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Volunteer Team Serves Hundreds in Guadalajara, Mexico

In late September, Clean the World set out on a Global Volunteer Experience trip to Mexico in conjunction with Children International. We spent two days in the city of Guadalajara, teaching proper hygiene education to accompany the 15,000 bars we distributed.

IMG_4024Clean the World and Children International have a partnership to provide children across the globe with consistent, long-term access to soap. “Access is only part of our hygiene solution,” said Lily Dimling, director of programs for Clean the World’s Global Soap & Hygiene Initiative. “Understanding when and how to use the soap turns it into a powerful tool to fight disease and illness, which is why we emphasize hygiene education on our Global Volunteer Experience trips.”

Longtime supporters and patrons Alisa J. Faulk, Kris Vos, and Ann Nelson accompanied the Dimling along with Clean the World’s Veronica Shivers and Paul “Doc” Skomsky. These women work in the hospitality industry, coming from the Hyatt, Marriott and Renaissance companies. They experienced the full lifecycle of the Clean the World program, from the everyday collection at their hotels, to touring and volunteering at our recycling facility, to delivering the recycled soap to children in need.

The whirlwind trip was Clean the World’s first visit to Guadalajara. Our group visited a primary school, a high school, and two Children International community centers, including the Tlaquepaque Community Center. Guadalajara is the second most densely populated area in Mexico. The urban city has areas of dire need where Children International steps in to help.

The Clean the World group received a warm welcome at each location, interacting with 100 to 300 children during every visit. We shared the importance of hand washing in a fun and interactive way. Our Global Volunteer Experience volunteers dressed up as Super Aqua (water) and Super Jabón (soap). They came dashing into the room full of children, showing their strength and power, using teamwork and friendship to fight the “germs,” portrayed by the rest of the Clean the World crew.

IMG_3810We recruited children to stand with us in front of the group to sing “Happy Hand Washing” to the tune of “La Bamba.” Doc managed to find a guitar at every location and strummed the chords of the song, which engaged the children. The song is to remind them how long they should wash their hands. When they are done humming or singing the song, they will have washed their hands twenty seconds. “It was a very special feeling giving the mothers soap,” Doc said. “These mothers manage on such limited resources, and it is important to all of us to keep our families healthy and clean.”

We also brought basins of water to demonstrate proper hand-washing techniques. Children washed their hands while team members provided guidance and let them practice doing it correctly. The children loved getting involved and showing off their new skills in front of the group. Their biggest surprise was looking at how dirty the water was when they finished. They all were very excited about our visit and promised they would take what they learned back home and teach their families about proper hand washing.

It is important for us to instill the fact that hand washing is the simplest way to prevent the spread of disease, infection, and illness so the children can lead healthier lives. However, we gained so much as well. “The children hug you; the moms hug you. It was a truly uplifting experience,” Doc said.

Each Global Volunteer Experience is an opportunity for Clean the World to spread the love. We show children and families that no matter where you are from or how you live, each person’s health and well-being is important. Please join us on an upcoming trip to see how Clean the World’s recycled soap changes lives around the world.

After all, the global hygiene revolution starts with you!

Support Clean the World on Global Handwashing Day

Happy Global Handwashing Day!

Every year, Oct. 15 is set aside as a day to motivate and mobilize people around the world to improve their hand-washing habits. Clean the World is proud to be part of this movement because it aligns with our goal of eliminating hygiene-related deaths through providing bars of recycled of soap and hygiene education to at-risk people. By recycling and distributing discarded hotel soap and bottled amenities, we have contributed to a 30 percent reduction in pre-adolescent deaths from hygiene-related illnesses since 2009.

But we still have a long way to go. That’s why we are asking you to recognize Global Handwashing Day by supporting Clean the World with a donation to help advance our lifesaving work. 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.

A recent study showed that 65 percent of hygiene-related deaths are preventable by hand washing with bar soap. At Clean the World, a $25 donation funds the production of 125 new recycled soap bars. This soap, along with proper hygiene education about the value of routine handwashing, will help improve the overall health and well-being of the people who need it most.

Clean the World donate button

Giving Social

We always accept donations through the “Donate” button located in the header of every page on this website. Or in this case, you can just click the button right above this paragraph. However, we just launched a swift and easy online donation system last week. The new social media tool “#Donate” makes donating quick and nearly effortless. Facebook and Twitter users can donate to Clean the World by posting “#Donate,” followed by a dollar amount.

On Facebook, this donation is submitted through a post on the organization’s page or as a comment on a recent post. On Twitter, you Tweet “#Donate + dollar amount” to @CleanTheWorld, and that tweet translates into support for our mission. The “#Donate” tool is becoming very popular among donors who frequent social media platforms such Facebook and Twitter and prefer the convenience of giving back to their charity of choice without navigating away from their newsfeed.

