Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swine Flu tips

For tips and info on swine flu click here.

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Monday, April 27, 2009

CTWF adds Sheraton Suites to list of partners

Sheraton Suites at the Orlando International Airport became a participating partner of CTWF today bringing the total number of hotels donating discarded soap and shampoo to nine.

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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Hawthorn Suites loves us ... and we love them!

We had a great meeting today with the assistant general manager of Hawthorn Suites at Orlando International Airport, Mercedes Ithier-Rivera. At around 10 am five members of CTWF barged into the hotel with her Participating Partner plaque in hand and Mercedes was there to welcome us with open arms.

Bobby, our videographer, captured some wonderful footage of the plaque presentation and words of appreciation from both Mercedes and Shawn Seipler, our executive director. Mercedes gave us a tour of the facilities as we discussed the guest and environmental benefits our services provide.

Hawthorn Suites is one the first hotels to join the partnership program and is 100 percent on board with our soap and shampoo recycling efforts. It was a pleasure to finally meet Mercedes and we look forward to developing our partnership in the future.

Visit their website at www.hawthorn.com

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Friday, April 24, 2009

400 Pounds of Shampoo Donated to Homeless Students in Central Florida

Today CTWF gave approximately 400 pounds of donated shampoo to the Central Florida Hospitality and Lodging Association’s (CFHLA) drive to provide homeless students in Central Florida with every day supplies. Items being collected included essentials such as soap, deodorant, combs, shaving cream, toothpaste and band-aids.

According to CFHLA Cares, the charitable arm of CFHLA, there are nearly 3,000 transient students attending classes in Orange and Osceola Counties, some of whom live in temporary housing conditions such as motels and vehicles.

It was an incredible experience to pull up to the Buena Vista Palace Hotel parking lot full of CFHLA volunteers taking donations out of people’s cars and loading them into a large van. Along with a donation table full of donated items on display, there were two school busses packed with donated items from across both counties. To make the event even more memorable, everyone donating was greeted by the upbeat tunes of the Osceola High School Marching Band.

CTWF hopes to donate even more soap and shampoo to the CFHLA Cares collection drive in November.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Central Florida Earth Day on the horizon

CTWF is rapidly getting things together for the Central Florida Earth Day event, May 2nd at Lake Eola Park in downtown Orlando. The event, which is geared toward an eco-friendly lifestyle, will feature over 285 vendors who cater to organic, vegan or earth-friendly products or services. There will be several guest speakers discussing a variety of eco-friendly topics including sustainable government practices, a central florida food network, green homebuilding, health and wellness, water conservation and others.

Along with the many vendors and sponsors, Central Florida Earth Day will feature numerous musicians and other entertainers. Performers include bands The Forefathers, Stranger Than Fiction and Token Gamblers.

As an event tree sponsor, CTWF will have a booth at Earth Day where we'll have our recycled soap on display, feature a bubble playtime for children, and raise funds for our recycling efforts by selling raffle tickets. Prizes include gift certificates to vegan dining at Ethos, a one night stay at Nickelodeon Family Suites, $25 dollars off at Hilton Garden Inn, spa gift basket and more.

Come out for the day on May 2nd and drop by our booth to meet the team and learn more about our soap recycling efforts throughout Central Florida. If you don't have time to make it to the event, please make a donation online so we can continue providing soap to help save lives.

For more information on earth day visit, www.cfearthday.org

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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Recycling breakthrough produces smoother bar soap

A recycling breakthrough this week allowed the CTWF operations team to produce a smoother bar of recycled soap, similar to bars found at local grocery and drug stores. These more favorable looking bars will allow CTWF to explore donation opportunities within retail channels both domestically and abroad.

