Chris, Derek, Jeff and Thomasine broke their all-time best soap making record of 75 gallons in just over 3 hours! A concerted effort by the team got everyone working together to get the job done! Thomasine was quoted as saying “we’re going to get to 3000”. There is no stopping this team of dedicated workers. Chris stated “we’re out of labels” but even that minor delay did not slow anyone down today. Their temporary supervisor Nafeesa was overheard saying there were no clean towels, but again another snafu did nothing to impact the teamwork going on at the RHA office. Derek was seen staying on task the entire day, while Jeff has completely rebounded from his recent illness.
Congratulations to this team of dedicated workers!
The Soap Factory started out as a brainchild of Kris Bergman, who is Home Manager at RHA’s Garber Road home. She found a recipe somewhere, either online or in a newspaper, about how to make inexpensive but good laundry detergent. She experimented by making detergent for the Garber home a couple of years ago.
Last summer we were looking to add a small day hab program (Adult Day Services) and Kris’ idea seemed to be just what we were looking for. Program Manager Vicki Servais and Day Services Coordinator Amanda Wallace approached the people we serve to see if any of them would be interested in making laundry detergent, which would include being paid for doing it.
We had a yes from four people, Thomasine Hill, Chris Martin, Derek Landes and Mike Wood. They came up with the name for their company and thus The Soap Factory was established. They meet every other Friday in our offices to make their detergent, which is then used in all of our homes in place of detergents purchased from stores. Not only does it save us money for laundry supplies, Thomasine, Chris, Derek and Mike are now Resident Home paid employees, with Amanda serving as their supervisor.
The best work day was when these employees made 70 gallons of detergent in one day. The average is 30 gallons a day. They make their detergent for about 70 cents a gallon. Ingredients include shredded bar soap, Fels Naptha, Borax, Arm & Hammer Washing Soda and lots of water. According to Amanda, the product has really been welcomed at all the homes. “It does as good as or even a better job than expensive brand name laundry detergents,” she said. “It really gets out our difficult stains.”