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Edco Transmission owner Steve Bellamy and his granddaughter Hannah Bellamy stand in front of some donated soap, which is to be donated to people who need it. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)


Bar none: Family collects soap for Clean the World

By From page B5 | January 18, 2014

FAIRFIELD — It’s not often one walks into a transmission shop and gets a good whiff of Irish Spring bath soap.

“That’s a fragrant little corner over there,” said Steve Bellamy, owner of EDCO Transmission on North Texas Street.

That little corner is home to buckets of bar soap that is shipped off to Clean the World, with headquarters in Orlando, Fla. Used bars of soap are recycled and shipped along with new bars to impoverished people in the United States and developing countries.

Bellamy’s late wife Sandy Bellamy began collecting soap donations in 2010. She died in 2011. Their daughters Holly Bellamy, Jill Russell and Stephanie Russell and granddaughter-in-law Laura Bellamy continue the tradition.

Clean the World Foundation was founded in February 2009, according to the group’s website. The mission is to collect and recycle soap and bottled amenities discarded by the hospitality industry.

The World Health Organization, according to the Clean the World Foundation, believes one-third of diseases that kill children younger than 5 could be prevented by hand washing with bar soap.

Collecting the soap meant the world to her mom, Holly Bellamy said.

“She raised us to be mindful of others,” she said.

When the buckets get full, the Bellamys box them up and send them to Florida. They’ve learned to utilize the U.S. Postal Service’s flat rate mailboxes to save on costs.

Stephanie Bellamy also collects soap donations at her business, Bella Terra, in Vacaville. Laura Bellamy also brought home hotel soaps when she traveled for work.

Steve Bellamy estimated the family has sent more than 75 boxes over the years. Each was filled with soap, some about the size of half dollars, secured in a small plastic bag. He’s amazed that people can keep such a small size in their hand while bathing.

Those who attended Sandy Bellamy’s funeral were asked to bring a bar of soap for Clean the World.

“There were piles of soap,” Holly Bellamy said.

Clean the World has changed the way the family looks at soap. Remnants are now put aside for donation. Co-workers and friends do the same.

Steve Bellamy switched his bath soap brand after smelling various ones. He liked one made by Dove but felt he was “too manly to try it,” he said, joking.

“It brings out the Irish brogue (in him),” Holly Bellamy said about her father’s soap choice.

Hannah Bellamy, Laura Bellamy’s 15-month-old daughter, is getting an introduction to the family affair.

“I remember when Sandy started it,” Laura Bellamy said. “The entire family room was full of soap.”

Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.

Amy Maginnis-Honey

Amy Maginnis-Honey

Amy Maginnis-Honey joined the staff of the Daily Republic in 1980. She’ll tell you she was only 3 at the time. Over the past three decades she’s done a variety of jobs in the newsroom. Today, she covers arts and entertainment and writes for the Living and news pages.

Discussion | 3 comments

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  • Skeptic ScroogeJanuary 18, 2014 - 2:23 am

    Best auto shop in town! I noticed the sign for soap donations too! Honest, friendly, best price. Gave me a free diagnosis on my check engine light, would have cost me $140 at the dealer - and get this, they gave my 2 rambunctious toddlers a free toy garbage truck and horse! Even after they knew they werent going to make $ off me because I had a diesel! I was kinda shocked, it's like they are a nonprofit or something! I mean, really generous people, living in a time warp from the past, heartfelt generosity that is unheard of in most of society.

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  • P. J.January 18, 2014 - 9:38 am

    Honestly! Steve Bellamy is really Santa, just look at him! My deceased husband absolutely thought the world of him, car wise, business wise and personally. A mutual friend used to get Steve to be Santa at Fairfield Lions Christmas Parties....long ago, but such a happy memory!

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  • tom lishJanuary 18, 2014 - 2:24 pm

    I've known Steve and the family for many years. He is always the Gentle man, and has a wonderful family, I miss Sandy , she was a delight. Steve always has the best coffee in town cooking for customers and visitors. stop by and say HI, and drop off a soap or two. thanks for all you do Steve ... tom

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