Local nonprofit helps Haiti with soap donations

One year after a devastating earthquake hit Haiti, poor living conditions continue to plague residents, leading to the spread of deadly diseases such as cholera.  MoverMoms, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to community service, held a soap drive, Hope & Soap for Haiti, from Jan. 20 to Feb. 14 to help the country’s citizens with this crisis.
The idea for the soap drive came from MoverMoms member and CHS parent Joanne Eglovitch.  Eglovitch wanted MoverMoms to do something to help the Haitians, and learned that washing with soap is the easiest way to prevent cholera. MoverMoms executive director Rebecca Kahlenberg then organized the soap drive.
“We did not collect cash because people feel like it does not make a difference,” Kahlenberg said.  “This is concrete.”
The drive received more attention after emails were circulated and the radio news station WTOP made an announcement.  People began donating in large numbers, and MoverMoms’ original goal of 2,011 bars was exceeded quickly, as they reached over 5,000 bars.
A wide variety of people and groups have donated to the drive, ranging from small children to large corporations.  Many churches, synagogues, schools and other organizations have contributed as well.
“It is great to see so many people contributing,” Kahlenberg said.  “It is a great way for kids to get involved.”
The drive also extends to locations outside of Montgomery County, as MoverMoms has received donations from businesses in Texas and Colorado. 
In addition, the organization held a bake sale at a Bethesda Giant Jan. 29, raising about $600. 
According to Kahlenberg, the money to buy soap for the drive.
The soap collected will be picked up by the international youth organization Humanity First, which will bring the soap directly to the Haitians.
“The problems are still so serious,” Kahlenberg said. “It is gratifying that around here people will go out of their way to help.”