South Dakota Teen Mobilizes Midwestern Hotels

Maren and Derreck cleaning up some soap!

We have been incredibly fortunate to have the ongoing support of our local community as we’ve built our organization – but word traveled quickly – prompting South Dakota resident Carol Johnson and her teenage daughter Maren to get involved. When Carol first told Maren about the Global Soap Project, her immediate reaction was that it was “weird” – not an uncommon response. For many, the idea of repurposing and recycling soap does sound a little strange. But as she learned more, Maren became one of our biggest advocates and most productive volunteers.

South Dakota Public Radio interviewed Maren and Global Soap Project Founder Derreck Kayongo when she began her volunteer work. You can listen to the interview here.

Now in her second year of working with South Dakota hotels, Maren is collaborating with the Minnesota Chapter of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) to centralize collection and shipping of soap to Atlanta for all participating properties in the midwest. She and her mom also made a special trip to Atlanta this Spring to see what happens to their soap once it makes it gets here. It was awesome to meet the Johnson family and spend the day making soap with them!

This Summer, Maren was named one of 15 teenagers on the All-America Service Team by PARADE Magazine, and the Global Soap Project Board of Directors named her our very first Student Ambassador.