Here are some tips to consider when rebatching soap. Remember, everyone has their own preferences when it comes to rebatching soap, so be sure to experiment to your liking.
  • Shred the soap before you begin to melt it down by using a grater or food processor.
  • For soap that has aged over two weeks, try soaking the shavings in water overnight by placing in a pan and adding enough water to coat the shavings, then cover.
  • For harder soaps, instead of soaking shavings in water, try milk or coconut milk to soften it more.
  • The moister (softer) the base soap, the easier the rebatch will be.
  • Be very patient while melting because if you heat the soap too hot and fast you can burn the soap without fully melting it.
  • Try to not to stir too much or too vigorously as this can make too many bubbles and cause pockets.
  • The final complete meltdown should look like a gel but is still pourable to a degree.
  • When the soap smooths out you can stir in any essential oils, fragrances, oatmeal, etc. that you desire.
  • Use a hand mixer to blend the soap before pouring into a mold.
  • Pour into a mold as soon as it gels because if you wait too long it might foam and bring about air bubbles.
  • Let it set up a couple of days, pop it from the molds and let it age a week or two.
Have fun! I'm sure you'll discover, as we have, that rebatching soap is a rewarding endeavor. Feel free to post your soap rebatching comments, success stories and failures on our blog. We hope to hear from you.

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Friday, April 10, 2009

HSMAI Spring Fling a huge success

Last night we attended the HSMAI Spring Fling at Blue Martini. It was mentioned that this event was their first after hours social in years and they did not disappoint. I had never been to Blue Martini before and discovered it to be a beautiful bar attached to the Mall at Millenia. There I met with several past colleagues who work at companies such as Nickelodeon Family Suites, McCormick & Schmick's, Universal Studios and others.

Needless to say we had a great time and the networking was fabulous. The drinks were pretty good too! Everyone I spoke to was really interested in our soap recycling efforts and our mission to save lives by promoting handwashing and distributing soap to those in need. I have a feeling we made a great impression on the attendees, many of whom we hope to become partners within the not-so-distant future.

The Orlando chapter of HSMAI, which stands for Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International, is Central Florida's leading professional association for sales and marketing professionals involved in tourism, travel, and hospitality. We'd like to thank them for hosting such a wonderful event and we look forward to the next one.

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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Welcome Robert Bahret - CTWF Videographer

Clean the World Foundation is happy to welcome Robert Bahret. Robert is moving to Orlando from Chicago. He will focus on Operations and Communication through our video and documentary initiatives.

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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

1,000 pounds of soap donated by Orlando hotels

Clean the World Foundation has now collected over 1,000 pounds of donated soap and shampoo from Orlando area hotels.

Our hotel partners include Fairfield Inn by Marriott, Hampton Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, Holiday Inn Select, La Quinta Inn & Suites, Marriott Hotel and Residence Inn by Marriott.

We'd like to thank these partners for their donated soap and shampoo as we embark on a mission to save lives by recycling and distributing it to local homeless shelters and impoverished countries worldwide. These "early-adopters" are making a difference in people's lives and we congratulate them on their commitment to our recycling efforts.

Please visit their fine establishments whenever you're visiting Orlando.

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Monday, April 6, 2009

Approved budget resolutions neglect Obama's charitable value limits


We are pleased to announce the new federal budget passed two weeks ago, maintained the existing level of tax benefits to all Americans donating to charity and tax-exempt organizations.

The Senate resolution passed shortly after midnight, April 3 by a 55-43 vote. The House resolution was adopted April 2 by a final vote of 233-196 without Republican support.

These 2010 budget resolutions set the spending and tax priorities for the year and did not contain references to the Obama proposal to limit the value of charitable and other itemized deductions for upper-income taxpayers. The two blueprints are now headed to conference where their differences will be worked out before a final draft is submitted to both chambers for consideration.

Neither Budget Committee draft explicitly identifies limiting the value of deductions for charitable contributions, mortgage interest or state taxes (itemized deductions) as a means of paying for health care reforms as President Obama has proposed in his budget outline. The resolutions do create a deficit-neutral reserve fund for health care, but leave it to the relevant committees to determine how to pay for the reforms.

Two amendments were added during the Senate debate that demonstrate concerns over the Obama proposal. One amendment offered by Sen. Robert Bennett (R-UT) provided that health care reform legislation "would not result in diminishing a taxpayers' ability to deduct charitable contributions as an offset to pay" for it. Another by Sen. John Thune (R-SD) would set up a point of order against any measure that would raise revenue from a reduction in the tax deduction for charitable donations. It is possible that these amendments may be dropped in conference.

