Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A bountiful harvest in Calif. wine country

Guests may come to Sonoma County for the wine, but the greater value may be found in the soaps and shampoos they leave behind.

Best Western Wine Country Inn & Suites, with 85 hotel rooms and suites in the heart of Sonoma wine country, has partnered with Clean the World.

“With so many visitors coming to enjoy the wines in our area, we know we have a steady flow of guests with a deep appreciation for the environment,” says Todd Anderson, general manager of Best Western Wine Country Inn & Suites, a member of the Heritage Hotel Group. “By partnering with Clean the World we know that the soaps and bottled amenities enjoyed by our guests will be recycled to help others in need. That’s not only good for the people receiving the soaps, but it’s great to know that we can do our part to improve the living conditions for people a world away.”

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Going ‘green’ in the Bluegrass State

Kentucky now has a representative hotel partner in the Clean the World recycling program, and the leadership at Hampton Inn Owensboro couldn’t be happier.

Hampton Inn Owensboro, owned by The Malcolm Bryant Corporation, helped take a leap forward with its environmental sustainability initiatives by becoming Clean the World’s first hotel partner in Kentucky. The soaps collected in the 86 rooms and suites at the Hampton Inn Owensboro will be shipped to Clean the World’s headquarters in Orlando for recycling and distribution in the United States and more than 40 countries.

“Our property is proud to be the first hospitality partner for Clean the World in the state of Kentucky,” says Meagan Magnus, general manager of Hampton Inn Owensboro. “We are confident that our participation in their hospitality partnership program will inspire other Kentucky properties to join as well to help use our resources and help turn trash into treasure to help save lives.”

And Kentucky is an attractive location that has been a target of Clean the World for some time.

“Just as it is a hotbed for thoroughbred horse racing and NCAA basketball champions, Kentucky can also become a leader in advancing our global hygiene revolution,” says Shawn Seipler, executive director at Clean the world. “Soap saves lives and guests at Hampton Inn Owensboro can be part of the solution to help stop the spread of preventable diseases simply by washing with bar soap.”

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Hollywood Slots puts Maine on the map

Guests and game players at Hollywood Slots Hotel & Raceway may soon turn their soaps and shampoos into life-saving treasures for people in need.

Hollywood Slots Hotel, owned by Penn National Gaming, has partnered with Clean the World to collect and recycle hotel soaps, shampoos, conditioners, lotions and gels from its 148 deluxe rooms and suites to help fight the global spread of preventable diseases. At the same time Hollywood Slots becomes the first Clean the World hotel partner in Maine.

“We’re proud to be the first hotel property in Maine to join this innovative soap recycling program,” says David M. Beaudoin, director of hotel operations at Hollywood Slots. “Clean the World has proven itself to be a positive force in the hospitality industry, including many properties that feature gaming. Our hope is to capitalize on the enthusiasm and good cheer of our guests and show them that just as their good fortunes may grow at Hollywood Slots, they can also provide good fortune in the way of soaps and shampoos for people in need around the world.”

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W Scottsdale leads green initiatives with soap

The next shower you take during a hotel night stay at W Scottsdale Hotel & Residences may ultimately save a life.

W Scottsdale, the first lavish W Hotel in Arizona, has partnered with Orlando, Fla.-based non-profit organization Clean the World to collect and recycle hotel soaps, shampoos, conditioners, lotions and gels to help fight the global spread of preventable diseases. The soaps collected at W Scottsdale will be shipped to Clean the World’s headquarters in Orlando for recycling and distribution around the world.

“Our partnership with Clean the World complements our already outstanding efforts to promote sustainability and environmental stewardship,” says Leon Young, general manager at W Scottsdale. “Soap recycling and the elimination of hotel wastes are essential elements to helping create a cleaner world. We aim to use the resources to help provide better hygiene opportunity for people who may never step foot on our property. It’s the joy of giving back that drives our efforts.”

Clean the World has partnered with nearly 770 hotel properties in North America to provide soaps and bottled amenities to people in need. While doing so, the organization has also fulfilled a valuable environmental mission by diverting an estimated 550 tons of hotel waste from polluting landfills in the United States and Canada.

“We’re happy to have W Scottsdale become partners in our global hygiene revolution,” says Shawn Seipler, executive director at Clean the World. “The beauty of this property reflects the goodness of the people who work and stay here. We’re honored to be selected as an integral part of W Scottsdale’s ongoing green initiatives and know that by helping Clean the World the guests who choose W Scottsdale will become part of the solution to ending the spread of preventable diseases.”

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Sage Hospitality helps Clean the World

The Curtis Doubletree Hotel
Clean the World recently secured another hotel management group as part of its growing hospitality partnership program.

