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.

Global Handwashing Day Observed With Live Demonstrations

Global Handwashing Day celebrated its seventh anniversary on Thursday, October 15. Clean the World was thrilled to have the opportunity to promote the cause in both of our US locations: Orlando and Las Vegas.

Founded by Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing (PPPHW), Global Handwashing Day is a day of advocacy dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of hand washing with soap as an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases. This holiday puts a much-needed spotlight on hygiene and the enormous effect hand washing has on improving global health.

Clean the World's Jacob Michaels demonstrates proper hand washing techniques.

Clean the World’s Jacob Michaels demonstrates proper hand-washing techniques.

Nearly 6,000 children under the age of 5 die every day from hygiene-related illnesses. Hand washing with soap is a “do-it-yourself vaccine” that, when practiced properly and regularly, prevents infections and saves lives. Many people in the public-health sector refer to it as the cheapest way to prevent hygiene-related deaths and stop the spread of harmful bacteria.

Clean the World hosted two events in honor of Global Handwashing Day. The events took place at the Artegon Marketplace in Orlando, a few miles from our home office, and at the Linq Promenade in Las Vegas. Clean the World employees set up informational booths and sinks for hand washing at each location with the help of our sponsor, the American Cleaning Institute. A sink in the middle of a marketplace is an unusual sight, and it it attracted onlookers to learn more about Global Handwashing Day and Clean the World’s mission. Our booths offered a tutorial on how to properly wash hands with soap to maximize cleanliness.

Lilly Dimling, the director of programs for Clean the World, participated in the Orlando Global Handwashing Day event, helping to spread awareness at the Artegon Marketplace. “This year we ‘raised the soap bar’ in our celebration of Global Handwashing Day. We wanted to get out to the public and promote awareness of the importance of hand washing. We got down and dirty, showed people how to wash properly, and quizzed them on when it is most important. I think I can say everyone had a good time, and we have a new group of hand washing ambassadors!”

Throughout the day, dozens of people approached the booth and interacted with Clean the World volunteers. Some had never heard of our organization or knew that October 15 was Global Handwashing Day. The Orlando team also raised money through “Raise a Hand for Hygiene” to support our worldwide hygiene mission. Many people showed interest in future volunteer opportunities at Clean the World’s Recycling Operations Centers in Orlando and Las Vegas.

The main goals for this year’s Global Handwashing Day were to:

  • Foster and support a global and local culture of hand washing with soap
  • Shine a spotlight on the state of hand washing around the world
  • Raise awareness about the benefits of hand washing with soap

This was Clean the World’s first year celebrating Global Handwashing Day with an off-site event that was open to the public. We learned a lot, and will use this experience to produce an even bigger event next year.

 

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.

Changing Lives in Zambia

In late August, a Clean the World team traveled to Zambia on a joint trip with Children International. Clean the World Marketing Coordinator Kristin Rucker documented the trip.

Jamil Rodman, Jennifer Kolb, Pamela Theriault, and Bianca Madrid volunteered to join us on this mission to prevent childhood disease and death through soap distribution and hygiene education. These women are partners of Clean the World, volunteers, donors, and ambassadors that connected one way or another.

They joined us and Children International (CI) to distribute 15,000 bars of soap and teach healthy habits to the people of Zambia. The country has a population of more than 14 million, with 60 percent living below the poverty line. Soap is all too rare in developing areas of Zambia, where choosing necessities often does not include soap.

CI is a vital part of the betterment of these communities. The organization supports health and education needs, providing long-term care for children to increase their success in living a better life.

Sing. Dance. Love.

After a visit to the CI headquarters, we departed for a life-changing day in Kanyama. The facility there opened in 2005 and was CI’s first location in Zambia. We received an overwhelming welcome from 300 children dancing, laughing, and cheering for our arrival. The love was apparent, a great deal of hope resonated in all of us as the children clamored to meet us and ask our names.

zambiaAs all 300 children stood around the central area, our volunteers performed a hygiene education skit featuring Super Soap and Super Water. Jamil came boisterously through the stage as strong and helpful Super Soap. Bianca whirled around as vital Super Water. Jen and Pamela came teetering through, tearing around as bad-guy germs. The children were ecstatic for Super Soap and Super Water to save the day, overtaking the germs with their strong teamwork.

After distributing 500 soap kits to the children at the Kanyama facility, we visited a sponsored family that receives support from CI. They graciously invited us inside their home, which is a two-room, cinderblock dwelling – a rare luxury.

The floor is dirt, doors consist of tattered cloth blowing in the breeze, and the bathroom is a large ditch in the distance. The family was genuine and kind, truly happy to have each other and the support from caring people. One young man was 19 years old and has been in the CI program since he was 7. His testimony bolstered the fact that success happens when non-profits work together as a team.

We were sad to leave the community. The children followed us back to the caravan. At one point, I had 30 children surrounding me. We moved as one multicellular unit, holding hands, each holding onto the next so we would not have to be apart.

Chibolya was our next stop. We experienced the now-familiar greeting of dance and song at this center, which opened in 2007. Children International’s mission is to provide the tools for children to be healthy, educated, and self-reliant, to create lasting change for children in poverty. Clean the World provided soap to reach the goal of health and hygiene for each child.

