1 million pounds of soap and bottled amenities would be trashed. That’s a lot of garbage and, in the truest sense of the term, a great waste of valuable resources.

By teaming with Clean the World, you’ve helped turn trash into treasure, providing soaps, shampoos, conditioners, lotions and gels for people in need. And you’ve improved sanitation conditions for communities everywhere.

Enjoy Earth Day. You have reason to celebrate because you’re helping Clean the World.

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Clean the World ships hygiene supplies to Japan

As Japanese residents continue to deal with the aftermath of multiple earthquakes, a tsunami and damage to a nuclear reactor, Clean the World has partnered on an effort to provide relief.

Clean the World is collaborating with Ohio-based Matthew 25: Ministries to provide soaps, shampoos, lotions, conditioners, body wash and bottled water to help comfort the suffering in Japan as well as other disaster relief or humanitarian aid locations.

Matthew 25: Ministries has already shipped 44,000 pounds of desperately needed disaster relief to the devastated area and is preparing additional disaster relief supplies for Japan, including food from Matthew 25’s Food Processing Center, blankets, cleaning supplies and first aid supplies, along with personal care products and hygiene kits.

A truck filled with relief supplies left Clean the World headquarters in Orlando on April 18 on its way to Matthew 25: Ministries headquarters in Blue Ash, Ohio, a Cincinnati suburb. The supplies will be received by Matthew 25: Ministries and prepared for shipment to the victims of Japan’s multiple disasters and other disasters worldwide.

These are the specific items en route to Japan:

Medical Supplies – 2 pallets

Water – 5 pallets/ 6,400 bottles

Soap – 2 pallets/ 7,000 bars

Shampoo – 4 pallets/ 32,400 bottles

Lotion – 1 pallet/ 8,100 bottles

Conditioner – 3 pallets/ 27,000 bottles

Body Wash – 1 pallet/ 6,550 bottles

Many of the donated items may be packaged in hygiene kits distributed by Matthew 25: Ministries. Based on requests from partners on the ground in the disaster area, kits will be packaged onto pallets and included along with other relief items, and flown or sent via cargo ship to the hardest-hit areas of Japan.

Thanks to all involved for helping with this relief effort. Your financial contributions are also welcome to help address the ongoing suffering in Japan. Please give generously and keep the Japanese people in your thoughts and prayers.

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Clean the World partners on Japan quake relief

Ohio-based Matthew 25: Ministries will help Clean the World deliver soaps, bottled amenities and water to Japan

Clean the World (http://localhost:8888/cleantheworld/) and Matthew 25: Ministries (http://www.m25m.org/) are collaborating on an ambitious effort to get hygiene supplies into the earthquake and tsunami-stricken regions of Japan.

And the relief cannot come soon enough for the Japanese people in this region. Click here to help.

Another earthquake rocked Northeastern sections of Japan today. The 7.4-magnitude quake, one of many aftershocks that have followed the major quake on March 11, triggered a new tsunami warning for Japan, and brought the plight of the Japanese people back into world focus.

Orlando-based Clean the World, which recycles hotel soaps and bottled amenities for people in need, has partnered to work with Ohio-based Matthew 25: Ministries, a non-denominational, humanitarian aid organization, to transport soap, shampoos, conditioners, lotions, bottled water and other hygiene supplies to alleviate suffering for the victims of Japan’s multiple disasters and other disasters worldwide.

Matthew 25: Ministries is preparing many kinds of disaster relief for Japan, including food from its own Food Processing Center, blankets, cleaning supplies and first-aid supplies, as well as personal care or hygiene kits.

“We’ve wanted to get supplies into Japan ever since the first news broke of the March 11 earthquake, but the Japanese government requested only financial help,” says Shawn Seipler, executive director of Clean the World. “We have such tremendous hygiene resources available here, courtesy of our nearly 900 hotel partners in North America. Now that we have this opportunity to get the goods into Japan, we have to seize upon it to help people who are hurting.”

Clean the World reached out to Matthew 25: Ministries after learning that the organization had mobilized to prepare hygiene kits in Ohio for distribution in Japan.

“We knew that our soaps would be an ideal fit for those hygiene kits, and so are the bottled amenities,” Seipler says. “Children and families can receive soaps, shampoos, conditioners, lotions and gels to help provide comfort when dealing with unsanitary conditions as a result of the earthquakes and tsunami. Sometimes getting clean is the first step toward getting healthy and getting stronger in the face of tragedy. We just want to help however possible.”

Clean the World intends to fill a truck full of donated and recycled hygiene supplies and drive that truck to Matthew 25: Ministries headquarters in suburban Cincinnati, Ohio. The products may be packaged in hygiene kits and will be placed in containers, along with other relief items, including pallets of spring water, and will be flown or sent via cargo ship to the hardest-hit areas of Japan.

The relief effort is reminiscent of what Clean the World did for Haiti following the 2010 earthquake in that Caribbean nation. The organization will rely on generous and continuing donations from its database of supporters to help finance and fortify this relief effort, and ensure that the maximum amount of hygiene products will reach their final destination in Japan.

“We’ve been through this drill before, so we can draw upon that experience,” Seipler says. “We’re grateful to find a partner like Matthew 25: Ministries to help with this effort.”

Watching tragic events unfold around the globe, particularly as the result of natural disaster, helps sharpen the focus of Clean the World’s mission to save lives by promoting better hygiene.

“In times of crisis we are all called upon to do a little more for the common good,” Seipler says. “I’m asking all of our supporters to begin soap donations in their communities and increase financial contributions to help advance our hygiene revolution. We can’t do it without your help, but we’ll do all we can to help people improve their living conditions and stop the spread of preventable diseases with soap. That was our mission yesterday; it remains our mission today, and will be our mission tomorrow – in Japan, Haiti, the United States and all around the world.”

Financial donations to Clean the World are greatly appreciated and may be made online at this link: http://localhost:8888/cleantheworld/donate-money.asp

Soap donations are also encouraged and should be sent to the following address:

Clean the World
400A Pittman St.
Orlando, FL 32801

Please pray for the people of Japan and all who suffer from natural disasters and lack of access to hygiene supplies. Thanks for helping Clean the World.

