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STUDENTS MAKING A DIFFERENCE:LPHS student collecting soap to help save lives

December 4, 2009
RICHARD ROSENTRETER, Lake Placid News Editor
        LAKE PLACID — A local student is trying to prevent deaths in other countries in a unique way. She is collecting discarded soap from area hotels that will eventually be shipped overseas to help battle unsanitary conditions in several nations.

    Ally Wyle, a senior at Lake Placid High School, began the initiative as part of her senior project after she saw a report on the evening news just around the time the school semester began about the soap campaign by a group called “Clean the World.”

    According to the organization’s Web site, in Haiti soap is a valuable commodity since it is imported and many citizens are unable to afford it. Studies by the World Health Organization show that the use of soap in hand washing greatly reduces the incidence of diarrheal and respiratory illness that, combined, are the leading causes of death in children under the age of 5.

    “People are dying from unsanitary conditions,” Wyle said. “I saw the report on the news, and totally wanted to make it my project.”

    According to one report on CBS, in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, disease spreads easily. Worldwide, two million people die every year from diarrhea, often caused by poor sanitation, and 8,000 children die in Haiti alone.

     By providing soap to impoverished people Clean the World said it hopes to greatly reduce these deaths. So Wyle said went to work sending letters to local hotels and was surprised to get quick responses.

    “I was really excited because it meant I could start my project,” she told the News.

    According to Wyle, all the soap that is collected will be sent to a company in Florida where it will be sanitized and shipped overseas. Wyle said these countries do not have clean water and the soap will help people have a cleaner environment.

    Clinical studies have shown that the simple hygiene practice of washing one’s hands with plain bar soap can reduce these deaths by up to 60 percent, according to Clean the World.

    Wyle will continue collecting soap through April, and all of the soap will go to homeless shelters and impoverished countries suffering from high death rates due to acute respiratory infection and diarrheal disease.

    Wyle said the Mirror Lake Inn, where her father is employed as the housekeeping manager, was the first establishment to join her effort. Since then, Ally has solicited the help of the Courtyard Marriot, Placid Bay Inn, Wildwood On The Lake, The Pines of Lake Placid, The Adirondack Inn and the Lake Placid Lodge. Wyle said she hopes other hotels in the Tri-Lakes area will participate in her effort.

    For more information on how to help Ally with her project, contact Steve Wyle at the Mirror Lake Inn at 523-7834 ext. 676.

    For more information on the program, visit

Article Photos

Lake Placid High School students and Key Club members Lucy Mitchell, Carleigh Garrett and Nick Stosiek stand with food collected as part of a food drive sponsored by the Builder’s Club and Key Club to benefit the Lake Placid and Wilmington food pantries. The drive is being held through the month of December, and parents can have their children bring food, which is being collected in English classes, to school.

Richard Rosentreter/Lake Placid News



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