For those of you who may have never heard of the organization, Students Helping Honduras, or SHH as it is commonly referred to, is a student organization on campuses across the U.S. which raise awareness and money for children in Honduras. Not too long ago, SoapBox Soaps was given the opportunity to work with this incredible organization. Elliot Glotfelty, an SHH champion out of Towson University, was kind enough to share this fantastic little blurb about our founder, David and the SoapBox/SHH partnership. Enjoy!
I initially met David Simnick, founder of SoapBox Soaps, at a fundraiser event for a partner organization SBS is involved with– and this initial introduction showed me the dedication and passion he has for his company and its potential to be a hygiene and sanitation game changer in the developing world. I volunteer regularly with organizations locally and internationally, and within two minutes of me discussing Students Helping Honduras (SHH) and the work it is doing to provide access to education to vulnerable populations of children in Honduras, David jumped at the opportunity for SoapBox Soaps to be involved. After working out the details, David volunteered that SoapBox would send 500 bars of soap to communities in Honduras working with SHH. Many universities in the Baltimore area and all over the country have active SHH chapters on campus, whose members spend winter, spring, and/or summer break volunteering on site in Honduras, building schools and other educational infrastructure in rural communities outside of El Progresso.
Myself, along with my brother and other roommate, were attending an upcoming SHH winter trip and agreed to make the delivery happen. I had been in touch with David through email about getting the soaps in hand, and eventually, it was decided that it would be easiest for someone to deliver the soaps to our house in Baltimore’s Greektown. That someone just so happened to be David. At around 8:30 at night, he pulled into our alley and helped us unload several boxes full of soap. Fresh out of college, my roommates and I were excited to talk to David, who had just completed his Teach for America service and was still growing SoapBox Soaps out of its fledgling stages. I couldn’t help but think this would be a chapter in a future autobiography David would write (I had just read TOMs founder Blake Mycoskie’s and saw the success of the “one-for-one” model used with shoes that David was now translating to hygiene products and water access). The CEO of this company showed up to my door to deliver these soaps–when that happens, the passion is felt, and dedication to this cause is more than evident.
Soaps were divided up between several volunteers traveling to Honduras, and the soap delivery was incredibly successful! Along with the fifty other volunteers in our group, we distributed bars of soap to families in the small rural village of Villa Soleada and also stocked soaps to be used throughout the school year in the bilingual school and children’s homes SHH had recently completed. To see the “one for one” business model in action was incredible, and knowing that the the act of buying a bar of soap can be translated into disease prevention and improved general hygiene for families, is something powerful to be part of. Along for the soap drop was Amanda Fennell, SHH Director of US Operations. She states that “in places that lack adequate sanitation 100% of the time, it is so important to stress good hygiene, especially to children. The kids in Villa Soleada loved receiving the soaps from SoapBox and ran immediately to the pilas to start using them! Volunteers distributing the soaps made it really fun for the kids, and created excitement for continued use of the soaps on a regular basis at the children’s homes, our bilingual school, and in the surrounding communities.”
When purchased from SoapBox Soaps, SOAP really does equal HOPE. The passion within this company to transform the world starts at the top and trickles its way through their entire team; David Simnick might just end up in a kitchen near you handing off a box of soaps to wash away disease all over the world! Students Helping Honduras looks forward to continued partnership with SoapBox Soaps for years to come! For more information on Students Helping Honduras’ current infrastructure projects, volunteer opportunities, and much more, visit www.ceciskids.org