It was a typical workday when cleaning service owner Debbie Sardone of Flower Mound took the call that she said, “changed things.”
Sardone spoke with a young woman battling cancer at the time and needed someone to clean her home. The caller stated she could not afford the services, and the call ended in a “no sale.”
Sardone said after she hung up it bothered her that she didn’t think to offer cleaning at no charge to help the woman. “I didn’t realize it until it was too late,” she said.
She then implemented a policy to never turn away any woman requesting maid services while fighting cancer. Her decision to start the new policy was the beginning of many great deeds to come.
Sardone, originally from Miami, Florida, is a 29-year veteran of the residential cleaning industry. She founded Buckets and Bows Maid Service in 1981 and still runs the company today.
In 2006, Sardone started the non-profit organization, Cleaning for a Reason.
“The idea is to have other maid-service providers partner with Cleaning for a Reason, and offer free services for female cancer patients,” she said.
Sardone decided it was time to build a team that believed in this cause as much as she did.
The Lewisville-based non-profit has 12 board members, all of whom have various professional and managerial skills. Employees from Buckets and Bows are also a part of the Cleaning for a Reason organization.
The organization started out small, but it is growing more each day. The company has helped over 12,000 women with cancer with more than $3.2 million in donated cleanings. They have over 1,000 maid service providers, and recently partnered with Mr. Clean and Swiffer.
Staff members say they understand why Sardone is so passionate about this cause.
“The medications used for cancer treatments are harsh on patients and some of the cleaning products are very harmful to them,” said Lynn Frankenfield, executive director at Cleaning for a Reason.
Frankenfield has worked in the nonprofit sector for over 23 years. Her mother is a two-time cancer survivor and she has seen first hand the effects this disease has on the body and mind.
She has spoken with her clients and other partners on the advantages of having a clean home for patients undergoing chemotherapy and other cancer treatments.
Though the organization is small, she feels the impact thus far is tremendous.
“I’ve always enjoyed my career, but I’m really enjoying being a part of such a cause-driven organization,” Frankenfield said.
Frankenfield said she enjoys working with Sardone, and her “tireless efforts” inspire her everyday.
Sardone said she understands that the smallest gesture can mean the biggest thing to someone in need. She said though researchers are working on a cure for cancer, the statistics for newly diagnosed women are scary.
“Cancer is the leading cause of death in women today,” said Dr. Kandace Farmer, diagnostic radiologist at Solis Women’s Health in Denton.
Dr. Farmer is a former board member at the organization. Dr. Farmer said that she supports this cause and thinks the organization is doing a “great thing.”
Breast cancer survivor, Deb Kreimborg of Highland Village, said when she heard the word “cancer” she realized things were no longer in her hands.
While battling the disease, the medications used to treat her cancer began to take a toll on her physical health. There were limits to what she could do. Household chores that were once a simple task, became harder to complete.
The staff at Cleaning for a Reason helped her realized she was not alone.
Kreimborg said by simply providing free house cleanings, Debbie Sardone is making a difference in the lives of women with cancer.
Sardone said she is grateful for the opportunity to lend a helping hand. She jokes that a “woman’s work is never done,” but she has no plans of slowing down.
“My goal is to make Cleaning for a Reason a household name,” she said.
Sardone said free services for female cancer patients needs to be an automatic gesture from fellow maid-service businesses. The demand for services is high.
She continues to reach out to the community and businesses across the U.S. in hopes of gaining new partners to help provide free house cleanings for clients.
Sardone said though she is quite busy at times, it is all well worth it. “My organization strives at giving back to the strong women fighting cancer, and until there’s a cure, we are cleaning for that reason.”
Contact Cleaning for a Reason at 877-337-3348.