Friday, July 23, 2010

U.S. Navy Enlists Clean the World

The USS Iwo Jima deployed July 19th, 2010 for Operation Continuing Promise, an annual humanitarian operation that provides health care and other relief services to communities in Latin America and the Caribbean.  This is a mission tailored to save lives, reduce human suffering and capitalize on training opportunities in Central and South America.

Rob Phillips & Commander Lewis Preddy
Clean the World’s Media Director, Jeremy Chambers, and Rob Phillips NGO Relationship Director caught up with the Iwo Jima at Mayport Naval Station in Jacksonville on July 17th, where final preparations for the humanitarian mission were underway. They were met by CDR Preddy, who has been working diligently with Clean the World and AeroBridge Executive Director Maryanne Stevenson. Phillips and Stevenson spearheaded an effort to collect over 100 pallets of soap, disinfectant, medical supplies, dental supplies, tents, tarps and 48 pallets of Gatorade. Clean the World, with a generous donation from Marietta Corporation, is sending over 50,000 bars of soap to distribute during the deployment. Special thanks to Haiti-supply relief experts at Compassion Alliance in Ocala, Florida and all of the compassionate organizations that sent supplies from across the U.S., much of it moved on short notice by our good friends at Eagle Freight, LLC., who without hesitation, jumped into the mission!

The last of the supplies, as well as several hundred additional pallets of goods donated by more than 30 non-governmental organizations (NGOs), were loaded at the port of Miami before proceeding on the first leg of the mission in Port de Paix, Haiti. In Miami, Phillips, Stevenson and Chambers met up with the Iwo Jima to bid Bon Voyage to the cargo, the crew and the wide-eyed NGO volunteers who are going aboard for the 120 day mission.
Continuing Promise 2010, will include humanitarian and civic assistance activities in Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Nicaragua, Panama and Suriname, and will be supported by a crew of approximately 1,600 military and civilian medical, engineering, aviation, logistical and other support personnel.

The military and civilian medical team aboard Iwo Jima will provide general surgical, primary and consultative care; ophthalmologic services; optometric services; preventative and environmental health; dental screenings and treatment; public health training; and veterinary services. The team will work alongside medical personnel and NGOs from each of the countries during the deployment.

USS Iwo Jima
U.S. Navy engineers, known as Seabees, will conduct building repairs and improvements, small construction projects, utility system repairs and other engineering assistance projects for local communities during the mission. Approximately 500 Marines will provide aviation, ground and logistical support to the mission and conduct subject-matter-expert exchanges on various medical and engineering topics.

Large amphibious ships, like the 844 foot, 41,000 ton Iwo Jima, resemble small aircraft carriers and include the ability to rapidly move personnel and cargo by helicopter and landing craft, making it an ideal platform to support humanitarian relief missions on short notice. Iwo Jima will operate in the Caribbean basin, an area with a history of severe weather events during the peak months of the hurricane season.


The crew of the Iwo Jima will be joined during the mission by medical, dental and engineering professionals from Canada, Chile, Germany, the Netherlands and Paraguay.

This is the fifth such deployment to the region since 2007. Continuing Promise crews have treated more than 265,000 patients during previous missions

Friday, July 16, 2010

Please Remember the People of Haiti by William Lowry

Six months after the devastating earthquake that ravaged the poorest country in the western hemisphere, Progress is slow. Before the earthquake struck, it was a challenge everyday for most Haitians to find work, find food, find medical attention, and find hope. Those everyday challenges have only been multiplied greatly since that catastrophic day.

Nearly all Haitians I spoke with before the quake, made it clear that in their need for help, they were not looking for a handout. They only needed help to get up and on their feet, a chance to create opportunity. Consistently, I found these good people were committed to receiving help and then becoming helpers. There was a constant belief that they could turn things around. If belief was enough, in the hands of these believers, things would turn around quickly for this small nation.

But belief is not enough and the challenges are many. Overcoming the lack of industry, the lack of education, the lack of good soil, the lack of trees, the impact of settled traditions, the lack of leadership, the elements of corruption, the lack of financial resources, the absence of structure, and the unplanned affect weather alone has caused, can at times make Haiti’s battles seem overwhelming. Yet they are a resilient people who have learned to deal with everything they have faced.

Today, tent cities abound. People are having to adapt to these temporary structures and close communities. Great concerns about health issues needfully exist as outbreaks of malaria and diarrheal disease rise and fall. You can only imagine the setting - a camp that has just experienced a heavy rainfall. There is no place for the water to go and the walking areas and “streets” are not paved or graveled so they all become a blanket of mud. Water leaks in the tents and runs into the flooring of many. Mud is tracked everywhere and when the rains subside, the sun comes out, and things begin to dry, there is a layer of dry dirt on just about everything. These circumstances are currently the best available for thousands upon thousands of Haitians, young and old. The quake spared noone in Haiti.

However, rebuilding has begun. Throughout the destructed areas, people, organizations, and the government are beginning to rebuild. First there is the removal of the massive amounts of rubble, then a temporary structure, and then the new construction. Money flows slowly into Haiti, both to and through the government, as uncertainty about upcoming elections remain and scrutiny is maintained due to fears of corruption. The past haunts Haiti. Some very unscrupulous leaders in the past squandered and stole millions of aid money and lined their own pockets, all while leaving the Haitian people in their misery. Noone wants to see that happen again and as the money flows toward meaningful effort, the long-sought and arduous journey of rebuilding takes place.

Clean the World joins the many good organizations that are helping Haiti recover. The needs are many and no single organization has the ability to address every need. But working together, alongside the Haitian people, we bring hope, help, and hands. The effort will take patience and consistent work. We have moved beyond the initial crisis and have settled into a daily grind of steady labor.

You can help!! You can make a difference in Haiti. First, by not forgetting. Remember the massive dimensions of the destruction that hit Haiti. Second, find a good organization and give money to help that organization have the resources needed. Third, volunteer. Make yourself available to organizations who are helping Haiti. You can give more than money. You could even go to Haiti to help. Fourth, pray. Remember the good people of Haiti in your prayers, especially the children. So many are parentless, homeless, orphaned, injured, and sick.

Haiti is a nation of over 9 million people nestled among Caribbean islands just 600 miles from Florida. They are the poorest country in the western hemisphere. The poorest country was made poorer by the quake. It would be a shame to forget them if they were on the other side of the planet. Even less acceptable to forget them when they are at our back door.

Please remember the people of Haiti!!!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Chase Community Giving Grant

Voting has already begun...only six days left!


The Chase Community Giving Grant will be awarded to 200 charities. One charity will receive $250,000. Four others will be awarded $100,000, and the remaining 195 will receive $20,000.

What does this mean for Clean the World? These dollars translate into more recycled soap and more deaths prevented. Nearly 350 tons of soap are thrown away by hotels in the US every day. More than 13,000 lives are lost to diarrhea and pneumonia every day.

$20,000 would provide soap for over 4,000 families of five for one year.
$100,000 would allow us to purchase previously-owned soap equipment to increase our recycling capabilities by 500%.
$250,000 would increase our recycling efforts by 500%, PLUS 20,000 children born today could live to celebrate their third birthday - thanks to hand washing with soap.

HOW TO VOTE:  Voting has begun on Facebook and will continue until July 13. Vote here or click the Chase image above. First, you must “like” the Chase Community Giving application. Then, click the green banner “Get Started to Vote.” Follow the prompt and then click the green button “Vote Now.” That’s it!

Help us continue to stop needless waste and senseless death. Vote for us, and be sure to tell your friends to vote for us, too!