The passing of these budget resolutions is a victory for all charity and tax-exempt organizations across the country as they are dependant on the contributions from the American taxpayer, the most generous in the world. In 2007, charitable giving in the United States was estimated to be $306.39 billion, exceeding $300 billion for the first time in history, according to Giving USA 2008, the yearbook on philanthropy.

References: ECFA and Giving USA Foundation

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Saturday, April 4, 2009

Second shampoo delivery takes place.

Our second shampoo delivery took place today. This time I went with Shawn Seipler, our executive director, and Oscar Gonzalez who works in Partner Relations. We went to two different Orlando organizations, Central Care Mission and Covenant House.

We first met William Lowry at Central Care Mission. It is a really nice facility just outside of downtown where men are supplied basic living needs and employment as well as spiritual, personal and career counseling, education and training. William was happy to show us around the well-maintained property as he told us of the trials and tribulations he's gone through over the years to get where the mission is today. He is extremely proud of the "home-grown" companies that employ the residents there, including the recent Threads of Compassion, an on-site custom embroidery and garment print business.

Next was Covenant House, an organization who provides shelter and other services to homeless, runaway and throwaway youth. Our shampoo donations we welcomed with a smile by the receptionist and several of the residents in the lobby. While doing a little bit of research on Covenant House I came across a recent study on homeless youth that was shocking. It reported that half of the kids who enter Covenant House are reporting violence in the home and one in five report being beaten by an object. A very frightening thought. I'm glad to know that these kids are in a better place now.

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Friday, April 3, 2009

First shampoo deliveries made!

It was a great day today! Clean the World Foundation distributed 32 pounds of shampoo each to two outstanding homeless service centers in Orlando, Christian Service Center at Coalition for the Homeless.

Noel Alamo from CTWF Operations and myself first met with Rich Giaquinto at Christian Service Center. When we pulled up to the center we noticed there we many homeless people just outside the gates of the center and it hit me that were we going to be helping these people in a small way...perhaps as soon as today! We pulled around back to unload the shampoo and that's where we met Rich who had just finished unloading donated food from his large box truck. Rich was really happy to see us and was thankful for the shampoo. We snapped a quick picture with Rich, and Noel and I were off to our second delivery.

We quickly discovered that Coalition for the Homeless is just a few blocks away from Christian Service Center. Upon arrival, I was surprised to see how many buildings there were in the complex. Families were walking around, people were socializing in an open area shaded by trees and children we playing at the Downtown Orlando Boys & Girls Club playground on the other side of the parking lot. The sheer size of it made me realize how many people there are without a home and it felt good being able to contribute to making their lives a little more comfortable.

We met up Sharon Smith who greeted us with a warm smile and was very grateful for the shampoo. She spoke about how much she needs shampoo in small bottles like ours because often the people that use them throw the bottles away just after one use, no matter how big or small the bottle is. I snapped a quick photo of Noel, Sharon and some of the children at the center who loved the attention. All thanked us as we left. What a great feeling. What a great day.

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Hello World!

This is the first official entry in our blog and we hope to have many more insightful and informative posts concerning our progress and performance when it comes to helping save children's lives from two lesser known but very deadly diseases — acute respiratory infection and diarrheal illness.

Clean the World Foundation is a non-profit charity organization committed to the prevention of these diseases in countries across the globe. Every year over 5 million lives are lost to these killers — with the majority of deaths being children under five years old.

Studies have shown that simple hand washing can greatly reduce the spread of these diseases, however many people cannot afford the essential items to do so. In an effort to prevent these needless deaths from occurring, Clean the World Foundation distributes recycled soap products along with appropriate educational materials to domestic homeless shelters and impoverished countries worldwide.

Each month, hotels and motels provide us their discarded soap and shampoo products. These slightly-used products often end up in already overflowing landfills and can potentially contaminate fragile groundwater systems.Once collected, these products are repurposed using environmentally-friendly and hygienically-safe recycling efforts and distributed worldwide.

We've already started collecting soap and shampoo from our participating partners in Orlando and plan to distribute shampoo to homeless shelters this weekend. Stay tuned for an update!

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