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Earthquakes, tsunamis, soap and hope

The events of March 11 in Japan and the aftermath will linger in our memories for a long time. We’re watching a national tragedy play out on our TVs and computer screens each day. A devastating 8.9-magnitude earthquake and numerous, powerful aftershocks caused tsunamis to engulf portions of Japan in a manner which seemed almost impossible to imagine. Hundreds of thousands of deaths are possible.
But there is always hope. Natural disasters have a way of riveting our attention because, as humans, we can all relate in some way to the suffering. What would you do if faced with such a terrifying situation? What could you do to survive and care for your loved ones? How would you find the strength to go on?
Clean the World is working with a network of global distribution partners, such as World Vision, Doctors without Borders, and others to ensure that the people most affected by this disaster will receive the hygiene relief they need. Sadly, disease and infection are quick to follow on disasters of this magnitude – Haiti is a recent example – and the need for soap and hygiene supplies to help stop the spread of disease is essential to any successful recovery effort.
Just as we did with Haiti following the 2010 earthquake, Clean the World will collect, recycle and distribute soaps for people in need around the world. We understand the power of soap and its ability to create a cleaner, safer, more hopeful world. Soap saves lives.
Your financial gift to Clean the World will help ensure that soaps and hygiene supplies are shipped via our distribution partners to help people in need. This is a time for action, and we’re asking for your help.


$25 provides enough soap for 85 people for a whole month
$50 provides enough soap for 170 people for a whole month
$100 provides enough soap for 340 people for a whole month
$500 provides enough soap for 1,700 people for a whole month
$1,000 provide enough soap for 3,400 people for a whole month

Thanks for helping Clean the World.

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Haiti update: Clean hands, proper hygiene and fun

William Lowry, Clean the World’s director of global distribution, is in Haiti again this week with sponsors and supporters from Florida Hospital. Another soap distribution is in process along with the delivery of much-needed medical and hygiene supplies, and the construction of a playground at an orphanage for children affected by the 2010 earthquake.

Clean the World’s recent visits to Haiti have brought nearly 260,000 bars of soap to villages, schools, orphanages, medical clinics and tent cities there. Children from broken homes, many still nursing injuries and disease from the earthquake and recent cholera outbreak, are eager to receive more soap and supplies to help turn their lives around.

Among the highlights were 12,000 bars of soap donated by school students in the Edina school district in suburban Minneapolis, Minn. Students there collected soaps for Haiti in December, and are in the midst of an even larger soap drive right now.

The pallet of soaps delivered by Clean the World (via Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines) was received by World Wide Village, a non-profit based in St. Paul, Minn. to meet the basic needs of the less fortunate in Haiti. The soaps were distributed in early February to schools, orphanages and health clinics in the following Haitian cities, towns and villages: Arcahaie, Leogane, Port-au-Prince, Kenscoff, and Carrefour.

Clean the World continues to receive generous soap donations from schools and organizations all over the world. If you’d like to take part in your own soap drive, please visit this link [soap donation link] on our website and spread the word in your community about the healing power of soap.

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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.
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Chaos, Cholera, Soap and Hope

One year removed from the devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake in Haiti  that killed an estimated 300,000 people and injured 50,000 more. And the horror continues. Cholera and chaos are still the order of the day. But the Haitians have hope as long as they have soap and supporters like you.
Through the continued support and generosity of our hotel partners, friends and fans Clean the World has distributed more than 1.5 million bars of soap in Haiti since the Jan. 2010 earthquake. We’ve also received countless online donations to help purchase hygiene supplies and deliver them wherever there is the greatest need.
In town and villages throughout Haiti, Clean the World is delivering hope with soap. Major soap distributions have been made in Cap Haitien, Port Au Prince, Gonaives, and Leogane. Other areas receiving soap include a mix of small towns, coastal and mountain villages, including: Kenscoff, Port De Paix, Milot, and Limonade; Carrefour, La Croix, and Arcahaie; Miragoane, Petionville, Cite Soleil, and Delmas.
Clean the World has distributed 45,000 soap bars in partnership with Yele Haiti;  10,000 soap bars with International Children’s Rescue; and another 35,000 bars of soap with the Cap Haitien Health Network. But that’s not all: 5,000 bars were distributed at  Eben-Ezer; 15,000 soap bars were delivered to St. Nicholas Hospital in St. Marc; 20,000 soap bars were received by the Evangelical Church of Haiti; and 5,000 soap bars were left with Partners in Health, and distributed to schools, orphanages, and health clinics throughout Haiti.
Update: Just this week, Clean the World shipped 45,000 bars of soap for distribution in the northern regions of Haiti most affected by the cholera outbreak in October. In coming weeks, 10,000 bars will be distributed to World Wide Village and 75,000 soap bars will be given to International Action.
Things will not be “normal” for a long time in Haiti. But with your continued support, the Haitian people can lift themselves out of an unspeakably difficult situation and regain dignity, better health and, soon, better lives for themselves and their loved ones.
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Angels of mercy gather in Milot

Where there is tragedy, there is opportunity for mercy. And for the many thousands of people in Haiti who suffered horrific injuries and losses in the 2010 earthquake, a flock of angels appeared in the form of first responders ready to lend medical assistance, helping hands, prayer and encouragement.

These people, especially the medical teams serving Hospital of the Sacred Heart (Hopital Sacre Coeur) in Milot (northern Haiti) are the subject of a poignant and gripping TV documentary – the “Angels of Milot.” The documentary will be broadcast this week on PBS stations nationwide [check your local listings].

Executive producer Ellen Lovejoy shares this story in a way that captures the emotion and excitement of those frenzied days one year ago when all of Haiti seemed to be buried in rubble. Courageous medical and health-assistance teams, including Clean the World, traveled to Haiti to meet the needs of people whose lives were changed forever.

While the documentary is not easy to watch – some of it is quite graphic – you deserve to make it your mission to remember those who have risked their lives in order to save the lives of others.

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Cholera outbreak in Haiti

What started as a humanitarian mission by Clean the World may turn out to be an emergency operation for Haiti.

As the Clean the World team trekked across Haiti delivering nearly two tons of soaps for people in need, news of a cholera outbreak in Haiti became international news.

If ever there was a “right place at the right time” moment for Clean the World, this was it.

“We were able to provide 5,000 soap bars to the hospital in Saint Marc that was at the epicenter of the outbreak,” says William Lowry, director of global distribution at Clean the World. “It’s great timing on our part, but we’re just thankful for the opportunity to provide immediate help and hygiene supplies during this crisis.”

