2017 Year in Review: A Year Full of Impact and New Achievements
Happy Wednesday fellow Soaper Heroes, and a happy new year! 2017 was a record-breaking year for The WASH Foundation (TWF) and to bring in 2018, we are making even bigger moves – starting with our brand-new TWF website. Here, you can find all things TWF, so take a look around. This past year has been nothing short of amazing, and as we look back at our year, we can’t help but share with you the major milestones we’ve reached as an organization.
We went Platinum
GuideStar, the world’s largest source of nonprofit information, awarded TWF its highest seal of recognition for transparency. So, what’s the big deal about this seal? The Platinum GuideStar Nonprofit Profile Seal of Transparency ensures that TWF is as clear as can be when it comes to sharing all our information with donors, supporters, and individuals like you. We’ve done this by adding a ton of information to our GuideStar Profile including financial information, our annual report, results and progress toward our mission, as well as information about our goals, strategies, and capabilities.
As our CEO Sam Stephens put it in a recent Newswire.com press release, “GuideStar is the gold standard for non-profit transparency and outcome-based reporting. We are truly honored to receive a platinum rating from GuideStar. This accomplishment is critical in our efforts to drive support and awareness for our global mission.” We’re excited about what we do and how we’re doing it, and we want you to be as well.
We got a new set of wheels
When Clean the World (CTW) opened a new facility in Las Vegas several years ago, we had little knowledge of the scope of the problems facing the homeless population in our new community. In fact, there are more than 6,000 homeless people living in the Las Vegas area today. Even more shocking is that most of this community tends to live on the streets as opposed to a homeless shelter. This means no bed to lay in at night, no convenient toilet to use the bathroom, and no showers to wash away the day’s work. The things many of us take for granted daily are luxuries they do not have.
To uplift the homeless community, TWF teamed up with Las Vegas Sands to do something about it. That “something” evolved into creating an awesome, first of its kind, traveling hygiene unit named Sands Cares Fresh Start Mobile Showers Powered by Clean the World. This traveling hygiene unit is a trailer truck remodeled to have four complete bathroom/shower rooms. It is completely self-sufficient, and even allows for hot water! Since launching in July of 2017, Sands Cares and Clean the World have provided over 3,000 showers to the homeless community in Las Vegas. We are so proud of this amazing inaugural year and look forward to its continued impact in the future.
In September 2015, world leaders came together and adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, goals that build on the success of the Millennium Development goals in ending all forms of poverty. However, the SDGs also recognize that ending poverty means including new strategies that build economic growth, as well as addressing various social needs including education and health. On top of all that, these goals place emphasis on tackling climate change and upping environmental protection efforts. TWF is happy to announce that we follow closely with the SDGs and are aligned with 8 out of the 17 established goals. What are they and how are we aligned with these goals, you ask? Our Executive Director & CEO Sam Stephens provides that breakdown here. We are proud to be an organization actively participating in global multilateral and multi-stakeholder groups and discussions for greater global impact. We recognize the need to work together to end poverty everywhere, and are committed to doing our part in any way we can.
We expanded our programs
Building on the success of our WASH in Schools programs in Kenya and Tanzania in 2016, we expanded our efforts and launched the same program in India in 2017. Serving over 5,000 children in some of the poorest and most vulnerable communities, the ongoing education program provides access to hygiene supplies in schools and at home, in addition to regular education about proper water, sanitation, and hygiene practices.
In addition, our Microlending program provided economic support to a network of women in Haiti in partnership with Rebuild Globally. These women helped create the hygiene supplies that we’ll use in our upcoming WASH in Schools program in Haiti, which will launch later in 2018.
We responded to humanitarian crises
During hurricane season, North America and the Caribbean were hit hard with three major hurricanes – Harvey, Irma, and Maria. These natural disasters devastated states like Texas and Florida, as well as islands including Puerto Rico, Dominica, and others. TWF jumped in to help after each hurricane, putting together and distributing over 180,000 hygiene kits in total.
We also responded to other disasters, including the typhoons that ravaged the Philippines and Macau, providing soap and hygiene kits to families in the hardest-hit areas. And we distributed over 200,000 bars of soap to victims of the earthquake that struck Mexico as well.
Our commitment to helping in the wake of emergencies doesn’t end at natural disasters. In 2017, we also provided ongoing support to refugees in some of the world’s most heartbreaking humanitarian crisis zones, including thousands of families in Syria and Lebanon, orphans in Armenia, and thousands of families in Ethiopia, Kenya, and South Sudan.
We served those in our own backyard
On the home front, TWF continues to educate the young ones in our Soap in Schools program, serving approximately 2,000 students and their families monthly. This program focuses on teaching elementary students about the dangers of germs and the importance of hand washing and good hygiene practices. In addition, we continued to provide hygiene supplies and educational support to homeless shelters, food pantries, Veterans’ service organizations, and other nonprofits serving vulnerable families in the United States.
These are just a few of this year’s highlights, and we’ve got more good news – we’re not stopping here. TWF will continue to do what we do best, impact lives through better hygiene and community empowerment. We couldn’t have done it without all our supporters, people like you who believe in our mission and have been with us every step of the way. Special thanks to you and your continued support as we work towards improving global health today to empower lives for tomorrow.
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