At this location, the performers invited us to perform with them. They taught us dances, and our attempts amused the group. We played a game where we coated bouncy balls in glitter and played catch with many of the 200 children. We explained how the glitter transferred to our hands and then on to other people just like germs. We shared the importance of soap and showed how to wash our hands properly.

To the tune of “Happy Birthday,” the congregation joined us in singing “Happy Hand Washing.” The lesson is that the length of time it takes to sing the song equals the length of time you should wash your hands: 20 seconds. Children lined up to receive soap. They were joyous and thankful to receive the gift. It was very meaningful to see how they appreciated our visit.

Our final visit was to the town of George. The 300 sponsored children from the village arrived an hour early, and they patiently waited for our arrival. Again the thoughtful greeting of song and dance followed. Mothers told us how our donations of soap are a blessing, how their children do not get ill as often when they can wash their hands.

A volunteer brought stickers, which was an extra treat for the children. Word spread fast outside the facility. Children ran down the road in droves. Within 30 minutes, 100 children gathered for the treats. Some of them ran a half-mile for the chance to receive something fun and colorful. What a fun time it was giving those out and seeing how special it was for the children. We forget how materially blessed we are at home.

Health is Wealth

We made fast friends wherever we went. The true gift for us was the chance to learn and understand a culture beyond our own, to give love and receive it. We experienced the common goal all humans share, living beyond surviving, living in the moment, and sharing the understanding that health is wealth.

Beyond our visits to connect with the people who benefit from Clean the World’s soap, we toured the beautiful countryside. We saw wild animals everywhere, walked to markets, spoke with locals, and learned of daily life to better understand a different lifestyle. We visited the world’s largest waterfall, Victoria Falls, and canoed down the Zambezi River.

What a wonderful world we live in, what a meaningful trip. We all agreed, that it was an experience of a lifetime, We learned more and felt more love than we ever anticipated. Though we reached many children, there are so many more who need help. We saw how continued support makes an impact in these children’s lives. This trip only created more purpose and drive to continue the Clean the world mission of reaching children everywhere, to reduce disease, and promote hygiene habits for a better future. Our lives were touched and forever changed.

I cannot wait to see where Clean the World goes next. I hope you can join us!

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@cleantheworld.org.

Clean the World Asia Collects From 20,000+ Rooms

Housekeeper training at the W Taipei.

Housekeeper training at the W Taipei.

When we started calling our mission the “global hygiene revolution” a few years ago, it referred to Clean the World’s goal of providing hygiene products and education all around the world. Now “global” also refers to the ever-growing footprint of hotel partners contributing soap and bottled amenities.

Clean the World Asia really came into its own in 2014. Our fully equipped recycling operations center in Hong Kong recycles soap from hotels in Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, and Taipei, Taiwan. After a soft launch in 2013 with a few select partners, Clean the World Asia added 14 new hotels last year. We now collect from 20,000 rooms in the region, with partners including Disenyland Resort, Peninsula Hong Kong, MGM Macau, and Galaxy Entertainment Group.

Jolene Han is the managing director of our Asia operation. She and her team implemented recycling programs and provided housekeeper training at all 14 new partners last year. They collected more than 30 tons of used soap and manufactured 150,000 recycled soap bars.

Outbound donations included more than 40,000 bars of recycled soap and 5,000 ONE Project hygiene kits in Hong Kong and Macau. Clean the World Asia also donated 45,000 bars of recycled soap and 15,000 hygiene kits in the Philippines.

Through a new volunteer program, students have helped process more than 4,000 pounds of soap.

Impressively, all the processing and recycling for Clean the World Asia takes place in a relatively small space compared to our facilities in the United States. The Orlando and Las Vegas operations centers are located in urban areas. However, neither city has the population density of Hong Kong, where high-rise industrial and warehouse spaces are the norm.

Our of necessity, the Hong Kong team operates extremely efficiently and makes careful use of every square foot available. They have a great system in place and are well positioned for additional growth this year.

Destination: Dominican Republic – And You’re Invited!

Clean the World board member Dr. Paul Skomsky in the
Dominican Republic in 2013.

Clean the World is planning soap distribution trips to the Dominican Republic in October, and you are invited to join us for a potentially life-changing experience.

Supporters and friends will work with Clean the World team members to distribute 12,000 bars of soap to more than 1,000 children in Dominican schools, community centers and villages. Many of the children you will meet often go days or weeks without seeing a bar of soap. The immersion experience should be a real eye-opener for people wishing to help those who lack basic hygiene necessities.

The trip is from Oct. 14 through 18, and costs $1,400 per person. The package includes round-trip airfare from Orlando or Miami to the Dominican Republic, accommodations, ground transportation, activities and three meals per day.

To learn more, please contact Rosanna Kingston by July 30. Space is limited and will be secured on a first-come first-served basis. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to help save lives with soap.

http://feeds2.feedburner.com/ctwf

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.

http://feeds2.feedburner.com/ctwf

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.

http://feeds2.feedburner.com/ctwf