Clean the World executive director Shawn Seipler led the soap distribution trip to Haiti, which had been planned weeks in advance of the cholera outbreak. Seipler, Lowry and a team of volunteers arrived Oct. 19 in Haiti with plans to distribute soaps that had been transported to the island via a partnership with Royal Caribbean International.

“The soaps were sent from our Orlando recycling operations center to Miami and loaded onto a Royal Caribbean cruise ship in late September,” Seipler says. “More than 25,000 bars of soap — some of them new, some of them recycled – were part of this targeted distribution to Haiti. They originated from our hotel partners throughout North America.”

Many of the soaps came from guest rooms in Las Vegas  through Clean the World’s partnership with Harrah’s Resorts and their Harrah’s, Paris, Bally’s and Caesar’s Palace properties. There were also large contributions of soaps and bottled amenities from Walt Disney World Resorts, Westgate Resorts and Mandarin Oriental.

“Our partners need to know how essential they are in the process that will lead to the prevention of disease in Haiti and beyond,” Seipler says.

The World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed the cholera outbreak in Haiti early Oct. 22. At least 140 people have been confirmed dead, according to Reuters, and WHO estimates that more than 1,500 people in central Haiti have been affected by the fatal diarrheal disease.

Health officials are urging the Haiti population, including mission workers and healthcare professionals, to regularly wash their hands with soap to help kill some of the germs and bacteria that can easily spread through bodily contact.

Seipler says the cholera outbreak will bring global attention to his call for a “hygiene revolution” led by Clean the World. The mission, he says, is to bring simple solutions to the complex problem of fighting preventable disease through proper hand washing with bar soap.

“Every day 9,000 children die from acute respiratory illness and diarrheal diseases, such as cholera and dysentery,” Seipler says. “Studies show that more than 60 percent of those deaths can be prevented with proper hygiene. That includes washing with bar soap. Our hotel partners have the soap; Clean the World has the solution. Together we can create a hygiene revolution that eradicates plagues of preventable disease – not just in Haiti, but all around the world.”

Clean the World and its more than 550 hotel partners in North America have helped collect and distribute more than 6 million bars of soap in less than two years. That’s 375 tons of soap, which would have otherwise been discarded as trash, now being placed in the grateful hands of children and families in the United States and more than 40 countries (Click here to see complete list of countries served by Clean the World).

That’s what we call turning trash into treasure. And you can be a part of this hygiene revolution by donating your soap, your time, and your money to help us move forward with our mission (Click here to Donate to Clean the World). Your contributions are measured in the number of lives saved everyday by something we all take for granted – washing with soap.

Check out our photo gallery of this most recent trip to Haiti and please remember the Haitian people in your prayers. We can all use any advantage possible when fighting fatal diseases.

Thanks for helping Clean the World.
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Death is for Poor People

Saving lives with a sense of urgency
As most of us know, deaths by preventable diseases are particularly prevalent in underdeveloped countries. That’s a fact. But we can help slow or stop the spread of these diseases by delivering life-saving soap and educating others on the importance of proper hygiene and improved sanitation.
Rob Phillips, guest blogger and Advisory Board Member at Clean the World, wrote this well-researched and thought-provoking blog post about the grim odds faced by many people in impoverished nations. He even provides sources for his research, in the event that you want to read more on this topic.

The statistics about death among poor people are blunt and gut-wrenching, and they serve to heighten the sense of urgency with our mission at Clean the World.

Statistics can’t tell the whole story, but they don’t have to. Clean the World knows that many people are in need of recycled soaps and bottled amenities, at home and abroad, to help fight preventable diseases. With your help we’ll create a “hygiene revolution” worth celebrating.
That’s why we’re planning another soap distribution Oct. 20-23 in Haiti. Our goal is to deliver 20,000 bars of soap (more than a ton) to various missions, homeless centers, schools and churches. We know the recycled soaps provided by our hotel partners and generous friends will go a long way toward improving the lives and living conditions of children and families in Haiti. We’ll share more details about the Haiti trip as our plans move forward. It’s just a small part of what we do, but it makes a world of difference.
As always, thanks for helping Clean the World.
Shawn Seipler
Executive Director
Clean the World
Death is for Poor People
by Robert Phillips, J.D.
In sub-Saharan and East Africa inside places like Mozambique and Zambia, owners of some of the most horrifying mortality statistics in the world, I would be at the end of my life expectancy(1); I am 42 years old.
Andy Rooney of 60 Minutes fame has been quoted as saying “Death is a distant rumor to the young.” (2)It is a profoundly naive and perhaps uniquely American thought.
With maliciously conspicuous precision and success, death pursues the world’s impoverished. In the world’s poorest nations, 36% of the population will die before the age of 14 compared to 1% of the population in the world’s wealthiest nations(3). Only 21% of global societies poorest citizens will reach the age of 70 compared to 70% of the wealthiest citizens. (4)Warren Buffett calls being born in America “winning the ovarian lottery.” (5)Statistically he is accurate. 
Small children are the most at risk category of people and for the most preventable of reasons. In much of Africa, Asia and South America where extreme poverty is the most common denominator, diarrheal diseases and pneumonia are 2 of the top 3 leading causes of death in children under the age of 5. (6)In the modern world we have learned to prevent the transmission of these diseases with immunizations, clean water and proper sanitation including suitable latrines and handwashing. Diarrheal disease alone, which claimed nearly 2 million lives in 2004, (7)mostly young children, can be reduced by 52% (8)with proper handwashing with common bar soap. 

If you do the quick math, nearly 600,000 kids could have been saved from an extremely painful death with a household item we take for granted. In these poor nations, it is the inability to stop the insidious, nutrient ravaging disease once it takes root from killing its target audience, but proper handwashing with soap can prevent the disease in the first place.

Even in the United States, we see higher incidences of diarrheal diseases in nursing homes and day care centers (9)where proper handwashing hygiene is tested and interpersonal transmission is more likely. But deaths from diarrheal diseases in wealthy countries, such as the United States, are infrequent. 
In the late 1800’s and even into the early 1900’s as the New York City slums were teeming with new peoples in horrific living conditions we see in faded pictures, our nation underwent a hygiene revolution. Our scientists and civic leaders learned that microbial marauders were causing our children, our wounded, our birthing mothers and those of us unlucky enough to get a severe cold, to die. Improvements in personal hygiene behavior as well as sanitation and water supply infrastructures dramatically reduced the infectivity once suffered.

