“According to the World Health Organization, millions of young lives could be saved with access to bar soap and hygiene education.” – CleanTheWorld.org
I recently went out to do some volunteering with Clean the World here in Orlando. The morning was the smell of success (you knew there had to be a really good soap pun in there at some point, didn’t ya?)! All the feels! Did you know more than two million bars of partially used hotel soap are thrown away every day in the United States. By recycling soap and other discarded hygiene products, Clean the World saves lives with items that traditionally end up in landfills.
Now I’d volunteered with the organization a few years back before this visit, when they were located in downtown Orlando just a few blocks from the Amway Center. Since that time they’ve relocated to a much larger office complex and warehouse not too terribly far from Orlando International Airport. So when I arrived I was both surprised and excited to see their “new” facilities. On my volunteer shift during the aforementioned shift I was part of a team that “shaved” the donated soap bars to get them ready for recycling and distribution. This time ’round I got to experience something a little different.
There’s a soap museum volunteers can visit prior to “taking their shifts” in the warehouse. It’s actually pretty need and well worth the time if I do say so. So when I arrived at the location just a bit early I decided to spend some time looking around.
After spending some time in the museum I joined the rest of the volunteers for this particular shift in heading into the warehouse. As we scoped out the big warehouse we’d entered we could see bars of tiny soaps, travel sized bottles of shampoos and conditioners, lots and lots of buckets, and large containers that were all filled with soapy goodness ready to be shipped around the world.
Like I said earlier on I had an opportunity to do something a tad different this visit to Clean the World. And here is what I was able to do:
I was stationed at the tail end of a machine attached to a conveyor belt, that blocked out new bars of soap and sent them my way to be picked up and assorted into a box for shipping out. Candidly, I really, really enjoyed assignment and even set goals for myself on the number of boxes to put together. And in my mind the very famous episode of “I Love Lucy” at the candy factory kept playing over and over and over in my head. (In case there’s any question about it – I did not eat any of the soaps…although I did sniff many of them!) After about an hour I’d officially completed my tasks and it was time for the next folks to come through. I’m fairly certain I was smelling that soap for about a week afterward.
Fun Fact: Clean the World has offices not only here in Central Florida but locations all over: Washington (DC), Las Vegas, Montreal, London, Hong Kong, and Amsterdam. If you’re interested in volunteering for a shift sometime check out the “Donate” area of the Clean the World website.
Clean the World
2544 E. Landstreet Road, Suite 600
Orlando, FL 32824
Are you familiar with Clean the World? Have you ever spent time volunteering with them?