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Las Vegas Students Working Hard to Make a Difference

Cheyenne HSClean the World is eternally grateful for the volunteers who help us achieve our goals of recycling soap and saving lives. Among these amazing volunteers are a group of students from Cheyenne High School in North Las Vegas, Nevada.

Clean the World team members work hand-in-hand with young adults in Cheyenne’s Postsecondary Opportunities for Students in Transition (POST) program to increase the students’ occupational, social, and behavioral skills and help them become more productive in their everyday lives. While volunteering in the Clean the World warehouse, they sort bottled amenities collected from hotel partners in and around Las Vegas — so we always appreciate their hands-on support.

Kirk Howser is the POST special education teacher at Cheyenne. Howser oversees this entry-level individualized education program for disabled young adults ages 18 to 22 years old. The POST program helps his students demonstrate independence and competence in areas of employment, socialization, and independent living skills. Their class discussions often teach the students the importance of hygiene products, and why it’s necessary to provide them to those in need.

“Clean the World has opened up new teaching opportunities for our students who have disabilities” Howser said. “Our students do not usually get the opportunity to give back to those in need. It’s usually the other way around. For me personally, I’m happy that I get to share the wonderful feeling of giving back with my students … to see them smile knowing that they are helping someone is really special.”

Howser and his students make a lot of great memories during their volunteer sessions at Clean the World. However, one of their favorites was taking a class picture in front of the Christmas tree. For Howser, giving back is always special, but he says it took on even more significance during the holiday season when the group combined memorable moments with learning and laughter.

We truly appreciate the dedication and passion of the POST students during their weekly visits. Clean the World always welcomes young adults who want to make a difference and increase the impact of our mission. We value our part in helping these young adults develop workplace experience, independence, and communication skills. Their selflessness never goes unnoticed.

Researched and written by Gabrielle Lintz, an intern in the Clean the World marketing department.

Orlando Volunteer Center Benefits From Scout Spirit

Justin Sontag

Earlier this summer, Justin Sontag of Boy Scout Troop 678 organized a project to lend Clean the World’s Orlando volunteer center a helping hand. Justin and his fellow scouts formulated a plan to bring comfort to our volunteers, which resulted in a dozen scouts assembling 63 stools for the downtown Orlando facility.

This idea to donate seating came to Justin a couple of years ago after a two-hour volunteer shift at Clean the World with his mother.

“I noticed that volunteers stood while sorting and organizing cleaning products,” Justin said. “I realized that if volunteers had a place to sit, they would be comfortable.”

When Justin had the opportunity to plan an Eagle Scout service project, he knew which organization he wanted to help out. Justin enjoyed his time spent volunteering at Clean the World, and the mission to save lives with soap and hygiene products resonated with him.

Justin told Clean the World, “I pitched the idea to my troop at a meeting and got the project approved by the direct representative for scouting. To gather funds, I wrote letters to my friends and family asking for assistance.”

This was a special donation for Clean the World and a memorable day for the employees who met Justin and his mother as they delivered the stools to our warehouse. Since the donation, volunteers have been overwhelmingly pleased with the new option to sit while sorting soap and bottled amenities. Each month nearly a thousand volunteers come through our warehouse. Our local, national, and global impact would not be possible without the help of our many volunteers. So improvements to the volunteer center are always appreciated and extremely beneficial.

Since he was 7 years old, Justin has been a shining example of the Scout OrlO. He proved his desire to help others and better the community through his service with Clean the World. Our organization works closely with the Boy Scout and Girl Scout Troops of Central Florida, and we greatly appreciate their loyalty to our life-saving mission at Clean the World as well as the Orlando community.

Ball State Students Party Clean-the-World Style During Spring Break

The week of March 7 marked the official beginning of spring break for college students all over the nation, including those who attend Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. In celebration of their spring break, 27 students from the Big Four on-campus student organization traveled to Orlando for some fun at a different type of tourist attraction: Clean the World’s Recycling Operations Center. The Big Four is a student organization that comprises members of four multicultural groups: Asian American Student Association, Latino Student Union, Black Student Association, and Spectrum, an LGBT student association.

As a part of their service project, the four organizations took over our Pittman Street warehouse and sorted bottled hygiene amenities for Clean the World Hygiene Kits. For five consecutive days, the students gave their time to volunteer and understand the importance of hygiene and global health.

Sidney Rice, a graduate student at Ball State and member of the Big Four student organization, planned the service trip. Sidney described a meeting her group held every evening after volunteering at Clean the World. The students referred to these meetings as “reflections,” and they revolved around the takeaways individuals had from their volunteer experience that day. Taking soap and hygiene products for granted was a common theme.

Sidney never realized the severity of hygiene as a global issue until learning about Clean the World. Like many people, she recognized the lack of water and sanitation in developing countries as an issue, but overlooked hygiene as a vital puzzle piece to global health.