But in much of the developing world, 2 billion people are still at risk of dying due to infectious and transmittable diseases caused by a lack of sanitation;(10) they are still awaiting a “hygiene revolution” similar to what the wealthier countries of the world, including the United States, encountered in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. 
Just imagine what recycling soap can do to save lives, especially among young children, and help Clean the World?


Endnotes:

1 CIA: The World Fact Book: Life Expectancy at Birth  https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook
2
Quote Garden: Quotations About Death http://www.quotegarden.com/death 
3 World Health Organization: Top 10 Causes of Death; Fact Sheet No 310; November 2008 
4  Id. 
5 My Philanthropic Pledge   by Warren Buffett  Fortune Magazine  June 16, 2010
6  World Health Organization: Top 10 Causes of Death; Fact Sheet No 310; November 2008
7
  Id. 
8 “Soap Health Study, Karachi, Pakistan, 2002-03” conducted by Dr. Stephen Luby, Findings Published various times most recently November 2008, for Cal Berkeley “Critical Ignorance in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene” 
9  Diarrheal Diseases 101: Diarrhea Got You Down in the Dumps?  Ingrid Koo, Ph. D., About.com, Nov. 10, 2008 
10  UNICEF/WHO Joint Monitoring Programme (2000) Global Water Supply and Sanitation Assessment, page 6
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Clean the World’s First Soap Delivery to Africa

A friend of the Clean the World family, Amy Sindler recently took some of our recycled soaps to Africa to distribute to children in Lesotho, the southern most landlocked country in the world. Amy is an Orlando resident and friend of Steve Cooper, Clean the World Operations Director. Amy first went to Lesotho as a member of the Peace Corps. Lesotho is one of the poorest countries in the world. According to Human Development Indices about 40% of its population live below the international poverty line of $1.25 per day.

Amy was kind enough to send us a post card and picture of her efforts.

“The children and adults here in the village of Nyakosoba, Lesotho loved getting the soap! I put it on a table and let everyone choose what type of soap they wanted. Of course the children liked the ducks, hearts and stars! By the way, they are wearing shirts donated by Track Shack. The children were given an apple then the t-shirt and we did a fun run through the village. When we returned we sang the Lesotho national anthem. They got another apple and then selected soap.
Thank you.
Amy”

We are grateful for your good works Amy. We are proud to have you as part of the Clean the World family!

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Third Haiti Trip Chronicled…

Greetings Clean the World Family. We have just arrived back from our third major soap distribution to Cap Haitien, Haiti. Come along with me on a short, yet eventful, 3 day journey in and out of the poorest country of the Western Hemisphere that has captured our hearts and minds!

A special thanks to my Uncle, Mark Von Seipler. Mark graciously donated all the funds necessary for this very important trip back to Haiti. On behalf of the rest of the Clean the World family, thank you Uncle Mark!

Thursday, November 19, 2009:
Its 4:00pm ET in the afternoon. Bobby Bahret and I completed our last supply run to Best Buy to ensure we had enough tape to document our visit. Pastor Brutus, CTW Caribbean Director and Haitian Aid leader, has just called to inform us that a very important meeting will occur on Friday evening with Board members of the Evangelical Church of Haiti (ECH), who are serving as our base of distribution operation in the northern region of Haiti- Cap Haitien. This is great news as these Board members will travel from all regions of Haiti to meet with us.

It is time to begin our drive to Miami for our early morning flight. This will be Bobby’s first international trip while it is Pastor Brutus’ fifth visit to Haiti this year.

We arrive at Loews- Maimi Beach around 10:00pm ET. Loews Miami Beach donated two rooms to Clean the World this evening. Isn’t that awesome!!! As they go through the process to officially donate soap and shampoo to CTW, they wanted to contribute to our efforts to help those that need it most. A very big and special THANK YOU to Ryan and all our wonderful friends at Loews Miami Beach who made a big contribution to Clean the World for this ever so important Haiti visit. Please visit them here and stay with them on your next visit to Miami’s South Beach: http://www.loewshotels.com/en/Hotels/Miami-Beach-Hotel/Overview.aspx

Friday, November 20, 2009
4:30am ET- Off to Miami International Airport for a 6:45am ET flight. Here is what I wrote on that flight:

*******I am writing this blog from seat 7A on American Airlines flight 377. Pastor Julio Brutus, Bobby Bahret and I left Miami International at 6:45am this morning bound for Port-au-Prince, Haiti. We will arrive at 8:30am local time. From there, we will board a “puddle jumper” on Tortug Airlines, flying low, over the cities and countryside, to the northern region of Haiti- Cap Haitien.

If the internet is working, I will send this note to you from Hotel Mont Joli, about a 30 minute drive from the airport. That 30 minute drive through downtown Cap Haitien will be 30 minutes of an incredible dichotomy. Haiti, being colonized by the French, has beautiful European-style curves, moldings, entrance ways and stone. You can see it if you look very carefully. Of course, you will have to look around the sewage, through the desperation, and ignore the filth and disease. You will have to look around people that live every day in utter chaos, yet flow with a rhythm as this is what they are born into. This is their society. We cannot avoid it- countless numbers of children, so beautiful and precious and innocent. As children, they have hope and smile.

And you will see parents and adults, those that have lived in this neighborhood for many years. When we smile at them, they will smile back, but one wonders what they are really thinking and feeling. Here they are living with dignity and pride in a place that attempts to sap those feelings away nearly every moment of every day.

Bobby has never been to Haiti. This 30 minute drive may completely change his outlook on life, at least for a moment.

Pastor Brutus grew up here. He grew up at a time when you could see the beautiful architecture and the economy was relatively strong. This was his life a time ago. Crime was low and the island and region attracted tourist. When he speaks about that time, he has a smile and you can see yesteryear in his eyes. But when Jean Bertrand Aristide came into power, things drastically began to change. This dictator was the first of a string of dictators that sucked the life out of Haiti and threw it into a constant struggle and battle over power and wealth. The people and the land have suffered ever since.

Today, it is nothing like what Pastor Brutus remembers. In fact, it is the exact opposite. Dangerous, dirty, desperate… there is such a large population of children, teenagers, 20 and 30 year olds that from birth, most in this area have known nothing but the present conditions.

