Friday, October 22, 2010

Cholera outbreak in Haiti

What started as a humanitarian mission by Clean the World may turn out to be an emergency operation for Haiti.

As the Clean the World team trekked across Haiti delivering nearly two tons of soaps for people in need, news of a cholera outbreak in Haiti became international news.

If ever there was a “right place at the right time” moment for Clean the World, this was it.

“We were able to provide 5,000 soap bars to the hospital in Saint Marc that was at the epicenter of the outbreak,” says William Lowry, director of global distribution at Clean the World. “It’s great timing on our part, but we’re just thankful for the opportunity to provide immediate help and hygiene supplies during this crisis.”

Clean the World executive director Shawn Seipler led the soap distribution trip to Haiti, which had been planned weeks in advance of the cholera outbreak. Seipler, Lowry and a team of volunteers arrived Oct. 19 in Haiti with plans to distribute soaps that had been transported to the island via a partnership with Royal Caribbean International.

“The soaps were sent from our Orlando recycling operations center to Miami and loaded onto a Royal Caribbean cruise ship in late September,” Seipler says. “More than 25,000 bars of soap -- some of them new, some of them recycled – were part of this targeted distribution to Haiti. They originated from our hotel partners throughout North America.”

Many of the soaps came from guest rooms in Las Vegas  through Clean the World’s partnership with Harrah’s Resorts and their Harrah’s, Paris, Bally’s and Caesar’s Palace properties. There were also large contributions of soaps and bottled amenities from Walt Disney World Resorts, Westgate Resorts and Mandarin Oriental.

“Our partners need to know how essential they are in the process that will lead to the prevention of disease in Haiti and beyond,” Seipler says.

The World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed the cholera outbreak in Haiti early Oct. 22. At least 140 people have been confirmed dead, according to Reuters, and WHO estimates that more than 1,500 people in central Haiti have been affected by the fatal diarrheal disease.

Health officials are urging the Haiti population, including mission workers and healthcare professionals, to regularly wash their hands with soap to help kill some of the germs and bacteria that can easily spread through bodily contact.


Seipler says the cholera outbreak will bring global attention to his call for a “hygiene revolution” led by Clean the World. The mission, he says, is to bring simple solutions to the complex problem of fighting preventable disease through proper hand washing with bar soap.

“Every day 9,000 children die from acute respiratory illness and diarrheal diseases, such as cholera and dysentery,” Seipler says. “Studies show that more than 60 percent of those deaths can be prevented with proper hygiene. That includes washing with bar soap. Our hotel partners have the soap; Clean the World has the solution. Together we can create a hygiene revolution that eradicates plagues of preventable disease – not just in Haiti, but all around the world.”

Clean the World and its more than 550 hotel partners in North America have helped collect and distribute more than 6 million bars of soap in less than two years. That’s 375 tons of soap, which would have otherwise been discarded as trash, now being placed in the grateful hands of children and families in the United States and more than 40 countries (Click here to see complete list of countries served by Clean the World).

That’s what we call turning trash into treasure. And you can be a part of this hygiene revolution by donating your soap, your time, and your money to help us move forward with our mission (Click here to Donate to Clean the World). Your contributions are measured in the number of lives saved everyday by something we all take for granted – washing with soap.

Check out our photo gallery of this most recent trip to Haiti and please remember the Haitian people in your prayers. We can all use any advantage possible when fighting fatal diseases.

Thanks for helping Clean the World.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Follow the Bellstar – Major Canadian resorts join Clean the World program

Canada continues to be a rich and renewable resource for Clean the World and our lifesaving soap recycling program.
We’re happy to report that Bellstar Hotels & Resorts has joined our growing family of hotel partners, bringing 763 more rooms into our program. The partnership delivers greater opportunities to save lives worldwide by collecting and recycling hotel soaps and bottled amenities. It also brings to 59 the number of Canadian hotel partnerships working with Clean the World.

Bellstar Hotels & Resorts is a Calgary-based resort management and development company that specializes in boutique resorts through Alberta and British Columbia. The collection currently comprises 12 resorts, with three more under Bellstar’s development, and additional properties under Bellstar’s management opening within the next few years.

Each of Bellstar’s resorts has its own individual name, collection of services and personality fitting with the destination.
Resorts that will be participating in the Clean the World soap recycling program include:
  • Adara Hotel (Whistler, BC)
  • Bellasera Tuscan Villas & Piazza (Kelowna, BC)
  • Blackstone Mountain Lodge (Canmore, AB)
  • Lodges at Canmore (Canmore, AB)
  • Mountain Spirit Resort & Spa (Kimberley, BC)
  • Mystic Springs Chalets & Hot Pools (Canmore, AB)
  • Pemberton Valley Lodge (Pemberton, BC)
  • Solara Resort & Spa (Canmore, AB)
  • Spirit Ridge Vineyard Resort & Spa (Osoyoos, BC)
The portfolio includes condo-style resorts, boutique hotels and resort clubs throughout the Okanagan Valley (Vernon, Kelowna, Osoyoos), on Vancouver Island (Sidney), in the Kootenays (Kimberley), in the Coast Mountains (Pemberton) and in the Rocky Mountains (Canmore).
Welcome, Bellstar, to our growing Clean the World family.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Oh, What a Knight!

You don’t have to be a college football fan to enjoy this story, but we are, so that makes it even better.
Paul Till & Shawn Seipler of Clean the World
Clean the World was honored in Orlando as “Holler-Classic Heroes” during the Oct. 6 Conference USA clash between the University of Central Florida Knights and the University of Alabama-Birmingham Blazers. The UCF-UAB game was broadcast nationally on ESPN.

UCF won the football game rather handily, 42-7. But the real action took place during the third quarter.

Clean the World co-founders Shawn Seipler and Paul Till were called onto the field during a TV timeout and were introduced as “local heroes” for their work on behalf of people worldwide who are in need of soap and improved hygiene education.
Shawn and Paul smiled and waved as an announcer shared the Clean the World mission of helping to fight preventable diseases with simple access to bar soap. The sell-out crowd at UCF’s Bright House Networks Stadium seemed to appreciate the message and, hopefully, will support our cause.
The honor was sponsored by Holler-Classic, an Orlando-area auto dealership group. We are humbled and deeply appreciative of the recognition, but wish to thank all of our volunteers for your continued support of Clean the World.

Your contributions of time and talent, more than anything, will be the true measure of our success – and a true light of hope for people desperately in need of soap and hygiene supplies.
If you’d like to donate to Clean the World, or if you know of a person or organization who would like to make a financial donation, please click here.
Again, your contributions help support our efforts and will put soap in the hands of children and families whose lives depend on your generosity.
Thanks to Holler-Classic for honoring us as Holler-Classic Heroes, and thanks to all of you for helping Clean the World.