Students Ani Thomas and Ishmeal Allensworth also shared their reflections on the volunteer spring break trip.

“You just throw away the bottles of soap after using them once or twice,” said Ishmeal describing the average life of a bottled amenity in the hospitality industry. As he reflected on his experiences at Clean the World, he realized more than ever how “the little things count for people in other countries.”

Sidney, Ani and Ishmeal all spoke of their experiences at Clean the World as an “overall positive experience.” Back in Muncie, unique volunteer opportunities are more difficult to find. The students had worked with local food banks and shelters closer to campus, but said the different atmosphere at Clean the World made for an altogether unique and memorable spring break trip.

While sorting soap, Ishmeal made friends with Tiffany, a Clean the World volunteer from Florida. Tiffany and Ishmeal have remained friends since the Ball State volunteer trip and stay in contact outside of their shared experience.

Ani, a nursing major at Ball State, was moved by her experience and eager to spread awareness about Clean the World’s life-saving mission among her peers and local hotels.

“I didn’t realize how many hotels were involved in this Clean the World organization, and that’s inspiring,” Ani said. “From this point forward, I want to go to hotels and ask them ‘Do you know about Clean the World? Are you involved in this?’ You know, just be an advocate for this organization because it is doing such an amazing thing for people across the country and in third-world countries.”

The Ball State group played trivia games, participated in a lip-sync battle, danced, listened to music, and made new friends all while supporting the Global Hygiene Revolution.

Ani hopes this experience will continue to bring the Big Four groups closer, help them get to know each other better, and offer each group the understanding of a different community within the Ball State Campus.

“I hope we can all become allies for each other,” she said.

Behind the Soap: Fall Internship Opportunities at Clean the World

Hey, college students – now is the time to line up your internship for next semester. If you want to know what it’s like behind the scenes of a non-profit, then interning with Clean the World might be for you. It’s a great opportunity to find out what it takes to make a difference in the world while putting your classroom education into practice for a social enterprise.

Internship positions offer students experience in a variety of disciplines, including: marketing/communications, business development, event planning, ONE Project hygiene kit events, sales, operations, non-profit management, and volunteer management.

Fall programs begin in September and run through the end of November. Students will work side-by-side with the full-time professional staff at the Clean the World headquarters in downtown Orlando or the Clean the World Las Vegas facility. If selected, you will get to help fulfill our mission of saving lives with soap.

Please e-mail your resume and cover to Rosanna Kingston or Whitney Magers for more info.


The Cosmopolitan CoStars Volunteer at Clean the World

On Saturday, June 14, volunteers from The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas helped assemble hygiene kits at Clean the World’s Las Vegas operations center. Not only did the Cosmopolitan CoStars do amazing work, but they followed up by giving us the gift of the way-cool video you see below.


Volunteers are the Heart of the Global Hygiene Revolution

Since 2009, Clean the World has distributed 17 million soap bars and 300,000 hygiene kits. Almost every item was touched at some point by a volunteer at one of our facilities in Orlando or Las Vegas.

We are saving lives around the world with soap, and we could not do it without support from thousands of volunteers. Last year, 4,143 people volunteered in our Orlando location, and 1,731 people volunteered in Las Vegas. That is a total of 18,158 volunteer hours in 2013.

The following groups volunteer on a regular basis. We offer our sincere gratitude to all of them. If your company, group, or organization would like to volunteer, please contact us at: volunteers@ctw2.wpstagecoach.com.

     – Alliance Supports Corp
     – Booking.com
     – Disney
     – Evans High School
     – Families for Christ
     – First Presbyterian Church
     – Florida Blue
     – Florida Hospital
     – Full Sail University
     – Gaylord Palms
     – Girls Scout Citrus Council
     – Good Shepherd Catholic Church
     – Hands on Orlando
     – Interact Club
     – Key Club
     – Lake Highland Prep School
     – Levi Strauss
     – Marriott Vacations Worldwide
     – Network Management
     – Orange County Schools
     – St. James Catholic School
     – Starwood Vacation Club
     – Summit Church
     – The First Academy at the First Baptist Church Orlando
     – United Way
     – Universal Studios
     – University of Central Florida
     – Valencia Community College
     – Westin
     – YWAM

    Lav Vegas:
         – Acts of Kindness (A.O.K)
         – Alpha Phi Omega Fraternity at UNLV
         – Caesars Foundation Law Department
         – Caesars Foundation Marketing Department
         – Circle K International from UNLV
         – Las Vegas Wells Fargo
         – Nevada Department of Enrichment Program for the Disabled
         – Opportunity Village Job Discovery Program
         – United Way of Southern Nevada AmeriCorps Nevada Program
         – UNLV American Medical Student Association (AMSA) Humanitarian Committee


      National Volunteer Week – April 15-21

      While it seems like every week is volunteer week at Clean the World, the calendar makes this one official.