When I see this I have a burning passion- one thought- I must help! You must help! Together, we must find a way to help them live a better life with more dignity with less disease and death. Even if the change seems so small to us, I promise you it is good and it is our calling!******

12:00pm- Those words were almost completely true. The scenes were dramatic. The filth and desperation seemed to be greater than my first visit to Haiti. One big change was apparent: As we drove from Cap Haitien airport to Hotel Mont Joli, we attempted to video the drive. The population was not happy. Many have come to Haiti and documented how “bad” it is. Those documentations and exploitations occurred with no returns seen by the population. This has scarred the people. We received several curses, shouts, middle fingers and anger. Individuals approached the truck to ensure we stopped taping. For the first time, I worried for our safety.

1:30pm- Simeon, a long time friend of Pastor Brutus, was our driver. After a quick stop at Mont Joli to drop off our bags, check the internet, which was not working as you have probably figured out, and eat lunch, we drove through the town again on our way to the brush.

A very bumpy and slow drive reveals many scenes. All the filth, sewage and suffocation predicted earlier were witnessed at every single street corner and alley way. In front, behind, it doesn’t matter where you look, there is no doubt at all that this is one of the poorest and desperate countries in the world. Later on our trip Bobby made a very telling observation: “This place is a combination of complete poverty and no law and that is a very bad combination”. He couldn’t have been more accurate.

We gradually drove from the total chaos of the city to a more refreshing and calm scene in the brush. The country seems simpler, with less people and more greenery, but the disease is still present. Our first stop is to a school. This school is in the brush. No walls, no ceiling, no building. A school in the woods with circles and patches that represent classrooms. We delivered soap to this group on our last trip. We are greeted by 30 adults and their children. They are waiting for our arrival. They want two things: First, to tell us how incredibly grateful they are for the soap they have already received. They have been using the soap and they are so appreciative. With smiles, they ask me to pass the message to you and to let you know that they are praying for you. Think about this for a minute: We, in the United States are in their prayers! Isn’t that sort of ironic? They explain that by praying for us, they know that we will help them, and so they pray for Clean the World every day… Incredible! I thank them and speak to them about our progress in the US and our future plans. They clap and cheer us!

Second, they wish to receive more soap. We brought 3 boxes with us. We distribute one of the boxes. They receive 300 bars of soap and are again incredibly grateful. So far, it is a great day!

4:30pm- I now experience a moment of truth. I was led to a home back in the woods. A mother who has 5 children, 3 girls and 2 boys, lives there. Her name is Teresa. I joke with her about my four children and how we are both crazy to have so many kids. She laughs. She appears to be in her late thirty’s. Her mother is 75 and lives in the house too. There did not appear to be a father.

This house is made of wood, and is no more than 20 feet by 20 feet. It has three very small rooms, a rusted tin roof, a curtain as the front door and nothing protecting the windows. Teresa tells me that her kids are always sick, including her oldest daughter, 11 years old, who is constantly coughing in the background. The kids frequently have stomach aches and their skin is very flaky and dry. Their scalps peel. This is diarrheal disease. The intestinal pains and dehydration are the exact symptoms of the fourth leading cause of death amongst children worldwide. And then she quietly tells me that she had another child, a 3 year old boy. She says he died to the illness. After succumbing to the pain and dehydration, what would have been her oldest boy now, maybe the man of the house, died, leaving Teresa to bury him. I am not sure what to say. At first, I am silent, and then I tell her that I am sorry for her loss and that I want to stop those deaths.

I ask if she bathes the children regularly. She says that she wants to but soap is expensive. She works in the gardens and makes very little money. She needs to buy food before soap.

This boy died over more than 3 years ago. Since his death, I estimate that we have thrown away over 1 billion bars of soap in the United States. Could we have prevented his death? Maybe.

Teresa tells me that she knows several more mothers in the area that have lost their babies to the exact same disease. I explain to her how diarrheal disease is contracted. I ask her to please ensure her children wash their hands after they defecate. She promises that she will. I give her 50 bars of soap $20 to buy food. She cries and thanks me. And then she says that she will pray for me so that I can help the other woman in the area. So selfless and humble and grateful that she will pray for me.

We speak to other mothers in the area and are faced with the same story again and again. The children are regularly sick and in pain. The symptoms are the same. The soap is almost begged for by each and every one.

5:30pm- We get back in the truck and head up the rough dirt roads towards an orphanage we visited on our last trip to Haiti. The mood is somber in the truck at first, but then we decide to hand soap to people walking up the road. Quickly, the joy comes back.

On our way, we pass a flea market. As the sun begins to set on the horizon, hundreds of sellers can be seen packing up. We get out of the truck and see a package of soap being sold. Three regular bars of soap are being sold for $1.80 American. This is one days wage for 75% of Haitians. Can you imagine a world where 3 bars of soap are equivalent to one days wage for 75% of the population? If you make $50,000 a year in America, this 3-pack of soap would be equivalent to $136 or $45 for each bar.

6:00pm- We arrive at the Orphanage. Children come running towards us. We break out another box of soap and begin handing it out. Another 300 bars is gone in a few short moments. I will only give a pack of soap to a child if they smile. They are all smiling and laughing. This is what it is all about.

As we drive away there is a feeling of joy in the truck. Thinking about what these orphans have been faced with thus far in their short lives and what is yet to come in this desperate island country, we know that bringing those smiles out of them today was very good for them and for us. I want to personally thank you for making that moment possible.

8:30pm ET- We finally arrive back to downtown Cap Haitien to meet the ECH Board of Directors. First, we view the storage room where 120,000 bars of Clean the World soap are stored, ready for distribution. It looks fabulous and the boxes are in great shape, stacked from the floor the roof. The boat delivery seemed to work.

After viewing the soap, we move to a very small room, under a single light, a fan blowing with a radio station broadcasting songs from the church behind us. Pastor Joshua is the President Elect. He is a warm individual with a very friendly smile and speaks very good English. The Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, former President and 2 other officers are also there. Among the group are two lawyers, and a PHD. They are Pastors and executives from all over Haiti and Miami. They are here for one reason: to form a partnership with Clean the World. They want to formally become our Haiti distribution partner and manage our efforts on the ground.

