The Gift That Gives Back


Darby Drapeau, Staff Writer

According to a report written by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 2.5 billion people around the world lack access to efficient water sanitation. 

Although sources have credited Pensacola with extremely unsanitary drinking water, most of us do not understand the struggle of living completely without clean, easily accessible water. Most of us don’t even think twice about the hand soap that sits so assumptively on the corner of our sinks.

We see these things, clean drinking water and hygiene products, as commodities. Meanwhile, less fortunate countries, that make up the larger portion of that statistic, view them as luxuries.  

This simple luxury costs 2,200 children their lives every day according to the CDC. 

Luckily today, there is a company that has built its entire industry around helping communities break these unnecessarily high statistics one bottle of soap at a time.

Hand in Hand is a sustainable hygiene company that focuses on giving its customers eco-friendly products that smell fresh and work well. However, the company’s primary goal is to sell a lot of the product you love to then donate a lot of raw materials people need. 

For every bottle or bar of soap sold, one bar of soap and one month of clean water is donated to a community in need. 

In 2011 married couple, Courtney Apple and Bill Glaab read about millions of children dying every year due to water-related illnesses. To combat this terrible truth, they founded Hand in Hand on the principle that providing people with the tools to incorporate basic handwashing into their daily lives, could cut that number nearly in half. 

Hand in Hand not only focuses on the outcome for their clients and donation recipients but for the planet as well. The precious, pastel colored bottles are made of completely recyclable aluminum, and the product inside the bottle is sourced and harvested from completely environmentally friendly ingredients. 

Now, 10 years later the company has donated at least 3 million bars of soap and has built permanent wells in both Haiti and Cambodia. These receiving areas have experienced drastic declines in both illnesses and deaths related to water-cleanliness and hygienic practices. 

The CDC estimates that every U.S. dollar invested towards efforts of bettering water cleanliness and hygiene around the world could result in economic benefits from five to forty-six U.S. dollars. The average cost of Hand in Hand’s bottled soap is five dollars. 

These donations would not have been possible without the purchases made by people in our shoes, people who have the financial means to help. 

So how can you help?

Stores right here in Pensacola stock Hand in Hand on their shelves! You can locate a bottle of Hand in Hands soap at Target, Walmart, and CVS Pharmacy; all of which are just a few miles down the road from UWF campus. 

Or you can visit to browse through their online store and gift yourself, a friend, or family member a product that will give back.