Giving back to the community is something that has always been near and dear to my heart. And since relocating to the United States, I searched for organizations that aligned with my values and that which provided great support and personal fulfillment.
Since starting my small business, I was in search for something that aligned not just with my personal values, but also with the business. Somewhere that would provide a sense of satisfaction and that would yield great value at the end of the day.
As I started to become acquainted with other small businesses and the community on social media started to grow, I discovered another fellow soap maker whose passion, kindness and generosity exuded through her content. I was fortunate to come across Pass the Bar soap company who had shared content about a profound organization that helps women and children in Haiti through a soap upcycling program. I was immediately intrigued and was desperate to learn more.
I reached out to Suzanne (who by the way, is one of THE sweetest and kindest soul you’ll ever come across in life) who shared more about the organization that coordinates this soap upcycling program. Here is what she had to say about how she got involved with the Anacaona Community and what their program is all about:
“In December 2020, I really wanted to get involved in a soapmaking charity organization. I had been following Anacaona Community on Instagram. Originally, they were upcycling used hotel soaps. But when the pandemic hit, the hotel business suffered, and Anacaona’s soap donations dwindled. Knowing that soap makers have a lot of excess soap scraps leftover from planing and beveling each bar, I thought that maybe there might be a way to upcycle perfectly good scraps of soap instead of throwing them away. So I reached out to Laure Bottinelli, the founder of Anacaona Community - asking if there was a convenient location for U.S. soapmakers to donate their soaps for the upycling cause. (Given that shipping overseas is cost-prohibitive, people would be more likely to donate soaps if there’s a convenient location to do so.) Laure found a partner organization, Reformation Hope - located in Georgia State - that was willing to store the soaps and send them out via container ship twice a year to Haiti. (Reformation Hope also works with other Haitian humanitarian aid efforts.) So now, for the first time, natural soapmakers all over the U.S. are upcycling their soap scraps and participating in this incredible organization! We raised 500 pounds for the shipment that went out in July 2021. And another 500 pounds for the December 2021 shipment. We are currently working to fill the Spring 2022 shipment, and are almost at another 500 pounds! All of the soaps donated by soapmakers will be made into new bars by single mothers and women who are employed by Anacaona. These bars will then be distributed to Haitian school children to prevent disease and promote live-saving hygiene habits.”
After connecting with Suzanne, I was immediately sold! I knew this was the organization to support.
I had a growing collection of soap scraps from beveling every single soap bar, soap ends from cutting loaves of soap and of course soaps that I knew I couldn’t sell because they were bad batches or just not up to the standards I’ve set for my company.
To date, I’ve collected over 40 pounds of soap to donate to Anacaona and I plan to ship it out before the next shipment is sent overseas to Haiti.
I am so grateful for what this organization does for the women and children of Haiti. And I am extremely thankful for Suzanne at Pass the Bar soap company for continuing to support and promote this outstanding organization.
If you’re interested in learning more about the organization or how you can get involved with donating your soap scraps, visit Anacaona’s website or connect with Suzanne on instagram at @passthebarsoaps.