Sage Hospitality, with 53 properties in the United States, has partnered with Clean the World in support of its soap recycling program to help save lives.

“We’re very excited to be working with an organization as socially aware as Clean the World,” says Walter Isenberg, CEO of Sage Hospitality. “We at Sage are devoted to philanthropic and environmental issues and look forward to donating to this cause.”

The program involves hotel properties in 20 states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, and Florida; Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and Mississippi; Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon and Pennsylvania; Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Earthquakes, tsunamis, soap and hope

The events of March 11 in Japan and the aftermath will linger in our memories for a long time. We’re watching a national tragedy play out on our TVs and computer screens each day. A devastating 8.9-magnitude earthquake and numerous, powerful aftershocks caused tsunamis to engulf portions of Japan in a manner which seemed almost impossible to imagine. Hundreds of thousands of deaths are possible.

But there is always hope. Natural disasters have a way of riveting our attention because, as humans, we can all relate in some way to the suffering. What would you do if faced with such a terrifying situation? What could you do to survive and care for your loved ones? How would you find the strength to go on?

Clean the World is working with a network of global distribution partners, such as World Vision, Doctors without Borders, and others to ensure that the people most affected by this disaster will receive the hygiene relief they need. Sadly, disease and infection are quick to follow on disasters of this magnitude – Haiti is a recent example – and the need for soap and hygiene supplies to help stop the spread of disease is essential to any successful recovery effort.

Just as we did with Haiti following the 2010 earthquake, Clean the World will collect, recycle and distribute soaps for people in need around the world. We understand the power of soap and its ability to create a cleaner, safer, more hopeful world. Soap saves lives.

Your financial gift to Clean the World will help ensure that soaps and hygiene supplies are shipped via our distribution partners to help people in need. This is a time for action, and we’re asking for your help.


$25 provides enough soap for 85 people for a whole month
$50 provides enough soap for 170 people for a whole month
$100 provides enough soap for 340 people for a whole month
$500 provides enough soap for 1,700 people for a whole month
$1,000 provide enough soap for 3,400 people for a whole month

Thanks for helping Clean the World.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Put Up Your Dukes


Clean the World welcomes James Madison University volunteers

Clean the World welcomed 19 students from James Madison University to our Orlando recycling operations center today to help recycle soaps and learn about the importance of personal hygiene and how hand washing with soap can stop the spread of preventable diseases.

The students represent roughly 25% of the Alpha Phi Omega co-ed community service fraternity at JMU. While on Spring Break in Florida, these students filled their schedule with lots of service opportunities to benefit central Florida charitable organizations, such as Clean the World.

“We do an alternative spring break every year,” says Amanda Schott, a JMU junior and biology major who organized the event. “Last year we did Habitat for Humanity for a week. This year, we selected special projects each day during spring break to help a variety of organizations.”

While at Clean the World, the JMU students happily recycled soap – scraping away surface debris, bathing the soaps in a cleansing solution, and preparing them for a steam-cleaning to sanitize each bar. The soaps are recycled from nearly 800 hotel partners in North America, and they provide plenty of germ-fighting properties to help save lives for children and families in the United States and more than 40 countries.

During their visit, the JMU students helped recycle roughly 4,250 bars of soap – enough to provide soap for 425 children for a full month.

“It’s amazing what you do here, and it’s such a simple concept,” Schott says. “We take soap for granted in our country, so to know that what we are doing here today will have such an impact for children around the world, that’s very rewarding.”

Schott and her fellow JMU students spent a busy week in central Florida on the volunteer trail. Here’s a sampling of what they accomplished:

The students will present their experiences to the fraternity upon returning to JMU next week.

“For us, collectively, service is all about passion,” Schott says. “We’ve enjoyed every project because these are not the same opportunities we have in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. It’s opened our eyes to situations and groups that we didn’t know existed. It’s really been a lot of fun.”

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Haiti update: Clean hands, proper hygiene and fun

William Lowry, Clean the World’s director of global distribution, is in Haiti again this week with sponsors and supporters from Florida Hospital. Another soap distribution is in process along with the delivery of much-needed medical and hygiene supplies, and the construction of a playground at an orphanage for children affected by the 2010 earthquake.

Clean the World’s recent visits to Haiti have brought nearly 260,000 bars of soap to villages, schools, orphanages, medical clinics and tent cities there. Children from broken homes, many still nursing injuries and disease from the earthquake and recent cholera outbreak, are eager to receive more soap and supplies to help turn their lives around.

Among the highlights were 12,000 bars of soap donated by school students in the Edina school district in suburban Minneapolis, Minn. Students there collected soaps for Haiti in December, and are in the midst of an even larger soap drive right now.