Each one of them personally thanks us for what we have already done and offer very clear feedback that the soap is incredibly helpful and making a difference already. They explain that our soap distribution program is being talked about from all parts of Haiti. Pastor Joshua very clearly explains “Our people need help. Clean the World is helping our people and for that we wish to join you and help your efforts as we are here to help our people too.” They are requesting clear guidelines and expectations from me. We meet and discuss several details from transportation to storage to regular communication. We discuss documentation and distribution procedures. We also agree to the most important rule: Clean the World soap must be handed out to those in need for free. They fully agree. We meet for almost two hours. These questions and discussions are great. I explain in detail our progress in the US. How we have come a long way but have a very long way to go. The partnership is agreed upon. Responsibilities are agreed to. We have an established a very strong base in Cap Haitien, Haiti with a very capable, trustworthy, and intelligent group. I am very pleased with the meeting. At the end, we have a moment of laughter and I shout “Now let’s Clean the World” and unison the room shouts back in Haitian accented English: “Clean the World! Clean the World!”

Pastor Brutus has made a very wise selection with ECH. He knows this group very well and knows that they should be our base. He is right. If not for Pastor Brutus, we would not be where we are today in Haiti. These are his friends and colleagues. He has been discussing Clean the World with them from the beginning. Even though he Pastors several churches in Orlando, is invited across the US and Canada to preach on a regular basis, he still finds the time to push Clean the World forward in Haiti. He believes strongly in our mission. We are incredibly blessed to have Pastor Brutus on the Clean the World team!

As we are leaving Bobby makes a great observation. “I wonder what others are doing on this Friday night across the world. As they relax at home, eating dinner or heading out for a night on the town, Clean the World is here, in the heart of Haiti, in a small room, under a single light, discussing the details on establishing our base. What a great Friday night!” It’s time to head back to Mont Joli.

Saturday, November 21, 2009
10:00am – We begin the day at the ceremony for Pastor Joshua’s official election as President of ECH. We are in a beautiful church building with a roof this time. In front of approximately 500 church members and officials, Pastor Joshua accepts his nomination. In his acceptance speech, he speaks about the partnership with Clean the World. He asks me to speak to the group. I graciously agree and speak to the entire room as Pastor Brutus interprets. I tell them about our mission and how we recycle soap. I explain that we will be here for many years to come. I even tell them the story of Teresa from the day before and our commitment to increase the amount of soap delivered here in Haiti and across the globe to prevent the needless deaths of children to a lack of hygiene. I am very well received as all in attendance nod, smile and then clap. When I am done speaking, in a show of solidarity, Pastor Joshua embraces and hugs me. It is a statement and symbol of our partnership and affection for each other.

I could never have imagined a year ago as I sat in another hotel room pondering the used soap question that I would be in the middle of the poorest country of the Western Hemisphere a year later, standing on a platform, an American business man in a room of Haitians, embraced by their leader, being encouraged and prayed for because of one simple thing: The hotel soap.

1:00pm ET- On our way to back to the airport, we take a minor detour down an alley. The city is absolutely bustling today. People are on top of people everywhere. Again, the camera is not well received. As we drive towards the river, we come across a dirt field with two make shift goal post on either side. We see children playing soccer with a tennis ball. We get out of the truck. The dirt field butts up against a river where children are swimming. As we approach the stench gets worse. What I now witness is the most incredible scene I have ever witnessed in my life. I still cannot believe and I know that I can never truly describe it to you: In between the dirt and the water is 10 feet of raw sewage. Trash and filth and crap. It is basically a landfill. And as we look around a wall to the left, we can see the sewage and trash piling up, a heap of trash at least 20 feet tall. The kids are playing in it while numerous pigs eat in it. And it runs into the water that 3 boys are swimming in, naked, laughing and splashing to get our attention. I can’t believe it. I look back towards the heap and now I see an adult man. He begins to squat, pulls his pants down and defecates on the pile. I begin to get sick to my stomach. Behind me 8 or so other boys go back to playing soccer with the tennis ball to get our attention, smiling and laughing. They have no idea what they live in. This is their normalcy. I am stunned.

3:30pm ET- Our twin engine plane on Tortug Air takes off from Cap Haitien, bound for Port-au-Prince. We will connect there and land in Miami by 8:00pm. I am still processing the last incredible scene. Every time I visualize it, my stomach gets nauseous. And at the same time, the fire burns stronger. We have a mission. We have a very clear purpose. You and I can do so much good for people that really need it. It is time to go home to tell the stories of the trip.

8:30pm ET- Back on the road from Miami to Orlando. Pastor Brutus, Bobby and I enjoy a few more minutes of reflection and each others company before Pastor Brutus lays down in the back seat to sleep. The next day he has 4 church services to attend, preaching at one. We all agree that the trip was incredible. Bobby thanks Pastor Brutus for everything. The trip, protection, guidance, and most importantly, life changing experience! I concur. Another great trip!

On a final note, I want you to see some of the names of the organizations, clinics, schools and churches that will receive soap this week from our CTW Haiti. Each one of these organizations has requested specific amounts of soap based on the number of people they serve. These are their 60 days supplies.

As I leave you for now with this list, remember this: You made this possible. As a hotel, you donated the soap and supported. As a donor, you assisted with the expenses. As a volunteer, you processed the soap and made it fresh again. You kept us in your thoughts and prayers. You encouraged the staff to do more. You made this happen. Here are the people that are getting soap to give their patients and their community:

The Haiti Mission 1200 bars
UND Haiti Program 300 bars
Bethesda Medical Clinic 2000 bars
SOIL 850 bars
Meds and Food for Kids 200 bars
Eben-Ezer Clinic Haut-Limbe 2000 bars
Dr. Steve James 1200 bars
Manusodany Network of Schools 2200 bars
Haiti Hospital Appeal 1500 bars
St. Joseph’s Church and Clinic 2000 bars
The Children’s Place 200 bars
The Methodist Clinic Tavar 1000 bars
Randolph World Ministries 1000 bars
Our Lady of Miracles Parish 2000 bars
Epicopal Church of Gros Morne 300 bars
St. Francois de Sales 1600 bars
Clinique de Bienfaisance Baptist Clinic 800 bars
Methodist Clinic Latanerie 800 bars
Sacre Coeur Hospital 2000 bars
Centre Communautaire de Limonade 2000 bars
Eben-Ezer Clinic Ganaives 3000 bars
Family Medical Clinic 3000 bars
Christianville Clinic 1500 bars
Emmanuel Hospital Port-au-Prince 2000 bars
St Raphael Clinic 1000 bars
Tabernacle of Praise 20000 bars
Bethesda School 1000 bars
Evangelical Church of Mapu 5000 bars
Evangelical Church of Vertierres 15,000 bars

Join our Mission to Change History in Our Lifetime!!!

