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.