Thursday, July 30, 2009

Miss Teen Earth and CTW: A match made in heaven

Obviously we are passionate about saving lives with soap. But we get even more stoked when we can share our story with others and see them develop the same enthusiasm. And that’s how it played out after we met Jolie Schamber back in May when she and her family stepped into our booth at Orlando’s Earth Day celebration at Lake Eola Park.

It turned out that Jolie held the title of Miss Teen Earth Florida. The 19-year-old University of Central Florida student was preparing for the national competition in Las Vegas, and was trying to find a cause to support as part of her personal platform. It was a match made in heaven. And from that day on, Jolie became a passionate supporter of Clean the World.

Jolie visited our shop to get some first-hand experience with the recycling process, and she promoted Clean the World at speaking engagements. One of those opportunities was at a vacation Bible school at the First Congregational Church in Winter Park, Fla., where Jolie explained the cause to kids who hopefully will do their part to make the world a better place as they grow up.

We’re proud to say that Jolie went on to win the title of Miss Teen United States in Las Vegas on July 22.

Although she will pursue her degree in Political Science and Legal Studies at UCF, Jolie will spend the next year educating people about her causes as Miss Teen Earth United States. “I feel so honored and grateful to be able to hold this title,” said Jolie. “I cannot wait to promote my causes this year and continue working as an advocate for environmental awareness and protection. I plan on also promoting Clean the World, as it is my personal platform and a cause that I am deeply passionate about.”

So once again this week, we feel like we are making great progress with Clean the World. At every turn, we see another sign that we are doing the right thing and that we are riding a huge wave of support. And we sure are glad Jolie decided to catch the wave.

Until next time – peace … love … and clean hands :)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Jolie Schamber promotes Clean the World!

Miss Teen Earth Winner Jolie Schamber promotes Clean the World

I just received a call from Shawn with an update on Jolie Schamber in her quest to be crowned the national Miss Teen Earth. I am ecstatic to report that out of a field of 60 contestants, Jolie has WON the pageant event and has officially been crowned Miss Teen Earth USA. As you all know, Jolie has been heavily involved in promoting our cause everywhere she goes and has adopted Clean the World as her official platform in representing the environmental cause she believes in and promotes. We are all very proud at Clean the World to be represented by such a talented young woman.

Paul Till
Managing Director
Clean the World, Inc.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Now THAT is a lot of soap

Do you have any idea how much space would be taken up by 5 million bars of soap? How many trucks would be needed to move it? How much warehouse space it would occupy?

Neither did I -- until I started doing the math on the number of boxes that would be involved, the size of the boxes, etc.

It turns out you're looking at somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 semi trailers. That's 80,000 cubic feet of storage. And that is a LOT of life-saving product, my friends!

The story of why I'm even thinking about transporting and storing 5 million bars is a little complicated, and I really can't go into it right now. Yeah, I know ... I'm a tease.

What can I say? I want you to keep coming back for more info :)

But seriously, there are many new partners climbing on board the CTW train, and a lot of good stuff is happening. Before we left Cap Haitien, Haiti, last week, one of the pastors requested that we come back in August with 150,000 bars. Well ... how can you say no to a request like that when you see such a great need?

That is a 7x increase over what we brought in the first shipment, so we are cranking up the CTW machine and getting ready to fulfill that request.

As always -- we can use your financial support, and we would love to talk to anyone you know in the hospitality or transportation industries. If they can give us soap or help us move it from Point A to Point B, then we want to meet them.

You can donate here.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

"Hope in a Bar of Soap" on Orlando's FOX 35

Can I please get an "AMEN" from anyone who was watching the 10:00 news on FOX 35 in Orlando last night?

Aw yeah ... that's what I'm talkin' about :)

Less than a week after we returned from Haiti, the local FOX affiliate ran a story on our Orlando-based charity. But there's no sense in me telling you about it when you can watch for yourself :)

Check it out:



Now that you've had a chance to watch the story, please send this page link to your friends, family ... anyone you know in the hotel industry or in the corporate world who might be able to help us out.

Start looking through all those business cards you've collected from people over the years. I bet you know someone who can help. There are a million people in Cap Haitien waiting for a regular supply of soap.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Haiti trip proves need for recycled soap

Humbled … and hopeful.

