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Playing with a Purpose

Published: September 03, 2013

Have you ever thought about what happens to leftover shampoo, soaps, and other toiletries after your hotel stay? I have, and I’m not the only one. A firm in Orlando, Florida called Clean the World collects leftover hotel toiletries for reprocessing and distribution to those in need.

Clean America group

At a recent conference, I had the opportunity to participate in a CSR (corporate social responsibility) event sponsored by Geo Team/Geo Clean, Clean the World, and Meetings Focus Live! that used these reprocessed products. The 45 of us who participated were put into five random teams and each team was provided with five sealed boxes. The goal for each team was to assemble 40 personal hygiene packets, with nine specific items (including a note of encouragement) exactly as per a sample packet that we briefly looked at. In addition, we had to take photos after an assigned number of packets were sealed. Our team, the pink team, completed the task in just over nine minutes and we won round one!

Bag of items

A completed personal hygiene packet

Then, all teams were asked to have each member give an idea for improving the performance of the task. After that we had to come up with team goals. Our goal was to pack our next 40 packets accurately and under eight minutes. The whistle blew and we began the task again with new boxes and more products. We had decided that since our method worked the first time we had nothing to alter, but this time we were short product! As I ran to locate more soap, one packet made it through the process, short the required soap. So although we made better time, we had not created our 40 packets correctly. Even though our team was great communicators and team players, the lack of product hampered us.

As for the team that beat us? They were the team that had placed last on the first round. However, they observed what other teams did correctly and added that to their goals. We learned communication skills, teamwork, and how to be "soapy, sudsy stars" (Clean the World's terms for participants in this event). We then presented 400 personal hygiene packets to the Union Gospel Rescue Mission and heard about the impact that we would be making in their work. One recipient of our kits included a man getting on a bus for a multi-state ride back home that very day. We gave two hours of our time to help provide a positive environmental impact on our world and hopefully provided a human touch at the same time to someone needing just that – all with leftover shampoo and soaps that were reprocessed.

Juanita certificate

A Life-Changing Adventure Award presented to Juanita for participating in this CSR event

At Eugene, Cascades & Coast, we love working with the various organizations in our community on CSR projects! This is just one way to experience team building and have a positive impact on the community. Visit our page on team building for a number of fun and unique ideas on connecting with your team throughout the Lane County area.

Author: Juanita Metzler

A native Oregonian, Juanita Metzler loves business and event planning. When not working an event or visiting with planners she enjoys traveling, anything with the Oregon Ducks, trips to the beach and volunteering, with a cup of tea in her hand. Juanita@EugeneCascadesCoast.org

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