Vacation Day

If your upcoming travel plans steer you in the direction of Orlando or Las Vegas, Clean the World’s Recycling Operations Centers are always in need of volunteers and extra hands to help sort soap. It’s a great way to spend a morning with your family, friends or co-workers and experience the power of our life-saving mission hands-on. Clean the World staff will walk you through the background and history of the organization and share the recycling process that transforms the discarded hotel soap into new recycled bars.

Whether it’s donating, volunteering, or simply sharing Clean the World’s mission with friends, neighbors, and relatives, your support is truly appreciated in every form.

Picture Yourself Changing Lives

this_could_be_youAre you ready to see just how valuable soap is to people who are at risk for hygiene-related illnesses? Then join Clean the World on one of our upcoming trips and help deliver hygiene products directly into the hands of those who need them most.

Clean the World’s Director of Nonprofit Partnerships, Rosanna Kingston, is a veteran trip coordinator who creates life-changing immersion experiences. They can be a real eye-opener for anyone who isn’t familiar with the daily challenges faced by people who don’t have regular access to basic hygiene supplies.

Anyone 18 or over is welcome to travel with us. Teens between the ages 14 and 17 may join when accompanied by a parent or chaperone. Sorry, but  we can’t accommodate children under 14.

All-inclusive trip fees cover the cost of round trip airfare (unless noted), ground transportation, lodging, meals, and team supplies. For larger groups, we can customize a travel package if you have nine or more people interested in a Clean the World trip.

We currently have openings for the following trips:

  • Guatemala in April
  • Zambia in August
  • Mexico in September

For more information, please contact Rosanna at rkingston@ctw2.wpstagecoach.com.

Prince George’s Community College takes Alternative Winter Break

This past week here at Clean the World Recycling Operations Center, a group of students from Prince George’s Community College in Largo, Maryland have spent part of their winter break volunteering with us. With their leader, Paulette McIntosh, Program Director of College Life Services, they travelled to Orlando as part of the schools “Pathways to Leadership Program”: a program that offers leadership through community service opportunities to encourage students to learn how to address their own communities’ problems and find creative grassroots answers to those problems.

Throughout the week, nine student volunteers and Ms. McIntosh, both traditional and non-traditional students, have worked at scraping soap and making hygiene kits for those in need. When they return to school at the beginning of the semester, they will conduct a formal presentation about Clean the World and the work they did here; help spread awareness of our mission to their campus by holding a soap drive; and keep us in their hearts as a frame of reference for “people, not government” tackling a problem.
The students shared that they were amazed with Clean the World’s “creative solution to changing lives” and “that such a simple idea brought so much help to others”. They were happy that “in a couple of hours, they could personally help so many”; volunteer opportunities are open to everyone; and, that volunteering here is a “simple way to give back”! One student loved the ripple effect that each person working and volunteering at Clean the World causes.
Prince George’s CC “Pathways to Leadership Program” is an initiative of the President Obama’s Presidential Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge that “builds understanding between different communities and contributes to the common good.” (http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ofbnp/interfaithservice)
During their stay here in Central Florida, Prince George’s students are being hosted by the First United Methodist Church of Orlando. After their days of volunteering with us, they work their evenings with the church’s “Family Promise/Interfaith Hospitality Network”, providing dinner, tutoring and social interaction with families in transition that are temporarily being sheltered there. They even made 51 Hygiene Kits and donated them to Family Promise! These hardworking and kindhearted students have chosen to help in our Central Florida Community in many ways during their winter break!! When they leave Orlando on Saturday, January 12th, they will be on their way to New Jersey to further assist in Hurricane Sandy relief!
They told of a billboard outside of the church where they are staying and said that its display showcased the spirit of Clean the World to them; but that billboard surely applies directly to them: “Sometimes you have to create what you want to be a part of!”

Soap Drive Success: The ADP Way

Clean the World Foundation community soap drives continue to provide inspiration for our many supporters, and much-needed hygiene relief for recipients all around the world.

Generous individuals, corporations, and organizations are coordinating soap drives at schools, churches, offices and homes in support of Clean the World’s efforts to save lives with soap.

Most recently, ADP, the country’s largest payroll processor, made soap collection for Clean the World a priority at 13 offices in the Midwest, and the results were amazing.

Employees at ADP collected 4,863 soap bars for donation to Clean the World. The soaps arrived this week and will be packaged for global distribution to children and families in need.

“Our busiest time of the year for both our clients and associates are the months of December and January,” says Joan Chappel, executive assistant at ADP-Small Business Solutions (SBS) Midwest region.  “During this time we try to do special activities for our associates.  This year we decided to give back a little, so we held a soap collecting campaign/competition among the offices. The enthusiasm was amazing.”

Chappel says support from Kathy Ross, Midwest regional vice president and general manager, and her senior team helped make this a fun and charitable event. She encourages other companies and organizations to try something similar to benefit Clean the World.

If you know of a community group, local business, or organization that would like to organize a soap drive for Clean the World, please contact Marti Mosley at mmosley@ctw2.wpstagecoach.com. We encourage you to also visit our soap donation link here to learn how you can make a community soap drive a worldwide success. Soap saves lives. Thanks for helping Clean the World.

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