      April 15-21 is National Volunteer Week and there will be a lot of soap recycling going on in Orlando and Las Vegas to help advance our global hygiene revolution.

      More than 5,000 volunteers have helped Clean the World recycle and distribute more than 10 million soap bars in just three years of operation. We’d love to welcome another 5,000 this year alone to help us grow exponentially in the immediate future to address the hygiene needs of children and families worldwide. In fact, we love volunteers so much we even created a video about them. Click here!

      Rosanna Kingston, volunteer coordinator at Clean the World headquarters in Orlando, anticipates increased participation among school, church and community groups in the coming months.

      “We’re heading toward the end of the school year and many students are trying to accumulate community service credits,” she says. “We always welcome students and adults to help us sanitize soap, sort bottled amenities, and help us put together hygiene kits for distribution in disadvantaged communities. I think we’ll see more activity during National Volunteer Week and through the Spring and Summer months as we continue to save lives with soap.”

      Volunteer opportunities also exist in Clean the World’s Las Vegas facility where volunteer coordinator Kevin Williams regularly sets bottled amenities aside for eager volunteers.

      “There are so many bottles to sort and separate — shampoos, conditioners, body lotions and body washes,” he says. “With so many amenities coming in from each day from our generous Western regional partners, there is no shortage of volunteer opportunities for anyone willing to jump in and give us a hand.”

      Clean the World volunteers are encouraged to join us this Saturday, April 21, in Orlando at a Volunteer Carnival sponsored by Heart of Florida United Way. Volunteers will staff the Clean the World booth and help assemble 150 hygiene kits for homeless individuals and disadvantaged children in central Florida.

      If you’d like to join in the volunteer fun this week or any other, please contact Rosanna Kingston (rkingston@ctw2.wpstagecoach.com) in Orlando or Kevin Williams (kwilliams@ctw2.wpstagecoach.com) in Las Vegas to schedule a volunteer visit and help Clean the World.


      Volunteers Offering Community Service

      Clean the World recycling operations centers are beehives of volunteer activity for community-minded individuals, corporations, school and church organizations, and scout groups interested in lending a helping hand to our hygiene revolution.

      At least three times each week in Orlando and Las Vegas volunteers offer their passion, time and talent to our mission to save lives with soap.

      Since its founding Clean the World has welcomed more than 5,000 volunteers to our recycling operations centers. These volunteers provide surface cleaning of soaps, help with the construction of hygiene kits, boxing of soaps and supplies for delivery to other non-profit organizations, and distribution of our soaps and bottled amenities to communities in need. They perform a vital community service and develop tools for community building and social interaction that all lead to better understanding and action in the areas of health and hygiene.

      It is not uncommon to see the Clean the World recycling facility teeming with 80-100 volunteers happily scraping soaps and learning more about the importance one bar of soap can have in the lives of children.

      The establishment of proper hygiene habits at an early age, reinforced through Clean the World’s Serve and Learn Program in the school system and supported by these frequent volunteer efforts, is invaluable and an integral part of our success in determining social impact.

      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.

      If you or a group of business associates, family and friends would like to volunteer at Clean the World in Orlando, please contact Rosanna Kingston at rkingston@ctw2.wpstagecoach.com. People and groups interested in volunteering at the Las Vegas location should contact Kevin Williams at kwilliams@ctw2.wpstagecoach.com.


      Calling All Volunteers…

      Thinking of volunteering in November? Clean the World has plenty of opportunities for you. And you just may win a prize for your efforts.

      Our Orlando facility is actively seeking volunteers throughout the month to help meet our goal of recycling 50,000 hotel soaps to provide comfort for 5,000 children in 30 days. You’ll also be called upon to spread awareness about Clean the World at a series of local events.

      Here are some of the opportunities available:

      Surface Cleaning of Soaps: Help Clean the World by getting involved in the initial phase of our soap recycling process. Bring a group of friends, family, classmates and business associates to our downtown Orlando facility and jump right in to get started.

      Packing Hygiene Kits: Help us provide soaps and bottled amenities as part of 7,300 hygiene kits that will be distributed to homeless shelters throughout central Florida during the holiday season.

      Ambassadors Needed: Represent Clean the World at several area events including some at Universal Studios Orlando, The Salvation Army, Coalition for the Homeless and Seminole County Public Schools Families in Transition.

      Volunteers must be at least 8-years-old and accompanied by a parent or guardian. Adult volunteers are encouraged, as are school groups, church groups, college fraternities and sororities, civic organizations, and other socially focused individuals who want to help save lives by recycling soap.

