In abounding countries, soap is a luxury, but actuality in the states, accoutrements of commutual soap, shampoo, conditioner and balm go to decay every year.
For apathetic adventurer and bounded agent Dennis Wood, this decay was an befalling cat-and-mouse to be exploited.
Partnering with his bounded Kiwanis club, the 80-something-year-old began accession bare soap, absterge and balm from bounded hotels and reprocessing it into abounding admeasurement bars.
Once reprocessed, these confined are alien all over the world—places like Sierra Leon in Africa, all the way to orphanages in Peru and Columbia.
“A cogent bulk goes to an abode in Bogota, Columbia,” Wood said. “A lot has gone to Africa, Haiti, Sierra Leon.”
He said some confined go to third-world countries, while others end up in the easily of La Crosse men and women through programs like Wafer.
“I apperceive how important it is for people, and how blessed they are to get it,” Wood said.
Wood, now an flush business man, is no drifter to poverty. In fact, he was built-in into poverty. He said he grew up in his grandparents’ garage, in Pine City aloof east of Minneapolis and St. Paul, during the acme of the Great Depression.
After putting himself through college, area he advised forestry, he traveled, alive from the agrarian west to the algid Alaskan tundra.
He afterwards went to assignment for the Webster Lumber Company and eventually confused to Bangor to advice alpha a new ability there. During his years active in Bangor, he bought up about 700 acreage of acreage area he aloft beef cattle.
“I’ve been in the beasts business for 50 years,” Wood said. “Buying this Coulee was one of the best moves I’ve made.”
Wood retired from the Webster Lumber Company in the mid 90s afterwards 30-some years of service, and began dedicating his time to the beasts business and alive the land.
About nine years ago, while Wood and his wife were browsing the web, they apparent a baby soap reprocessing kit. He said for $80, it came with a knife and a few instructions for axis exceptionable and bare auberge ablution soap in to large, abiding bars.
Wood, a 53-year affiliate of Kiwanis, approached the club with a plan to reprocess soap sourced from bounded hotels on a beyond scale.
Nearly a decade and added than 140,000 confined of soap later, Wood is still adamantine at assignment authoritative abiding bodies who can’t allow this simple affluence can accept it. He said a lot of actual baleful diseases can be abhorred with able hygiene and a little soap.
The action starts back Wood arrives home from acrimonious up accoutrements of bare soap for the 10 hotels advance out amid La Crosse and Sparta.
He said the aboriginal footfall is to abstracted the tiny confined of soap from bottles of shampoo, conditioner and lotion. Repackaging the absterge is the easiest part, he said. The baby bottles are drained into beyond containers, accustomed a characterization and boxed up for distribution.
Reprocessing the soap takes a little added work. Wood starts by amid the confined of soap. Yellow confined are candy alone from the white to anticipate a blotchy actualization afterwards on.
Once separated, the confined are put through a meat grinder to abate the soap to accomplished chips. These are accumulated with a few cups of baptize and broiled in a baking hot slow-cooker over several hours.
The broiled soap is again caked into molds and accustomed to air-conditioned and dry for at atomic 24 hours afore actuality cut into blubbery bars.
The final footfall afore battle up the soap is to dry them.
Wood said this action takes as continued as two weeks, during which the soap shrinks and looses a ample bulk of weight. This makes the soap easier to address in ample quantities.
The action consumes Wood’s time. He said on average, he spends 20-plus hours a anniversary reprocessing soap. Over the two-week-long processing time, Wood makes as abounding as 1,000 confined of soap.
“It gets arid sometimes,” he said. “I accept no botheration accepting rid of it.”
Now 85, Wood said he hopes to advance the convenance to added Kiwanis clubs throughout the country.
“I’d like to aggrandize it,” he said. “I’ve not been able to get that to spread.”
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