By Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta
In the spirit of giving, high school freshman Cali Louro, who is new to the cheerleading team, came up with the idea of having fellow cheerleaders meet in her home to create individual sanitary kits to provide soap, washcloths, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and more to children in poverty stricken areas.
Cali’s father works for Guest Supply, a company that supplies hotels with shampoos, conditioners, and soaps. Guest Supply partners with Clean the World, an organization that takes partially used soaps and other products from hotels and recycles and sterilizes them to repackage and send to those in need. Instead of discarding these products, they are used to keep children, who live in impoverished areas throughout the world, clean.
Since 2009, Clean the World has distributed more than 35 million bars of soap in 100 countries. Clean the World accomplishes its mission by collecting, recycling, and distributing discarded soap and plastic amenity bottles from participating hospitality partners.
The soap is safe with a 100 percent clean bill of health. It has been tested by SGS North America, a Florida state-certified testing facility. By this process, all pathogens, including listeria, monocytogenes, Escherichia coli, pseudomonas aerogenes, salmonella typhymurium, and staphylococcus aureus, are successfully removed from the soap.
Diarrheal diseases kill approximately 1.8 million people per year according to Clean the World. Globally. And approximately 2.5 billion cases of diarrhea occur among children under five years old every year. About 80 percent of those cases are in Africa and South Asia. The World Health Organization (WHO) and World Bank promote hand washing with soap as the most efficient and cost effective intervention to reduce this tragic statistic.
Besides combatting diseases such as pneumonia and diarrhea, improved hygiene with soap also addresses a wide range of lesser known, but nevertheless debilitating, tropical diseases. These illnesses often are neglected by an overwhelmed medical system in developing countries.
According to Kimberley Moreno, head cheering coach, the 32 girls, from freshman to seniors, from ages 13 to 18, who are in the cheering squad at Randolph High School, packaged more than 500 kits of hygiene products when they met at the Louro home.
Moreno said, “They [the Louro Family] presented the idea to me and I said, ‘Go with it.’ They had boxes and boxes and boxes of product. They packaged like an assembly line.”
The event certainly kept the cheerleaders in a state of mind of giving being that the holidays are approaching.
“They felt very strongly about doing something like this,” said Moreno. “It was heartwarming. It’s nice seeing them doing something fun other than cheerleading.
But this isn’t the first time the squad has done something nice. In October, they raised money for breast cancer and got involved with UNICEF. In the past, they had a special needs group come in and taught them how to cheer. They also raised money for Wounded Warrior Project.
“They’re a great group of kids and super talented,” said Moreno. “We’re always interested in charity. As cheerleaders, the girls become a good representation of the schools. Giving back to the community we cheer for is always important to us.”
For more information on Clean the World, visit: https://cleantheworld.org/.