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CTW Distribution Partners- Missions offering HOPE!

One of the best parts about working at Clean the World is meeting and having an opportunity to really work with all the wonderful organizations that are dedicated to helping and serving those in need. Steven Cooper, CTW’s Operations Director coordinates with many shelters and homes locally, around Florida and local or regional to our hospitality partners. William Lowry, Global Operations Director and I are fostering relationships with larger, global non-profits.

From a local perspective, we have distributed soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, bath gel, sewing kits, vanity kits and other items on a regular basis to Central Care Mission, STAR Family Center, Salvation Army Adult Re-hab Center, Salvation Army Men’s and Woman’s Shelter, Christian Service Center, Harvest Time International (local and global) and Covenant House. We recently made our first distribution to Help Now of Osceola County.

We made another wonderful connection this week with the Sanford HOPE Team and Seminole Behavioral Healthcare. We have given them about 500 pounds of goods to date. Sanford HOPE Team distribute across Orlando and Sanford. They actually parse the goods and distribute to several outreach and homeless ministries, including Christian Help in Castleberry, The Sharing Center in Longwood, Beeb’s Mobile Pantry in Longwood, Central Florida Dream Center in Sanford and Rescue Outreach Mission in Sanford. Missions helping other missions help others… how cool is that!?! Sanford HOPE also does something I have never heard of prior- they go on a search for people in need. They actually go into the woods, camp sites, parks and other places to find those that need help… those that need soap, food, and other products essential to living may not come into a shelter, so Sanford HOPE goes to them. What an AWESOME mission! I love hearing about these groups from Steve and am so happy that Clean the World is working with such wonderful people to help others.

From a global perspective, William and I have been working on deeper relationships with major global non-profits, World Vision, Harvest Time International and Heart to Heart. These large, global non-profits have years of established distribution, logistics and operations in so many countries suffering high mortality rates from acute respiratory illness and diarrheal disease. They are perfect partners for us to ensure Clean the World soap and shampoo is getting distributed to those that need it. It is critically important that are items are not sold, not found on the black market, not taxed by local governments but handed, for free, to mothers, children and families that need it! These great entities have established secure and reliable operations in countries that will become our second, third and fourth distribution fronts. Today, we are well established in Cap Haitien, Haiti, the northern region, and as we begin to move southward within the country, we will also begin distribution fronts in the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, African countries and the Philippines. Remember, it is extremely important that when we open a new distribution front, we can sustain the influx of soap and shampoo for the constituents receiving. In order to save lives and prevent needless deaths caused by poor hygiene, soap and shampoo must distribute on a regular basis, sustained for very long periods of time.

Keep us in your thoughts and prayers. Pastor Brutus, Bobby Bahret with CTW, and I will travel back to Cap Haitien, Haiti later this week to oversee another large distribution. I am so excited to return to spend time with those helping us on the ground. More to come regarding this trip later.

Have a great Wednesday!!

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Back from Haiti…

 What an incredible journey! Last week, Clean the World’s leadership team traveled on a Missionary Flights Inernational (MFI) DC-3 cargo plane to Cap Haitien, Haiti. It was our second major soap distribution to the impoverished island.

The non-pressurized, non-air conditioned flight path took us directly over the Bermuda triangle. Nothing to fear though as the MFI crew took good care of us. One quick re-fueling descent in the Bahamas and we are back  in the thin air, on our way again to the northern region of Haiti.

Upon landing, the fun really began. After an hour of negotiating with customs, we finally struck a deal. Half the originally requested customs fee and a Disney World vacation turned our favorite customs gal, affectionately called “The Big Man” by her Haitien peers, into a Clean the World supporter.

While I attempt to describe the actual conditions on teh ground in Cap Haitien, please realize that even though the conditions were described to me time and time again, it is extremely hard to comprehend unless you actually experience it. there is chaos, depression, and desperation. Sewage and filth abound within eyes view during almost every moment. We witnessed an elderly woman defecating in a sewage troth in front of her home and countless individuals urinating. This very same troth overfllowed on our last evening as a flash flood rain came down and flooded the streets of Cap Haitien.

Yet, within this chaos, they are a beautiful and proud people. A culture that has learned to not only exist, but live life to their fullest given the conditions they have been born into. I witnessed the newest born babies and two funerals. They are born like we are, and they honor death in a similar fasion. It just so happens that in between those two extremely similar events, they have learned to function in a society that is much different than ours in the United States. And one that demands the basic necessity of soap and hygiene even more!

While the conditions were overwhelming at times, the smiles that we continued to receive from the people, young and old, as we drove through the streets of Cap Haitien, were absolutely priceless. Smiles represent hope and joy. Take time today to give somebody you know a smile from a Haitian as we recieved a ton to pass along. 🙂

We visited two orphanages, two schools and another large church service where approximately 8,000 gathered in the middle of the day’s heat to worship. Our soap, YOUR SOAP, was incredibly well received. In total, 45,000 bars were distributed on this trip.

We also visited with a group, the Cap Haitien Health Network, organized by Dr. Ted Caplen and his wife Elisabeth, based out of Altamonte Springs, FL. Ted and Elisabeth were in Haiti for the week doing clincals and organizing a group of approximately 30 clinics. One item on their agenda: the new supplies of soap that are arriving from Clean the World. Another arm of our distribution network was established.

One specific moment mush be shared: One the last day as we were leaving the last school we visited, I handed a young Haitian boy, maybe 4 years old, a bundle of soap. He looked at the bundle with a quizzical look. So I smelled another bundle that was in my hands and motioned for him to do the same. He then smelled his bundle and gave a half smile, beginning to understand. Then he took his bundle and began rubbing it on his arm in a cleaning motion, looking at me for a confirmation. I said “YES” with a big smile. He then grinned from ear to ear, one of the biggest smiles of the trip, turned around, and walked back to his desk, holding his bundle of soap with pride. He understood what he recieved and he was incredibly happy and proud! In that very moment, any lingering feelings that our mission may be too much for us to handle completely swept away. Clean the World is not only bringing hygiene but we are bringing hope!

The very last clinic we visited, operated by a Cap Haitien Health Network partner, S.O.I.L., had roughtly 30 sick children waiting to see the doctor. The clinic sees patients only once a week as supplies are low. I asked the doctor why the sick were there. A one word answer said it all- “Hygiene”. Incredible!