The pallet of soaps delivered by Clean the World (via Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines) was received by World Wide Village, a non-profit based in St. Paul, Minn. to meet the basic needs of the less fortunate in Haiti. The soaps were distributed in early February to schools, orphanages and health clinics in the following Haitian cities, towns and villages: Arcahaie, Leogane, Port-au-Prince, Kenscoff, and Carrefour.

Clean the World continues to receive generous soap donations from schools and organizations all over the world. If you’d like to take part in your own soap drive, please visit this link [soap donation link] on our website and spread the word in your community about the healing power of soap.

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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Volunteering begins with U.

How did you spend your most recent college spring break? Eleven students from the School of Social Work at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Mich., spent their time with Clean the World in Orlando, recycling soap and, hopefully, saving lives with their efforts.

“We wanted to pick an organization that a lot people may not have heard about, but that could benefit from a week’s worth of volunteering from our team,” says Pam Gesund, undergraduate in the School of Social Work at EMU. “Our instructor, Jenny Fritz, found Clean the World, learned more about it and got us really excited about coming here to help recycle soap.”

Gesund and her 10 colleagues worked tirelessly throughout the four days of their visit, scraping soaps, dipping them in a cleansing solution and preparing them for a steam-cleaning to remove all impurities. While the process may be tedious, the reward is worth the effort, she says.

“It is amazing. I just keep saying that I never knew that so many children were dying from something as simple as not having access to soap,” Gesund says. “To know that every bin we clean out there in the warehouse will help 400 children have soap for a full month is remarkable.”

The students had friendly competitions with one another to see who could process the most soap each day. Keeping the focus on lives saved is easy at Clean the World, says Gesund, because the staff members are a lively bunch.

“The people who work here are phenomenal,” she says. “They are amazingly helpful people and they seem to be doing this from the heart.”

When they return to Michigan, the students will give a presentation to the dean and fellow EMU students to inform them about the Clean the World experience.

“We’re helping thousands of children get soap so they can live healthier lives,” Gesund says. “This is better than sitting in the sun all week.”

Making a World of Difference

World Vision recognized Clean the World last month for its ongoing support for post-earthquake relief efforts in Haiti. The worldwide Christian humanitarian organization serves as the leading global distribution partner for Clean the World soaps and bottled amenities. World Vision honored Clean the World for “improving the health and well-being of children, families and communities” in Haiti.

Since the Jan. 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Clean the World has collected, recycled and distributed more than 1.5 million soap bars on that island nation. Much of that distribution – one million soap bars -- came with the help of World Vision and its vast network of outreach personnel.

The donation of 1.5 million bars of soap means nearly 12,500 people will be able to wash regularly and prevent hygiene-related illnesses for a full year.

“As more hotels partner to support Clean the World’s efforts and mission, the more donated product we will be able to provide to improve the health and hygiene of communities,” says Melissa Cornejo, corporate relations senior representative at World Vision United States.

Yet, despite the best efforts of many dedicated supporters, donations to Clean the World – and consequently to children around the world – have dropped off at the start of the new year. This is not uncommon. The end of the Christmas “giving season” usually signifies a dramatic dip in charitable giving, and Clean the World is feeling the pinch as well. That’s why we are asking for your help.

You can rev up the giving engine again in March with online donations to Clean the World via this link. A gift of $100 provides enough soap for 340 children for an entire month. There are nine months left in the year. Let’s make it a personal goal to help as many children as possible have soap to last for all of 2011.

Another way to donate is with your cell phone. Simply text CLEAN to 20222 to donate $10 to help provide soap for children in need (messaging and data rates apply).

You, too, can help us make a world of difference for children and families around the world. The new giving season is underway, and we need your help. Won’t you give today? Soap saves lives.

Helping neighbors in need

Clean the World gets an abundance of publicity for our outreach efforts around the world, but closer to home there is a need as well. Especially in central Florida, well under the radar, Clean the World has distributed soap to children and families in communities where foreclosure, homelessness and a limping economy have claimed many victims.

“There will always be a demand for soaps, even in so-called good times,” says William Lowry, director of global distribution for Clean the World.

In the past few months Clean the World has stepped-up domestic distribution by donating nearly 17,000 bars of soap and hygiene products to a variety of organizations:

  • Homeless Services Network of Central Florida (1,000 bars)
  • Opportunity House (900 bars)
  • Seafarer’s House (3,000 bars)
  • Open Homes (1,000 bars)
  • Living in Faith Ministries (1,000 bars)
  • Fresh Start Ministries (3,000 bars)
  • Central Care Mission (6,000 bars)
  • Recovery House of Sanford (200 bars)
  • Celebration High School (550 bars)


“Often the needs of people in our own neighborhood get overlooked in favor of larger causes that command more media attention,” Lowry says. “We’re trying to do what we can where we can with the resources we have available. But we can always use more help and donations.”

