Wednesday, August 5, 2009

FedEx helps CTW get off the ground

Transporting soap is pretty easy. Right?

After all – it’s light, compact and easy to pack.

Well, I guess that’s true if we wanted to carry a hundred bars to a different part of the world. I could fit that much in a carry-on. Each bar weighs around 4 ounces, so that would be about 25 pounds. OK … so what about a thousand bars? Well, it might be a bit more challenging, but 250 pounds of soap could fit into three or four good-sized suitcases.

But what do you do when you want to move a million bars of soap into Haiti, The Philippines or Sri Lanka? Now we’re talking about 250,000 pounds. That’s 125 tons! To put it in perspective, that is equal to the amount of chicken fingers and grilled-cheese sandwiches my kids eat in a year!

Hmmm, I might need to do some more calculations and put together a few spreadsheets before I can verify that number. But I think you get my drift.

With 125 tons of soap I can’t just walk up to the airline counter at check-in and tell them I have a few extra bags. This is serious freight, folks.

Enter our new friend and angel Lisa Daniel from FedEx. Lisa is arranging for us to receive the “gift of shipping” for some major airlifts of soap into parts of the world that desperately need it. First up is our “Million Bars of Soap for Hope” delivery into Cap Haitien, Haiti, and more distribution trips are in the pipeline.

Lisa also introduced us to some of her colleagues at FedEx who are working on a program to help with the transportation of soap from our partner hotels to our recycling plant in Orlando.

This simple little idea of saving lives with partially used bars of hotel soap actually has a lot of moving parts. But little by little the pieces of the puzzle are starting to fit. And it gets even easier when you find great partners like FedEx!

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