ABC7 Salutes: Veteran-owned soap company gives back to help those experiencing homelessness

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- When Maxwell Moore came home to Los Angeles after several tours of duty with the Navy, the local VA recommended he pick up a hobby to help with his PTSD. That's when he turned to something he learned as child: making soap.

"The soap kind of kept him alive," said Maxwell's Soaps COO, Joe Palacios. "It kind of saved his life, it gave him something to do."

One day, while walking on the streets of downtown L.A., Moore, a 16-year combat veteran, was asked for spare change. He had nothing to offer except his handmade soap.

He was shocked to learn how grateful the individual was to receive it.

"That was kind of the 'aha' moment for me," Moore told Eyewitness News. "That I could make a company employing veterans, and also be able to make a difference in the lives of people who are less fortunate than myself."

That's when Maxwell's Soaps was born.

"One of the things that I noticed for myself when I was in war, was that if I can get a shower, my amount of humanity and patience was reinvigorated," said Moore. "Without it, the longer I was dirty and nasty, the more unhuman I felt. To come home and see people in America who are living just as dirty as I was in a war was a real wake-up call for me."

Maxwell's Soaps was created with philanthropy in its DNA, with not only profits in mind, but with the goal of giving back. That's why for every bar of soap sold the company donates one to homeless hygiene programs.

The company also prides itself on making the highest-quality soap with all-natural ingredients.

"I have a son who has eczema," says Maxwell Soaps Marketing Consultant, Mary Moon Hernandez. "And his skin is sensitive to every soap out there, except Maxwell's Soaps."

"We have to start with something more than just money in mind. Like how do we make a long-term difference, how do we bake in philanthropy and making our world better," Moore said.
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