Through Sands Cares, the corporate giving and community engagement program of Las Vegas Sands, Clean the World and Las Vegas Sands have collaborated on two key projects that have benefited the homeless community and made a significant impact globally. The Global Hygiene Kit Builds held at all Las Vegas Sands properties in the U.S. and Asia provides hygiene supplies to those who don’t have access to them and the Sands Cares Fresh Start Mobile Showers Powered by Clean the World, serves the Las Vegas community by providing showers to those who are living on the streets.
“Sands Cares has provided Clean the World with funding to operate the mobile showers as well as organizing annual Global Hygiene Kit Build events,” said Sandie Beauchamp, vice president of marketing, products and technology for Clean the World. “This partnership brings health and hygiene to those in need globally and locally. Together, Sands and Clean the World have served over 632,000 people from the hygiene kit building events. In the first year of operation of the mobile showers, over 7,500 showers were provided to residents in the Las Vegas Valley, primarily the vulnerable homeless community. At the showers, approximately 10,000 hygiene kits have been distributed to individuals this past year, along with information on resources from countless partners in the community.”
CEO Shawn Seipler founded Clean the World in 2009, starting his social enterprise in a one-car garage in Orlando, Florida. At the time, Seipler was a vice president for a technology company and spent about 150 nights a year in hotel rooms, traveling for business. He began to wonder what happened to all the used bars of soap after he checked out of a hotel. He found out they were simply thrown away. After learning that hand washing with soap could potentially prevent the deaths of millions of children every year, Seipler launched Clean the World to recycle soap and save lives.
“Our mission is to collect and recycle soap and hygiene products discarded every day by the hospitality industry and other sectors that generate environmental waste,” Beauchamp said. “Through the distribution of these and other donated products to impoverished people, we’re able to help to reduce the morbidity rate for hygiene-related illnesses and encourage vigorous childhood development. We envision a future where the top two killers of children under the age of five, pneumonia and diarrheal disease, will be eradicated as a result of global access to soap and hygiene education. We hope that every bar of soap in hotels around the world can be recycled, eliminating soap waste in landfills while helping to preserve our planet for future generations.”
Beauchamp says that partnerships between corporations and non-profits not only benefit communities, but also the corporation’s employees and clients. She also added that companies like Sands, that place an emphasis on giving back and improving their community, are setting a new standard for corporations all around the world to engage in socially responsible activities and incorporate sustainability into their everyday business practices. Through this partnership, Beauchamp says the organization has served over 10 million people in 127 countries.
“We travel to so many parts of the world looking at where people need our products the most,” said Sam Stephens, executive director of the Clean the World Foundation. “3,600 kids, under the age of six, die every day all over the world due to lack of proper hygiene, which is totally preventable with handwashing. Our process not only helps the environment but also helps save the lives of kids that lack access to soap. The top three countries with the worst conditions are India, Kenya and the United States and this is where we focus our efforts of WASH (Water, Sanitation, or Hygiene). We’re also emphasizing this with our emergency relief efforts, whether it’s a hurricane or just helping out our homeless partners in various communities. With funding from Sands Cares, we’ve been able to not only get our message out, but also make a difference in so many lives around the world.”
Stephens travels on behalf of the foundation to educate communities about proper hygiene and water sanitation, with the goal to provide access to proper hygiene and other resources to eliminate diseases among low income and homeless populations. He takes the products that are recycled and repurposed, such as bar soap, shampoo, conditioner and lotion, at the Clean the World facilities and leverages the amenities to distribute in the U.S. and other countries. His goal is to improve dignity and offer a hand-up to self-sufficiency to those that need it the most.
“It’s so profound and hard to put into words what we have been able to do with Sands Cares,” he said. “From hygiene kits to the mobile showers, we have been able to impact so many people. We have really been able to transform lives and the perfect example is Jameel in Las Vegas. He came to have a shower, received the various resources offered and kept coming back. Now he’s employed full-time by Clean the World, got an apartment, and he is no longer homeless. We are able to touch so many lives and it’s evident we’ve made an impact.”