October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, when individuals and groups rally to increase awareness of the disease and the resources to help with early detection. And while the spotlight shines pink during this month, a nonprofit headquartered in Lewisville, Texas works all year long to give women undergoing cancer treatment access to free cleaning services, or what one maid service calls “vitamins for the soul.”
Since its inception in 2006, Cleaning for a Reason has supported more than 15,000 women battling cancer by providing free housecleaning services, according to Founder and President Debbie Sardone. These free services are collectively valued at more than $4.5 million.
Featured by Reader’s Digest Magazine in July 2014 as one of the “25 Uplifting, Quirky Things That Could Only Happen in America,” Cleaning for a Reason highlights the needs of women struggling with the physical and emotional costs of cancer treatment. Anyone, regardless of profession can help. “I never knew how good it would feel to give away for free what I do for a living,” says Sardone.
What started as an internal policy within Sardone’s own company, Buckets and Bows, grew into Cleaning for a Reason, an organization that has partnered with 1,100 maid services throughout all 50 states and Canada. Sardone vowed to meet this need after a woman called Buckets and Bows for a price quote, but promptly hung up after telling Sardone she couldn’t afford the services because she was undergoing chemotherapy and radiation. Sardone didn’t have the chance to offer this woman free services, but what emerged from that phone call is now a nationwide effort to help women fighting cancer have one less thing to worry about.
One woman who received the complementary cleaning services told Sardone that after surgery, just shampooing her hair was difficult, so cleaning the house was out of the question. The cancer patient said the cleaning services provided a huge emotional lift after a day of chemotherapy.
“By giving back in this small way, we are able to help women with cancer focus on their treatment, healing, and relaxing, and that’s what is most important,” Allison Helligso, owner of Pink Shoe Cleaning Crew in Omaha, a Cleaning for a Reason partner, told Edge Magazine.
The American Cancer Society estimates there will be 805,500 new cases of cancer diagnosed in females in 2014. One of the biggest challenges for the Cleaning for a Reason network is making their unique offering known to women battling cancer. Cleaning for a Reason recently struck up a partnership with Swiffer® featuring a social media campaign where women with breast cancer can share their story on social media with #SwifferGoesPink. Limited edition pink Swiffer products displayed in pallets featuring the Cleaning for a Reason logo are being sold in stores during the month of October.
“One of the biggest challenges we face is that there are so many women who need this service, Sardone explains. “We are always looking for more cleaning services to sign up to provide the cleanings, which is why we are grateful to Swiffer … for helping us spread the word.”
To apply individually, or sign up others coping with cancer to receive free cleaning services, visit http://www.cleaningforareason.org. Nominate someone who is making a positive impact where you live for a Daily Point of Light award. Details at http://www.pointsoflight.org/programs/recognition/dpol/nomination