Those are the two words that came to mind as I listened to William Lowry describe his experience delivering our first load of recycled soap to Haiti. William is the founder and executive director of Central Care Mission in Orlando, the organization with which we formed a deep partnership to handle our sterilization and packaging operation.

William rode along in the Missionary Flights International DC-3 that departed Fort Pierce, Fla., on Tuesday, July 7 to deliver 2,000 pounds of soap to Cap Haitien, Haiti – the poorest city in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Once there he met up with Pastor Julio Brutus of the First Haitian Church in Winter Haven, Fla. Pastor Brutus is a native of Haiti and he is our man on the ground in Haiti.

Actually, Pastor Brutus is THE man. This guy knows all the right people … how to get around … how to work the system … and he served the very important role of interpreter.

With Pastor Brutus, William was able to visit and bring soap to two orphanages, and to an estimated crowd of more than 10,000 at a four-hour, mid-week worship service at the Tabernacle of Praise church.

In a country that has suffered a near total collapse of government, the poverty and hopelessness is inconceivable to most of us in the United States. When people barely have any food to eat, many live in homes without proper roofs or walls, and there is an absence of garbage disposal or a proper sewage system – things like personal hygiene tend to fall by the wayside.

People are living in filth, and they don’t have soap. That is a recipe for disaster.

William said that in the three days he was in Cap Haitien, he never saw soap in a public restroom. He didn’t see soap on the shelves of the one small store he found. The desperate need for soap was illustrated by the thousands of people who mobbed the distribution team at the church service. “It was what you imagine it would be like if you delivered a truck full of food to an area where no one had eaten in a month,” said William. “You hope to have some sort of order and an organized distribution, but it just doesn’t work because everyone wants to make sure they get theirs.”

After his visit, William is convinced there is no question about the importance of our mission to distribute recycled hotel soap in places where it is needed most.

“If we can get soap to them, not just once, but over and again, we will have a major impact on their lives,” said William. “Soap can save lives. It’s not just a concept, it is today a reality. It is fact.”

See the entire photo gallery from last week's Haiti trip.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

First pictures from Haiti are in

Some soap has already been distributed at an orphanage, but the majority will be handed out tonight at the large worship service. Here are a few pictures from yesterday's flight and our arrival in Cap Haitien: http://picasaweb.google.com/johnterry64/CTWHaitiJuly792009?feat=directlink







On the ground in Haiti

I hope you had a great Fourth of July, and that you were able to kick back, relax and enjoy time with family and friends. But while many of us were barbecuing and hanging out with loved ones over the three-day weekend, the Clean the World operations staff was working overtime to make sure we had 2,000 pounds of soap sterilized, wrapped, packaged and ready to ship out this week.

On Monday, our William Lowry trucked those 21,000 bars down to Fort Pierce, Fla., so they could be weighed in and loaded on one of the Douglas DC-3 aircraft operated by Missionary Flights International. Then at 7 a.m. Tuesday, William was on board as the plane departed for its twice-weekly flight to Cap Haitien, Haiti.

All 21,000 bars will be distributed tonight at a church service attended by thousands of local residents each week. And with every bar handed out, we’ll be one step closer to helping the residents of Cap Haitien celebrate their independence from diarrheal disease and acute respiratory infection.

Of course every bit of this process costs money. We have to pay for everything from the electricity to run our sterilization equipment to the gas for the airplane. And this past weekend, we were blessed to receive a significant corporate donation that could not have come at a better time. Our good friends at The Seller Sourcebook made a contribution that, ironically, is exactly the amount we needed to pay Missionary Flights for the transportation to Haiti this week.

When Kristen from SSB expressed an interest in donating to Clean the World, we didn’t discuss any particular upcoming expenses, and she had no idea how much this trip was going to cost. But she was moved to donate the exact amount we needed at exactly the right time.

You should have heard Clean the World executive director Shawn Seipler when he called me on the afternoon of July Fourth to tell me he just received a notification of the donation. If it’s possible to do high-fives over the phone, then that’s exactly what Shawn and I were doing at that moment. It was a thrill and a relief to know the expenses of the upcoming Haiti shipment were covered.

So thanks to Kristen and the entire team at The Seller Sourcebook, who provide affordable auction tools, image hosting and a large selection of templates to meet the needs of eBay sellers.

We’ll have pictures and more details about the trip to Cap Haitien in the coming days. And in the meantime, if you are moved to help our cause, please visit our donation page. We sincerely appreciate every dollar you can give.