The contest winners returned from the week-long trip on December 5, during which time they distributed soap to families at community centers and home visits in Chimaltenango, San Lorenzo and Zaragoza, Guatemala. This year’s winners include Yader M. El-Azar, Food Server, Paris Las Vegas; Paulette Landell, Room Attendant, Harrah’s North Kansas City; and Laurie Porter, Food & Beverage Administrative Assistant, Harrah’s New Orleans.
Caesars Foundation has supported Clean the World since 2010 and has contributed $825,000 to the organization. The Caesars group’s North American properties with hotels have collected nearly 2 million bars of soap to be sanitized and distributed to 100 countries to help reduce the spread of bacterial borne diseases. Caesars Foundation and Caesars Entertainment Corporation are founding supporters of the Las Vegas Recycling Operations Center.
The competition with Clean the World has taken place annually for three years, giving employees the unique opportunity to visit developing countries and see firsthand how recycled soaps and shampoos from Caesars group properties are saving lives. Children International, a non-profit with offices in 11 countries, manages the coordination of local logistics and distribution.
“More than two million bars of partially used hotel soap are thrown away every day in the United States,” said Thom Reilly, Executive Director of the Caesars Foundation. “It’s incredibly rewarding for our employees to be involved at the ground level so they can witness firsthand the positive impact access to bar soap and hygiene education can have on families and communities.”
“My favorite part of this experience was being able to help in the task of saving lives,” said Yader El-Azir. “I’m proud to be part of this amazing team of two organizations getting together for one purpose: the well-being of the community.”
In order to participate in the service trip, an employee or a co-worker completes a nomination form explaining how the individual provides service with a passion in the workplace, superior internal service, or how he/she is involved in his or her local community.
Yader M. El-Azar has been with the Caesars Entertainment company group since 1987 and was described by his supervisor as “a man with integrity and a heart for serving others.” Yader spends 40 hours each month at a local food bank where he is in charge of food distribution to hundreds of people in need in the Las Vegas valley. Terry Williams, Founder and CEO of the food bank, noted “Yader has the unique qualities of a compassionate heart, thoughtfulness and leadership all rolled into one.” His experience as a “servant leader” will make him a strong asset in Guatemala.
Paulette Landell was applauded by her colleague as an ambassador of the Harrah’s North Kansas City Clean the World efforts, explaining how she is “strategically paired up with new housekeepers to help ensure they too understand the importance of guarding our planet’s health… Her special ability to promote CodeGreen awareness, coupled with her selfless actions, has truly inspired her peers and her leaders.”
Laurie Porter’s co-worker said of her service, “Not only is Laurie Porter a tireless volunteer for both HERO and CodeGreen, she inspires and recruits the rest of us to step up and do our share of the work as well.” Caesars HEROs are community service leaders and CodeGreen is Caesars’ sustainability strategy implemented, in large part, by passionate advocates like Porter.
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