ORLANDO, Fla., — Clean the World, a leader in Global Health, and Booyah Veteran Bus Project, announce the launch of Hike Across America, powered by Booyah Veteran Bus Project and Clean the World. Hike Across America is a three-month initiative to raise awareness for homeless veterans and the difficulties they face going from active duty to civilian life.
During the Hike Across America, founder of the Booyah Veteran Bus Project, Shane Johnson, will walk 22 miles every day for 65 days — trekking coast-to-coast, from Florida to California and distributing Clean the World Veterans’ Hygiene Kits to homeless veterans in need.
“This is a lead from the front initiative to not only bring awareness for but also, to take massive action across the nation to eliminate veteran homelessness and transitional issues caused by going from military life to civilian life. This unified partnership between Clean the World and Booyah Veteran Bus Project is the first major step in this initiative,” says Shane Johnson, founder of the Booyah Veteran Bus Project.
“We will no longer sit by the wayside and allow our veterans to fall into the trap of isolation due to the lack of transitional resources. We will band together outside of the military to create a cohesive team — a unit — and will make a concentrated effort to help transitioning veterans learn to dominate civilian life as they did in the military.”
This is the second time Shane Johnson and the Booyah Veteran Bus Project has hiked for veterans. In October 2016, Johnson and his team completed a 360+ mile trek from the Veteran’s hospital in Lake Nona, Florida to Panama City, Florida. This year, with Johnson teaming up with Clean the World, the initiative is even bigger and more intense as the walk will consist of 65 consecutive days and over 3,000 miles. The Hike Across America, a first-of-its-kind walk, will start on Sept. 11 in Orlando, Florida and end in Camp Pendleton, California on Nov. 14. The hike will be segmented into 22-mile intervals representing the number of veterans that commit suicide every day and consists of 20 different city stops including a Veterans Day stop in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“When we heard about the Booyah Veteran Bus Project, we knew Clean the World needed to be a part of this initiative,” says Shawn Seipler, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Clean the World. “With over 47,000 homeless veterans in the United States, we want to directly connect these heroes, who gave the ultimate sacrifice to our country, to organizations and services that will help them get back on their feet. By creating an army of volunteers and supporters, we will fight for our homeless Veteran community, provide the necessary resources to get them back into the workforce, and give them a step up towards changing their situation for the better.”
During the walk, Johnson will visit homeless shelters specializing in serving veterans, raise awareness for veteran homelessness, and hand out Clean the World Veterans’ Hygiene Kits to those in need. Veterans’ Hygiene Kits are specialized with items specifically with veterans in mind: 2 bars of soap, repurposed shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, shaving cream, razor, comb, socks, and an inspirational notecard. In addition, veterans will be connected to counselors, pastors, and organizations in their local communities to provide them with the support needed to transition to civilian life and into the work force.
“Our hope is to give these veterans a little something to make them feel better. These hygiene kits will provide a way for veterans to get cleaned and refreshed, giving them a renewed start as they face the challenges of their everyday lives,” says Seipler. “We are visiting 20 cities across America during the three-month hike. We want to distribute as many hygiene kits as possible to vets across America so we are looking for individuals and businesses to donate towards the costs of the kits. Please help by donating kits via our website and spread the word to your friends. This is a fantastic way for individuals to give back to a veteran in need.”
To learn more about Hike Across America powered by Booyah Veteran Bus Project and Clean the World including routes and updates, please visit: cleantheworld.org/hike-across-america.
In addition to Hygiene Kit donations, Clean the World is looking for equipment and supplies to support Shane Johnson and his team during the walk. This includes a recreation vehicle, camping gear, clothing, shoes, food, drinks, and electronic equipment. For businesses or individuals that would like to donate hygiene kits or sponsor Hike Across America, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Clean the World
Clean the World is a social enterprise dedicated to the mission of saving millions of lives around the world while simultaneously diverting hotel waste from landfills. Clean the World operates soap recycling centers in Orlando, Las Vegas and Hong Kong, and leads a “Global Hygiene Revolution” to distribute recycled soap and hygiene products from more than 5,000 hotel and resort partners to children and families in countries with a high pre-adolescent death rate due to acute respiratory infection (pneumonia) and diarrheal diseases (cholera) – which are two of the top killers of children under the age of five. Since 2009, more than 40 million bars of Clean the World soap have been distributed in over 115 countries.
Clean the World has served over 10 million individuals through its soap distribution and hygiene education programs. In addition, Clean the World provides hygiene kits to relief organizations throughout North America. More information: CleanTheWorld.org.
About Booyah Veteran Bus Project
The Veteran Bus Project is a three-phase endeavor to provide a sense of dignity to the countless homeless and transitioning Veterans in America today. Phase 1 involves raising massive awareness to the circumstances surrounding veteran suicides and homelessness due to transitioning issues from Military service back into the Civilian sector. After distinguished and honorable military service, many aging or ill veterans end up homeless or even are forced to walk to and from their VA medical appointments across the nation. The Project will shed light on these issues by a hiking and speaking tours across the country in 2016 and 2017.
The 360+ mile hike in 2016 was a massive success in Florida communities and this impact will be expanding to the rest of the United States with the hiking efforts in 2017. Phase 2 will involve the buildout of mobile hygiene units that will travel and provide showers, haircuts and laundry facilities to those in need; thus providing a critical healthy step up and restoring dignity to those it serves. The Project is aiming to begin construction of the first mobile shower unit in Orlando, Florida beginning in the second quarter of 2018. The third Phase of the Project will be aimed at creating actual transitional facilities, complete with a 13-week housing program.
The central focus of these facilities will be recreating a military-type structured learning environment where veterans can learn from qualified instructors and community leaders the skills necessary to transition and even become highly successful and impactful in their new civilian lives! Upon completion of the program, each veteran will be provided with a mentor and a job opportunity.
More information: BooyahVeteranBusProject.com.