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Soap and glory


A local charity gathers the bare necessities for those who need them the most.

Aimee Williams July 24th, 2013

Instead of hoarding hotel soap from past vacations, why not donate those extra toiletries to a good cause?

Hope for Soap, a nonprofit based in Oklahoma City, gives Oklahomans the chance to do just that. The organization collects unused soap and other essentials to donate primarily to OKC’s YWCA, a certified shelter and resource center for victims of domestic violence.

After giving away hotel soap collected from his frequent travels, Jason Redman, founder of Hope for Soap, was inspired to make use of his philanthropic instincts. Thus, the initiative was born.

“All of this started last year to keep me busy,” said Redman. “I’ve worked with other local charities in the past, so I wanted to continue helping out in some way. I stumbled upon the local YWCA, told them I would be bringing in a bunch of soap, and that’s where the project started,” Redman said.

Initially a one-man endeavor, Hope for Soap is sustained through community participation. Redman credits social media for helping it grow.

As the project started drawing more attention, he signed up local businesses to participate as donation drop-off sites, including Blue Seven, 7518 N. May; Kamber’s, 7308 N. Western; JJ Kelly Bridal, 12325 N. May; and Metro Career Academy at Metro Technology Centers, 1901 Springlake Drive.

Redman said he wants Hope for Soap’s mission to be straightforward: Help strangers in need without asking anything in return.

With support from Blue Seven, he distributes reusable bags from the store to fill with essential toiletries to make the donating process easier.

“I’m not asking for people’s money or time; just for things they probably already have around the house — things that wouldn’t be used otherwise,” Redman said.

Redman’s efforts have generated out-of-state attention, marked by a developing connection with Wedding Network USA to help spread the word nationally.

“People always see the value in what Hope for Soap is doing, even if they’re not already involved with charities or local to Oklahoma,” he said.

He emphasized importance of preserving the nonprofit’s original mission to support people in need of the most basic necessities.

“I want this to benefit local communities around the nation, but I don’t ever want Hope for Soap to become too big,” said Redman. “I get frustrated when I see large organizations donating only a portion of their proceeds. Hope for Soap is not about money, and it never will be.”

He said his original intention for Hope for Soap was to simply help out in any way possible in his community, but his ultimate reward is sharing his enthusiasm for the project.

“If I can inspire someone to do something good, I’ve achieved my life goal,” Redman said. “Anything is possible when people are motivated.”

Hope for Soap is always accepting donations, as well as other unused amenities. For more information, visit hopeforsoap.org.

 
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