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MoverMoms' Hope & Soap for Haiti Campaign

MoverMoms is a non-profit public charity organization based in Bethesda, Maryland founded by Rebecca Kahlenberg. It is a group of moms who regularly organize volunteer projects for the community. Their motto is "having fun with a purpose." MoverMoms have had several collection drives that are arranged in response to crisis situations, as well as, in conjunction with other projects. Their biggest collection of the year was Treats-4-Troops Halloween candy collection done in November in conjunction with another non-profit organization, for which unused Halloween candy was sent to U.S. troops overseas. (www.MoversMom.org)

Right: Salma Hasan Ali (Chief Inspiration Officer)
Left: Rebecca Kahlenberg (Founder and Executive Director of MoverMoms

In response to the unhygienic and unsanitary living arrangements in Haiti after the disaster, as well as, the widespread epidemic of cholera confirmed in October 2010, MoverMoms has launched a "Hope & Soap for Haiti" collection drive. Thes moms are collecting new bars of soap, along with new or gently used blankets for the impoverished people of Haiti. Collection will continue until the end of February, though they have already far surpassed their goal to collect 2011 bars of soap! ((www.MoversMom.org),(www.cdc.gov))

Cholera infection can be prevented by good hygienic practices, such as the use of soap. Unfortunately, the average family in Haiti cannot afford to buy a bar of soap. According to a November 15, 2010 article in the Washington Post, more than half of the Haitian population lives on less than $1.25 a day. Thus, despite a cake of yellow Haitian soap costing only 50 cents, most people are forced to buy food instead. Plans to build a modern water and sanitation system is under way but may take years, a quick fix to this outbreak is the use of soap. Furthermore, according to a January 12th article published this year in the Washington Post, 3,000 people have already died from cholera and many more could be affected. (www.WashingtonPost.com)

Soap collecting on Ms. Kahlenberg’s porch

Chief Inspiration Officer, Salma Hasan Ali, researched different relief organizations and found that Humanity First would be a reliable choice as a collaborator in this collection drive. Ms. Ali says, "when we were looking for a partner for this project that we could trust to deliver and distribute the soap, I thought first of Humanity First." Hence, MoverMoms has partnered up with Humanity First, who will ship and distribute the collected soap on the ground in Haiti through the Humanity First USA Medical Clinic in Seguin, near Jacmel in the Southeast.

Some of the participants in this soap drive include:

  1. Winston Churchill High School (Potomac, MD)
  2. Giant (Westbard Avenue in Bethesda, MD) - Bake sale held at Giant raised $600!
  3. Hoover Middle School - Collected 665 bars of soap!
  4. Islamic Medical Association of North America - Collected 270 bars of soap!
  5. George Washington University - Collected over 100 bars of soap!

Various other corporations, brownie troops, religious groups, and neighborhoods have also generously contributed!

For more information about the Hope & Soap for Haiti Campaign or locations for soap/blanket drop-off, please visit www.MoverMoms.org or e-mailinfo@MoverMoms.org

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Humanity First is registered in 43 countries across 6 continents, and has been working on human development projects and responding to disasters since 1994. These have included the earthquakes in Turkey, Pakistan, Japan and Iran, floods in Africa and Latin America, hurricanes (Katrina and Rita) , tornado's (Kansas) and wild fires (California) in the USA, Indonesia and Bangladesh, and conflicts in Eastern Europe.

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Since its inception and IRS registration in 2004, Humanity First has been focused on spending most of the raised funds on direct program related expenses. As a result, more than 90% of its funds are in that expense category. This is achieved through dedicated volunteers in its management, and program operation teams.

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