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.”

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