Women battling cancer have found an ally in a nonprofit group that offers free house cleaning for U.S. and Canadian cancer patients, so far serving more than 19,500 women and providing over $5.5 million worth of housekeeping services.
And the reason why Cleaning for a Reason founder Debbie Sardone started this mission is just as remarkable.
Sardone, who owns a cleaning company, was once phoned by a potential client, who eventually just hung up because she could not afford the services due to the cancer therapies that hindered her from working.
"[T]hat was before Caller ID. I had no way to call her back," recounted Sardone in an interview, vowing to help the next woman fighting cancer who would call their office and seek their services.
Speaking years later at a national cleaning profession convention, Sardone discussed the heartwarming story and won the interest and support of many companies, from big ones to mom-and-pop stores.
The 56-year-old CEO then started Cleaning for a Reason, which is commemorating its 10th anniversary in 2016. The organization has so far deployed more than 1,200 maid services in the cause and currently received about 1,400 cleaning requests every month.
The group partners with companies throughout the U.S. and Canada that commit to one free cleaning every month for a four-month period. The companies pay their employees for services they render.
PCT Clean worked with Cleaning for a Reason in 2006 and has assisted more than 240 cancer patients in the cause. Its CEO R.J. Patel believes they are "doing God's work" in the beneficiaries' homes.
Patel thought of a home as an integral part of a woman's pride, where it hurts her psychology to see that her home is far from where she wants it to be. "[W]hen they're hurt mentally, their healing takes longer," Patel said.
For Sardone, who has been in the private cleaning industry for over three decades, the target is to have every maid service in the country – about 25,000 right now – to join their advocacy. At present, only 1,150 have worked with them.
"My whole world is about cleaning... I understand how good it makes you feel when you have a clean house," she shared.
Photo: Trish Hartmann | Flickr