      And by volunteering at Clean the World in November you’ll be eligible to win two (2) tickets to attend FUN SPOT USA in Kissimmee, Fla. A drawing will be held at the end of the month and a winner will be announced via Clean the World’s Facebook page on Dec. 1.

      Please visit this website link and fill out the form to schedule your volunteer experience at Clean the World. You may also contact Rosanna Kingston at rkingston@ctw2.wpstagecoach.com to secure your place on our volunteering schedule. Thanks for helping Clean the World.


      Disney VoluntEARS give generously

      Clean the World received a $2,500 donation in May from Disney VoluntEARS in recognition of the volunteer services performed by three people who have regularly helped recycle soap at Clean the World’s recycling operations center in Orlando.

      Disney cast members Ashley Newcomb, Trent Leonard and Brooke Samlaska were recipients of “EARS to You” grants from Disney. Each chose Clean the World Foundation as its organization of choice to support with the grant money. The contribution is based on the amount of volunteer hours performed on behalf of that organization. Trent and Brooke donated $1,000 apiece; Ashley contributed $500.
      This is a wonderful gift from our Disney VoluntEARS and we are all appreciative of their generosity. The money will be used to help advance our global hygiene revolution. Thanks for helping Clean the World.

      Volunteering begins with U.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Students Saving Lives…

      I’d like to devote today’s blog to recognize and praise the efforts of some very special individuals and to the New York high schools they attend.

      • Ally Wyle – student at Lake Placid High School in Lake Placid, New York
      • Giselle Pelaez – student at Connetquot High School in Bohemia, New York
      • Megan Mackey – student at Connetquot High School
      • John Sica – student at Connetquot High School
      • Roy Pelaez – Giselle’s father

      Lake Placid High School Senior Life-Saving School Project

      I will begin with Ally Wyle.  Ally had been trying to come up with a subject matter for her school project when she saw a news story on Clean the World.  Ally became impassioned with our cause and decided to devote her efforts to implement a soap drive at Lake Placid High School where she is a senior.  Ally, along with the student body and faculty of Lake Placid High School have been collecting soap bars and will continue to do so through the month of April 2010.  They will then ship all the donated soap to Clean the World’s recycling facility here in Orlando.  Ally has received tremendous support from not only her high school but also her father, Steve Wyle.  Steve is the housekeeping manager of Mirror Lake Inn in Lake Placid.  Mirror Lake Inn was the first hotel to assist Ally in her collection efforts and has been donating their slightly-used amenity products since the start of Ally’s campaign.  Not long after, the Courtyard Marriott, Placid Bay Inn , Wildwood On The Lake, The Pines of Lake Placid, The Adirondack Inn and the Lake Placid Lodge have all begun donating their used amenities to Ally as well.

      All of us at Clean the World are extremely grateful for Ally’s passion and devotion to our cause.

      Please click the link below and read the great article published in the Lake Placid News regarding Ally’s efforts.

      Students Making A Difference

      Connetquot High School Seniors Collect over 4,000 Bars of Soap

      It was this past summer when Long Island H.S. senior Giselle Pelaez was watching Fox News with her father and saw the Clean the World special about distributing soap to Haiti.  Giselle immediately wanted to get involved with CTW and along with her father, Roy contacted me on a way to assist our cause.  Their idea was to hold a soap drive at Connetqout H.S. located in Long Island N.Y.

      Giselle then met with Connetquot high school’s Principal Gregory Murtha and suggested that C.H.S host a soap drive at the school.  Principal Murtha was very excited about the idea especially after watching the short four minute clip which Giselle had downloaded to a flash drive.  After the project was approved, Giselle then teamed up with fellow high school seniors Megan Mackey and John Sica.  Over the next two days they organized four assemblies’ in which they informed the entire high school of the CTW soap drive and showed the students the Fox News clip.  Each student addressed the student body and explained how they could make a HUGE difference to the people of Haiti with a donation of soap.  During the three weeks following the assemblies students brought in new and gently used soap to their classrooms and competed with other classes for most soap collected.  At the end of the three week period C.H.S. had collected approximately 4,000 bars of soap!  Pizza and Bagel parties were held for the winning classrooms with the Honor society sponsoring the food costs.

      In addition to C.H.S., Giselle was able to convince the Ronkonkoma Holiday Inn and the Islandia Hampton Inn to donate their used soap on a weekly basis.   Approximately 500 hotel bars have been collected to date.

      I feel that these are the stories that we simply do not hear enough about.  The effort, passion and dedication of these young adults is personally inspiring to me.  It is they that represent the future of our world.  Clean the World will be here hopefully for generations to come.  It is an honor to have the Ally’s and the Giselle’s of the world continue to carry the torch in preserving our precious environment as well as leading the way in being socially responsible members of society.”

      Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to All!

      Paul Till, Managing Director
      Clean the World, Inc.