If you know of a community or organization in need of soaps and hygiene supplies, please contact us at info@cleantheworld.org. If you’d like to make a financial donation to help pay for more domestic distribution to people in need, visit the donation link here.

Crystal Cruises – Soaps from ships save lives

Did you know cruise lines can be a valuable resource for soaps and bottled amenities? We did.

One of our proud partners, Crystal Cruises, has provided 388 lbs. of soap and 1,203 bottles of shampoos and conditioners for distribution to people in need. That’s enough soap for 414 children for a full month.

“Crystal Cruises is very pleased to partner with Clean the World,” says Bill Boehm, Crystal’s director of safety, environment and training.  “By donating our supplies to those in need, we’re not only
supporting Clean the World’s life-saving mission, but also helping to keep these products out of landfills and preserve the environment.”

Imagine if all the cruise ships full of happy passengers in every port of call around the globe would contribute to Clean the World’s mission to promote proper hygiene. Think of the good that could be accomplished.

How about making it a reality? Contact your local cruise and travel agents and let them know that you appreciate Crystal Cruise lines and its partnership with Clean the World. And if they haven’t heard of Clean the World, please direct them to our website, www.cleantheworld.org, and we’ll take it from there.

Recycling soap. Saving lives. Even on the high seas. Thanks for helping Clean the World.

Hersha Hospitality Management helps Clean the World

Hersha Hospitality Management, operator of upper-upscale, upscale and mid-scale branded and independent hotels in major metropolitan markets, has partnered with Clean the World to help fight the spread of preventable diseases around the world.

Hersha’s partnership with Clean the World will provide annual gifts of more than one million bars of recycled soap and 500,000 bottles of shampoos, gels and lotions from more than 10,000 guest rooms.

The amenities will be prepared by Clean the World for distribution to children and families worldwide. Hersha becomes the largest hospitality management company to partner with Clean the World since its founding in 2009.

Through this partnership, Hersha plans to annually provide roughly 9,000 children with soap for an entire year and 4,500 children with bottled amenities for a full year. In addition to preventing countless deaths due to poor hygiene, Hersha’s partnership with Clean the World plans to divert approximately 90 tons of waste from landfills annually.

Debi Kinney: ‘ROC’ star in Las Vegas

Clean the World (www.cleantheworld.org) will soon open a soap recycling facility in Las Vegas, and the hospitality industry may never look at those little soaps and shampoos the same way again.

Debi Kinney, a former convention services manager at Caesar’s Entertainment with strong ties to the hospitality industry, was hired as western regional director at the Clean the World recycling operations center (ROC) in Las Vegas. She also serves as president of the Green Meeting Industry Council Las Vegas Chapter in Formation.

Kinney’s presence in Las Vegas, and her experience and contacts within the hospitality industry there, are sure to make Clean the World a center of attention for casino and resorts hotels with an eye toward sustainability issues.

“Debi is a rock star in Las Vegas,” says Shawn Seipler, executive director at Clean the World. “Her experience and expertise will help us attract new hotel partners, bring dynamic energy to our meeting planner program and really put us in a remarkable position for growth and success in Las Vegas.”

Establishing a foothold in Las Vegas provides strategic benefit to Clean the World as it improves logistics for moving hotel soaps from the Western regions of the United States into the recycling process and onward toward distribution in homeless shelters, women’s shelters, missions, orphanages and medical centers in the United States and around the world.

The establishment of a recycling operations center in Las Vegas is made possible, in part, by a $100,000 grant presented to Clean the World by The Harrah’s Foundation (now Caesar’s Foundation) in 2010. Clean the World counts all Caesar’s Entertainment properties among its growing family of Las Vegas-area hotel partners, which also includes select Mandarin Oriental and Ameristar Casinos.

“Guests come to Las Vegas to be entertained and have fun. While they’re doing that, their guest-room amenities are helping to prevent the spread of disease and save lives all around the world,” says Kinney. “Creating a cleaner world is something Las Vegas visitors and our hotel partners can take pride in, and it’s a tremendous honor and opportunity to work with Clean the World to help create a more sustainable future that begins in each guest room and impacts the whole world.”

Las Vegas represents the second major recycling operations center for Clean the World in the United States (Orlando, where Clean the World is headquartered, is the other). Additional recycling operations centers have been established in Vancouver and Toronto (Canada) and the Canary Islands (Spain).

“With our headquarters in Orlando, Fla., and with this new facility opening in Las Vegas, Clean the World will have a tremendous presence in the top two vacation destinations in the United States,” says Shawn Seipler, executive director and co-founder at Clean the World. “Expect new signings to come in Las Vegas. We’re just getting started!”