Several years ago, I came across a great little paperback book called “Getting Things Done” by Edwin C. Bliss. It was a terrific compilation of ways to approach effort and tasks that removed the clutter and compelled completion. I have kept a copy of the book in my possession ever since and will reread it from time to time. I am always reminded of the simple barriers that get in the way of our ability to “get stuff done”. It always sparks change and realignment of my world so that I can pursue efficiency and effectiveness.
Several times, we have been asked at Clean the World a stunning question: “Why are you in such a hurry to take this nationwide?”. On the face of it, it seems like a simple and reasonable question. But as you consider the answers, the question moves into the category of “stunning”.
Clean the World accomplishes four major objectives. I will list them for you.
1. Through our national recycling program, we are protecting the environment by keeping tons and tons of bar soap, and shampoo, body wash, lotion, and conditioner bottles from being disposed of in landfills all across America. Years and years of the accumulation of this waste has already filled acres throughout our land. This is at the very least irresponsible and perhaps even neglectful and cold-hearted. This is from our excess. Clean the World has the ability to prevent this needless dumping and turn a “black eye” on our nation into a compassionate effort that reaches out to the world. We are so grateful for every hotel and establishment that helps us make this happen!
2. By working with the housekeeping departments of hotels, Clean the World is able to promote good morale by adding purpose and meaning to the jobs and tasks of all of those too often overlooked individuals who work in the back of the house within hospitality industry. In cities like Orlando, Las Vegas, and New York, that is a lot of people. Knowing that everyday your job involves doing something that may save the life of a child, has a significant impact on what you do and how you do it. It can change the way you feel about your job. It can create an energy as you realize you are a part of something much bigger than yourself.
3. The operations of Clean the World involve a lot of effort and people. As we continue to add people, this means jobs. Our focus is centered on using people in our designated cities who are in programs designed to help people “get back on track”. Not only do we distribute soap and other products domestically, but we will be contributing to the successful reentry of people into stable lives.
4. After all of our effort to collect, sort, reprocess, and package soap, we take or distribute this soap into specific cities, communities, and villages around the world who are in great danger of diseases due to the inability to use proper hygiene practices.
There is a central or core purpose that drives the Clean the World team. Every day 9,000 children are dying all around the world because of the two most deadly diseases to children. Every study shows that hand washing with bar soap can reduce the transmission of these diseases. Though it may seem a given, if these children never have soap to use, they will never benefit from it. Our ability to have some lifesaving impact is totally predicated on our ability to get soap in their hands. Every day that we don’t get soap to them is a day they are at risk of catching one of these diseases. We are all under a justified and very compelling sense of urgency to get to as much soap as possible, as soon as possible, and get it into the hands of those children as quickly as we can. Now that we know what we know, and have the vehicle through which to accomplish our objectives, it has become very difficult to think about the number of lives we are not saving each day we discard soap into a landfill.
To many, the question of “What’s the hurry?” may seem a basic question, but for us it is stunning because of the global impact our efforts can make. We know that we will probably not keep every bar of soap in the U.S. from being discarded or that we will not have the means to prevent every child from contracting these diseases, but we can help some of them. Our goal…a million a year. If we can be a part of saving the lives of a million children each year, we can see these two diseases move off of the “ten deadliest diseases” list.
This is a year that we can very well see tremendous results. In 2010, I hope you too will catch our sense of urgency. Help us get it done. Help us reach those children around the world. Help us do it sooner. Become a part of the Clean the World Team. Bring your knowledge, your abilities, your skills, your resources, your network, your financial support, and your energy to our family. We can do this!!!!!!
William Lowry and the entire Clean the World Family!