Our cargo boat finally left Miami this past weekend with another 175,000 bars. (remember the one we loaded several weeks ago. Well, it only just now left, displaying the shipping difficulties into Haiti.) This boat will arrive this weekend to begin another flow of soap that we are committed to sustaining for many years to come. These clinics, schools, and orphanages will all receive another distribution in the coming days and weeks.

One last note, CBS traveled with Clean the World on this distribution. Stay tuned for an alert from us as we expect the story to air during Katie Couric’s evening news sometime very soon.

Thank you all for your support. And remember to pass a smile to someone today.

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Haiti trip proves need for recycled soap

Humbled … and hopeful.

Those are the two words that came to mind as I listened to William Lowry describe his experience delivering our first load of recycled soap to Haiti. William is the founder and executive director of Central Care Mission in Orlando, the organization with which we formed a deep partnership to handle our sterilization and packaging operation.

William rode along in the Missionary Flights International DC-3 that departed Fort Pierce, Fla., on Tuesday, July 7 to deliver 2,000 pounds of soap to Cap Haitien, Haiti – the poorest city in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Once there he met up with Pastor Julio Brutus of the First Haitian Church in Winter Haven, Fla. Pastor Brutus is a native of Haiti and he is our man on the ground in Haiti.

Actually, Pastor Brutus is THE man. This guy knows all the right people … how to get around … how to work the system … and he served the very important role of interpreter.

With Pastor Brutus, William was able to visit and bring soap to two orphanages, and to an estimated crowd of more than 10,000 at a four-hour, mid-week worship service at the Tabernacle of Praise church.

In a country that has suffered a near total collapse of government, the poverty and hopelessness is inconceivable to most of us in the United States. When people barely have any food to eat, many live in homes without proper roofs or walls, and there is an absence of garbage disposal or a proper sewage system – things like personal hygiene tend to fall by the wayside.

People are living in filth, and they don’t have soap. That is a recipe for disaster.

William said that in the three days he was in Cap Haitien, he never saw soap in a public restroom. He didn’t see soap on the shelves of the one small store he found. The desperate need for soap was illustrated by the thousands of people who mobbed the distribution team at the church service. “It was what you imagine it would be like if you delivered a truck full of food to an area where no one had eaten in a month,” said William. “You hope to have some sort of order and an organized distribution, but it just doesn’t work because everyone wants to make sure they get theirs.”

After his visit, William is convinced there is no question about the importance of our mission to distribute recycled hotel soap in places where it is needed most.

“If we can get soap to them, not just once, but over and again, we will have a major impact on their lives,” said William. “Soap can save lives. It’s not just a concept, it is today a reality. It is fact.”

See the entire photo gallery from last week’s Haiti trip.

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First pictures from Haiti are in

Some soap has already been distributed at an orphanage, but the majority will be handed out tonight at the large worship service. Here are a few pictures from yesterday’s flight and our arrival in Cap Haitien: http://picasaweb.google.com/johnterry64/CTWHaitiJuly792009?feat=directlink

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On the ground in Haiti

I hope you had a great Fourth of July, and that you were able to kick back, relax and enjoy time with family and friends. But while many of us were barbecuing and hanging out with loved ones over the three-day weekend, the Clean the World operations staff was working overtime to make sure we had 2,000 pounds of soap sterilized, wrapped, packaged and ready to ship out this week.

On Monday, our William Lowry trucked those 21,000 bars down to Fort Pierce, Fla., so they could be weighed in and loaded on one of the Douglas DC-3 aircraft operated by Missionary Flights International. Then at 7 a.m. Tuesday, William was on board as the plane departed for its twice-weekly flight to Cap Haitien, Haiti.

All 21,000 bars will be distributed tonight at a church service attended by thousands of local residents each week. And with every bar handed out, we’ll be one step closer to helping the residents of Cap Haitien celebrate their independence from diarrheal disease and acute respiratory infection.

Of course every bit of this process costs money. We have to pay for everything from the electricity to run our sterilization equipment to the gas for the airplane. And this past weekend, we were blessed to receive a significant corporate donation that could not have come at a better time. Our good friends at The Seller Sourcebook made a contribution that, ironically, is exactly the amount we needed to pay Missionary Flights for the transportation to Haiti this week.

When Kristen from SSB expressed an interest in donating to Clean the World, we didn’t discuss any particular upcoming expenses, and she had no idea how much this trip was going to cost. But she was moved to donate the exact amount we needed at exactly the right time.

You should have heard Clean the World executive director Shawn Seipler when he called me on the afternoon of July Fourth to tell me he just received a notification of the donation. If it’s possible to do high-fives over the phone, then that’s exactly what Shawn and I were doing at that moment. It was a thrill and a relief to know the expenses of the upcoming Haiti shipment were covered.

So thanks to Kristen and the entire team at The Seller Sourcebook, who provide affordable auction tools, image hosting and a large selection of templates to meet the needs of eBay sellers.

We’ll have pictures and more details about the trip to Cap Haitien in the coming days. And in the meantime, if you are moved to help our cause, please visit our donation page. We sincerely appreciate every dollar you can give.

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First delivery to Haiti is just a few days away

For the past few months we’ve been working with hotels to bring them into our partner network. We have dutifully collected soap and shampoo on a weekly basis. And we perfected our sterilization and packaging techniques.

We’re proud of our very meaningful soap and shampoo deliveries to homeless shelters and other domestic destinations — but it’s time for the game to change. We’ve had our sights set on Haiti, Sri Lanka and Uganda for some time, and in a few days we will be able to cross Haiti off the to-do list.

This Thursday, two of our team members will fly to Haiti on a cargo plane that makes weekly supply runs to Cap Haitien, on the northern coast of the country. They will bring approximately 500 pounds of soap, and spend a day on the advance work necessary to ensure smooth sailing when we return five days later with our first of many big shipments to Haiti.

Then on Tuesday, July 7, we will return with several thousand pounds of soap. On that trip we will be accompanied by a reporter and videographer from Fox 35 News in Orlando. They are working on a piece about Clean the World that they hope will make it all the way to the Fox News cable channel after it airs locally.

On Wednesday, July 8, the soap will be distributed at a weekly church service that typically draws up to 30,000 people.

Nope — that wasn’t a typo. I didn’t mean 300 or 3,000. I meant 30,000 people!

How cool is that?

Next week I’ll have the full report and pictures of our first soap distribution to the people of Haiti.

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