HOLLYWOOD — Seminole Gaming and Hard Rock International announced Oct. 12 the immediate donation of 30,000 containers of soap, shampoo, shower gel, body lotion and conditioner for distribution to victims of Hurricane Michael. 150 cases containing 30,000 hygiene items will be distributed by Orlando-based Clean the World, which collects and recycles hotel soap and bottled in-room amenities.

The donated hygiene items are coming from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos in Tampa and Hollywood, plus the Seminole Casino Hotel Immokalee. The three hotels were finalizing an ongoing agreement with Clean the World when Hurricane Michael ravaged the Florida Panhandle and parts of the Southeastern United States. As part of the agreement, all three hotels will continue to donate soap, shampoo and related hygiene items to Clean the World on an ongoing basis, to help fight the global spread of preventable diseases.

Seminole Gaming director of brand marketing Britta Kelley hands a wrapped case of bottled water to Kellie Brown, manager of global philanthropy for Hard Rock International, and Keith Glennon, advertising manager for Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood. 72,000 bottles of water donated by Seminole Gaming and HRI were trucked to the Hurricane Michael impact zone Oct. 17. (Photo Ralph Nataro)

“We want to quickly help hurricane victims, who need hygiene products now,” said Tracy Bradford, Senior Vice President of Purchasing for Seminole Gaming and Hard Rock International. “As a socially responsible hotel and casino company, we are committed to improving the lives of others and protecting the planet. Recycling hotel soap and other in-room amenities is the right thing to do.”

With recycling centers in Orlando, Las Vegas, Punta Cana and Hong Kong, Clean the World is a social enterprise dedicated to saving millions of lives around the world while simultaneously diverting hotel waste from landfills. On average, more than 5,000 children die every day from hygiene-related illnesses, primarily pneumonia and diarrheal disease, which are two of the top killers of children under the age of five.

Hand washing with soap is a low-cost intervention that can reduce those deaths by almost 50 percent. Since 2009, Clean the World has contributed to a 35 percent reduction in pre-adolescent deaths from hygiene-related illnesses by providing soap and hygiene education to make hand washing a lifelong habit and positively impact early childhood development.

The new partnership between Seminole Gaming and Clean the World adds 798 guestrooms and is projected to annually provide approximately 2,100 pounds of soap to Clean the World.

“Our hotel partners are driving impact in their local communities and all around the world,” said Shawn Seipler, Founder and CEO of Clean the World. “By making a commitment to sustainable, socially responsible programs in the hospitality industry, Seminole Gaming’s casino hotels are using leftover soap and bottled amenities to help save lives.”

In addition to providing soap to those in need around the world, Seminole Gaming casino hotels will be contributing recycled bottled hygiene amenities that will be repurposed for Clean the World Hygiene Kits, with distribution to shelters, food pantries, and disaster recovery organizations in the United States.

On the heels of donating the hygiene supplies, Seminole Gaming and Hard Rock International on Oct. 17 increased their immediate contribution of relief aid by dispatching 72,000 water bottles to the hurricane zone and delivering a $25,000 check to the American Red Cross.

The 72,000 bottles of water were being trucked to the hurricane zone by Hard Rock supplier U.S. Foods for immediate use by victims of Hurricane Michael. The contribution of bottled water is in addition to 30,000 items of soap, shampoo, shower gel, body lotion and conditioner already sent by Seminole Gaming and Hard Rock International to Orlando-based Clean the World, which collects and recycles hotel soap and bottled in-room amenities.

The donated items are coming from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos in Tampa and Hollywood, plus the Seminole Casino Hotel Immokalee located east of Naples.

“Bottled water is in great demand, and we have a large supply on hand that can be distributed immediately to hurricane victims,” said Tracy Bradford, Senior Vice President of Purchasing for Seminole Gaming and Hard Rock International. “As a socially responsible hotel and casino company based in Florida, we are committed to extending aid to our neighbors who have been ravaged by the effects of this catastrophic event.”

In addition, Seminole Gaming and Hard Rock International have made a $25,000 cash donation as part of a joint fundraising effort by NBC 6, South Florida and the Broward County Chapter of the American Red Cross.

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