Soap, The Savior

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by Amanda Bloom

IN AN EFFORT TO SAVE LIVES and deter the cholera outbreak in Haiti, Western Connecticut State University’s Biology Club is conducting a soap drive through Friday, December 17.  The club’s Vice President, Amanda Castonguay, came up with the idea after learning from her microbiology professor that the main reason Haitians are dying of cholera is that they lack the funds to purchase soap.

“I take for granted that I have soap at school, home, and everywhere I go,” Castonguay said in an email interview. “So I asked myself, what is stopping us from sending soap? I brought the idea up a bio club meeting and everyone took to it. It become a simple way to help someone in need, just a bar of soap.”

by Amanda Bloom


DANBURY – IN AN EFFORT TO SAVE LIVES and deter the cholera outbreak in Haiti, Western Connecticut State University’s Biology Club is conducting a soap drive through Friday, December 17.  The club’s Vice President, Amanda Castonguay, came up with the idea after learning from her microbiology professor that the main reason Haitians are dying of cholera is that they lack the funds to purchase soap.

“I take for granted that I have soap at school, home, and everywhere I go,” Castonguay said in an email interview. “So I asked myself, what is stopping us from sending soap? I brought the idea up a bio club meeting and everyone took to it. It become a simple way to help someone in need, just a bar of soap.”


“A bar of soap can change a life,
and many of us can spare a bar of soap or more.”
– Amanda Castonguay, creator of the soap drive

Castonguay explained that cholera is a bacteria that releases deadly toxins within the body, thereby causing the infected person to have severe diarrhea. Victims of cholera are basically dying of diarrhea that does not stop. Cholera is spread through contaminated and untreated water, and the January, 2010 earthquake has greatly disrupted Haiti’s land and water systems. Combine the disruption with a tropical climate and poor sanitation and you have an area that is highly susceptible to cholera.

The club is sending the soap to Haiti via Clean The World, an organization devoted to distributing soap and hygiene education in impoverished countries.  So far, the club as collected over 200 bars of soap.  Castonguay and her clubmates hope to beat the numbers this spring semester with a second soap drive.

Those looking to donate soap can do so in the box inside the front foyer of WestConn’s Science building, located on the corner of Osbourne Street and Dr. James Roach Avenue, or at Castonguay’s work, Hot Topic in the Danbury Mall, located on Backus Avenue.  Soap can also be directly shipped to Clean The World at 8026 Sunport Drive, Suite 306, Orlando, Florida, 32809.

by & filed under Health & Humanity, World.